RE: DSM: Interest increasing?

Joe Jackson (
Fri, 5 Jan 2001 14:06:35 -0500

> Joe wrote:
> "I'm interested, since the only real constants of the model is that the
> students and staff see to the day-to-day governance, and that learning is
> student-led (two concepts you are in harmony with), why aren't you
> starting
> a Sudbury School?
> "I understand the flexibility you seek, but since that very flexibility is
> inherent in the model, why would you choose to differentiate yourself from
> the range of existing SM schools, with all of their varying governance
> styles and judicial systems?"
> Joe and others,
> Aren't the goals of Sudbury to increase this wonderful democractic and
> student-centered "education" throughout the country and throughout the
> world? So that the most kids as possible (or all kids, to be idealist)
> can have the incredible experience of being part of this type of
> community? That is my goal, and I believe it is also the goal of most
> people involved with Sudbury schools (correct me if I am wrong). In
> which case, wouldn't a great way to accomplish this goal be to establish
> communication between all schools with similar philosophies and goals, and
> to recognize their efforts to establish a place where, as you described
> Sudbury schools Joe, "the students and staff see to the day-to-day
> governance, and that learning is student-led." There are many such
> schools out there - schools which developed before or after Sudbury, and
> which did not necessarily know about Sudbury when they were founded.
> Should their decision not to affiliate themselves with Sudbury imply that
> the school is antithetical to the Sudbury model?

I hope nobody interpreted what I was saying as stating that you're either SM
or antithetical to it. What I intended to ask is why someone who is opening
a school that looks, smells, and acts like a SM school would avoid calling
it that.

You state that there are "many such schools" out there that practice
democratic governance and student-initiated learning that do not call
themselves SM. I know of about a dozen, and believe me, we communicate,
affiliate, and almost everything-else-ate with them. Are there more of
these schools out there that we don't know about? Possibly. Am I trying to
limit communication with these schools that I don't know about? No.

> It seems that Sudbury is limiting its efforts to increase the
> communication between democractic schools and the amount of democractic
> schools to only those schools which call themselves Sudbury model schools.
> What about establishing communication with other schools which have the
> same philosophies? - sharing ideas, having conferences, pooling
> everyone's minds to come up with the best ways to increase the chance
> of all kids having the opportunity to be a part of a democractic
> student-centered school.
> I believe that Sudbury schools are absolutely wonderful places for
> children (and staff too!). And the success and spreading of the Sudbury
> idea is extremely important to the spread of democractic education.
> Especially because of this reason, if Sudbury could bond a bit more with
> other democractic schools,

Once again, I just don't understand why you think I don't bond with other
Sudbury Model Schools and schools that are fully democratic and fully
non-coercive. I just don't think there are many out there.

> and become a part of the country-wide and
> world-wide movement for this type of education, then the spread of
> democratic schools and the acceptance and desire for their philosophies
> could hopefully increase at a higher rate than ever.

I don't see that there are a plethora of true democratic schools out there
that are not associated with the Sudbury movement. Can you enlighten me?

> With all praise and love for the Sudbury model,
> Dana

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