Re: re[4]: DSM: democratic classroom

Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 03:48:34 EST

Dear Hanna,

     Thank you for your post, especially the following:
"We trust the children, they do the rest."

     You speak and practice Sudbury Valley at a level that I call art. To
actually be with another and be non-invasive and still be additive is high
art. Offering trust and have it recieved is extremely powerful. It speaks
about a whole environment. Something has gone before. Earlier agreements have
been reached.
     I like Daniels' description of the parents that come, and if they see
it, they see it, and if they don't, they don't. And the "it" they see, or
not, is the absence of fear. The absence of fear between adult and child. It
still speaks of a whole shift. A new ordering. Something has already
happened. Earlier.
     I hunt that earlier time, the exact moment that things changed. In that
moment who did what, or failed to do what?
     Much earlier, certainly earlier than this shift, we have the usual and
prevailing schools, that are so enamored with the wonderment of their agenda
(be it sports or values education or AP courses or time on task or on and on)
that they take no notice that they pick up the same well worn methods. In the
name of the great goodness of their content, their method is to belittle,
castigate, pontificate, judge, invade and shame. Over and over and over,
again and again, they attack the child. Forget the content, it's just a sham
vehicle. It is method that is definitive. It is all about method.
     I seek the exact nature and quality of the shift that is Sudbury Valley.
Could it be that this shift is all about method. What if Sudbury Valley,
without agenda, had come up with a different method?
     Could it be that, over and over, repeatedly, hundreds of times a day,
thousands of times a week, Sudbury Valley simply declines to attack the
child? On and on, week after week, month after month, year after year. And it
is very hard work, and if that were all that happened, ever, we could still
certainly call ourselves blessed. But it isn't all that happens. Hanna
assures us that: "the children do the rest". As Sudbury Valley constantly
fails to attack, the child finally agrees to do the real real heavy lifting.
In a moment they change everything. They decline to defend.
     And then, together, they have written a new social contract, that allows
the absence of fear, and the offering and recieving of trust, and plasticine,
and all the rest.

Deep and Warm Regards,
Bill Richardson


If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send an email TO (do NOT reply to the mailing list) with the following
phrase in the BODY (not the subject) of the message, replacing
"email@host.dom" with the email address that you subscribed under:

unsubscribe discuss-sudbury-model email@host.dom

If you are interested in the subject, but the volume of mail sent is too much,
you may wish to consider unsubscribing from this list and subscribing to

This mailing list is archived at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Mar 27 2002 - 19:39:48 EST