Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]Difficulty of deciding where to teach

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Wed May 8 15:13:00 2002

Hi Peter,

On Wed, 8 May 2002, Peter Hunt wrote:

>  I am new to this group. 
> I used to teach in London in a comprehensive all boys secondary school. I gave that up a while back to start teaching English
> as a foreign language.However I am now considering going back to teaching science again in a secondary school.
> The only problem is that I am no longer convinced that compulsory education is a good thing.It is one of those almost taboo
> subjects which one never goes into. But then it struck me a while back.&nbsp; Just why do we have compulsory education?&nbsp;
> What does it achieve? I can think of many reasons why schools would be better and more interesting places to be if the kids
> were not forced to be there.I am kind of stuck now because a part of me still likes the rough and tumble of working in
> difficult inner city schools.&nbsp; There is a satisfaction to be gained from doing something which is basically really
> difficult.&nbsp; I thought about applying to work at one of the Sudbury Schools, but to be honest as an option it just seems
> too easy and not a big enough challenge.
> I also have concerns about working primarily for a small number of kids who it would seem are already fairly priveledged. I
> don't mean to be rude or hard here, but the system of democratic schools seems quite elitist. I personally want to reach the
> downtrodden bottom rung of the ladder kids who are stuck in depressing, imporverished schools without great resources. I am
> no saint. It is just what gives me some sense of satisfaction.

You may want to look closer at more of the Sudbury schools.
Several have worked pretty hard to make their schools as
accessible as possible to people with limited means -- with
some success.

Don't think that because a school has great resources, that
means that it costs a lot of money. I don't know of a
single Sudbury school _anywhere_ with per-pupil as high as
the per-pupil costs of any of the public schools in

> The question though is this: can one adopt truly democratic principles towards education whilst still working within a
> compulosry system? It seems to me that the answer will never be as neat and as simple as I would like.  However I do get a
> sense that there is a possibility for individual teachers to make a difference provided the remember where they are coming
> from and are clear about there own motives.  Am I wrong?

Well, I really don't think that it is possible for a school
to be "part" free. We've had this discussion at length
many times on this list. :-) Check

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.
-- Mark Twain
Received on Wed May 08 2002 - 15:12:07 EDT

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