Re: DSM: "Sudbury Universities"

From: David Rovner (rovners@netvision.net.il)
Date: Sun Jun 10 2001 - 08:56:13 EDT


the education world has NOT changed AT ALL.

THE MYTH OF HIGHER EDUCATION
See below:

HARM ACADEMY DOES TO SOCIETY and HOUSEHOLD - as today:
1.
Negative Projections over PREACADEMIC EDUCATION:
Nursery, Kindergarten, Primary School, High School.
[Lack of freedom, Compulsory Education, Curriculum, Tests,
Grades, . . .]
and over the GENERALLY ACCEPTED LOOK AT LEARNING.
2.
Negative Projections over the STRUCTURE of SOCIETY.
[Hegemony, Hierarchy, Lack of Equal Opportunity, Privileges,
Injustice, . . .].
3.
Negative Influence on PURITY of VALUES
[Code of Honor].
4.
Negative Projections over INTELLECTUAL HONESTY
And over SOCIETY as a WHOLE.

THE MYTH OF HIGHER EDUCATION:

THE RITUAL OF PROGRESS.
1.
THEORETICAL Studies vs. PRACTICAL Studies ["Stage"].
2.
The ritualness and the MYTH of PROGRESS.
3.
The MYTH of CLIMBING the ladder of HIERARCHY.
4.
The MYTH of SPECIALIZATION and EXPERTISE.
5.
The MYTH of INSTITUTIONALIZED VALUES.
6.
The MYTH of the MEASURMENT of VALUES.
7.
The MYTH of CONSTANT PROGRESS.
8.
The RITUAL GAME and the NEW WORLD-WIDE RELIGION.
9.
REIGN that becomes Materialized.
The UNIVERSALITY of HOPE and EXPECTATIONS.
10.
The NEW ALIENATION.
11.
THE REVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL
OF DESCHOOLING SOCIETY.
12.
BRIDGES THAT LEAD NOWHERE.
13.
WHO IS GOING TO USE BRIDGES THAT LEAD NOWHERE.

Here is the difference:
Inborn processes recreate institutions to meet the developing
needs of the individual. As things now stand, the institutions
are remaking individuals to meet the needs of the developing institutions.

RELEASE SOCIETY FROM
SCHOOL CONTROL
IVAN ILLICH

FREE EDUCATION FROM
SCHOOL CONTROL

RELEASE KNOWLEDGE
FROM THE CONTROL
[The Monopoly]
OF UNIVERSITIES

GOVERNMENT PERPETUATES by Means of
OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING and CERTIFICATION
THE CONTROL [The MONOPOLY] OF
UNIVERSITIES OVER KNOWLEDGE
[Government as a PATRON of the of PRIVILEGED/
of ELITIST GROUPS/of ELITES]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PROCLAMATION
FOR THE SEPARATION
OF SCHOOL AND STATE

I proclaim publicly that I favor ending
government involvement in education.

END GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION
Separate School from State -- Alliance for the Separation of School and State

http://www.sepschool.org

21 Ways "Public Schools" Harm Your Children
http://www.sepschool.org/edlib/v3n2/21ways.html

The Practicalities of Separating School & State
http://www.sepschool.org/Other/Probst_Practicalities.htm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BELIEVE IN YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU LEARN
BELIEVE IN YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU LEARN
BELIEVE IN YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU LEARN

You can change the world . . .

Schools are not isolated from what goes on in the outside world. They are the primary
intellectual field upon which the ideologies of society vie against one another. They
can be spectacular fountains of new ideas and new technology, bastions of free
thinking, cultural development and business activity or they can be coercive
institutions, which destroy free thought and support authoritarianism.

Hitler's schools were not much different from any other traditional schools. All power
was in the hands of the teachers. The curriculum was decided by the government.
Students had no choice but to attend and were given orders on what to do every
minute they were there. They were given homework so that they would not have too
much free time after school. They were forced to pledge allegiance to the German
state every day and they were generally conditioned to become obedient citizens who
would obey the laws and regulations of the government without question after they
grew up.

Hitler destroyed Bauhaus to create schools like the ones which are so prevalent
today. He did it because compulsory education at government run schools is the
most efficient way of brainwashing an entire country to accept compulsion and
tyranny.

Conversely, free minds, studying the questions that matter and acting on the results
of their study are not only a bulwark against tyranny, they are ssential to the
production of material wealth, the creation of meaningful art and the progress of
civilization.

New technology, new ideas, change, progress: these are the products of studying the
questions that matter. The course of civilization is charted by researchers and
scientists and entrepreneurs and artists and thinkers of all kinds. These are all
students of one kind or another. It is not teachers who create such things. The only
good teacher is one who is also a student. One who is seeking new knowledge. One
who is willing to learn from other students.

Don't wait for the schools to change. Become a student. No matter how old or how
young you are. No matter whether you are already spending all day in classes at a
compulsory school or if you have not set foot in a classroom in thirty years. Become a
student. Become a free student. Choose an interesting or useful topic and begin
researching it on your own. Find experts who can tell you more. Help others learn
about it. Study philosophy, logic and ethics so you will know how to use what you
learn. Question authority. Don't stop questioning. Don't stop finding answers to your
questions. Act on what you learn. You can change the world.

