Thanks for your reply.
> First of all, I will address the following:
> > "What you are talking about, instead, is Liberal Education at its most
> > honest. But even liberal education at its most honest is not SVS. It
> > has an ulterior MOTIVE: that motive being, to "prepare" the child
> > for something. That is the goal of the institution, and the institution
> > succeeds or fails by how well or how ill it prepares the child for
> > that "something" (whatever it might be: democracy, responsibility,
> > life, whatever)."
> I choose to forgo my traditional "asking," pertaining to what the
> sender "actually" meant.
> By writing this, at the very least, you were implying that the context
> of my analytical statements pertaining to a Sudbury Valley-type
> education was coming from a "Liberal Education" standpoint, or at least,
> mirroring it. This is, truly, beyond ridiculous.
> It would appear that you have chosen to throw away the fact that I
> have been nothing save militant _against_ Liberal Education in my
> writings, and all that it entails. And yet, you have the tenacity to compare
> Liberal Education in any way to my statements? To imply that my
> arguments mirror those of the former? I cannot begin to understand.
That's right. I think you don't even begin to understand that by in-
sisting that Sudbury is a type of Education, you are actually insist-
ing that it is in fact a Liberal Education.
If you would understand that Freedom and Education -- when Edu-
cation is the goal for which Freedom is a means -- are mutually ex-
clusive, then you *might* begin to understand what I am saying!
Freedom and Education are mutually exclusive in this respect be-
cause the latter has one or more goals in mind, "agenda". It succeeds
or fails by how well its goals are attained at the *end* of the pro-
cess of education. There has to be some evaluation, some way to
tell that the child has improved as a result of being in that situation.
If the child does not improve, the goals are not attained; and then
the means to the goal have to be reviewed, and those that contri-
bute to the "failure" to attain the goal must be jettisoned.
Freedom, on the other hand, can have no agenda -- or if one *must*
say that it does, its agenda (or rather agendum, for there can at
most be only one) is *itself*. In other words, the means and the
goal must be the same.
That's because any particular means is/are dispensable, if the goal is
not attained -- or not *best* attained -- using it/them. But the goal
itself can hardly be dispensable!
(For instance, if my goal is to cut down as many trees as I can in a
given time period, then an axe may not be the best means to attain
that goal. The axe, then, becomes dispensable in favour of some-
thing more efficient, like maybe a chain saw, or perhaps something
even bigger and more able to chop down trees quickly. And even
that becomes dispensable once something yet more efficient has
If Education is *not* best attained by giving Freedom, then Free-
dom has no value -- *if the goal is Education*. Then Freedom can
be dispensed with in favour of something more efficient -- like
But if the goal *itself* is Freedom, then Freedom -- as a means to
attain it -- is *not* indispensable, for a thing is by nature *insepar-
able* from itself!
The *only* way Freedom, as a means, and its goal -- *whatever*
that goal may be -- can *ever* become inseparable is if the goal is
the *same* as Freedom.
But who can claim that Freedom and *Education* are the same?
Obviously they're not. Therefore Education *cannot* be the goal of
Freedom, unless Freedom is considered to be dispensable.
Is that how you see Sudbury? A place where Freedom is dispensa-
If you don't, then you have to admit that the very goal of Sudbury
ought to be -- *must* be -- be Freedom! Not Education at all.
There is no other logical conclusion possible.
> You are a very intelligent person, Ardeshir. I simply refuse to believe
> that you don't realize, then or now, that this is an utterly absurd
> observation, lacking any validity whatsoever.
Now you are an intelligent person too. Tell me, where is the flaw in
my logic above?
> As of now, I am thoroughly convinced that you have _no idea_ what
> Sudbury Valley is about. But do you know, I acknowledge the possibility
> that I don't ether. If a founder told me I was full of shit, so be it. I do not
> pretend to be God. But here is the difference between you and I. On our
> specific issue, I have greater validity when addressing its nature.
> I hope that you take pains not to misinterpret what I said. It is really
> quite simple. I am not saying that you are out of place in having opinions
> on education in general. I am not saying that you are out of place when
> having opinions about Sudbury Valley in general.
