Re: DSM: Sharing the SVS model

Robert Swanson (
Thu, 09 Nov 2000 10:58:19 -0800

I'd like to suggest three paradigms:
1) School is about learning (public school)
2) School is about human development (SVS)
3) School is about the evolution of developing human potential (wisdom

The idea of learning THINGS is so big in our society it seems to cast a
shadow over human development. We put as a second consideration the
character development of an individual.

Dr. Melvin Morse (who writes about NDE's of children) said school emphasizes
the left side of the brain. It does so by emphasizing verbal activity. Words
keep us busy accessing the past and future. On the other hand, the right
lobe of the brain is timeless and nonverbal. Its communication is focused on
feelings, intuition and depth perception. Right lobe communication
references the broader environment.

When we get out of the intellect, it is not a question discerning this one
thing is right and that one thing is wrong and here we sit. Rather, feelings
are concerned with how much happier do we want to evolve right now. Life is
a continuum of creativity and choice.


on 11/9/00 10:07 AM, Julianne Madrid at wrote:

> Kathleen,
> I really appreciate what you wrote. I think the
> Sudbury Model does go beyond right and wrong (from my
> limited knowledge). I think it's important to create
> something without it having to be because something
> else is bad. Why would we want to create a school in
> reaction to the system we have now? Isn't that just
> called school reform? I think the SVS model is a
> whole new paradigm and the questions you ask are
> important. I understand the tendency to attack the
> system, because I'm confronted by it everyday in my
> job in a public school. I also realize that it isn't
> useful to do so. It's more useful for me to focus on
> creating something that does work for people.
> Julianne Madrid
> --- wrote:
>> Rick,
>> 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
>> that.
>> 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
>> different
>> 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
> =====
> Julianne Madrid :)
> "Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make
> mistakes." --Mahatma Gandhi
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