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

From: Warren McMillan (warren@bmts.com)
Date: Sun May 13 2001 - 14:45:10 EDT


Well, I've been lurking long enough. Alan's post has hooked me.

Alan writes
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.

IMHO, the 'magic switch' is exactly the only approach ie. you are a sudbury
school or you are not. There are no degrees of change which will take a
traditional school by degrees to become a sudbury school. There are no
degrees of understanding that will move a parent to the realization of what
a sudbury school is. For them to get it is for the switch to flip and the
light goes on and they have that 'aha' experience. That's the only way.
Having taught in traditional schools for 25 years, I can tell you one
thing... they will never change. They have the abiltiy to co-opt any and
every educational innovation that comes along and keep right on doing what
they have always done.

----- Original Message -----
From: Alan Klein <Alan@klein.net>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 4:18 PM
Subject: DSM: Re: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojan Horse?

> 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
> view.
>
> >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
> WV.
>
> >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
> classes!
>
> 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
> are
> > 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
> thin
> > state where one transitions into pregnancy and which microsecond and
> > condition occurs in the flipping of the switch, I might be persuaded.
> HALF
> > PREGNANT meaning "mid-term" is cute, but inaccurate.
>
>
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