RE: re[2]: DSM: self-government, individual v. collective

From: Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 04:04:42 EST


> Sudbury clearly
> operates on a rule of law basis -- the law is king.

Jesse, if I am to understand you, then no, it does not operate on this
basis. As I said in another message, the system a school uses for
governing itself is up to be democratically decided by the body.

Many individuals have come along advocating a different system for
balancing the rights of individuals and groups, but my reaction is
always the same: if a group of students and staff decide on a system (as
Sudbury Valley has done) how is it the system not the most approprate
one?

In other words, JC and whatever is not built in to the model; it is
simply a system that, despite the objections of critics outside the
school, works best for many schools.

Joe Jackson

  My
> classroom experiment was ultimately an illusion because
> someone had arbitrary control over the experiment. Perhaps
> this is what many on the list sense but haven't verbalized (lately).
>
> Jesse
>
>
>
> > Thanks for the reply, Jesse. Yet I still don't buy the
> argument that
> > freedom can be fragmented as you describe and still be
> meaningful. If I
> > have intellectual freedom but not control over my
> movement/time, then how
> > much good does that do me? ("You can think whatever you
> like, but you must
> > remain within these four walls until I say otherwise.")
> Likewise, if I'm
> > granted a "break" from the usual mind control to do what
> should be my
> > unilateral right, should I be grateful? In either case
> someone else retains
> > ultimate control, and my "freedom" extends only as far
> as their whim. You
> > can argue that individual and collective self-government
> aren't mutually
> > dependent, but I certainly wouldn't want one without the other.
>
> > Bruce
>
>
> > At 12:12 AM 11/6/01, Jesse Fisher wrote:
> > > > Could you please explain how this is possible? How
> can a group be
> > > > self-governing, when the *selves* who comprise the
> group are not??
> > Who
> > > > exactly is governing what?
> > >
> > >Sure, Bruce,
> > >
> > > I would deem students who enjoy a healthy level of
> intellectual freedom
> > >as self-governing individuals -- their right to
> determine their own
> > >learning (and not the learning of anyone else) is being
> respected to a
> > >substantial degree. But if the rights of that child
> and his peers to
> > >govern themselves as a group (to collectively resolve
> disputes and punish
> > >the violations of rights) are not protected, then I
> would say they have no
> > >political freedom, thus, they are not politically
> self-governing. A class
> > >of students who are not allowed to choose the subject
> of their studies,
> > >could be granted political freedom -- they could
> interupt their mandated
> > >studies to prosecute a fellow classmate for bullying,
> for example. Hence,
> > >they are not individually self-governing, but they are
> self-governing as a
> > >class (politically). The two are not mutually-dependent.
> > >
> > >Jesse
> > >
> > >
> > >> At 10:12 PM 10/31/01, Jesse Fisher wrote:
> > > > >a class can be self-governing, even if the
> individuals unfortunately
> > >can't
> > > > be.
> > >
> > > > Could you please explain how this is possible? How
> can a group be
> > > > self-governing, when the *selves* who comprise the
> group are not??
> > Who
> > > > exactly is governing what?
> > >
> > > > 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.
> All I see it
> > preparing
> > > > students for is a life of believing that democracy
> itself is a
> > >shallow game
> > > > controlled by a few powerful people.
> > >
> > > > Bruce Smith
> > > > Alpine Valley School
> > >
> > >
> > >
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