Re: How We Come Off to Others (was RE: re[2]: DSM: democratic classroom)

From: Alan Klein (
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 08:38:55 EST

I am with Dawn on this point, William. I see democracy as a morally
necessary component of how we interact with kids. That it also provides the
pragmatic benefit of a better education is a wonderful side benefit!

I was the one who mentioned the math class. It was in reference to an old
article from SKOLE, written by a teacher from The Free School in Albany, NY.
He described a math class in which the kids got restless and refused to do
the work (if I recall correctly -- it was a long time ago.) He seemed to
feel that some kind of intervention was required. I wrote a letter to the
editor chastising him for having the math class in the first place if the
kids didn't ask for it. [I was in my "pre-enlightenment" phase of
discourse...perhaps now I would call it my "Dawn Harkness" phase ;o) That
was intended as friendly teasing, Dawn!]

I got a note back from the editor (Mary Leue, in her 70's at that time)
saying that she welcomed my visit to the school (she was the founder) so she
could poke me in the nose! (I THINK she was kidding!!)

~Alan Klein

----- Original Message -----
From: "william van horn" <>
> So, the most basic thing that attracts you to Sudbury for your child, is
> democratic process? That freedom is more important to you than her leaving
> school with the best education (defined by the tools to effectively
> to learn)? (And, as you said, you've come to see the SVS model to be the
> best educationally.) The freedom is more important than the education?
> I admit that I have been trying to think of the best system for providing
> students these tools, rather than providing them with a strictly
> system as does SVS. Though Daniel Greenberg has certainly provided a good
> argument in his books that SVS is actually the best way to ensure the
> development of these tools.
> SOmeone mentioned teaching a math class? Did i read that right? Are there
> classes set up? How does that work? I would suppose at students' request,
> but then what?
> William


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