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

From: Michael Kinnucan <Michael_Kinnucan_at_buacademy.org>
Date: Sun Mar 2 00:31:00 2003

I know I'm a bit late on this, but:

<<Those kids that succeed in public school would most likely succeed in
SVS. Some of those that choose not to perform in public school may
turnaround in SVS, most would simply choose not to go to school.>>

I'd have to disagree. I spent nine years in public school and am now in a
private school with a similar program, and I've put a lot of thought into
what it takes to succeed in this system. Most significantly, it takes
total pliability in the face of authority. It takes the willingness to
dedicate a very significant portion of one's time *outside* of school to
homework which is more or less totally useless. I was a straight-A student
for most of my grade school years, so I'm well aware of this.

What does it take to motivate this sort of investment? There are two
possibilities: either you have to be very dependent on the approval of
your parents and teachers, or you have to be willing to sacrifice your
current happiness for chimeral future goals (get good grades so you can
get into a good college so you can get a good job so you can make lotsa
money so you can be happy.) These states are specifically encouraged by
every aspect of traditional schooling. Both of these states are very
emotionally unhealthy. Both of these states are often symptoms of a lack
of real interest in any particular subject, as those with intense interest
rarely have time to waste on this sort of nonsense. Both of these states
are on an obvious route to either continued self-deception or
psychologically traumatic realizations (What's the suicide rate at MIT
again?)

More relevantly, both of these states are in direct and obvious conflict
with the sort of *self*-discipline, self-direction and dedication it takes
to genuinely educate onself.

As for attendance: You're probably right. People who have experienced
school from the earliest childhood as a six-hour waste of time disguised
as education are indeed unlikely to continue it when given other options.
This, however, is no reflection on these students' self-discipline, only
on their pattern-recognition.

-Michael

P.S. All this, and I still get As and Bs... Oh, the psychomachia.
Received on Sun Mar 02 2003 - 00:30:20 EST

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