DSM: Re: The library

From: Warren McMillan (warren@bmts.com)
Date: Wed Dec 26 2001 - 17:10:52 EST


Jerry writes:
>Why don't traditional educators get it?

Good question! Having been a traditional educator, and having taught
children who have since become traditional educators, much to my chagrin, I
have some thoughts.
First of all, every school has its own culture including a history and
unique traditions. Teachers and students alike become a part of that
culture. For many teachers, the school becomes the centre of their
lifestyles. For others, their sense of worth or their sense of purpose is
invested in the school. Are people with such investments open to radical
change? Would you be?
As well, most teachers, in my experience, were themselves 'good' students.
Their learning styles matched the predominent teaching methods so they
excelled easily, for the most part. Students in traditional schools have
two choices: to defy or to defer. Most teachers chose the latter. They
were themselves the model students who received the praise and awards and
certificates and all the other trappings that coercive schooling bestows on
its own. This does not make them bad people but it does make them resistant
to alternatives.
Also, most traditional teachers are truly dedicated to helping children.
They truly believe in what they are doing and they receive enough positive
feedback from children and parents to maintain their sense that they are
doing something worthwhile. They believe. Changing the minds of people who
'believe' is not easy. It requires the persuasive power necessary for
nothing less than a religious conversion.
My question is: What difference does it make if traditional teachers get it
or not? They couldn't change traditional schooling even if you convinced
every one of them. Real educational change will not come from the teachers.
In all the years I taught in traditional schools, the only thing that ever
made any difference at all, and I don't mean anything significant, was
economics. Money, or lack thereof, makes change... no pun intended.
Finally, some _do_ get it but it makes no difference. These are teachers
with mortgages just like you and a good steady income to support their
families. They get it but there are few, if any, alternative schooling
positions available and fewer still that will pay a decent wage. They get
it but it won't pay the rent.
So, save your energy. Find rebellious young people, or rebellious old
people for that matter, to work in your schools. Traditional education will
eventually buckle under its own weight as an economically unviable
institution.

Warren

----- Original Message -----
From: <JerryAERO@aol.com>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2001 1:41 PM
Subject: DSM: The library

>
> In a message dated 12/22/01 10:20:38 AM, Sugmapl@aol.com writes:
>
> << But there is a second paradigm. Your statement : "We don't evaluate
their
> progress" is a near perfect statement of this second paradigm. >>
>
> Is this really such an odd concept? They don't test or evaluate us when we
go
> to the library, do they? The assumption is that the patrons know what they
> are doing and what they want to learn. I think this is closer to the
paradigm
> of what education must be, going forward. Here's a better question: Why
don't
> traditional educators get it?
>
> Jerry
>
>
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