Progressive schools lay out not a proscriptive set of
regulations, but a descriptive set of regulations (just as
traditional schools do). It goes hand-in-hand with having a
"curriculum" or a set of things that one feels _must_ be
done, rather than relying only on a list of things that must
_not_ be done.
Living under a proscriptive set of rules (e.g. "do anything
BUT ...") is _obviously_ a dramatically different situation
that living under a descriptive one (e.g. "do any of the
things on this list"). To say that anything is OK unless
_prohibited_ is to leave people free to come up with things
to do that nobody foresaw.
You cannot "move towards" giving another person the _same_
respect that you have. The closest that you can come when
"hybriding" any equal society with an inequal one is to
retain two "classes" of people while reducing the number of
points of difference between the two classes of people. It
seems to me that _having_ two classes of people has profound
and destructive effects on any society.
On Fri, 11 May 2001, Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. wrote:
> Hi there Scott:
> You wrote:
> > We can debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin
> > til the cows come home. My point stands though -- there is
> > a very different feeling between being allowed to choose
> > _between_ a narrow band of alternatives laid out in advance,
> > and being free to do _anything_ not expressly forbidden by
> > statute.
> > Even if there are 10000 activities laid out in advance that
> > is a narrow band of alternatives, as a function of what the
> > real choices are to a person with freedom of movement and
> > control of her/his own time.
> What, however, is the difference between "being free to
> do _anything_ not expressly forbidden by statute" and
> being free to choose between, not 10,000 activities, but
> an _unlimited number_ of activities, while it is the
> forbidden ones that are expressly laid out and listed in
> advance? I personally see no difference whatsoever.
> There is at least one thing a Sudbury school is forbidden
> to do *in advance*, even democratically: and that is, to
> remove democracy from the school! For if it does that,
> it no longer remains a Sudbury school.
> It is impossible to have COMPLETE freedom, for that
> entails losing freedom itself. It's not a question of theo-
> logy -- cf. "angels on the head of a pin" -- but of logic.
> So the question is merely one of how long the list of
> forbidden activites is, and what that list contains. Because
> even a Sudbury school has got to have such a list, and
> even if the list contains just one item (as noted above).
> The list may be unwritten, but it's there all the same.
> Best wishes,
> Ardeshir <http://homepage.mac.com/ardeshir/education.html>
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