First of all, for future reference, my first name is Mary Rose and don't really like to be called Mary without the Rose added- can abbreviate it as MR for short if it's too hard to type. Just letting people know now that you are calling me by name so often. Secondly, do you have first-hand knowledge that the children HAVEN'T operationally defined SVS as education? Thirdly, I see absolutely no reason whatever that education and freedom need to be considered mutually incompatible. Also, there are a lot of teaching methods that use free play as a technique to get children to learn- they have an agenda- to get children to process the thoughts and feelings that they have been exposed to in the lesson (Godly Play is a good example) so it is clearly education (well Godly Play is worship- but tell that to the priests and ministers who think it is Sunday School). If the the children don't perceive it as an agenda- they feel that it is freedom- is it any less education? Just some thoughts.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, March 09, 2002 12:32 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: "Education"
Thank you very much. You basically wrote that if the "proponents and founders" of Sudbury believe it to be education then it would be disrespectful to not agree.
The core understanding of Sudbury is that it allows as much respect and freedom to children as possible given the norms of the Sudbury community. It is also clearly a social and cultural institution in which children are full partners. (Here I think it best to pause and consider if we even know of any other social institution in which children are full partners.)
Now the people who actually spend their days at Sudbury are the staff and the children. And as such the children comprise about 93% of the full partners in this social institution. To me it is clear that the most profound definition of Sudbury is as the children live it. Since they themselves basically decide their own activities all day every day week after week month after month year after year, the children have operationally defined Sudbury as freedom. Indeed, the children are full partners even to the extent of defining the institution.
And yes there is a paradigm shift between seeing Sudbury as freedom and seeing it as education; they are not the same.
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