DSM: re: tuition, curricula, et al

Mon, 2 Oct 2000 19:37:52 EDT

Sudbury schools have no curriculum, and to my
> knowledge are the only schools in the world that reject the concept of
> curricula

It seems as though the meaning behind your definition of 'curricula'
connotes coercion based on hierarchal power and unearned authority. From my
experience teaching in the mainstream, as well as listening to the reports
of young people 'studenting' in the mainstream, this version of the
definition reflects reality well.

Another way to define 'curricula' is simply what is studied, interests
pursued, passions followed, learning emerged. In my view, the Sudbury
Valley model of learning is an exceptional model of curricula that evolves
in a chosen and humane context. This is a model of shared and individual
power in the balance. This is a model where authority is genuinely earned.
This is a model where learning happens in a natural and affective manner.

The Sudbury Valley model may very well be inadvertently challenging the
negative connotations developed around the word 'curricula', reestablishing
the value and purity of the word. Sudbury schools are immersed in
student-led curricula, as opposed to the kind of forced, rigid, uniform
curricula which has emerged in the mainstream.


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