Discarding the idea of teaching does _not_ mean that one
discards the idea of passing information, or the practice of
People in Sudbury Model Schools do _not_ practice isolated
meditation in which an understanding of the world is
expected to come whole from inward looking. Rather, they
practice life in the free market of ideas -- in which people
can (and do) present their opinions in a respectful
I do not refuse to talk to people (call that "teaching" if
you will -- though the term implies something more
intentional and uni-directional than what I have in mind).
I do refuse to disrespect people.
That goes for children, and it goes for adults. I will
not do any person the disservice or disrespect of hiding my
opinions when I think that s/he is doing something that
hurts another person.
If one person were hurting another in a Sudbury Model
School, you can _bet_ that a member of a Sudbury Model
School community would intervene. And when I see adults in
the wider community hurting children, you can bet that I see
no crime in intervening there either.
Is this a paradox or contradiction? I don't see it. It
seems to me wholly consistent to say "my aim is to let
people be" and then to CAREFULLY intervene in cases where
ONE person is not letting ANOTHER person be.
So, here's preaching, arguing, and communicating at
On Thu, 10 May 2001 Sugmapl@aol.com wrote:
> Dear Alexander,
> Thank you for your post. You wrote:
> > I wanted to describe the amount of frustration I have in bringing
> > another point of view to others.
> > So, it's the -predjudices- these people use to think about things, or
> > the "closing your eyes to simple truth" and "ignorance" of what lies
> > right under their noses that is the problem.
> My best understanding is that you are frustrated bringing these ideas to
> people who use "predjudices" and "close their eyes", and will not see the
> "simple thruth". It is my best and humblest understanding that you may in the
> very smallest of ways be attempting to teach them something. And thats not
> bad, it appears that you are a teacher. However, (and here's the paradigm
> shift), Sudbury Valley has thrown out the notion of teaching for the last 33
> years. That they do not teach the children is the central core of Sudbury
> Valley. So, if teaching is not worthwhile, then even teaching others about
> Sudbury Valley is, shall we say, not productive. In my humblest opinion, when
> Sudbury Valley threw out teaching, they threw out preaching, argument, and
> the whole communication pattern, the "running gears", of the usual and
> prevailing paradigm. If we would decline to teach the children, we would
> offer that same grace to ourselves and others.
> Deep Regard,
> Bill Richardson
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