Re: DSM: dancing

Anne and Theo Julienne (
Tue, 23 Jan 2001 09:50:14 +1100

Hi Candy (I think),
I believe that the right to (apparently) do nothing at all is possibly the
hardest one to assert in Western societies. But there is evidence that the
tide is turning on this one. My "bible" on this (and I have been consciously
practising doing nothing now for about 20 years) is Bertrand Russell's "In
Praise of Idleness". I think Australia may be more advanced in this than the
US. Although people winge a lot about "dole bludgers" we have very liberal
welfare policies that do allow adults to take time off (while "pretending"
to look for work).
However, changes in society have traditionally been effected by re-educating
the young to the new ways. I just think it would be more "conscious" somehow
if you were to admit that a Sudbury school *is* educating children within a
new paradigm, and one that has eventual societal change as its purpose. This
is a noble vision and one that I share. But it was not initiated by
children. The founders of the vision were adults. They had and have the best
interests of children at heart. But so do all those unenlightened mainstream
parents that support coercive education.
Hope this clarifies things a bit.

> Hi Anne,
> Some of the "studious kids" parents adjusted and some left. I am
> troubled though by the phrase "studious kids" - I don't think those kids
> were significantly different in terms of their interests from
> "non-studious kids". Each kid is different, but parental concerns that
> there are things that kids must learn or be uneducated (illiterate,
> ignorant, etc.)reflects the experiences of the parents rather than the
> needs of the kids.
> Since I'm in storytelling mode, I have memories of my son (who didn't
> learn to read until he was 10) sitting in a chair at a table reading a
> book with another child hanging around his neck saying "let's go
> outside, let's go outside". I was passing through the room to do
> something else and came back through later to see my son still sitting
> there reading. I think his ability to concentrate despite distractions
> helps him now in medical school. BTW, he could have filed a complaint if
> the other child refused to leave him alone, but the other child found
> someone else to play outside this time.
> I also remember a small child who was offended by certain words
> sometimes used around him. He brought up the issue at a School Meeting
> and although no new rules were passed, everyone at school made a visible
> effort to not use those words around him. What can be studied, said, or
> done in any community depends on the people involved - but respect for
> individual rights seems to me to be a critical part of democratic
> schools - including the right to do nothing at all.

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