Re: re[4]: DSM: democratic classroom

From: william van horn (wmvh1@excite.com)
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 23:42:58 EST


Yes, the schools concentrate on what a kid CAN't do. I worked with adults
with disabilities in a vocational setting and the clients' abilities were
stressed. Often those abilities were hidden and we were surprised when
someone showed that they could do something we previously didn't think of.
For this population, the range of abilities were often very narrow and
specific, but still there. If left alone, most of the clients would not have
known that they had these abilities. And they were very proud of themselves
with a job well done.

As for problems with behavior.... If the behavior was an immediate threat to
others or to themselves we would "redirect" their attention elsewhere to
disfuse the situation. After that we could figure out what was upsetting
them or why they were acting the way they were. We never said that they were
wrong to be upset.

In each case we treated them with respect, even though we were not a
democracy. It was a work situation of course, and in that sense had
different goals than SVS. This takes a lot of staff time and we had a
client staff ratio of 7 to 1. Maybe some of these kids just need some close
attention.

William

On Mon, 19 Nov 2001 14:59:45 -0600, discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org wrote:

> At 08:16 AM 11/18/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>
> > > 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?
> >
>
>
> Having worked in Special Ed, I know that sometimes the reason
academically
> disabled kids concentrate on their disabilities is because the SCHOOL
> does. Regular schools have such a narrow focus (reading, math, writing)
> that kids with other gifts (fixing bikes, wrestling, painting) are all
> excluded from the "successful" track. SVS could conceivably help these
> students with self-worth issues because it values all activities equally.
>
> The problem I'm coming up against is that some students seem unable to
> control their behavior in our school. Thus, emotionally disturbed or
> behaviorally disordered kids seem to have trouble here. What have other
> schools done about kids with rampant behavior? I know that sometimes
kids
> are removed. What have been other effective strategies?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Karen
> Karen
>
>
>
>
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William M. Van Horn
wmvh1@excite.com
http://www.angelfire.com/art/inmystudio

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