RE: DSM: Re: Re: Re: Television

From: Martha E Fay (netmfay@earthlink.net)
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 13:42:43 EST


I send my kids to SVS so that they are free to make their own choices about
how they spend their days, within the limits of a responsible
community. That, to me, is the core of the school. Letting them watch TV
as and when they want is consistent with this goal of freedom, not
inconsistent. Virtually everything they are exposed to in the culture has
an "agenda" in the way you describe. Giving them freedom means not picking
the agenda they should be exposed to. SVS has an agenda as much as
traditional schooling, for that matter. But the agenda at SVS is to help
kids develop their own critical abilities to decide what they need to be
effective adults in the larger community, not to tell them what they need
to do. THEY decide.

Not letting a child watch TV because I, as an adult, think that it's full
of trash and has a toxic agenda, is taking away that freedom to decide for
him/herself. And that is inconsistent with the SVS philosophy as I
understand it.

The interesting thing is that, more or less consistently following this
policy has led to two kids who don't watch much TV, and their choices are
pretty discriminating. And that has been the outcome whenever I have
really been able to sit back and give them the freedom they need and deserve.

- Martha

At 12:56 PM 12/6/01, you wrote:
> > From: Warren McMillan [mailto:warren@bmts.com]
> >
> > If you have a problem with traditional schooling, surely one
> > of the reasons is that its mandate is to 'shape' or condition children
> > according to an agenda predetermined by some anonymous bureaucrats in a
>department of
> > education somewhere. You reject traditional schooling in response and
>remove
> > your child from this harmful conditioning and send him/her to a place that
> > is free of this kind of manipulation ie. a SV school. Yet, you allow your
> > child to be influenced by the equally manipulative environment of the
>television. TV > is not benign. Every image and every word is carefully
>crafted or filtered by
> > anonymous agents in order to condition your needs, wants, opinions,
>preferences and
> > attitudes to match their own political or commercial agendas.
>
>Good points. Two things to add:
>
>1) Advertising is *designed* to "condition your needs, wants, opinions,
>preferences and attitudes to match their own political or commercial
>agendas" - this phrase could have come right out of any of the marketing
>books I was required to read as an MBA student years ago. Sure, advertisers
>spend money to figure out what people want - as a first step to manipulating
>them into wanting what they have to sell, from soda water to cars to
>political platforms. And billions and billions of dollars spent on
>advertising every year say it works great.
>
>2) Compulsory schooling and TV: Hand, meet glove. Schools are designed to
>crank out "human resources" - people reduced to commodities that are then
>'consumed' by employers. But, to complete the circle, one needs those 'human
>resources' to become 'consumers' to buy what those companies produce - the
>economy, such as it is, would collapse if it were otherwise. So, passive
>reguritators of state 'education' become, at home, passive receivers of
>'information', including information on what to buy in order to correctly
>place yourself in the social strata. TV isn't the only thing used to this
>end, but it's sure is effective.
>
>Proud owner of a replica Wilt Chamberlain Lakers jersey,
>Joseph
>
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