RE: DSM: Interest increasing?

Joe Jackson (
Fri, 5 Jan 2001 14:26:55 -0500

> By this definition, we are a Sudbury school. I was taking care not to use
> that label, because my previous interactions with staff at a
> Sudbury school
> I visited, and with a founders group in California led me to believe that
> the model included the forms of governance.

Well, I really did not intend to try to convince you that you SHOULD be.

There is no standing definition of Sudbury Schools. What I was wanting to
know is what turned you off from the idea of opening a Sudbury School, or
what turned you on that struck you as outside the model.

> So, my question now is, is it helpful to use the label? I'd be
> interested to
> hear what people on this list have to say about this. In talking to people
> about the Living School, I find that when I mention Sudbury, very
> few people
> have heard of it. For those that have, it does offer a good
> reference point
> for what we're about. For those who haven't, there is the possibility that
> they will look at the SVS website and learn more.

I think there are several very good reasons. First, the model serves as a
pointer. For instance, if someone tells me that their school is democratic,
I'm wondering if they mean "a little" democratic, or fully democratic. I
they say Sudbury I immediately know what they are going for. They say that
kids follow their interest. But sometimes schools have a big, often-hidden
"BUT" or "AS LONG AS" after saying they follow their interests. If they say
"Sudbury" it clears the matter right up.

Second, there is the 32-year history in Framingham as well as a network of
schools. Not much recognition of the word "Sudbury" by Joe Blow, but there
is an infrastructure there that can have a dramtic effect on prospective

Third, there is a "tipping point" for such educational movements; name
association was a profoundly strong dynamic in the tipping of the Waldorf
and Montessori movements.

-Joe J.

> Does anyone know why the schools that Joe mentions that apparently *are*
> Sudbury schools by his definition (New School and Tutorial School), choose
> not to use the label?
> -Connie Shaw

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