Re: DSM: RE: anger (was: teenagedom)

Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 10:16:36 EST

List members,

    Not to get ahead of myself, but I want to know if anyone would be
interested in discussing core educational and philosophical issues that are,
essentially, responsible for making Sudbury Valley (all Sudbury school's)
what they are today, and for defining their uniqueness.
     These issues have come into focus for me recently. The founding
philosophies are not so simple as they are often made out to be. The
complexities, and digressive implications, are mind-numbing. Many proponents
of the school (save select founders, staff, and students) fail to delve past
the outskirts when arguing for it. An example if I may.
    Everyone has had some experience with relatives or with others who
dislike and essentially argue against the school. In turn, everyone has put
up defensive arguments, explaining what they think the school means, and why
it is justified. Observe these conversations (without a doubt, many of you
already have) and you will find that often, the student (or other person) in
question will merely repeat sentences he has read in school literature, or
perhaps criticize and insult the Public School systems inherent philosophies
in response, resulting in a total unproductive conversation.
    And so, I wish to start discussing the absolute core. I have concluded
that the first thing that comes into focus (everything is in a pattern when
discussing the absolute core) is students rights.
    When a select group of founders pool their minds and find that on the
issue of students rights there is searing, white agreement, only then can the
democratic government and lack of academic curricula result. Specifically
because they are the only systems that can comply with the students rights
    Simply, if founders and school by-laws postulate that children, in
general, have inherent rights that should not be violated, rights that are
violated in Public School every day, then, for example, could you construct a
non-democratic government? Of course not. Obviously, it would be in
    The most crucial thing to understand is that all the jazz about validity
of academic curricula, the democratic government, etc., happen later, after
the fact. But do not misunderstand; they are the only systems that can comply
with the core in the first place! This is something that is often
misunderstood. There are so many things that are truly beautiful about the
Sudbury Philosophies, but perhaps the most beautiful is the fact that
everything falls into place after one understands his/her core views on the
rights of children, or lack there of. It is important to return to the
baseline from time to time.

-Travis W.


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