DSM: RE: let's start something big

From: Howard, Jason M (JHoward@clarku.edu)
Date: Sat Feb 09 2002 - 20:29:36 EST

Ann and Travis,

I completely agree with you. If I were writing for parents, and even more so
if I were writing for teachers, I would definitely pace myself, and try to
see things from their point of view before trying to convince them
otherwise. As for my article, I am writing for the most general teenage
audience I possibly can while still being persuasive. At the same time, my
writing is really better suited for those who are already thinking of an
alternative than for those who are content in the system. But I think there
are a lot of desperate teenagers who ARE looking for a way out -- but don't
know exactly how to find it -- and certainly don't think leaving school is
the answer. I want to convince them that the answer is right in front of
them -- I'm trying to provide a flag, telling them, "LOOK HERE!" But getting
them to really look is the hard part.

So, I think I'd make much more of an impact by aiming my arguments towards
people who KNOW that school is making them suffer, than I would by aiming
them at people who don't even realize the harmful effects schooling is
having on them.


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Ann Ide [SMTP:ann.ide@rcn.com]
        Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2002 3:34 PM
        To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
        Subject: DSM: let's start something big

        Hi Travis, and Jason,
        That's a good point that Travis makes about not criticizing the
beliefs of those you are trying to persuade. In trying to explain Sudbury
schooling to my friends and family I have also noticed that this approach is
pretty limited. Instead I try to focus on what is possible for my kids by
going to this kind of school. It's a tricky balancing act. To talk about
the damage possible from traditional education seems so much more
convincing! I think it is useful, when possible, to pace where the person
is at (show them you understand where they're coming from) and them to lead
them to the new ideas.
        This discussion may not be relevant to your "article", however.
Again, it depends on who your audience is. I got the sense that you were
talking to teenagers who probably are already leaning in your direction and
are looking for some way out of their suffering. If this is the case, your
approach can work, I think.


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