RE: DSM: students rights

From: Joe Jackson (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 22:48:45 EST

Hey, Ann.

> The second question this discussion raises for me: Is it
> necessary to believe in and/or act on that belief only 100%
> for benefits to be gained? I don't think so.
> I imagine that there are very few, if any, students at
> Sudbury schools whose parents can follow the Sudbury
> philosophies 100% all the time. Yet great benefits are still
> reaped. Don't you think?

Actually, I think the majority of parents, at least at Fairhaven, do not
attempt to intercede on any perceived shortcoming in their children's
scope or depth of academic development. But I'm not sure what you mean
by "follow the Sudbury philosophies", whether that means not intervening
with the tutoring or home schooling, or simply means not mimicking the
model at home.

As to the former, while I think there are benefits to kids of using the
school as a home schooling drop-off center (as opposed to the socially
oppressive environment of a regular school), parental insistence on
tutoring or formal home schooling or other means of coerced academic
progress substantially degrades the student's experience at the school.

School then becomes an environment where the decompressing and
recuperation is not taking place in a limited period of time from
previous schooling experiences, but represents a standing shelter from
the coercive educational environment at home. This stunts the normal
development of the Sudbury learner to the point where I don't think
these parents belong in the school.

However, if you mean applying the principles of Sudbury education in the
home, then certainly I agree that it is not necessary for the parent to
institute full-time democracy in order for their children to receive the
full benefit of what the school has to offer.

-Joe Jackson


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