Re: DSM: Is not the goal of Sudbury FREEDOM?

From: Mary Rose Murrin (
Date: Thu Jan 31 2002 - 06:02:02 EST

>From the earlier discussion:
> Freedom and Education are mutually exclusive in this respect be-
> cause the latter has one or more goals in mind, "agenda".

This is the American Heritage dictionary definition of education:
"1. The act or process of educating or being educated.
2. The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process.
3. A program of instruction of a specified kind or level:
4. The field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and
5. An instructive or enlightening experience"

I agree that definitions 1,3, and 4 are mutually exclusive to freedom.
If freedom is considered to be a learning process which unlocks the child's
hidden potential, as it seems it is at Sudbury, then freedom is essential to
the process rather than excluded from it.
Additionally, if freedom is considered to be an enlightening experience then
it is inherent in the definition of education rather than being excluded
from it.

The definition of freedom is:
1. The condition of being free of restraints.
2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
3a. Political independence.
3b. Exemption from the arbitrary exercise of authority in the performance
of a specific action; civil liberty: freedom of assembly.
4. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition: freedom from want.
5. The capacity to exercise choice; free will: We have the freedom to do as
we please all afternoon.
6. Ease or facility of movement: loose sports clothing, giving the wearer
7. Frankness or boldness; lack of modesty or reserve: the new freedom in
movies and novels.
8a. The right to unrestricted use; full access: was given the freedom of
their research facilities.
8b. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or
citizenship: the freedom of the city.
9. A right or the power to engage in certain actions without control or
interference: "the seductive freedoms and excesses of the picaresque form"
(John W. Aldridge).

According to the catalogue there is nothing at Sudbury that is contrary to
this definition of freedom and there is nothing in the definition of freedom
that excludes becoming enlightened. As far as we know, there is also no
'agenda', however as a by-product of freedom, the children gain the
knowledge that they need to succeed in the adult world, which should be the
true purpose of childhood education.

Mary Rose Murrin


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