DSM: degrees of illusionary freedom

From: Jesse Fisher (freedomworks@burgoyne.com)
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 02:42:29 EST


You stated earlier:
> Your game represents the same sort of illusion epitomized by so-called
> "student government" in traditional schools. They play at the form of
> democracy, made an empty shell in the absence of actual power. How can you
> justify calling this "a real opportunity to practice self-government"? You
> were closer to the mark when you called it a game.

It seems rather Sudbury-centric to label anything that is not 100% SVS as an illusion. I suspect that the realm of questions that the SM can address is limited -- I'm guessing that they have no authority to rewrite the school's articles of incorporation, for example. Why not give them "actual power" by granting them that authority? [rhetorical question]. Our Founding Brothers _assumed_ that very authority when they tossed the Articles of Confederation and hashed out our current Constitution. So, by the same all-or-nothing standard by which classroom experiments in democracy are judged by some, SVS is just "some sort of illusion... where they just play at the form of democracy." [didn't somebody named Greenberg or Sadovsky say once that all play is learning?]. ALL freedom comes with limits, and some might argue that there is no freedom without the existence of boundaries. SVS simply has fewer externally imposed limits than rogue classroom experiments in democracy. But SVS still has limits. And classr
oom experiments still have some level of democracy. My point? There are levels of democracy -- it's not all or nothing.

Jesse Fisher

PS. Glad, Bruce, that the level of democracy in education you are comfortable with is very high -- wish everyone felt as strongly about it as you do -- then there would be no public school system for us to complain about.


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