DSM: data improves school

Robert Swanson (robertswanson@icehouse.net)
Fri, 03 Nov 2000 20:22:46 -0800

Fundamental research seems neglected. One simple question is, how do common
human behaviors affect those around us. In public school the quick answer
is, "Dumbs Us Down". The long answer has to do with seating arrangement,
level of sunlight, amount of fresh air, tone of the teacher, length of study
vs intermissions of play or rest, frequency of providing choice, number of
incentives given for setting a common intent, number of offers for support,
number of opportunities to be personable, extent of association of learnings
to real life necessities, extent of association of learning to happiness and
social welfare, frequency of voluntary input from students or teachers, in a
given school culture/climate - what is the frequency of repetition required
for myalination of an experience, how does exposure to a forest change the
school experience, etc. All this is our learning to adapt to technological
culture. For a while man thought he was machine. In taking these steps we
learn how technology must adapt to nature.

Fundamental research should uncover the hardware of being human. Joseph
Pearce has studied and lectured on the evidence for many years. The evidence
he presents strongly indicates that people develop intelligence from a base
of human contact, intuition, open exploration and creativity with quality
role models leading the way. When role models speak they should be leading
the youth to the farthest reaches of creative thought, joyfully. This is
what will open development of the cerebrum past 10% and into highest
intelligence for the good of humanity and for intelligent survival in our
environment, mother earth. So long as education is in discord with the
nature of intelligence, we must look and see why current culture is killing
education, and then stop doing that. Nature will provoke development from

Intellect denies its vicious fear and mean determination to prevent this.
Yet, look at it. The left brain has very few connections to mid brain
feelings. It is the right brain that synthesizes survival with ego, with
feelings, with intellect, with creativity, with fellow humans. In a high
tech society we have conditioned our thoughts to center in the intellect,
the left brain, instead of feelings, shutting off thought from intelligent
living as a whole. Intellect sees little past the current idea gripping its
tiny little isolated thought. But, oh does it have an ego, of fear, all to

There is no cure while intellect is central. First it must be suffocated of
its control, as Sudbury so wonderfully provides a space for. This cuts the
tops off the weeds. Next remove the conditioning at its roots. Do this
simply by measuring those uncomfortable aspects intellect has been refusing
to see.


on 11/3/00 11:18 AM, John Axtell at newlife@theofficenet.com wrote:

> As one who is reading the discussions in this list with a great deal of
> interest
> as I am doing research as to what paradigms might best meet the objectives of
> students, parents and the society I personally interact with, I value all the
> research all of you are doing.
> When I finally think I have got the answer and do not feel more research is
> needed
> and it is not possible to find a better way to meet the needs of just one more
> student I hope one of you will say a kind prayer as I will be in Heaven.
> Please keep us informed as to any research you are doing and the results. I am
> especially interested in research on the SVM and how it can be improved.
> John Axtell
> Valley, WA
> Rick Stansberger wrote:
>> Robert, I don't think we need any more data to know how to make effective
>> schools. Daniel Greenberg had it right when he quoted Aristotle who had it
>> right when he observed that people are naturally curious. What most people
>> call "school" actually amputates curiosity ("Not now, Johnny, we're doing
>> phonics") and replaces it with "motivation," which depends on tricks and
>> reinforcement and is as clumsy as an artificial limb. Luckily, curiosity
>> does
>> grow back, and you can even do it to a limited extent in a factory school, as
>> I
>> did with some high-school seniors one year. It took a long time but I got
>> them
>> to find within themselves things they truly wanted to know, and, not
>> surprisingly, those questions were the kind that really young kids ask: What
>> keeps clouds up? Why doe zebras have stripes? Why are people mean? It made
>> for some lively research and writing, especially since I allowed them to use
>> interviews and not just written sources. We don't need any more research.
>> We
>> just need to go with what we know.
>> Rick

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