Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Complexity Interpretation...

From: Victoria Serda <>
Date: Fri Nov 29 13:29:00 2002

Dear Darren,
I am just finishing up my thesis on something similar--how schools like
SVS are optimal for learning and producing the kind of citizens that
society needs. I also have experience starting an SVS-type school.
I think in this area, as in life, it is important to balance extremes.
It is not possible right now to have fully non-authoritarian structures,
because society is authoritarian. Therefore, the goal should be to
minimize coercion and maximize freedom. In order for a school to exist
without being closed down by the government, it has to follow the rules.

The end result of granting children a much healthier option must be
balanced with the detriments to working in the current system.
Victoria Serda

Darren Stanley wrote:

> Hello All! I am presently going through the numerous stories and
> articles that I have on SVS - shaped mostly through the writings found
> in the SVS books that are available to anyojne through the SVS
> website. As part of my PhD dissertation (in Education), I am
> attempting to show/illuminate how "schools" might be healthier in how
> they function, following the actions of SVS (as an example of what
> might be possible). SVS strikes me as akin to a deeply living,
> biological entity. Framed in this way, and using what researchers and
> scholars from a diversity of fields have had to say about complex
> systems, I wonder what might *in principle* be present to help make
> SVS *work*. It seems to me that there is plenty of diversity present;
> interactions across many time/space scales (e.g., no restrictions on
> age/subject/interest level). The types and strengths of interactions
> may bring forth a variety of different/novel emergent events...and so
> on... In my work in the non-profit health sector (another cap I wear),
> I have an implicit understanding of what a "healthy" organization
> might be like. From what I have read and know about SVS and other
> related matters, SVS is IMHO the epitomy of a healthy educational
> setting - speaking rather broadly. Here are some questions I've been
> pondering...any thoughts out there?!? The school seems to have this
> sort of "self-organizing" feature to it: no authoritarian leaders
> (leadership is shared/distributed?); no external constraints? but can
> there be NO external constraints? There are, of course, state
> regulations, but how or do these regulations play out? Or might it be
> better said that the school is "influenced" by state regulations? Is
> influence the same as coercion? Sorry for all the questions...I do
> have more tho', but I will stop there! On another note...I don't know
> if Daniel Greenberg is on this list, but I've recently read your/his
> essay on human interest. What a remarkable piece. Not only did it
> help to illuminate a completely new view of this phenomenon for me, I
> have also shared it with my work colleague who has in turn shared it
> with a number of other "dissatisfied suburban housewives" (her words,
> not mine). In every instance, everyone of these people "get it" and
> see how traditioanl schooling works so hard to ignore and work with
> the "interests" of others. thanks! Darren Darren StanleyUniversity of
> Alberta, CanadaPlexus Institute, Allentown,
Received on Fri Nov 29 2002 - 13:28:08 EST

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