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

Date: Sat Nov 10 2001 - 02:11:20 EST

Dear William Van Horn,

Thank you for your questions, especially the following:
> The freedom is more important than the education?

     Remember the story of the child who came one day and fished all day. And
then he came the next day and fished again, all day. And the next. And then
all week, and all month, and all year. And the next year too.
     See, if it was education, we would say things like, well he's learning
perseverance. Or, he's becomming grounded or centered. Or, isn't that great,
he's showing tremendous intrinsic motivation. But, in fact, we are just
really making up a story. That's what the education is: a made up story. If
we persist in it, we may fashion a kinder or gentler analysis and critique of
the child than that of grades or tests, but it will be education none the
     Now, by far, the most helpful literature is "Kingdom of Childhood", for
here the child tells his own story. And, since for some of us, it will be our
closest look, these stories are, indeed, precious. But they are still stories.
     Now, see, if it is freedom, then there is fishing, without analysis,
without critique. And we get to decline to make up stories. It is what it is,
the child living life, freely. And that is not a story. That is probably
sacred, and surely beyond our comment.

Deep and Warm Regards,
Bill Richardson


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