DSM: Message from [JerryAERO@aol.com] (fwd)

From: Scott David Gray (sdg@sudval.org)
Date: Sat Nov 03 2001 - 19:36:17 EST


Jerry Mintz sent this to the list. It was bounced because,
sometimes, our anti-spamming efforts prevent legitimate
users from posting.
 
-- Scott David Gray

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 17:40:14 -0500
From: JerryAERO@aol.com
To: discuss-sudbury-model-approval@sudval.org
Subject: Re: DSM: Message from [JerryAERO@aol.com]

Dear Scott, Joe, et al:
I'm just recovering from surgery this week so I don't have the physical
energy to hold up my end of things right now. Basically, I was just
responding to Alan's original post to support him with some external feedback
which I hoped might be useful in SVS's efforts to communicate its ideas.
Perhaps I'll be able to pick this up in the future.

Jerry

In a message dated 11/3/01 8:06:19 AM, sgray@aramis.sudval.org writes:

<< > Ah, but Scott, there IS research about whether people from progressive
> schools fare better than students from regular public schools: Have you
heard
> of the 8 year study? It predates SVS, and proved beyond any statistical
doubt
> that students from progressive schools did better by every measure.

Frankly, Jerry, I don't know what the big deal is about the
8 year study. For years, proponents of progressive
education have been touting it as "proof." But what, in
fact, is the 8 year study "proof" of?

1: That in the early 1940s, a greater proportion of students
from "progressive" schools went on to college than students
in "traditional" schools. Of course, this correlational
study was not an experiment -- and no effort was even made
to weight the results based upon the income or parental
education level of the parents (these two factors are
_known_ to correlate with both a child's likelihood to go to
college, and with a parent's likelihood to send her/his
child to a "progressive" school.

and

2: That more than 20 name brand educationists were happy to
clasp their hands to their chests after looking at a few
progressive schools, and declare that all schools would be
better if more progressive.

Well, in fact, I don't care for college. I don't think that
going to college is a sign of success _or_ a sign of
failure. It is a sign of a particular choice -- and one
that in our culture is almost always made for the _wrong_
reasons. I question the methodology of the study. Even if
I take the "results" at face value, I don't see "going to
college" as proof that a student has "fared better."

And I certainly don't care about the gut reactions of
various professors of education more than 50 years ago.

I think that this may point up a deep philosophical divide
between you and me... I don't think that it any arbitrary
measure of human success is meaningful outside of an
understanding of what precisely the human being in question
_seeks_ -- this is why I reject _both_ schools that have
curriculum (be they progressive, or overtly authoritarian),
and proponents who claim that college attendance is
"evidence" of a good educational system. If those
educational systems are so good, than why do so many young
men and women from "progressive" schools decide that they
haven't had enough education?

> Jerry
>>

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