RE: DSM: Sudbury Schools in an Urban setting

Todd Robinson (
Mon, 5 Feb 2001 17:10 -0800


You raise a good point (re: attacking and defending). I generally find the posts by the staff, founders, and parents from SV model schools to be very direct and helpful. These posts force others to be consistent, logical, and complete when bringing up questions or concerns about the model. You, in particular, remind me of a friend of mine -- an excessively logical physics grad student -- who will never let me make off-hand comments without being able to back them up. Like most people, I become emotional about certain issues, and make comments about these issues which I intuitively feel to be right but which don't necessarily stand up to criticism. I always hate it when my friend questions my logic, but I appreciate the conversations with him. I don't ever dramatically change my beliefs, but he helps me be consistent in my thinking and to shed new light on the _implementation_ of my beliefs.

Having said that, I should note that these conversations are between two friends and are normally in person. Discussions over a listserve have the potential to turn away good-hearted people who might believe in and adopt the SV model eventually, but who like to have the opportunity to discuss things more generally before they can warm to the specifics. Usually, it's an issue of tone or of the inability for an email to convey the non-verbal clues of the spoken word. (I am not implying that you personally don't do this.)

The more I read the books from Sudbury Valley Press and the more I see emails on this listserve, the more I like the model. I am sending this email simply to ask those who have experience with the model to be a bit more gentle with others who post to this listserve. By all means though, let them know what you think.

Todd Robinson

> ------------ Original Message -----------
> From: Joe Jackson <>
> Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 19:11:43 -0500
> I find the concept that there's something wrong with attacking and
> defending
> ideas tiresome. If folks are only interested in hearing attacks and
> defenses that support their own feelings, they should unsubscribe.
> Joe Jackson
> > Hear, hear Prohibido!
> >
> > I'm not going to add my opinion about the specific issue being discussed
> > (it seems to be closed now)- but as an observer, it seemed that
> > most of the
> > responses from other people were immediately defensive. As
> > Prohibido said,
> > "Mistakes are a part of life." We tell kids that, we ought to tell
> > ourselves that as well.
> >
> >
> > >People,
> > >
> > >I know this is a private listserve. But cannot we be able to
> > discuss the
> > >model without attacks or the need to be right? Cannot we speak
> > of possible
> > >weaknesses in the model at times? Only through bringing things
> > out into the
> > >open can we learn from our mistakes. Mistakes aren't bad. They're
> > >necessary, and a part of life.
> > >I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. I invite it. But I see
> the
> > >model go much deeper than that.
> > >
> > >I've received private emailes from Russia and other foreign
> > countries after
> > >some have read the posts on the listserve. Instead of promoting
> > the model,
> > >some are fighting and becoming defensive about it. Defense is
> > not needed.
> > >You either see it or you don't.The model speaks for itself.
> > It's about the
> > >respect and freedom of children. I'd like to see it grow,
> > whatever it takes.
> > >If we fight amongst ourselves, how can we promote the model abroad?
> The
> > model
> > >speaks for itself. It's about the respect of children. Let's
> > keep our eye
> > >on the ball okay. :)
> > >
> > >Prohibido
> > >
> >

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