Re: DSM: I Quit!

Ben Robins (
Thu, 29 Mar 2001 01:59:45

Hey John,

>I am currently involved in an alternative public school that [snip]
>allows students far more freedom than found in any SV model school.

>they have to tell us what their interest is and what they want to do about
>it, do it, and then tell us they did it so we can document that it was

I'm wondering if students are free to do the following things at your
school: Sort out their heads, play, and have conversations.

By sorting out their heads I mean clearing their heads of previous negative
schooling experiences. This often involves months of doing things like
staring into space, playing video games and playing soccer with little kids.
  They often do not know why they are doing what they are doing, nor do they
have the self-confidence and the trust in their new school to put this down
as their official plan. And if they did come to you and say "My interest is
in sorting out my head. What I want to do about it is stare out the window
for the next few months" would the school allow it?

By play and conversations I mean unplanned, open-ended play and unplanned,
open-ended conversations. These are the most popular activities I've seen
at Sudbury schools (I know, I know, you Sudbury people, you think I wouldn't
have noticed so clearly if I hadn't first listened to Dan Greenberg's tape
'play'. Quite true). If a student came to you and said their activity was
"unplanned" and what they wanted to do about was "be spontaneous", would the
school allow it?

Lastly, there's the common occurence that when a kid gets home after school,
the parent asks "What did you do today?" and the kid says "Nothing."
Sometimes it's a "none of your business" thing and sometimes its a "how do I
put into words where my imagination carried me today?" thing. How much
freedom is allowed for this in your school?

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Mar 29 2001 - 11:17:33 EST