DSM: Comparing freedom (was: I Quit!)

Marko Koskinen (marko@vapaus.net)
Thu, 29 Mar 2001 00:14:50 -0500

John Axtell wrote:
> I am currently involved in an alternative public school that certainly is no SV
> model school but actually allows students far more freedom than found in any SV
> model school. The school is run as a dictatorship but allows students great
> freedom and holds them accountable for very little, basically 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 done.

I agree with you John that there is diversity in Public schooling, but
also that it is much harder to accomplish in a public school setting and
that you'll run into much more problems than if doing it as a private
school. But that wasn't actually my point. What I wanted to say is that
I can't really understand what you want to say with that "your school
actually allows students far more freedom than found in any SV model
school." Of course you can say anything you like here, but I can't see
where you base on such an claim.

First of all, freedom cannot be measured, because it is always
situational and relative. Freedom is always a question of how many
alternatives the person in question can choose from, it is a combination
of many different things, e.g. knowledge, reasoning, time allowed to
make a decision, emotions, environment.

Secondly, I assume that you haven't visited any of the Sudbury Model
schools and haven't even read any of the books. Of course that doesn't
mean you couldn't make your claims anyway...

Third, the things that you described your school are actually very much
limiting the freedom of the students in your school, much more so IMO
than in SVM. E.g. you said that the students will have to tell you (or
someone else) what they want to do, in SVM there are no such
requirements, and then they'll have to "do it" for the purpose of
reporting it, there are no such requirements in SVM. Also the students
in SVM are free to participate with equal power in the decision making
of the school, and in your school that is not possible, thus restricting
the freedom of the students.

So, I'm really surprised about your claim, and would really want some
more information about your school and how you see it allowing more
freedom. My aim is to have as much freedom in our school as possible,
but what you've said, is more in the reverse direction IMO.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Mar 29 2001 - 11:17:34 EST