Re: DSM: dancing

Alan Klein (
Sun, 21 Jan 2001 01:23:57 -0500


You ask some good questions and make some good points!

In the first year of a new school, I suspect that many parents will not
fully understand the philosophy/methodology. It is also, of course, more
difficult to find "experienced" kids! I agree with your six months time
frame as a general rule of thumb. It is also true, however, that even as a
school gets more "mature", it is impossible to totally weed out parents who
do not fully support the school's true values.

I, too, like to take what people (kids or otherwise) say at face value. I
then look at their behavior to see if it supports their words. Some folks
call this "espoused values" versus "values in action". In this case, while
their mouths said, "We want classes!" their bodies said, "Like hell we do!"


----- Original Message -----
From: Anne and Theo Julienne <>
> Thank you for filling in the story a little bit more.
> It sounds like the parents didn't really understand what the school was
> about and/or had unrealistic expectations of what they would see happening
> there.
> A time frame is important in this context. As with any change-over to new
> conditions, there is some chaos at first, at least until things settle
> down - in this case, until new students start finding their own directions
> in learning. From my own experience watching my son "deschooling" about 6
> months' patience should be allowed. I've also seen it reported that
> that have been in a "free school" for a while are helpful for the new
> students, partly as role models, partly as living proof that it's OK to do
> things this way.
> It does worry me that you write about >>kids claiming that they "wanted"
> have>> classes. I would prefer to take a claim on its face value. To doubt
> the "real" motives behind a child's claim or request is to deny them a
> "real" voice. Of course, it's different if there is real, overt evidence
> unusual parental coercion. But why would such a parent be sending their
> child to such a school?

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