[excerpt: Question Authority
An Essay on Educational Reform
by Charles J. Champion, Jr.
MSAL - Maitland School of Advanced Learning
Charles@champgroup.com ]
see the whole essay at http://www.champgroup.com/MSAL/q_authority.htm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Universal Suffrage and Politic Power in Academia
[excerpt from the chapter "SUBTLETIES OF A DEMOCRATIC SCHOOL"]

". . .

Item 4: Universal suffrage

    This is the idea that everybody, every citizen has a vote. It is really a simple idea.
The American experience has been an inexorable march toward universal suffrage,
which hasn't stopped yet. This has been a root trend in American democracy. In the
early days, voting used to be the subject to all sorts of race and property and age
requirements. Slowly, unpropertied males, then blacks, then females were added, and
recently the age has been reduced to eighteen. It's just a matter of time before
people start asking why it shouldn't be sixteen or lower. It is clear that there is a
constant movement in the direction of universality.
    There is a real difference between a democratic society that believes in universal
suffrage and one that doesn't. This difference reflects itself in the whole society in all
of its functions. For example, Athenian society was a pure democracy for Athenian
male freemen, of whom there were several thousand; and it was based on a large
substructure of enslaved subjugated peoples and also on a smaller substratum of
women, who were not slaves, but were second class citizens. Don't think there was
anything unstable about this. It was quite stable, it lasted a long time. The only reason
this went under, really, was because there were stronger empires around who
defeated the Athenians at war; but as far as their internal structure was concerned, it
was quite stable. The fact that there wasn't universal suffrage meant that elitism was
an inherent part of the Athenian world view, which held that there was a privileged
segment of society, and that the rest of society was there to serve them. This went
to the heart of the Greek world view, as can be seen, for example in Plato and
Aristotle. Even after Greek democracy disappeared, that idea remained part of
Western culture right up to modern times, Elitism allows for democracy within the
privileged group, but this doesn't do any good for the rest of the citizens. I think this
trend of privileged democracy, which is so different from the egalitarianism of
universal suffrage, is evident right up to the present day. Communist countries often
use the word "democracy" honestly, reflecting a genuine belief that there ought to de
democratic procedures within an elite -- which in their case is the party, the political
elite of the proletariat. What I am saying is simply that they do use the word
"democratic" in a sense that has a long history in our culture. The American idea, by
contrast, is egalitarian.
    Universal suffrage was built into the school from a the beginning. We always felt
that every single person who is part of the community has to have a say in it one way
or another. We changed our views on exactly how much of a say any segment should
have, and exactly where this should be expressed. Much depended on how much we
felt we could get away with it. In the beginning, we didn't think we could get away with
the School Meeting making financial decisions, because our legal advisors worried
that such an arrangement wouldn't stand up contractually in court. but the trend in
school was always clear. Our view was always clear. Our view was always that
everybody in the school, aged four and up, should have an equal access to power.
Many years ago, we reached that state.
    If we contrast the situation in other schools, we see again that there have been
interesting trends at various levels towards extending the suffrage to a certain extent.
But if we look closely, we will see the true state of affairs more clearly. Let's focus
briefly on higher education, which I think is the best example. There was a
tremendous amount of hoopla in higher education, especially back in the sixties,
about democratizing the universities. This was part of the agitation on campuses.
There was much talk about spreading the decision-making power. But when it was all
over, who got any real power? The answer is only the faculty. In no case that I know of
did any real power go to the students. Even when students where put on Boards of
Trustees, the number allowed to serve was strictly limited. Imagine if we had in our
by-laws that there should be trustees, of whom no more than three should be
students, no more than three parents, etc., etc., and you'll see the contrast right
away. Our Board of Trustees is a board of assembly members, period; anybody can
become a trustee. We can have an entire Board of outsiders, or of staff members, or
students, or anything. Whereas in the universities they made it look like they where
doing something to distribute the power, but they really where going to keep it where
it was all along. I'm not saying there was no concession made. Real concessions
where made within the elite, to the faculty. This is just what I'm talking about, that the
idea of democracy as is sold in Academia, IN THE HEART OF OUR EDUCATIONAL
SYSTEM, is a Greek one: democracy is for the privileged. Time and time again, if you
talk to faculty members, they'll confuse the issues very nicely. They'll say, "There is no
equality in real life. I know more biology than my students. I know more, and I should
have more to say about it." And they say this quickly so nobody should see that they
are confusing the issue of SUBJECT MATTER with the issue of POLITICAL POWER,
which of course are two very different issues. The contrast to our school is
instructive.

. . . "

["SUBTLETIES OF A DEMOCRATIC SCHOOL -- Item 4: Universal suffrage",
Daniel Greenberg, The Sudbury Valley School Experience, 1992, P. 153-156.]
www.sudval.org
--------------------------------------------------------------------

BELIEVE IN YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU LEARN
BELIEVE IN YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU LEARN
BELIEVE IN YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU LEARN

David Rovner rovners@netvision.net.il

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