Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] sudbury/summerhill

From: Mike Sadofsky <>
Date: Wed Feb 26 17:01:00 2003

On Wed, 26 Feb 2003 13:21:37 -0800 (PST), Hector Ortega
<> wrote:

>How confident can
>educators, teachers, or anyone interested in reforming
>schools be that the Sudbury school model would be even
>possible in areas where most kids live under such
>conditions. Not that kids who have such problem are
>less intelligent, but doesn't it make sense to suspect
>that the damage inflicted at home could become evident
>at school, where much conflict might be created to the
>point of jeopardizing the school environment. And
>isn't it likely that the pain suffered at home might
>make the kids less inclined to learn or retain their
>innate interest in life and the world, even when a
>free environment is provided to them for half of their
>waking hours?

So what would you propose here?
I am not aware of any claims that the Sudbury model is capable of
overcoming the kinds of severe environmental factors that you
I am certain that you would find supporters of conventional schools
who would assert that such schools would work much better if they had
fewer kids who came with this kind of environmental damage and who
spent their time away from school continually subjected to the same
home and environmental factors.
One of the major issues in making a Sudbury school "work" is
establishing an appropriate culture. One that includes respect for
the individual, for the institution, for personal and communal
property, for the pursuit of individual interests, ... All the things
you've read about in the Sudbury literature.
Experience has shown that with an established culture, it has been
possible for some kids who arrive with the kinds of problems you
describe to change and to find and make something of themselves in a
Sudbury school. Others may not succeed. If too many "bad apples"
enter the school at the same time, the institution may be fractured
(in much the same way that some of the inner city schools find
themselves fractured today).

For an interesting take on the latter, you might want to read this.

Just food for thought.

Received on Wed Feb 26 2003 - 17:00:01 EST

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