Re: DSM: seduced by resources

From: Mike Sadofsky (sadofsky@mediaone.net)
Date: Mon Nov 05 2001 - 17:31:21 EST


Isabel,

I suspect you'll get a flood of response to this inquiry, but I'll
provide my 2 cents anyway.

The strength of the sudbury model is not in physical resources but in
the freedoms that allow each child to follow their interests, to be
respected as peers by people of all ages, to be able to talk about any
topic with anyone else, to participate in the operation of the school,
etc. Those kids who have the interest have found ways at sudbury
model schools to study and learn all of what the state-of-the-art
resources you describe at the 'progressive' school imply - science,
art, computer technology, drama, crafts, etc.

When resources such as you describe are provided without any expressed
need, they often lie unused and, with time, will deteriorate.

I often talk about what I am told by sudbury valley graduates after a
short time at college or in the work force. They invariably tell me
that they are amazed by the lack of focus, poor study habits, and
absent work ethic in their age peers. These are young people from
public and private schools (including recognized prep schools) who
have had the best of the kind of physical resources you describe.
Those resources and the curriculums that accompany them aren't an
answer in themselves. Of much more importance is the independence,
respect, and discussion that are the hallmarks of a sudbury model
school.

Incidentally, I know sudbury valley graduates who achieved marked
levels of accomplishment in art, science, drama, ... with limited
physical resources and the constraints of a (very) old building
(although now well maintained).

Mike Sadofsky

On Mon, 05 Nov 2001 09:42:39 -0800, you wrote:

>I am new to the list and I need help! I am the mother of two boys ages 5
>1/2 and 3. I have been touring several private, progressive schools in our
>area as well as a Sudbury Valley-type school.
>
>Here's my problem...I am totally in agreement with the Democratic School
>philosophy. In fact, I love it. But the SV school in my area is in an old
>building with few resources and the resources they do have are very old.
>
>On the other hand, the Progressive schools I've seen have unbelievable
>resources. Beautiful campuses, computer labs with high-speed internet,
>digital cameras, laser printers, science centers, art rooms, full-blown
>theatres for student productions and on and on and on and on.....
>
>The SV-type school has none of the physical resources offered by the
>Progressives but they offer an environment of freedom and respect.
>
>I think my DS will do just fine in a free environment with very limited
>material resources, but I wanted to post to the list just to make sure.
>
>What do you all think?
>
>Thanks, Isabel
>
>
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