Re: re[4]: DSM: democratic classroom

Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 23:16:35 EST

Dear Evelyn,
   I think that what you wrote is exactly what the Sudbury model is all
about. We trust the children, they do the rest.
        Hanna Greenberg, Sudbury Valley School

In a message dated 11/20/01 12:10:24 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> I have two daughters in a Sudbury school in Concord, California.
> Here is something that surprised me. My youngest daughter started the week
> after her fifth birthday. I was surprised when during her first month she
> already grasped the way you handle a complaint against another child. There
> were no special accommodations made because of her age or the fact she
> doesn't read or write. When she has a complaint against another child, she
> finds someone to dictate it to. She understands that at Judicial meeting a
> sentences are given to children who have complaints against them.
> If you had asked me at the beginning of the year how long that would take,
> I
> might have guessed any where from a few months to a year. It made me
> realize
> how much I underestimate her.
> If you've ever seen those documentaries about refuge centers where injured
> wildlife are nursed back to health. It is always mentioned that the care
> givers have to be careful not let there own nurturing impulses turn these
> animals from wild life into pets. At the end of these documentaries, there
> always a scene where the animal is released back into the wild and everyone
> cheers.
> When it comes to our children, people seem to believe that impulses that
> keep
> our children dependent on us are right because it comes from the desire to
> nurture. Since my personal belief is that my job is not to raise children
> but to raise adults, democratic schooling where the staff treated the
> children like equals made sense to me.
> My five year old understands what's expected of her in her new community.
> Even though it is different then how things were handled in her preschool
> and
> how things are handled in our home.
> My point is we don't know what children will thrive in a free/democratic
> school until they have tried it. I think our own nurturing instincts and
> assumptions sometimes blind us to what our children are capable of.
> Evelyn Hardesty
> DVS Parent


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