Re: DSM: "The purpose for which [Sudbury] is formed ..."

From: BBWIA13@aol.com
Date: Sun Feb 03 2002 - 09:18:19 EST


Peter,

    Something that I think is crucial to understand is that fact that you
must separate different learning contexts.
    For example, comparing individual parenting styles to schooling
philosophy is not applicable. Sure, it is a fashionable thing to do these
days, and many people seem to operate under the illusion that Sudbury
education and parental values must coincide in order in order to be a true
proponent, but this is simply not reality. The best reason for explaining
this is the fact that Sudbury Valley is not some collection of freedom lovers
looking to apply total, anarchistic freedom. And, more importantly, it is not
a place to apply individual parenting styles directly.
    It is a school, and as such, has certain values and goals. That is the
most important thing to understand. And now, I would like to bring up two
more issues. The first is that "fundamental academic skills" is 100%
interpretable with no defined definition. This is fact. The second is your
statement:

"The adults in the Sudbury model actually have no more or less of an agenda
than those in a traditional school framework with a documented curriculum, it
is just
transmitted in a very subtle and different way."

    This is absolutely ludicrous! I do not mean to sound harsh, but firstly,
despite the fact that this statement is incorrect, I seek to understand what
experience you have had that would give this statement validity.
    Simply, have you ever attended a Sudbury School? Have you ever worked at
one? I understand that it is easy to get the impression that the staff might
have hidden agenda, since it is easy to group Sudbury with Liberal education
and as such apply he generalizations common to Liberal Education, but let me
tell you first hand, I know in my heart that this is not the case at Sudbury.
     You cannot imagine the integrity, honesty, and god, supreme work ethic
of the collection of fantastic adults that I, personally, am honored cast a
vote for each year. I think that a statement such as the one that you made
shows disrespect to those who have worked so hard to use restraint, because,
realistically, not everyone is thinking in drone-like-fashion "Yes, I don't
care if child X cannot read."
    This is called separating individualistic values from values applicable
to a larger body. Namely, just because adult X deep down feels it would be
better for child Y to learn to read, this does not mean he feels it is right
to ask, or force her. But I am stating the obvious. Anyway, I just want to
convey to you how inherently incorrect I believed your statement to be.
Believe me, I would know.

-Travis W.

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