Re: DSM: Ambition and Humility


Rick Stansberger (rickstan@zianet.com)
Wed, 22 Nov 2000 22:56:38 -0700


Derek,

A lot of what I'm saying these days on this is list is coming from my specific
experience of helping individual southwestern New Mexicans see their way clear
to join our school. I realize that each sudschool is independent, but I also
know what persuasive clout the existence of SVS has in people's minds here.

The 45-minute video done by Japanese TV (NHK-TV) has had a profound impact
here. People really needed to see the mansion and the grounds, the physical
plant, the clean walls (no graffiti, no scuff marks) and the kids. Monday
night, I witnessed a skeptical accountant turn into a babbling partisan in the
space of an hour after seeing that video. Without SVS to stand as a symbol for
what is possible, I really don't think we'd have a founders' group at all here.

Do you think Booroobin could have come into being if SVs had been defunct?

Rick

The Booroobin Sudbury School wrote:

> Hi Rick,
> The beauty of the Sudbury model is that each School is truly independent.
> Each School finds its own way. We worked out what we wanted out of
> education, our needs, and rather than reinventing the wheel, searched for a
> model of education that already existed. The SVM was an almost perfect
> match. Its the independence of each School that is valued so highly (and
> the passion, strength of purpose and depth of debate amongst the individuals
> involved) and the fact the SVS does not seek to be the "mother plant" that
> makes us (the Sudbury sister Schools) so much stronger. SVS continues to be
> an excellent, probably the best, example of a truly democratic School that
> is going about its business, and assisting others with advice and expertise
> when requested. Its up to each school to run their own affairs and grow and
> become strong, independently.
> Regards, Derek
> The Booroobin Sudbury School
> http://booroobinschool.squirrel.com.au
> Ph/fax +61 07 5499 9944
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rick Stansberger" <rickstan@zianet.com>
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model@aramis.sudval.org>
> Sent: Monday, November 20, 2000 6:18 AM
> Subject: Re: DSM: Ambition and Humility
>
> >
> >
> >
> > > Necessary condition #1
> > > I believe the physical plant must be somewhat well located and be valued
> in
> > > the single digit millions.
> >
> > It's a good thing I don't believe you. Ain't no way we're gonna get up a
> mill
> > for a physical plant, pardner. Heck, we couldn't even rob a bank -- they
> ain't
> > got that kinda cash on hand around here.
> >
> > > Notes:
> > > 1) I do realize that this formulation is conservative and may be too
> general
> > > and vague to be of much value.
> >
> > Actually I'm hoping it's too specific and too lavish.
> >
> > > 2) It seems that long before the culture generates much traction the
> physical
> > > plant stands as a silent expression of how much the child is valued.
> Remember
> > > that in the late 60's and early 70's there were hundreds of "free
> schools".
> > > The majority of them did not however have 13 acres, a pond, a mansion, a
> barn
> > > and access to a large area of forested woods.
> >
> > Well, maybe if you mean ONE school like that somewhere that we can point
> to --
> > OK. But democracy and self-reliance are ideas that didn't even need
> covered
> > wagons to spread. The little one-room schoolhouses maybe only needed one
> Harvard
> > to point to Back East as the Temple of Learning, and the rest could go
> about
> > their hand pump and coal scuttle business.
> >
> > > 3) The culture is generated and lived by the children and the staff. The
> > > parents will have some knowledge of the theory, but the physical plant
> will
> > > offer the one tangible expression of what might be possible for their
> child.
> >
> > That makes SVs like the Cahtolic Saint on the holy card: somebody we can
> point
> > to to shwo it IS possible, though really most parishioners don't expect
> their
> > neighbors or even their priests to be exactly like that lady or man on the
> card
> > who let pagans rip out their eyeballs while they sang hymns or cracked
> jokes.
> >
> > > 4) To a large extent, early recruitment will be a function of the
> physical
> > > plant.
> >
> > Not in our case. Nobody here is Silver is under the illusion that we're
> gonna
> > grab one of the few ranch haciendas around here. The parents who are
> coming to
> > our meetings are sick of the kind of administration that worships brick
> and
> > mortar.
> >
> > > 7) The point of this formulation is that if we can reduce Sudbury Valley
> to
> > > it's necessary and sufficient conditions then we can build these things
> with
> > > focus on these conditions and therefore we can build them much faster
> and
> > > with a greater success rate.
> >
> > Not all sudschools are SVS, and that's a good thing, just as not all
> democracies
> > are the US -- or Switzerland or ancient Athens or modern Italy. That
> shows that
> > the idea travels well and adapts itself to differing circumstances. You
> couldn't
> > have the Middle Ages without castles, and that may have been their
> limiting
> > factor. If you can't have sudschools without a million dollar property,
> that
> > also will limit them.
> >
> > I do agree with you that the spread of the sudbury model has to do with
> the
> > continued existence of SVS in Framingham. If THAT paragon were to close,
> the
> > movement, at this vulnerable early stage, would probably shut down. Once
> the
> > model decentralizes, it will be harder to kill. That's the phase we're in
> right
> > now -- the mother plant is sending out runners and the little plants are
> breaking
> > the surface.
> >
> > Rick
> >
> >

--
"Weirdness abounds and shatters our illusion of order.  Heh-heh.  All the
dust is being blown out from under the carpet. Wonderful stuff!"

Wanda Hamilton-Quinn



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