Re: DSM: Sharing the SVS model
Wed, 8 Nov 2000 23:48:45 EST

In a message dated 11/8/00 1:35:14 PM Mountain Standard Time, writes:

<< I've been a teacher since 1974,
 and I'm telling you, though, that she's right. >>

I'm not into the attack and defend mode. So I'll answer you and not the
previous post.
I make no defense of my profession. I don't think that she's right. I don't
think that she's wrong. I don't think I'm right. I don't think I'm wrong.
What if the Sudbury Model goes beyond right or wrong? What if it goes beyond
attack and defend? What if you can't free the children without a new method
that goes beyond right or wrong? I think the Sudbury model is taking a bad
rap here. It's not about attack and defend. And it's not about trashing
other people's decisions. I could come back and defend my position. I could
attack in kind. But I won't.
I will say this: I believe in my bones that the children I work with are not
free, even in my classes. What I do think (I admit, I don't really "know" a
lot.) that I love the people I spend my days with. I respect them. I don't
care for the public school system. I never have. Generally, I find it quite
oppressive. I wish the Sudbury Model was the norm. But it's not. ( I
prefer the Sudbury Model for my son.) And because it's not, not every child
or teacher can go there. And because we're not all able to do this, are we
to give up, sit back and whine that we're not free? I prefer not to do

And when you give up the attack and defend model, what's left?
Maybe just a more interesting set of questions, like:

1. Does, in fact, the Sudbury Model call forth a new method qualitatively
than attack and defend?
2. Why, after thirty years are Sudbury schools so hard to do, given that
other educational models are so patently invasive and destructive?
3. Are children or anyone ever really damaged?
4. If they are damaged, what is the characterization of such damage?
5. If Sudbury Valley schools can institutionalize respect for children, and
such respect is the sufficient condition for the freedom of children, can
others ,knowing this, offer respect on their own in institutions other than
this model?
6. Basically, was there not both kindness and goodness, among slaves, even
in the plantation system?
Kathleen Richardson

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