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

Rick Stansberger (
Wed, 15 Nov 2000 20:38:25 -0700

Kristin Harkness wrote:

> I also do not
> doubt that individual connections made between students and teachers in
> traditional schools can be of value to students. As a student, I had some
> teachers whom I appreciate to this day. However, I agree with Bruce's
> statement that, essentially, many more are harmed by the system than can be
> individually helped by well intentioned people in the system.

It's a thing we can never know for sure. How can you measure and add up the sum
total of the experiences of all the people in a group like that?

Here's why I resist making such a judgment: for 97% of all teachers and
students in this country, traditional schools are pretty much the only game in
town. If you go up to a hard-working teacher and tell her that she's doing more
harm than good, you're telling her her life has been a waste. People have
killed themselves over less. You don't attack an idea by attacking people.
That's where inquisitions and purges always fail.

Now it's my turn. Have you ever taught in a traditional school? If so, how
long? What was it like for you? Why did you leave?

> It sounds like your approach changed over time. Mine certainly has! I hope
> I have not offended you, because I respect your contributions to this
> discussion.

Naw! This reminds me of some of the in-your-face discussions I had with my
classes. The word "discussion" says it all -- comes from the Latin meaning to
break apart. We hammer at ideas (and sometimes each other) until we find out
what's inside. I'm having fun.


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