Re: DSM: "Sudbury Universities"

From: Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. (ardeshir@sympatico.ca)
Date: Fri Jun 08 2001 - 13:25:56 EDT


Hello there:

I am very glad to learn of Vermont College.

But I wonder to what extent Vermont College also promotes
the notion that it is okay and even praiseworthy to argue
against, and even on occasion prevail against, current
academic dogma.

Would a student at Vermont College, for instance, be
permitted to graduate if he or she wrote *consistently* against
Einstein's Theory of Relativity, giving of course cogent
logical arguments against this famous Theory?

Or would a student be allowed to challenge a mathematics
curriculum that asserts that Goedel's Theorem is correct, and
that Cantor has proved that the number of real numbers is
uncountable?

I happen to know that all three of the above -- Relativity,
Goedel's Theorem, and Cantor's Diagonal Proof -- have holes
in them, and indeed I have put up my arguments on my Web
page. But no journal or publisher is willing to publish them,
not even the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses.

If Vermont College is "steeped in the traditions of Oxford" --
as the Web site of Vermont College states -- then I am sorry to
say that I think Oxford itself has abandoned its own erstwhile
traditions of independent thinking in favour of promoting
whatever happens to be the current academic dogma.

Until I see at least ONE college or university, anywhere
in the world, where the students and faculty are allowed and
even encouraged to challenge, in printed material *published
by that very institution's printing presses*, all of the above
three tenets of dogma, I will reserve judgement that there
exists even ONE institution of so-called "higher learning"
where one is actually encouraged to think for oneself.

It is to be noted that the above three tenets of current academic
dogma are merely among the few I myself have come across. I
shudder to think how many such tenets there are in actual
fact, across the board in all the various academic disciplines,
unknown to me simply because I myself have neither the time
nor the inclination to ferret them all out!

Best wishes,

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

******************************************************

Jasmine Lamb wrote:

> Chantal wrote:
>
> Universities should be places of higher learning and research not a
> continuation of the K-12 endoctrination like they are now in many
> disciplines, especially at the undergrad level.
>
> I have been involved in homeschooling and alternative schools since I was a
> child. As an adolescent I went to Summerhill School in England and then
> spent a few years homeschooling before deciding I wanted to go to College.
> I could have gotten in to many traditional college's even with my
> non-traditional background, but I didn't want to - I wanted to find
> somewhere where I could continue to study independently and where my strong
> voice, curiosity, and independence wouldn't be squelched!! I found VERMONT
> COLLEGE. I entered Vermont College's Adult Degree Program which is
> designed for adult students but occasionally has younger students (now
> Vermont College has a program specifically designed for traditional
> college-age students called New College) and found a school where my
> interests and experience drove my education. Students are only on campus
> one weekend a month or twice a year for a week long residency meeting with
> faculty mentors and students and planning independent studies. It is the
> most holistic higher education program I know of. What is exciting is not
> what I was able to study but how. Each semester I chose a topic I felt
> passionate about and created an independent study with the help of a
> faculty mentor. I chose the books, the essay topics, the route my study
> would take. I developed my ability to think, and make connections in the
> world and in the world of ideas. No grades, no high and mighty authority.
> The mentors are there to support and guide you. I've become good friends
> with many of them. Now I work here and love it. I'm proud of my
> alternative education and in this world that still cares about degrees I'm
> glad I have one and that it was such a joy to receive it. I joined this
> list serve because of my long time interest in alternative education, but I
> was interested in how much children and parents and teachers are thinking
> about where their students can go on to College and receive a similiar
> holistic student driven education. I'm glad the topic has come up and glad
> to add to it. You can also receive teacher licensure through this same
> model of education and be living anywhere in the country. If anyone would
> like more detailed information about how Vermont College works I'd be happy
> to post a more detailed description or you can email me directly. Do
> people think about what Sudbury students will do when they finish and what
> their options are for higher education?
>
> Jasmine Lamb
> Admissions Counselor
> Vermont College
> 36 College Street
> Montpelier, VT 05602
> 800.336.6794
> 802.828.8505
> fax: 802.828.8855
> jlamb@norwich.edu

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