Re: re[2]: DSM: democratic classroom

From: david greenberg (
Date: Sun Nov 25 2001 - 15:10:22 EST

on 11/2/01 2:30 AM, Scott David Gray at wrote:

> Hi William,
> Could you clarify this post?
> On Thu, 1 Nov 2001, william van horn wrote:
>> . All I see it preparing
>>> students for is a life of believing that democracy itself is a shallow
>> game
>>> controlled by a few powerful people.
>>> Bruce Smith
>>> Alpine Valley School
>> Sorta like it usually works in the United States, right? How much do you
>> feel that your vote counts?
> It is very hard for me to understand the point that you
> are making with this statement. I don't know whether you
> are speaking sincerely or ironically, nor do I have any
> sense to what extent you think most people feel their votes
> "count."
> Of course, I'm presuming that your question is
> rhetorical. Maybe it isn't? In which case my answer is:
> "No less and no more than any other citizen's; my vote has
> more weight at the town level than it does at the county
> level, my vote has more weight at the county level than it
> does at the state level, my vote has more weight at the
> state level than it does nationally; and my voice usually
> has more weight than my vote in any instance when I have
> invested some energy to understand the issues and to discuss
> my thoughts with other citizens."
> When I was in elementary Public school, I had a
> "liberal" teacher who regularly asked people what they
> wanted to do; who tried to "make learning fun."
> In fact, I never felt _more_ powerless than when I was
> asked what I wanted to do, and _knew_ in my heart that there
> was a "wrong" answer. And I repeatedly _gave_ that wrong
> answer (e.g. "I want to go home now" "I want you to give me
> my comics back" "I want you to admit that you are a
> slave-driving witch").
> Giving the wrong answer was the only thing that kept me
> sane. It prevented me from falling for the "we're partners
> in your education" brainwashing that is the hallmark of
> so-called progressive teachers, who try to "guide" children
> into making the "right" choices.
> A choice is not a vote, unless some power of
> enforcement (e.g. contract, money/property, police/troops,
> broad public support in the wider community) is put at the
> disposal of the body or its elected officials.
> A choice made in a body that has no power of
> enforcement, is a "poll" or "survey." Choosing an
> "official" that in fact has no power (e.g. class president)
> is not an election, but a popularity contest.
>> William M. Van Horn


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