DSM: RE: the trojan horse digest

From: Alexander / Michiru Streater (uigui@oregano.ocn.ne.jp)
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 02:31:21 EDT


> Well, Alexander, I read through the digest very carefully.

Boy! you were quick! :-)

> I am much more at peace about this conversation now.

snip ed

> Some of the emotion I hear, maybe frustration, that gets released is
> understandable, because of the great conviction that people have in SVS,
and
> how hard one has to work to achieve a school, but that same emotion turned
> outward with fear and protectiveness can be frightening.

Yes, I can relate to that. After banging my head against a brick wall for
over ten
years, when I stop, I feel that everyone is shouting at me.

There was a good description generally on the Metafilta, but I don't know if
it
would be nettiquette for me to re-print in this post or not. I'll leave it
for
another subject line.

> I like what you
> said about pluralism and if I understand it correctly, you are saying that
> SVS philosophy includes valuing individuals and their own ways of doing
> things and that this should mean also valuing other school's attempts to
> create/correct their own systems. Is my understanding correct?

Absolutely. "The right answer" is as fleeting as a sigh, changes from moment
to moment in time, person to person, community to community and culture
to culture. Three things I think we can be fairly sure of are perhaps

1) Whats good for us personally (at that moment in time)
2) That society needs to move in a direction for improvement (though which
direction is not usually properly understood)
3) When we have more or less got there, in a near enough kind of way.

> I
> was embarrassed to point out what may be obvious and beside the point to
> other people, that being my question about why there is this disdain for
> anything that is not completely SVS.

Yes, this worries me, as I am prone to shyness too! (In the proccess of
overcoming the shame, I over-compensate !-) In an SVS/SHS school,
a staff member would NEVER pour cold water onto a child groping at
ideas, or acting out a fantasy. (or at any rate, I hope not.) Why here?
In some sense, we are all still children inside, and that part of (me
anyway)
is injured when it happens to thase around me.

> I also liked how you put the historical perspective back into it when you
> mentioned the Industrial Era, I remembered Greenberg's essay when you
> mentioned it.

I may have called him Greenman in my last post, sorry.

I'm unfamiliar with this piece. Perhaps I should read it. In my field,
creativity is just SO important, that real progress is often slowed to
almost stopped due to the over-abundence of "really well qualified"
people who don't know how to play with ideas, perhaps because they
have forgotten how to play! I spent my entire childhood playing with
Lego, (that's every single day) so I'm afraid I'm absolutely uneducated
in history, or educational theory. I'm an accidental teacher.

My training (physics, engineering, design) has given me different
tools though. Cause and effect. Treat a child one way, they behave in
a certain way. Treat a child another way, they behave differently. This
allows us to build a model of that child. If one thing works, keep it. No?
chuck it and try something else. A high turn over of methods is like
natual selection. And just as in nature, we require a wide gene pool
of ideas to succeed.

Of course, for a teacher to do that constantly is very exhausting,
prone to mistakes, and not very accurate. Much better to allow the child
themselves to do the "try and chuck" rutine, and be arround when they
come up with something. They =always= do!

But there we are again. Many people approach education with the
mentality of a bank manager.

And we must change that.

Alexander Streater
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Message to fellow teachers Children learn in spite of us, not because of us!

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