RE: DSM: Re: Subtle Coercion?


Bruce Smith (bsmith@coin.org)
Mon, 8 Jan 2001 18:39:00 -0700


>If I value reading for some reason
>she has been unable to think of and if I fail to express this to her I am
>lax and dishonest in that I have withheld a heartfelt opinion from my
>friend. If I try to force her to read that's another thing, but giving her
>my honest assessment, that I think she's missing out and might like to give
>it a try is not what I consider a violation of her will, student or
>otherwise.

There _is_ a different standard many of us in Sudbury schools hold when it
comes to staff-student vs. adult-adult interactions -- and I think we've
got a good reason for it. Some will argue it's being oversensitive, or
overprotective, but when you've seen the results of overbearing adults
stunting or misdirecting the growth of children, you get to be rather
sensitive and protective, at least where your own actions are concerned. In
this example, to say almost anything to the person who doesn't like reading
would amount to a value judgment. An opinion, yes; but the opinion of an
adult-authority-figure delivered to an impressionable young person. It's
not that every utterance of this type is wrong, or inflicts irreparable
damage. I'm trying not to be melodramatic. But the potential for adults to
unjustly impose their agendas on students is what makes many of us hold
back in this kind of situation.

Bruce



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