Re: DSM: Sudbury Charter Schools

From: Mary Rose Murrin (
Date: Wed Mar 06 2002 - 07:23:20 EST

Could we get off the definition of education? If the dictionary is not OK, then what is? Where did you get your definition? Name the scholarly source. If the proponents and founders of Sudbury feel that their model is education then we should respect their operational definitions- at least on their own list. Anything else is disrespect for these fine people. They have an agenda- to develop a system of 'education' or 'learning' that respects the learners. If it is not education, then Sudbury would have to close tomorrow to avoid having all their parents being jailed for not obeying the compulsory 'education' laws. Is that your agenda? To get publicity for your anger and your cause by jailing all the Sudbury parents? I'm sorry that you're angry at the traditional educational system. I happen to share that anger. But the way to resolve it is not to abolish education, it is to change the nature of education. If we find one instance of education that is not worthy of our anger, then we should change our image of what education is and challenge ALL education to emulate it. That is what Sudbury is all about. Even I, who at this point know nothing, know that much.

Mary Rose

----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2002 10:15 PM
  Subject: Re: DSM: Sudbury Charter Schools

  Dear Travis,

  Thank you.

  If you are "educating" yourself at Sudbury, then we could more simply use the word "learning". You are "learning". If someone else is "educating" you at Sudbury, then I may not sufficiently understand the model and you could educate me by telling me who is educating you and what their agenda is and what their method is. If you say it is education without agenda and without method then maybe we could move on to definitions of education.

  We are having a converstion in something called cultural anthropology. The strongest definition possible in this area is something called an 'operational definition'. All an operational definition means is that there is an actual example of what we are talking about. And there is, Sudbury exists, it is extant on planet earth. There are also many many examples of education on planet earth. I have seen hundreds, maybe I need to see thousands, however, none of the hundreds of things calling themselves education that I have seen, are without agenda and without method. In the way I am using the word, I am talking about things that have an agenda and a method. Also in the hundreds of things calling themselves education, there certainly appears to be a unanimity in their view of the child. They consistantly view the child as deficient, not OK as they are, in need of some improvement, some development, some progress.

  You of course are an expert in the operational definition of Sudbury. If you tell me that you experience Sudbury not as freedom but as education, I will believe you.

  On the operational definition of education, though, I believe I can simply show hundreds and hundreds of examples that have all three of the above elements, an agenda, a method, and a prevailing view that the child is an "improver".

  Warmest Regards,
  Bill Richardson


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