DSM: Re: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojan Horse?

From: Alan Klein (Alan@klein.net)
Date: Fri May 11 2001 - 16:18:56 EDT

Alan "Both-And" Klein here!

What a fascinating discussion this has been (is being)! As someone has
already noted, it seems to me to clearly demonstrate the notion of point of

>From the POV of a democratic school, either one is or is not a democratic
school. One cannot "give" democracy to one's students, for that assumes the
ability to take it away. In many ways it is like a Magic Switch that is
either turned on or off, but which has no middle position. I know this to be
true from my 8 years at The Highland School, a democratically run school in

>From the POV of a student or teacher (or parent) in an authoritarian school,
there is a world of difference between Ms. Grundy and a teacher who is
flouting convention by implementing limited democracy within their own
classroom. I know - I was that teacher for several years in public schools
in Ann Arbor. By no means do I claim to have been running a fully democratic
classroom, for I was within a decidedly undemocratic system. On the other
hand, my students' experiences with democratic decision making (including
creating their own rules governing behavior and creating a judicial process
to enforce those rules) was of many orders of magnitude different than the
experiences of students in traditionally run classrooms.

I wish that all schools were democratically run. They are not. One question,
then, is how best to get them there. I worry that if we over-emphasize the
"Magic Switch" principle, we run the risk of alienating those who might be
on the same journey we are, but not in the same place as yet.

If we over-emphasize the "Come-As-You-Are" principle, of course, we run the
risk of both watering down the philosophy and of having to deal with the
very real negative effects of (usually) parents who want their kids to
experience freedom, so long as they don't cuss, don't climb trees, and go to

Ahhh, how to achieve balance?

~Alan Klein

----- Original Message -----
> Sam here -
> > You cannot be HALF PREGNANT.
> >
> >Of course you can!
> >
> >It's called "mid-term". And a little bit pregnant is can be
> >can be considered " at the start of pregnancy".
> This is a specious semantic argument, and I'm not buying it. While many
> conditions are not steady state, having a continuum, (shades of gray as it
> were) this is not one. Pregnancy is a steady state condition, you are or
> not. Being "mid-term", or anywhere in that condition is still in that
> condition. Being "mid-term" is obviously being pregnant. If you were to
> argue about transition effects " at the start of pregnancy", that razor
> state where one transitions into pregnancy and which microsecond and
> condition occurs in the flipping of the switch, I might be persuaded.
> PREGNANT meaning "mid-term" is cute, but inaccurate.


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