DSM: On Certainty and language.

From: Darren Stanley (rds1@ualberta.ca)
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 15:03:37 EST


Hello all (in particular Ardeshir and Travis),

I am both troubled and amused with the thread - dare I say "banter" that is
going on back and forth. For someone like myself who has just recently
joined the list, I am not quite sure what to make of it. The "tone" (if one
could ever attribute such a thing to words on a screen) does sound a bit on
the terse and rude side. Bt then again, we continually interpret everything
about us - including text (and, I don't mean that in some post-modernist
sense). Moreover, I find the way in which things get said with such
certainty to be troublesome.

Look at the thread below, for instance...

e-mail etiquette on the use of cpaital letters is akin to shouting. To read
this posting sounds like a shouting match between you two.

...and now onto some remarks on other uses of language..

on the word, "education". It roots do suggest that something along the
lines of "to rear" and "to lead forth". Certainly, this suggests some form
of doing things to others. In traditional schools, education, in part, is
about one group imposing its views on another. I suppse that one might say
that this is coercive. Nevertheless, this is what goes on in (traditional)
schools, and it is fitting with the etymological sensibilities of the words
"to educate" and "education". So does SVS (and other "schools" - 'll return
to this word in a minute - like it) educate others?

Schools are interesting places. There are most certaily rules in place.
There are at Sudbury. And, I wonder if there isn't some sense of paradox at
work here. If SVS is about non-coersion, then why have rules? Or is it the
very fact, that it is a community of people deciding on how to govern
themselves in a "self-regulating" manner that creates a different scenario
where the application of rules is not a coersive move. By various accounts
and stoies that I have read, I am amused at how often people have to go to a
JC to account for their wrongs. That is, some measure of respect seems to be
missing. What I find odd is that even when people are given vasts amounts
of freedom that there still is not always much respect present.

Last, on the word "school", I admit the word and its various senses do
trouble me. Nevertheless, "schools" do mean different things beside the
usual sense of a place where children are usually taught in a particular
manner. In addition to this sense, a "school" (imagaine if you will, a
"school of fish" and how they interact and fnuction, etc.) comes the Greek
root of "leisure" as in active leisure. This sensibility does come from the
ancient Greek view of educating (men - mostly). In this way, SVS is a
school in that there is ample amount of active-leisure (and not). Just
sleeping, for example, would not be active leisure.

And, on that note...it's time to wade through the othe ga-zillion messages
that await my attention.

Cheers,

Darren

----- Original Message -----
From: <BBWIA13@aol.com>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 9:01 AM
Subject: Re: DSM: Is Sudbury not "Life lived, period"?

> In a message dated 1/28/2002 2:39:49 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> ardeshir@sympatico.ca writes:
>
> << I agree that in an EDUCATION context it is wrong.
>
> But let us remember that Sudbury is NOT education! It is, as (I
> think) Scott wrote once, "Life lived, period."
>
> In life lived, period, it is definitely NOT wrong to offer help.
> Indeed it is wrong NOT to do so, because it goes against the best in
> human nature! >>
>
>
> Ardeshir,
>
> I simply cannot see it. What do you mean "Sudbury is NOT education?"
That
> is absolutely ludicrous!
> It may be a specific and unique type of education, but it is still a
> "type" of education. The school is "educating" its students, albeit
education
> draped in the teachings of responsibility, is it not?
> I will say, though, that I think your statement helped me in a
specific
> way. Indeed, it served as a superb explanatory measure in highlighting
where
> previous statements made by yourself came from, and under what context. I
> think that it makes more sense now. I sincerely hope, because I think you
> have valuable insight about the school and are a good analytical thinker,
> that you will retract this statement, citing the use of Scott's quote as
> taken ENTIRELY out of context.
>
> -Travis W.
>
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