Re: DSM: JC


Bruce Smith (bsmith@coin.org)
Sun, 11 Mar 2001 13:54:22 -0700


>Whether or not Marko's wish is to establish a new system, dismissing his
>ideas with that claim strikes me as a defensive posture and one which I
>choose not to adopt. This list is all about discussing democratic schooling,
>and I see Marko's questions and statements as thoughtful additions to that
>discussion.

There are (at least) two lines of argument here, which I'd like to keep
distinct: first, my intention in my most recent post was to differentiate
the totality of Marko's proposals from the Sudbury model; secondly, in an
earlier post I criticized many of Marko's proposals as "wildly
impractical," or something to that effect. If you'll recall, I also
acknowledged Marko's contribution to the discussion. I hardly view drawing
distinctions and criticizing others' proposals as "dismissal". That term
suggests a casual, and not terribly thoughtful and respectful, tossing
aside of another's argument that I did not intend in my posts.

>Where I see Marko aiming is toward ensuring the broadest possible
>consideration of both each individual's views as well as the minority's
>views as a group.
>Many of us have claimed that his ideas, and others like them, constitute
>"psychotherapy". I disagree. It would certainly be coercive intrusion if an
>outside force (staff, parents, etc.) imposed it on the SM. I find nothing
>unworkable, however, about a SM deciding to operate along the lines Marko
>suggests.

I find it most interesting that Marko would consider certain aspects of the
Sudbury model coercive, while others of us deem coercive (and/or
unworkable) certain aspects of his proposals. This, to me, reinforces the
notion that these are distinct approaches. Both claim a high degree of
member participation, but structure it in significantly different ways. One
believes that the school community is best managed by informal guidelines
and talking things out, while the other believes that a balance between the
formal and the informal is the better way to safeguard both individual
rights and community welfare. At least, that's one way of looking at it.

Bruce



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