DSM: RE: Finding like minded people

Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Fri, 3 Nov 2000 23:12:35 -0500


> The common goals of Sudbury and Heartlight are to allow people to create
> themselves. One great challange we share is to remove conditioning so that
> education (creating self) is really free. This point needs emphacising. We
> are not free. The invasive conditioning of family and friends and media
> permeate our lives creating a status quo of stimulus-response. Even at
> Sudbury this status quo is determining activities and deterining the
> punishments of the judicial committee. There is no thinking
> outside the box
> when status quo is the dominant influence in the community. Not
> sure?...Just
> ask students what are the peer pressures running behaviors and
> the creation
> of rules. I'll wager that no answer will say the pressure is to be an
> evolution as an independent thinking self. Sudbury does focus on
> honesty and
> responsibility. How about we add awareness of influences on behavior and
> awareness of what can change those influences? (Taking responsibility for
> influence is the path to intrinsic motivation and honesty. Blaming is the
> path to extrinsic motivation and deciept.)

If you are saying that the goal of the model is to remove the conditioning
of family, friends and media from the lives of students, I have to say I

Certainly there is conditioning that stops a student from receiving full
benefit offered by the school, but that should not mean that all
conditioning in a student's environment is something to remove.

I do not think that it is a foregone conclusion that the removal of static
stimulus-response patterns in their environment is automatically the "best"
thing for a person to do. People choose to take on their environment based
on where and how they find value, and if they find value in a stimulus, it
is entirely irrelevant if there is a purpose behind it.

In the Sudbury model school it only matters that the child chose the
stimulus and was not overtly coerced; beyond that nobody tries to
institutionally differentiate between whether it was true volition or
control via stimulus-response, because that's not usually possible (or

Nobody can state with any authority whatsoever that there is a difference
between behavior caused by stimulus-response and behavior caused by
volition; the dismal skills of today's modern mind-readers is why science
has utterly failed to be a successful influence in showing us the best way
to set up a school. (My son Jimmy just set up a mind-reading school by the
way. The classes consist of us asking him questions and him saying "I KNEW
you were going to say that!")

Also, I think Sudbury's focus on responsibility and honesty is a function of
trying to prevent the culture from injuring itself; "we" did not decide to
teach them based on any idea that these traits are more important than any
others, and I am puzzled by the suggestion that "we" start teaching
awareness of the influences on behavior et al above and beyond the capacity
in which it is already being taught, which is, of course, informally and
mostly individually or student-to-student.

-Joe Jackson
please note my new email address:
Kids rule at Fairhaven School

> An alternative:
> Again, forced learning is antithetical. How to present
> opportunities freely
> and not limited to the box of status quo? Joseph Pearce said to
> seek a guru
> with an open heart. Just choose to be around the guru and one's mind will
> begin to open. We, however, may be stuck with intellects. The good news is
> we are not pure Volcan intellects. There is room for modification if it is
> so chosen.
> Intellect is that part in us that is selfishly motivated to uplift its own
> ideas at anothers expense. It cares that its ideas be supported regardless
> of the good of the whole. Such behaviors can be identified and counted
> (intellect hates this). The emotional self is literally heart
> directed, and
> uses the midbrain and emotions to coordinate survival activities with
> highest creative thought. It accomplishes this using supportive
> energy, not
> competition. Congruent behaviors can be counted and qualified.
> In a milieu (I love that word) of awareness, honesty and
> responsibility, the
> intellect won't stick around. It can't live with itself. It will leave and
> find a place where it can be by itself with others creating this form of
> status quo. The integrated brain, however, won't want to leave.
> It will feel
> the synergy of mutual joy and intent. It will know the excitement of
> exploring outside the box. It will see the data about self as pure
> opportunity and evolve.
> So, we begin with intellect and end with integrity. The first part won't
> feel good and the last part is so joyous we won't stand ourselves
> - we will
> break free of conditioning. Now all we have to do is say ...
> together now...
> "YES".
> robert
> on 10/31/00 2:00 PM, Rick Stansberger at rickstan@zianet.com wrote:
> > How can they be a Sudbury school and teach "core concepts"?
> The whole point
> > behind the Sudbury model is that there ARE no core concepts
> which everyone
> > must
> > be taught. The only concepts that matter are the ones the
> individual seeks
> > to
> > learn. I get the feeling that there's a confusion here among attitudes,
> > knowledge, and behavior. That's the greatest weakness of
> behaviorism. It
> > leads
> > to the confusing of conditioning with learning.
> >
> > Rick
> >
> >
> >

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