DSM: Re: About offering something (was: dancing)

Alan Klein (Alan@klein.net)
Fri, 19 Jan 2001 21:16:10 -0500

Recently I saw "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?". based on my relationship with
him, I had a feeling that my son would like it. I "offered" the idea to him.

He got hooked by the election aftermath. Knowing that I couldn't resist a
hanging chad, he "offered" to discuss the issues with me at various times.

My wife read a book recently that she liked. She "offered" that I might like
to read it, as well.

My friends are "West Wing" junkies. They brought a video of it over to our
house and "offered" it to us.

My point is that we do, indeed, make such offers to others. The important
question is why we do it and on what data do we base our "offering". As
staff members of a democratic school, we develop relationships with
students. Based on this relationship, I expect that the students will
"offer" me aspects of their lives and interests that they believe would
interest me or on which they want my input. I feel free to do the same.

This is VERY different from me saying that what I offer is more important
than what the student might choose without my offer.

~Alan Klein

----- Original Message -----
From: Marko Koskinen <marko@vapaus.net>

> I try to make this short because this issue has been discussed in many
> occasions. The key is that why would you want to "offer" something? If
> you truly trust your children, you don't need to "offer" TO them
> anything, you can just enjoy living WITH them. People learn all the time
> from what they see and sense with their senses and when you "offer"
> something, you're telling the child that "this thing that I'm offering
> is more important than what you're choosing for yourself" and "I am
> wiser than you and that's why I am allowed to 'offer' you these ideas".
> Both of these are coersive because they make the child feel that what
> she chooses for herself is not that important and that the motivation
> should come from outside, and thus the child creates herself some inner
> coersive patterns.
> I believe the idea of offering things is very similar to the idea of
> education, and as I believe that no externally motivated education can
> be uncoersive, I can't see how the "offering" could benefit the child.

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