Re: re[2]: DSM: democratic classroom

From: Alan Klein (Alan@klein.net)
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 09:13:16 EST


Scott,

I think that that's exactly what Jesse is positing, and I agree. I also hear
you agreeing, though you reserve different terms in making your definitions.

The veto power is somewhere; we all live within boundaries. All power does
not stem from the constituency in a democratic school. Next time you think
so, try watching a SM raise tuition to $50,000. Try watching a SM block up
all doors and windows and disable the fire alarms. Then try watching the
school fail.

Democracy itself has many flavors: participatory, representative, etc. No
one has the sole right to call itself "democracy".

~Alan Klein

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott David Gray" <sgray@aramis.sudval.org>

> On Mon, 5 Nov 2001, Jesse Fisher wrote:
>
> > If I might be so bold, I would suggest that democratic
> > education may not be an all or nothing condition, but
> > more a continuum -- from zero democratic features on one
> > end to a full array of [then-understood] democratic
>
> How is this suggestion, of a continuum, substantially
> different than the position posited by Candy or Alan that an
> institution or classroom may be "somewhat" democratic?
> I sense that you are trying to posit a new defense or
> way to look at the "somewhat democratic" claim with your
> metaphor -- but I am unable to see what the new defense is.
> If so, could you be more explicit?
>
> I am thinking about this term of yours -- "democratic
> features," but I honestly don't know what you mean. Do you
> mean "liberty, equality before the law, and political
> democracy?"
> If so, then perhaps this suggests a source of the
> debate on this list. I do not doubt that some of the
> schools or classrooms which some have suggested are
> "somewhat democratic" do _in_fact_ offer "somewhat more
> liberty" to their students than other classrooms.
>
> However, I (for one) have been using the word
> "democracy" to mean "democratic" (i.e. power stems from the
> constituency) the word "liberty" to mean "liberty" (i.e. a
> person's time is her/his own) and the word "equality" to
> mean "equality" (i.e. there is not more than one class of
> people). I maintain that it is not possible to be "sort of
> equal" or "sort of democratic."
> The places that others have referred to as "somewhat
> democratic" seem to me to offer "greater liberty" than can
> be found in other classrooms, but to be neither democratic
> nor equal. It is the misuse of the terms "democracy" and
> "equality" that trouble me most, and strike me as lying to
> students within the progressive schools movement.
>
> > features on the other end. Or, even, a dual-axis
> > continuum with the level of intellectual freedom along,
> > say, the X axis, and political freedom along the Y.
> > Perhaps if a school ranks positively on both the
> > intellectual and political freedom axes, they might be
> > justly labeled "democratic" or "fully-democratic" or
> > some similar identifier.
>
> What is the distinction between "intellectual" freedom and
> "political" freedom? Can one be "politically" free, without
> the capacity to weigh or argue any intellectual idea free of
> an academic curriculum? Can one be intellectually free,
> when one's environment is denied the "political" freedom of
> association (or, more to the point, the freedom to
> dis-associate oneself, or walk away from a teacher or
> classroom)?
>
> These two measures seem only to exist on a purely
> theoretical level. That is, every environment which offers
> intellectual freedom also offers political freedom. And
> every environment which offers political freedom also offers
> intellectual freedom.
>
> > Jesse
> >
> > PS. Perhaps some creative soul might come up with a quick set of
criteria that would plot a person's educational standing, much like the
Libertarians have done with their "World's Smallest Political Quiz."
> >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Joe Jackson" <shoeless@jazztbone.com>
> > > >
> > > > Candy,
> > > >
> > > Candy said:
> > > > > The third issue is our need to rank order communities
> > > > > from lesser to higher levels of democracy with democratic
> > > > > classrooms ranking near the bottom and Sudbury Model Schools
> > > > > at the top.
> > > >
> > > Joe responded:
> > > > I do not believe that this is what has been occurring, and it is
> > > > certainly not a distinction I make.
> > > >
> > > > In terms of the dynamics of the school environment, I try my best
to
> > > > distinguish between schools that are democratic, and schools that
are
> > > > somewhat democratic (read schools where students can be
overrulled
> > > > and/or can only make decisions about certain things) which to me
means
> > > > they are not democratic.
> > > >
> > > > Could you give some examples of folks rank-ordering schools by
democracy
> > > > so I can have a picture of what you are talking about?
> >
> >
> > > ===========
> >
> > > If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send an
email TO
> > > majordomo@sudval.org with the following phrase in the BODY (not the
> > > subject) of the message:
> >
> > > unsubscribe discuss-sudbury-model [the-subscribed-email]
> >
> > > If you are interested in the subject, but the volume of mail sent
is too
> > > much,
> > > you may wish to consider unsubscribing from this list and
subscribing to
> > > "dsm-digest"
> >
> > > This mailing list is archived at
http://www.sudval.org/~sdg/archives
> >
> > ===========
> >
> > If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send an email
TO
> > majordomo@sudval.org with the following phrase in the BODY (not the
> > subject) of the message:
> >
> > unsubscribe discuss-sudbury-model [the-subscribed-email]
> >
> > If you are interested in the subject, but the volume of mail sent is too
much,
> > you may wish to consider unsubscribing from this list and subscribing to
> > "dsm-digest"
> >
> > This mailing list is archived at http://www.sudval.org/~sdg/archives
> >
>
> --
>
> --Scott David Gray
> reply to: sgray@sudval.org
> http://www.unseelie.org/
> ============================================================
> It is your concern when your neighbor's wall is on fire.
>
> -- Quintus Horatius Flaccus
> ============================================================
>
>
> ===========
>
> If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send an email TO
> majordomo@sudval.org with the following phrase in the BODY (not the
> subject) of the message:
>
> unsubscribe discuss-sudbury-model [the-subscribed-email]
>
> If you are interested in the subject, but the volume of mail sent is too
much,
> you may wish to consider unsubscribing from this list and subscribing to
> "dsm-digest"
>
> This mailing list is archived at http://www.sudval.org/~sdg/archives

===========

If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send an email TO
majordomo@sudval.org with the following phrase in the BODY (not the
subject) of the message:

unsubscribe discuss-sudbury-model [the-subscribed-email]

If you are interested in the subject, but the volume of mail sent is too much,
you may wish to consider unsubscribing from this list and subscribing to
"dsm-digest"

This mailing list is archived at http://www.sudval.org/~sdg/archives



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Mar 27 2002 - 19:39:48 EST