Re: DSM: public school prisons (sharing the SVS model, etc.)


Alan Klein (Alan@klein.net)
Thu, 9 Nov 2000 21:59:05 -0500


Scott,

You said, in reference to the Colorado public school:

> The school you describe does not have anything in common with a
> Sudbury Model school. And it is not an institution I would support or
> willingly send my children to.

I wonder about your accuracy when you claim it has NOTHING in common with a
Sudbury Model school (or any other democratically run school, I presume). I
should say up front that I have often made similar claims about other
schools (The Harmony School, in Indiana comes to mind), i.e., that as long
as they are not democratically run, then they have nothing in common with
The Highland School or SVS, etc.

As I have, dare I admit it, gotten older, I wonder if we don't do ourselves
and our cause more of a disservice than otherwise when we make such
statements. If we simply want to maintain our "rightness", then such
statements may be helpful in keeping us focused on what is important in our
philosophy. On the other hand, if we want to change schooling and learning
for more kids than we reach currently, we may be pushing people away -
people who might be otherwise attracted to the philosophy.

There is an old "formula" for change that reads "C iff D X V X S X F > R"
(Change will happen if and only if the product of Dissatisfaction with the
status quo, the Vision of the future state, the Support system in place to
support the change, and the First steps toward reaching the vision is
greater than the Resistance to the change). It is a product, rather than a
summation, since all four of the left hand elements need to be in place, or
the product will be zero and the Resistance will never be overcome. What
this says to me is that, while it is very important to keep our focus on our
Vision (Philosophy, etc.), it is equally important to build Support systems.
We are a small group of fellow travelers. We can use all the help we can
get!

Having said this, I want to emphasize that I do not support compromising on
the philosophy in an effort to gain support or enrollment. I am only saying
that, for example, the school in Colorado, and the people who work at it and
attend it, may be good people to get to know. To claim that they have
nothing in common with us is potentially to build a wall...a wall that is
probably needless and possibly destructive to our cause.

Thanks for listening,
~Alan Klein



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