Re: DSM: A Few Questions from a Newish Mom [Heather McDougal <heatherdoodle@y...

Robert Swanson (
Fri, 01 Dec 2000 13:24:47 -0800

on 11/27/00 5:41 PM, at wrote:

> In a message dated 11/27/00 7:36:46 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
>> So, isn't it magical, fearless mentors children yearn for, someone to touch
>> their hearts and show them the way to swim in a universe of possibility?
>> Would not SVS be raptured by such people sharing an open heart, playfully,
>> creatively, fearlessly?
> Robert,
> It sounds good to me! And I expected the staff to walk on water at one time
> also. Unfortunately and fortunately staff have their fears as well.
> I believe we must allow them that, if indeed they accept the children with
> their fears.
> It's how they deal with those fears (without projection) that determine what
> the children will grab onto.
> Getting lost in the fear, or accepting it and dealing with it face-to-face
> could be their legacy. One can have fears and still share an open heart. The
> openness could include sharing those fears in the form of owning and
> addressing them.
> The SVS model isn't a panacea to life. It's an alternative to the brutal
> lashing children endure in the traditional systems.
> Kathleen
The creation of SVS was a huge leap. A small group of people practically
walked on water to consider a radical new model of education. If their first
try wasn't perfect, the second try put the works in motion to carry them the
next thirty years.

The gumption to get out of denial, to depart from the mediocre, to be
different, to do something wonderful is still present for anyone who will
claim it. This is a simple process of seeing what is and seeing what to
change. To now make a third effort at SVS simply follows in the steps of
what came before. If we face our fears we can do this. We see what is -
fear, and see the change - an open heart.

To see what "is" take some data, perhaps a video tape. Anyone see the tv
program Primetime Thursday 11/30/00? A most sincere mom convinced doctors
her children were the problem and put them on drugs. She convinced the court
to punish her son. But when Primetime installed cameras in the home at mom's
request they noticed that mom was the terror of terrors. Even as mom watched
the videos she could barely acknowledge the problem. Our own denial is
almost always similar. Anywhere there is good intent just take an objective
look and see the terror inflicted. And remember that we are only 5%
consciously an effect on children. A poor effect at that. Primetime noted
that 60% of children go without needed help for emotional/mental
difficulties. The other side of this is that few children have progressive
influences to functional lifestyles. Throw these kids together and you have
the blind leading the blind.

The JC is a behavior management program to suppress unwanted behaviors.
Where is the program to advance behavior? This might be a good time to walk
on water.

More from Joseph Pearce:
At six to seven years kids shift from the family as the model to society as
the model to pattern after, primarily adults (Peers may fill in if adults
fail, but peers are insufficient models, and one result of peer models is
the generation gap).

The years seven to eleven are for play for the sake of play. And, reading to
kids (story telling) develops imaging and related intelligences.

Age eleven begins children's interest in rules, however, 70% of children do
not make the shift at age eleven from material to abstract thought. This is
why kids can read a page of material and then not understand what they read.
(SVS students may not have this problem - shouldn't we find out?).

Pearce claims that for children to develop (or at least to heal some) they
must have healed adult models. Therefore, we can say that quality education
is all about developing adult models. Given quality models there is no
telling how far children may go. We haven't gone there unless maybe you
include such as Tesla, Einstein, Mozart.

If you have not read them yet, these are wonderful interviews with Pearce
dramatically supporting a method such as Sudbury:


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