Joseph Moore (email@example.com)
Fri, 17 Nov 2000 16:09:14 -0800
I think that democratic schools work because the attitude towards children
they express is morally right - we're doing the right thing by respecting
our kids and recognizing their rights.
I merely tried to avoid moral language to make my observation in as general
terms as possible: that we don't intend to shape our kids like clay, but
rather allow them the freedom to shape themselves according to their own
genius. There are assumptions built into this that I would call moral, but I
thought it worth a try to see if it could be said without overt reference to
So I guess I don't see a split.
From: Alan Klein [mailto:Alan@klein.net]
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2000 3:25 PM
Subject: DSM: Re: Ambition and Humility
I wonder if we have another split among us. I suspect that there are those
who would agree with you, and would say that we believe in democratic
schools because, as you put it, "we have faith that kids will, if left free
to do it, learn whatever they feel is necessary. Further, we believe that an
environment of free choice helps kids become self-reliant, independent and
strong - and, most of all, happy."
On the other hand, I also suspect that there are those among us who believe
in democratic schools, not because we think they work (though we might think
that), but because we believe that they are morally "right" in terms of how
we treat kids and other people.
I wonder what impact this split, if it exists, has on our discussions and
----- Original Message -----
From: Joseph Moore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> It's not a theoretical argument, at least not any more - people can
> how a Sudbury schools works to how a traditional school works. But there
> theoretical (or philosophical) considerations: It is essential to the
> that we have faith that kids will, if left free to do it, learn whatever
> they feel is necessary. Further, we believe that an environment of free
> choice helps kids become self-reliant, independent and strong - and, most
> all, happy. Conversely, if you think it's the school's job to see to it
> kids turn out some particular way, you will end up infringing on the kids'
> innate freedom - and, if you lose that lesson, you've lost a major point
> the model.
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