re[4]: DSM: democratic classroom

From: Jesse Fisher (
Date: Sun Nov 18 2001 - 10:16:53 EST

  The underlying assumption encapsulated in the post below is that some people are "less-than" others and therefore, less able to enjoy the benefits of freedom. Although the author was describing disabled children, sadly, this same argument is used to justify a no-freedom approach for ALL children. It also happens to be the same belief that allows one group of people to rule with impunity over another -- "We the wise and educated leaders know what's best for the ignorant masses -- they need our guidance." This belief has been used to justify every political tyranny since the dawn of time. And, I posit that there will always be tyranny in our world until we overcome the belief that some need "guidance" beyond that which is inherently provided by an environment of freedom.
   We have garden seeds that _appear_ to be less-than the others. We give them the same nourishing environment, and, amazingly they grow to their full potential [whatever that may be]. We never tell them, "Now seeds, today we're going to absorb water and tomorrow we'll be absorbing trace elements". They don't need us to do that, do they? The nourishing environment we provide, plus the model their DNA provides combines to generate yet another miracle of life.
   I say, let the disabled become all they can in the nourishing environment of freedom!


> I've worked with both of these groups and have seen the sparks of interest
> and the abilities, though often hidden, but they would be unable to operate
> on their own. In first case, they will need some intervention to help guide
> them to the place where they can see their own self-worth. Its unlikely
> they
> would find it on their own This is also often the case with kids with
> disabilities when they are concentrating on what they can't do rather than
> what they can do. And, some just do not have the skills to live completely
> independently.
rone to suggestion. The point though, is that the
> Sudbury model would not work for every student. How can we help those
> students? What is the school model for those students?


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