Re: DSM: "Education"

From: BBWIA13@aol.com
Date: Mon Mar 11 2002 - 11:39:25 EST


To all participating in the "education" debate:

    It seems to me that many have touched on important issues in this debate,
issues deserving recognition.
    However, it also seems to me that at this time the debate is redundant.
And believe me, for you to hear that from me is quite extraordinary. I agree
and disagree with various aspects of what Ardeshir, Mary, and others have
said. But I remain firm in my belief that any further analyzing of the
validity of point 1a or point 1b would be entirely counterproductive.
    We have reached the point of end-communication, in the sense that the
essence of our different beliefs, in my opinion, cannot be communicated any
further to achieve any additional understanding of the various participants
points of view. To address the Mary's e-mail, I must say, that is a topic
that more people would benefit from paying attention to. Personally, I cannot
understand why there are people on this list who, apparently knowing little
of exactly how the philosophical or operational information of the Sudbury
Valley School is put into place, argue in such a context as to imply total
authority on the subject.
    Do not misinterpret what I say, though; the most clear example I can give
is that of warfare. Military historians talk of war, indeed, they even talk
of combat, analyze it. But it is a general rule that they not try to assume
the position of the final authority, in the sense that they act as though
they know what combat is like. This is the best analogy I can give. I am not
saying that any persons opinion in this debate is invalid. I am not saying
that the people on this list are fraudulent in their ability to hold views on
education. I simply feel that there is a well understood tendency in serious
debates to avoid hairsplitting with people who have actually experienced the
hairsplitting discussions in reality, to a full extent. To debate in that
specific context, as I believe has occurred in this case, is wrong, and
certainly counterproductive. It is also not the only option in debating.
    Lastly, my final thoughts on this issue.

(From Websters online)

"ed·u·ca·tion Pronunciation Key (j-kshn)
n.
1: The act or process of educating or being educated.
2: The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process.
3:A program of instruction of a specified kind or level: driver education; a
college education.
4:The field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and
learning.
5: An instructive or enlightening experience: Her work in the inner city was
a real education.

    As to Ardshir's discourse on the definition of words in general, I will
not comment in detail, suffice to say that by his logic, communication itself
would be impossible, because everyone would be able and willing to comment
upon how the words we use have no true meaning, since they are almost always
defined by only a select group of people.
    The issue appears clear to me, and I believe I have made my position on
it clear in the past. I consider Sudbury Valley to be a legitimate
educational institution. I do not believe that this necessarily entails that
the school is anything like its more traditional counterparts in the realm of
education. This opinion is based on my interpretation of the word, and what
it's meaning truly represents.
    I think it is fairly obvious that existing in a democratic environment is
a "learning process" for any given child. Indeed, that is in danger of being
a dead issue. A child simply learns things, whether or not he is forced,
coerced, or left alone. While the specific things that he learns may vary,
the fact of the matter is that he is always learning. And most certainly, the
knowledge of democratic participation is real knowledge indeed, knowledge
that the child gains upon experiencing the school. And it is almost
inevitable that this knowledge is acquired, whether or not (hopefully not)!
people attempt to introduce this child into it, by coercion, for example.
     By definition 2, this explanation fits quite nicely. Though I am more
then willing to discuss many other issues pertaining to the school (and there
are quite a few of them), this e-mail will be the last from me on the matter.

-Travis W.

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