Re: DSM: students rights

Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 09:28:55 EST

In a message dated 1/23/2002 10:56:09 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< 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 >>


    You make excellent points and observations. Certainly, this is an issue
(I speak specifically on the parent-send-student issue) that needs separating
from time to time.
    A lot of proponents of this type of education mistakenly assume that
parenting styles must, no, will, follow closely behind. Yes, we speak in
philosophical text, and we say that ideally (it would)! it would be a good
think if parents were not initiating overly coercive measurers within the
home environment. Sadly, as with so many other things in life, this is not a
realistic estimation. Indeed, more then anyone, if I had my way, we would
throw all of these people out. But then we would be losing an extremely
substantial portion of our school.
    Granted, this is indeed an intricate issue, because there is so much room
for variation! I think the essence is simple enough, though.
    Now, I know a lot of students at Sudbury Valley, over 100, to be exact.
Of those students, I know about 25 of their parents, or at least know how
they stand on the school. And the number of parents who, forget about
agreeing with the philosophy, are indifferent to it is minimal enough! Based
on my limited observations, right now, you are LUCKY if your parents, such as
mine, have a general indifference to the school and are simply glad that
their kids are happy.
    On the other end of the spectrum, you have the parents sending their kids
so that they can be away from Public School, and not because they think this
type of education is good, not because they actually believe in it our take
it seriously. And granted, there are those who, in my opinion, appear to be
on board virtually 100%. there number is depressingly small.
    Now, these issues can be debated from many different angles, but I will
say this: the estimations I gave, regarding the number of parents and their
respective affiliations, while perhaps not being entirely accurate, are
fairly close. That is something that you must attend, work at, or be a parent
of the school to understand. It appears that you are well aware of these
issues, Joe, and that pleases me. Your perspective is appreciated.

-Travis W.


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