DSM: The Sudbury model -- appropriate for all children, yes or no?

From: Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. (ardeshir@sympatico.ca)
Date: Tue May 29 2001 - 13:34:11 EDT

Hi there everyone:

Jasmine Lamb wrote:

> In response to [the] concern that some students aren't ready for complete
> responsibility because of all the "learning" they went through.

And also in response to those who think a Sudbury-type
school is not for all children: Would that not be too much
like saying that democracy is not for all people? Or that
some nations might actually benefit from a lack of demo-
cracy? Havn't we heard such arguments before -- in fact,
and particularly, from people such as Peron, Franco and

> It has been my experience, having been part of the alternative school world
> for many years as a student, that all students benefit from the opportunity
> for freedom which leads to the opportunity for responsibility. It is true
> that many people (both children and adults) when given this freedom at
> first go through a period of no responsibility - and probably some degree
> of anti-social behavior as they test out this new enviornment and see if it
> is real. If too many individuals are going through this period at one time
> in a democratic community it can be very hard on the community, but it is
> my experience that if there is a balance of people comfortable with this
> freedom the others can flounder and then find themselves. For people not
> used to giving others freedom it can feel very uncomfortable to watch
> someone go through the period of floundering or appearing disinterested and
> yet it is an important part of the "unlearning" experience.

Isn't this exactly what happens when a nation which has func-
tioned for years under a dictatorship suddenly becomes demo-
cratic? Don't such teething problems crop up, in other words,
among adults no less than among children?

> I don't think kids do need some initial direction to discover their ability
> to make decisions and experience freedom and responsibility, I believe they
> only need acceptance, love, and support. They have all the guidance they
> need from within.

And a hearty "amen" to that!

Ardeshir <http://homepage.mac.com/ardeshir/education.html>



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