> But, when you write in the particular context that you did, a lecturing
> context, not a "I respectfully disagree with you" context, at that point, we
> look at our chips. What do you have? I was attended for 4 years the
> _mother_ of all Liberal Schools. I have been a student at Sudbury Valley
> for 8 years. I left Sudbury Valley 2 years into enrollment to attend my
> local Public School for a year. My family is still, to say the very least,
> heavily involved in my former Liberal School. These are simply facts,
> not to be "interpreted."
> Now you can talk about how you disagree with this or that, but
> _lecturing_ me about what Sudbury is _really_ about, instead of giving
> your _opinion_ on it, is wrong. Perhaps I should rephrase: you gave your
> opinion, yes, but you also gave so much more. Indeed, people who
> debate must realize at all times (common knowledge)! that no matter
> how good you are, no matter how articulate, it is extremely dangerous to
> step over the cliff, into the abyss, _in which you have no expertise or
> experience whatsoever_.
> Because those who do it know it is inevitable that their fraudulence,
> their inability to back statements, will be called upon. Sir, I accuse you of
> a e-mail that smacked strongly of lecturing.
First of all, did I ever say in any e-mail of mine that I was lectur-
ing? I did not.
I *pointed out a logical flaw* in the line of reasoning which reached
a conclusion that children should be given freedom because their
education is best attained thereby; and I challenge you or anyone
else to show me where this logic is flawed.
If you can show me no flaw in this logic, it doesn't matter, does it,
that I know less about Sudbury than you do. All that matters is
whether this logic is flawed or not!
And if this logic is *not* flawed, why do you accuse me of "lec-
turing"? Should one accuse people of "lecturing" if they put forth
an argument one cannot counter?
It seems to me that by saying "Sir, I accuse you of a e-mail that
smacked strongly of lecturing", you are trying to attack my *per-
son* rather than my logic. Attack my logic all you want, but do it
logically! If you can't, though, why attack my person, accusing me
of doing something I never claimed to be doing?
But I admit that I did misinterpret Sudbury when I said that Sud-
bury is not Education. I was taking my data from previous e-mails
by Scott and Bill, who, I thought, knew what the stated goals of
Sudbury are. I find from Mike's e-mail of yesterday that the stated
goal of Sudbury, as per its by-laws, *is* in fact a type of Educa-
tion; and that Freedom is merely declared to be a means to attain it.
And as I replied to Mike, I am exceedingly sorry to learn this, for if
this is correct, then there *is* in fact no such thing as a genuine free
school in North America.
I am not yet sure, however, who is right: Mike or Bill. I have not
yet read all the documents in which Sudbury states all of its goals.
But if -- *if*! -- the declared goal(s) of Sudbury do/does *not* in-
clude Freedom -- and that too, Freedom for Freedom's sake alone,
and not for the sake of attaining any result therefrom -- then as I
say, I am exceeding saddened, and feel that Sudbury has merely
been masquerading as a free school rather than actually being one.
And then I hold to my previous conclusion, that Sudbury is, in that
case, merely a school offering Liberal Education -- Liberal Educa-
tion at its best, perhaps, but merely Liberal Education.
For goal is the same -- namely, Education; and the only difference
of opinion is about the best way to attain it.
> I am not pleased with our current situation. If you have mentioned in
> the past experience you have had that I did not take into account, well,
> please mention it again. To my knowledge, though, you have no
> concrete experience in any of the particular area's I mentioned. I fear
> that you may be misinterpreting Sudbury Valley, and all issues
> pertaining to it, to a degree so sever as to warrant no solution
Other than the matter which I wrote about above, namely regarding
the stated goals of Sudbury, if I am misinterpreting Sudbury Valley
and all issues pertaining to it, then point out the specific issue I am
All I have done, if you will read my e-mails, is to say what some
others on this very forum have said before me, and to reach a logi-
cal conclusion from certain material brought to my attention (such
as the quote from the by-laws of Sudbury quoted by Mike.) Point
out, in these e-mails, specifically which issues I am misinterpreting,
if you can!
And if you can't, then why not acknowledge that you can't?
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Mar 27 2002 - 19:39:49 EST