Re: DSM: We like minded people


Rick Stansberger (rickstan@zianet.com)
Sat, 04 Nov 2000 15:39:05 -0700


Seems to me that Sudbury is exactly the place for an Einstein or a Poe. Where
else would they have the freedom to explore their own paths without being labeled
deviant?

Rick

Robert Swanson wrote:

> 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

--
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

"The Unknown Citizen: (To JS/07/M/37 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)" W. H. Auden



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