Re: DSM: data improves school

Robert Swanson (
Sun, 05 Nov 2000 23:02:59 -0800

on 11/3/00 11:40 PM, Rick Stansberger at wrote:

> Robert,
> You and I see sudschools very differently.
>> There is no cure while intellect is central. First it must be suffocated of
>> its control, as Sudbury so wonderfully provides a space for.
> I see sudbury schools as providing places for the intellect to flourish,
> leading the
> students wherever it wishes. The factory schools I've taught in stifle
> intellect,
> not sudschools. Where's your evidence that they suffocate intellect?
> Rick

My computer locked up. I'll try this reply again, maybe abbreviated.
We need to stifle intellect that intuition and joy may flourish. Fear and
intellect are blood brothers. I see public schools as exemplifying and
demanding intellect. It is the isolation, the competitive fight or flight,
the lack of trust in the natural development of intelligence.

Sudbury gets adults out of the way that exploration may occur. If intellect
has been conditioned then, even without adults around, still they will
explore intellectually. If a student has been brought up advantaged, and
their heart is guiding them to know their emotions, empathizing with others,
joyfully being creative with intellect as a tool on the side, then they will
explore intelligently as nature intended. The question I have is, what
dominates the culture at sudbury? Is it intellect apprehensively trying to
fit in, or is it intelligence joyfully lending support to other's
exploration? Used appropriately, intellect easily comes up with many things
to explore in behalf of joyful creativity and mutual welfare.

Would any students care to respond?

A note on the side: The news repeated something I've heard earlier -- there
is a mass of brain cells in the abdomen. So, add to the integrity-congruity
of intelligence a gut awareness. It was speculated that this is intuition.


> Robert Swanson wrote:
>> 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
>> there.
>> 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
>> itself.
>> 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.
>> robert
>> on 11/3/00 11:18 AM, John Axtell at 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
> --
> 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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Mon Nov 06 2000 - 09:05:38 EST