Re: DSM: Re: Re: Re: Television

From: Warren McMillan (warren@bmts.com)
Date: Fri Dec 07 2001 - 12:08:57 EST


My remarks were in response to a discussion about TV in the home. TV at a
SV school is another matter. In a way TV in a SV school is like having the
fox in the henhouse. The hens, being free, but not understanding the true
nature of the beast, eagerly invite the fox to stay and entertain them.
They will not, of course, understand the dangers of allowing the fox in the
henhouse until it is too late.
Your children are free to make their own choices at SVS but shooting guns or
taking drugs are not choices that you would allow. Am I right? TV is toxic
too.

Perhaps SVS should require a license to watch TV at school. This would give
staff an opportunity to do what Mike Sadofsky suggests in a previous message
in this thread...
Mike writes: "I always felt and continue to feel that the role of parents
and adults
in contact with children is to help them understand that much of what
we experience has been shaped to meet some set of goals."

Warren

----- Original Message -----
From: Martha E Fay <netmfay@earthlink.net>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2001 1:42 PM
Subject: RE: DSM: Re: Re: Re: Television

> 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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