Re: DSM: The homeschool curriculum

From: Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. (
Date: Sat Dec 08 2001 - 20:44:12 EST

Hi all,

Scott David Gray wrote:

> ...A glimpse at a defense for a diploma in this context: I
> think that many who believe that it is OK for a Sudbury
> school to offer a diploma, feel that the reason it is OK is
> because the school neither endorses nor objects to the idea
> of a student seeking a diploma; that letting people choose
> whether or not to use the diploma procedure is no more
> offensive than letting people choose whether or not to use
> the photolab. I admit that I am not quite convinced by this
> argument, but the position is not unreasonable.

True enough. But the question is, WHO awards this diploma?

If it is the Sudbury school itself, then I think it is NOT
reasonable. If, on the other hand, any student wants to pass
an examination for a diploma awarded by some OTHER
institution, like, say, Harvard University (if they do award
any such thing), then it may be okay.

When I was in school in India in the late 'fifties, the school
itself did not award a graduation diploma. But there was a
choice of two diplomas: one was awarded by a quasi-
governmental body in India, and the other was a diploma
awarded by Cambridge University of England. I opted for the
latter. It was called the "Cambridge School Leaving
Certificate". Students of ANY school could take this exam.
The papers were set and marked in England, and the
examiners did not even know who the students were: the only
criterion was the quality of the answers. This, I think, would
be okay even for students of a Sudbury school who wanted to
have a diploma after leaving school.

When I was in Israel, however, in the late 'sixties and early
'seventies, some of the kibbutz high schools did NOT award
any diploma. In fact, many kibbutzniks even went on to study
at the university, but as a matter of principle refused to sit for
the final exam. They would have got excellent grades if they
had written the exams, but they did not want the indignity of
a tail behind their name. They only wanted the knowledge.
(It is for this reason that I sometimes sign my name "Ardeshir
Mehta, N.D." -- the "N.D." standing for "No Degrees.")


Ardeshir <>


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