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

From: Sam Senteney (sambo01@pacbell.net)
Date: Tue May 15 2001 - 04:39:40 EDT


Sam from SacVal here...

Warren, thanks for your insight. I think it is spot on accurate.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
[mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org]On Behalf Of Warren
McMillan
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2001 7:23 AM
To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
Subject: DSM: Re: RE: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojon Horse?

Greetings. I've been following this list for awhile to find out more about
Sudbury schools but I find I must respond to this thread on hybrid schools.
I am still learning the Sudbury philosophy but, having taught in traditional
schools for 25 years, I know them pretty well and of one thing I am sure...
they do not change. They don't change because they continue to do an
extremely efficient job of what they were originally designed to do, which
has nothing to do with freedom or democracy. Read John Gatto for an
eloquent description of the real lessons learned in traditional schools. I
went into teaching to change schooling. I was convinced that to change
something you had to do it from within so I got my teaching degree and spent
ten years in traditional classrooms trying to change education. Well, as
you must know by now, I failed, so I spent the next fifteen years just
trying to insulate my students from the most invasive aspects of a coercive
system.

>From my experience, then, there are no degrees of change that will transform
a traditional school into anything but what it is and has always been. I
believe it is true that an idea never loses its original volition or
intention. The intent of an idea follows that idea as long as it survives.
In the case of traditional schooling, the original intent had to do with
preparing an industrial workforce, hence the preoccupation with
authoritarian control, hierarchical organization, 'class' structure,
fragmented blocks of time etc.

The reason traditional schooling cannot change is that the whole system, the
whole concept, is based on an original idea that carries this original
intent which will never change. Traditional schooling can never reconcile
ideas like democracy and freedom. Now, consider the original intent of the
idea for a Sudbury Valley school. The contrast is stark and is captured in
the title of the seminal text for the school ie. 'Free at Last'.

Warren

----- Original Message -----
From: Sam Senteney <sambo01@pacbell.net>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 4:25 PM
Subject: DSM: RE: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojon Horse?

> 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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