Re: DSM: Sudbury Charter Schools

Date: Tue Mar 05 2002 - 10:17:39 EST


    It appears to me that we are treading over old waters here. No matter. I
find that the point we ended on in the last debate of the issue suited my
position quite nicely indeed.
    Specifically, the dictionary definition of "education." In my opinion, in
light of your last e-mail and others, it seems that you make many subtle
references to the traditional system of educating youth in this country, and
all issues and nuances pertaining to it.
    This is a practice that I do not understand. I have said countless times
that for this argument alone, I do not stand by individual interpretation.
Now that only sounds ludicrous IF we were not to agree on the dictionary
definition. In other words, if you say to me '"Well, I see the definition as
meaning X," then we have nothing further to discuss.
     But you have yet to address this issue at all! In your opinion does
"The dictionary definition" (and let us not split hares over different
definitions, slight as they may be) fit or not fit Sudbury Valley? My
assumption for the lack of attention put to this issue is that it is
extremely obvious that it does, in fact, fit.
    It seems rather simple to me. Sudbury Valley, to my knowledge, does not
claim to be an anarchistic, freedom-inspired dumping ground. Not in the
least. Indeed, talking to some of the old timers at school, you might learn
that the school and its wonderful supporters expended a tremendous effort to
convince the Public, and more importantly the educational community, that it
was just that! A legitimate educational institution.
    The crux is that every time this word is uttered (or so it seems to me),
you immediately respond with your own perceptions of what the word means.
    As an educational institution, Sudbury Valley is a proponent for giving
it's students freedom, rights, and responsibilities. The same as the society
at large for which it is trying to prepare said students. This preparation
does not necessarily entail anything in the ballpark of the Public School
System. Individually, I would observe that Sudbury is in part saying:
"Children have rights that are philosophical in nature, rights that should
not be violated by any person or persons. In addition, in accordance with
these rights (and these rights do not postulate a violation if the students
are required to participate in the democratic form of government, for
example) the students are prepared, in many cases simply by being left alone,
for life in the outside community, which is in reality the democratic
government of the United States.
     Case in point: Do you feel that because the citizenry of this country
are required at some point to serve on a jury that it automatically negates
America being a "free society?" That it makes the government oppressive! I
think not. The issue appears crystal clear.

-Travis W.


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