Re: DSM: Graduates without essential life skills

From: Eduardo Cortina (cortinae@juno.com)
Date: Sun Nov 25 2001 - 22:57:15 EST


Wanted to reply to this because you bring up some interesting points. I
don't disagree with you. However, I had some thoughts I wanted to share.

The first scenario "alternative to education" as you refer to it, may not
be very realistic just because it is common (and perhaps even a natural)
for people to have hopes that their children will contribute to society
in a positive manner rather than a negative manner. I don't think having
this hope is necessarily a bad thing. If, for example a parent didn't
care either way, than they might be as ok with their child becoming a
terrorist, Hitler, Criminal, or whatever as they would with them becoming
someone who tries to make the world a more peaceful place.

Now, of course, one different people consider positive, or responsible,
is open to interpretation and perhaps this is were things get difficult.
What exactly is a responsible member of the community?

So, I think you are correct in your assessment. The second scenario is
more like what a Sudbury school is like. However, to have hopes that the
next generation will aspire to create a better world, in my opinion, is
good for children. I think what a Sudbury environment does is create a
space where a child can figure out for themselves how they want to live
their lives and contribute (or not) to the world. If they choose a path
that is "detrimental" to society (and again, what is detrimental), they
are free to do so. The adults and their peers may not approve, but they
cannot try and force the child to follow a different path if the child is
operating within the school rules.

  

On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 09:37:11 EST Sugmapl@aol.com writes:
> Dear Ardishir,
>
> There are two choices. We can offer the child freedom wihout a
> purpose.
> The freedom will be self-referential. We will hold no goals in mind
> for the
> child. The child may use the freedom as they wish, as long as they
> abide by
> the community norms. This offering allows for extremely creative
> outcomes,
> but we simply have no idea what they might be. In this choice, we
> have no
> agenda. We do not, for instance, hope or wish that the child
> prepares himself
> or herself to become a responsible member of the larger community.
> We are
> content in our offering, and whatever they make of it, that is
> sufficient for
> us. If we do this, we have created an alternative to education.
> In the second choice, we, in fact do have an agenda. We are not
> totally
> content with the freedom offer, in and of itself. We hope that it
> will be
> used for some good or for the child's betterment. We hope that it
> will be
> used for some progress or development. The freedom becomes a
> treatment, a
> program. We have goals for the child. We have these goals, even if
> we never
> ask, for years and years, but, only silently expect or wish or hope
> that the
> child does, in fact, prepare himself or herself to become a
> responsible
> member of the larger community. In this choice, we have not created
> an
> alternative to education, we have created alternative education. We
> ourselves
> have become the educationists we so soundly decry.
>
> Warm Regards,
> Bill Richardson
>
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