Re: DSM: Re: Finding like minded people

Robert Swanson (
Tue, 31 Oct 2000 00:09:43 -0800

Great ideas and questions -- if I may respond within the text:

on 10/29/00 6:58 AM, Eduardo Cortina at wrote:

> Just out of curiosity (just dropped into this exchange and I didn't read
> the previous emails on this topic) is the Heartlight school connected
> with Neale Walsch? I was wondering how his school would actually turn
> out. In his book, Conversations with God II, he mentions some things or
> to use his words "core concepts" he'd like to teach or model in a school:
> honesty, awareness, and responsibility, but not the means that he would
> use to teach them. I was wondering if any of the founders of the
> Heartlight School had gotten wind of the Sudbury model?
[Yes - Neale Walsch & ReCreation. Funding is separate but the school has
started in the ReCreation building in Ashland OR. They decided on Sudbury as
a model. Yes, they will teach Core Concepts but how is yet to be seen. You
are invited to say how at My own preference is via
mentors, self-monitoring, with this data made public.]

> He also talks about developing several courses around these core
> concepts, some examples of course titles being: Understanding Power,
> Peaceful conflict resolution, Engaging Creativity, tolerance etc. . . I
> wondered however, if these things can really be taught in a classroom
> setting? Of course we'd all like our children to learn these things
> (most people at least), including people in traditional schools. The
> question that I don't see most people in education asking is by what
> means do children or anyone for that matter, actually learn about these
> core concepts?
[Exactly. How to teach these in a class or otherwise? I'd like to see
mentors BEING these, influencing via a milieu of cooperation and joy.
Forcing these is obviously contrary and why the Sudbury model fits.]

> Perhaps actually offering courses in these subjects would be more
> effective than just sticking with the more traditional curriculums of
> schools, but you still run into the problem of "trying" to teach
> something to someone else. You still run into forcing or coercing a
> another person into "learning" something they may or may not be
> interested in during that period of time.
[Intelligence and ability are influenced beginning before birth and
influence continues through age sixteen. Initial heart connection (this is
literal) opens emotional intelligence allowing intellectual development
allowing creative development of the cerebrum. This development sequence
happens due to love and exploration and modeling, NOT IDEAS, at least not
till age eleven. You are right - what kids are interested in is love,
adventure and (literally) openhearted models. Interfere with birth, love,
adventure, or models, or advance the young child into intellect, and the
development process is damaged. Our high tech society has not affected
natural order. First allow nature, then allow creative ideas. Nature uses
interest, intellect uses coercion.]

> I've only been a visitor at Sudbury Schools, but in my brief experiences,
> totaling perhaps two weeks, I've seen a lot more of these "core
> concepts" being lived and modeled than I have in any other educational
> institution. Why, because the Sudbury model allows children and staff to
> be themselves-- what could be more honest than this. Can one really try
> to be honest or be taught honesty? Can someone be taught to be aware or
> be responsible for themselves? At a democratic school like a Sudbury
> Valley you are completely responsible for yourself and your actions, and
> you are held accountable for your actions in a fair manner. The
> Awareness thing, is sort of vague. Aware of what? Other people? Global
> warming? The mystery of life?
[Aware of what?... I'm sure we ask this question because "Dumbing Us Down"
has been an effective program. Would Sudbury students ask what is awareness?
Well, I do. Can SVS help? I hope you say it has to do with sincerity,
self-knowing, and evolutionary progressive wisdom & survival. How does
Sudbury demonstrate the core concepts and their derivatives? Your reply to
this could be a major help to Heartlight.]

> In any case, my point is that, these things are learned through living
> freely and responsibly, not in classes where one tries to be or do
> something that is someone else's agenda for them. They are also
> supported by interacting with people who support and model these concepts
> because they have learned through their own personal life experiences
> that the being honest, responsible, and aware (of other people?) are the
> most practical and constructive way of living.
[Yes, interaction is a huge part of development. No, we will support and
model the core concepts because of joy (as integrated emotional
intelligence) not practicality (as segregated thought-intellect). Note that
intellectual joy is corrupt because it functions as isolated from mutual
synergistic survival.]

> Children need the space and time (freedom) to figure these things out for
> themselves. They need other people in there lives, role models, whether
> they be adults or children who have learned (not one's who are just
> trying to be) that these principles are what works. They need a
> structure like a democratic school that supports the development of these
> qualities using a process (means) that works.
[The learning cycle is this: intense mental-emotional focus followed by
relaxed passive assimilation. Intensity develops new neural pathways.
Passivity integrates. This may be mostly for adults. For children,
repetition myalinates nerve pathways (establishes them). Therefore, they
should follow their interest until the interest changes. Most learning is
from modeling, mostly by four years old. However, the seven-year old has 6-7
times the weight of neural connections as an adult, open to receive, looking
for a guru as a model.]

> It seems that most people in this country would want these concepts to be
> a part of future generations. I think most people strive to be good,
> honest, responsible. But the question is, are striving, trying, doing,
> being taught (pick your verb) the actual means that people use to learn
> these or any concepts or principles. Does wanting something actually
> produce that something, regardless of the means used to attain it. Well
> maybe, some of the time, but at what cost? Has it worked in our
> schools? Will it work in a school, however enlightened or well
> intentioned, that uses the same means (forced or coerced learning of a
> subject or core concept) that other schools use that are miserably
> failing to achieve their ends.
[Intellect tries to force learning while bypassing nature. A foundation of
love and exploration with quality mentors is essential. The creative outcome
nature planned for is literally beyond anything the isolated intellect can
consider. The way Einstein dreamed his ideas may be an example. robert]

> -Eduardo Coritna
> On Sat, 28 Oct 2000 18:34:17 -0700 Robert Swanson
> <> writes:
>> Yes, finding like minded people is like looking for needles in a
>> haystack. I
>> suggested to Heartlight in Oregon that they consider a behaviorist
>> model
>> where one is openly accountable for ones actions and measure of
>> success.
>> When I did this in a group home the environment (socially and
>> educationally)
>> changed dramatically overnight. We coordinated and became
>> successful. Can
>> you imagine and comment how such a program might alter the effort
>> in
>> starting and running a new school?
>> robert swanson

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