DSM: We like minded people

Robert Swanson (robertswanson@icehouse.net)
Sat, 04 Nov 2000 10:54:26 -0800

I have an assumption about the culture at Sudbury that maybe someone would
comment on. As free as people are to play and to talk and to explore, I
assume there is no forum for being an explosive individual, but rather there
is a status quo of being an adaptable citizen. By explosive I mean
potentiating individuals as an Albert Einstein, a Dr. Schweitzer, a Rudolf
Steiner, an Edgar Allen Poe..., people inclined to exceptional principles or
style and who seem to lead society out of the box. I see the corporations as
doing this in a material sense but not in behalf of an exceptional
personality. I don't think I am the only one referring to this quality as
the law of lowest common denominator.

I do see Sudbury students as exceptional in ability to speak forthright from
the depths of their experience. I find this intriguing. Where can they go
with this ability? Out of the box?

on 11/3/00 8:12 PM, Joe Jackson at shoeless@jazztbone.com wrote:

> Robert,
>> The common goals of Sudbury and Heartlight are to allow people to create
>> themselves. One great challenge we share is to remove conditioning so that
>> education (creating self) is really free. This point needs emphasizing. 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 determining 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 deceit.)
> 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
> disagree.
> 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
> important).
> 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:
> shoeless@jazztbone.com
> http://www.jazztbone.com
> ************************
> Kids rule at Fairhaven School
> http://www.fairhavenschool.com
>> 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 Vulcan 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 another's 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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