DSM: role of parents

Allan Saugstad (asaugstad@vsb.bc.ca)
Wed, 13 Dec 2000 14:14:20 -0800

Dear all,

As a parent who has strived to raise two children (4 and 2) in a democratic
household, and as a principal in a public school who can see the undemocratic
workings here, I am very inspired by the sudbury model and am making plans to
open my own democratic school.

I have heard a couple of you say that they are uncomfortable with the idea of
parents working in a sudbury school. I am having difficulty understanding this so
I hope you will help me. I understand that many parents impose their own will and
dreams upon their children; this I do not agree with. I also understand that the
children may resent or dislike my involvement in their lives when they are older.
This I can accept and will not challenge in my children.

My community of friends all want to stay involved in their childrens' education.
We imagine establishing an "extended family" community, where our children are
free to learn and live whatever they choose. As a supportive family, we would all
support them in their wishes and goals. We feel the strength of this model is
that the family bond is maintained. There would be a natural respect and love for
each of the children in the community as they pursue their interests. There would
be little need to structure opening hours of our "school" because learning would,
of course, happen all day long, every day. Together we hope to learn from each
other and stay close to each other. Our hope is to give our children the
opportunity to associate with and learn from whoever they choose; maybe us, maybe
others in the community, and maybe others outside our community.

Ultimately it's about more than just the kids. It's about all of us, together,
supporting, living, and learning alongside one another; children, adults, and

So what do you think of this? I have a hard time figuring out how this fits with
the sudbury model.

Please feel free to be critical. I rely on your advice in the pursuit of my


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