The key to being a student in a Sudbury Model School is that
you are trusted completely, with all the same rights and
freedoms as the adults in the school (more, actually,
because the staff are obligated to certain things by
contract). The responsibility and sense of self exhibited
by SVS students and alumni comes directly from living up to
this total trust.
You are not showing trust in a person when you create
"safeguards" to prevent her/him from making the "wrong"
choices. You are not putting faith in a person when you
tell her/him that THESE hours are hers/his but not THOSE
The very thing that has made Sudbury Schools succesful is
the fact that the trust and freedom are COMPLETE. Anything
less may be a good thing compared to a traditional school,
in so far as the students are under that much less pressure.
But students in such a school are missing out on _the_ vital
aspect of a Sudbury education; true responsibility for
I do not believe that a "hybrid" Sudbury School is possible,
any more than it is possible to be "a little" pregnant.
On Fri, 11 May 2001, Alexander / Michiru Streater wrote:
> Dear Bill,
> > Mimsy Sadofsky, in one of the tapes, fields the question as to whether
> > could be a hybrid school, a school between what Sudbury Valley is and
> what a
> > traditional school is. My best answer is that no, they are really two
> > different things (the 2d and the 3d). They are orthogonal.
> A hybrid school. Is this one where:
> a) some of the kids that attend belong to the "free" part of it while
> the other half of the kids attend lessons as normal (and look out
> of the window to see the others wasting their time on the grass
> while they settle back into their chairs comfortable in the
> knowledge that they will certainly "make it")
> b) A regular school that provides more choice to it's students about
> what they do during the day
> I think we can all agree that the first is un-workable.
> But the second case I give a resounding Y-E-S . . . with provissions,
> the main one being that the school allows itself to move further in
> the direction (of, say, freedom, or back to traditional learning) as the
> system evolves and shows itself to be workable.
> Free schools frighten many people simply because they have no
> idea how it can all work. Having a "all or nothing", "take it or leave it"
> approach does nothing to bring the nervous on board.
> A sliding approach needs to be provided. Interestingly enough, it is my
> observation that the more extreme and regimented a school is, the
> more easily, smoothly and successfully the school can be "converted"
> Alexander Streater
> Message to fellow teachers
> Children learn inspite of us, not because of us!
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