DSM: RE: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojon Horse?

From: Sam Senteney (sambo01@pacbell.net)
Date: Fri May 11 2001 - 16:25:33 EDT


Sam here -

>I said:
>> "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."
>
>> To me this is a good thing and exactly the point! We in Sacramento have
>had
>> more than our share of "nervous" on board, and after all is said and done
>> they almost always leave. And usually it is not a plesant experience.
On
>> the other hand, those who buy the "all or nothing", "take it or leave it"
>of
>> our philosophy stick around and are contributing members of the
community.
>
>Of course ! But that is because you -are- an SVS model school. No-one
>is arguing with that. And to have the nervous on board is -definately- an
>error. Well done .
>
>But the discussion is now at a tangent. The trojon horse is not for SVS
>model schools, but for ordinary ones. If you have full SVS status, no
>worries.

Clearly my mistake. I thought this was the "discuss-sudbury-model" list. I
missed the transition to the "other-schools-we-would-like-to-see",
"trojan-horse-for-ordinary-schools", or
"how-to-make-an-almost-but-not-quite-sudbury-school" list. I'll pay more
attention next time. :+)

>> Hybrids do not work.
>
>Well blimey ! That's a b o l d statment.? Can you give some examples
>and reasons why it failed?

I was trolling my library to respond, and then read Susan Jarquin's post
about "ANNOUNCING A NEW SCHOOL..." by Daniel Greenberg. Bingo! That is a
great place to start, and trust me, Danny is much more coherent and eloquent
than I. I also remember discussions on this list and others dating many
years back that involve schools no longer around due to too many
compromises. I apologize, but I am off on too many other projects to provide
the research right now...

>> "A sliding approach needs to be provided." You can offer Taco Bell next
>> year or possibly two or three kinds of toothpaste the year after, but for
>> all that sliding you still don't have freedom, just a few more choices.
>
>And the n a few more, and more and then you are on the road to freedom.
>And getting on the road is the first step.

While I enjoy the quaintness of the "one drop is the beginning of an ocean"
type philosophical arguments, they do not apply in this case. It's that
little bit pregnant thing. Certainly from oppression to freedom there is a
continuum, and there are many steps and paths to get there. It is possible
to have partial freedom as a condition. I find it much harder to say there
is a partial Sudbury school. If we are speaking on one of those
aforementioned lists, then yes, I believe any effort to move an oppressive
school to one with a greater degree of freedom or practice of democratic
principles is a positive thing. I just don't believe you can call it a
Sudbury school until you arrive at the destination.

>> Do the smooth and successful conversion of the more extreme and
regimented
>> schools, but don't tinker with creating the missing link, because there
is
>> none.
>
>You lost me. What are you talking about?

When you previously stated -

"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"."

My response meant that if what you state is true, then go ahead and convert
those schools. There is no "missing link" between one of these converting
schools and a Sudbury school that can be called a Sudbury school. You may be
on the road, but you are not there until you are there.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
[mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org]On Behalf Of Alexander /
Michiru Streater
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 8:35 AM
To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
Subject: DSM: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojon Horse?

Hi Sam,

I said:
> "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."

> To me this is a good thing and exactly the point! We in Sacramento have
had
> more than our share of "nervous" on board, and after all is said and done
> they almost always leave. And usually it is not a plesant experience. On
> the other hand, those who buy the "all or nothing", "take it or leave it"
of
> our philosophy stick around and are contributing members of the community.

Of course ! But that is because you -are- an SVS model school. No-one
is arguing with that. And to have the nervous on board is -definately- an
error. Well done .

But the discussion is now at a tangent. The trojon horse is not for SVS
model schools, but for ordinary ones. If you have full SVS status, no
worries.

> Hybrids do not work.

Well blimey ! That's a b o l d statment.? Can you give some examples
and reasons why it failed?

> A Sudbury school is what it is, and parts-swapping
> creates something that is not a Sudbury school. "A regular school that
> provides more choice to it's students about what they do during the day"
is
> not a Sudbury School.

Agreed. Blimey ! Agreed. Please don't think anyone was.

> You can call it a hybrid Sudbury if you want, but is
> more like a prison that offers McDonalds in addition to the regular dinner
> fare. It may offer more choice, but still is not freedom by any stretch
of
> the imagination.

Well that's a start!

> "A sliding approach needs to be provided." You can offer Taco Bell next
> year or possibly two or three kinds of toothpaste the year after, but for
> all that sliding you still don't have freedom, just a few more choices.

And the n a few more, and more and then you are on the road to freedom.
And getting on the road is the first step.

> Do the smooth and successful conversion of the more extreme and regimented
> schools, but don't tinker with creating the missing link, because there is
> none.

You lost me. What are you talking about?

Alexander Streater

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Message to fellow teachers

Children learn inspite of us, not because of us!

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