Re: DSM: Re: Judicial Committee and School Meeting

Bruce Smith (
Fri, 9 Mar 2001 11:20:15 -0700

>I would postulate that a PS would have more expertise to help an individual
>create a solution for their own problem than would an untrained JC or peer who
>has not been trained. This concept is often used in the public school system
>with great success. It has really done a lot to reduce stress within the
>student body.

John's assumption here, that JC members are untrained, is mistaken (except,
perhaps, in the early days of a Sudbury school, when _everyone_ is new to
the model-as-concrete-reality). Most of the students and staff at Alpine
Valley are extremely familiar with and adept at JC. The level of reasoning
and the quality of decision-making in JC is consistently quite
extraordinary, to put it mildly.

I also question the assumption that one must "train" people in advance of
doing a job if they are to be capable of doing it. The Sudbury model is
about, in large part, learning by doing -- in the context of this
discussion, on-the-job training. It is not about being prepared for a
future world when you will need knowledge and skills: it is about being
immersed in the real world _from_Day_One_, and learning as you go. In terms
of JC, when new members enter our community, they learn from observation,
conversation, and actually being on JC , how that body (not to mention
School Meeting, and corporations, committees, etc.) works.

The reasoning evident in John's post reveals a bias toward trained, outside
experts which is rather unnecessary in, and antithetical to, the Sudbury
model as I've experienced it.


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