[Discuss-sudbury-model] it's the social stricture which is going to be under fire . . .

From: David Rovner <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Sun Mar 2 13:31:00 2003

As Daniel Greenberg says in "An Approach to Child Rearing," "Wherever some
social stricture comes to limit individual freedom, it's the social
stricture which is going to be under fire, and will have to prove itself,
and not the other way around."

nak.

~ peace and tranquility, David

----- Original Message -----
From: "Heidi Crane" <bunsofaluminum60_at_hotmail.com>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 12:01 AM
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] The problem is balance . . .

> Yes, I agree. Peter's answer was most helpful. We're trying to find a
> balance. In fact, we're going to be having regular family meetings,
modeled
> after Sudbury school meetings, as read about on the website. Maybe not
> weekly, but at least two times per month. Fully democratic. No rule goes
> into effect without unanimity. Well, with only five people a simple
majority
> is...well, we parents are going to be voted down, eh? LOL So that family
> life doesn't get overrun by individual lives.
>
> Maybe one of my fears with the TV is, with us NOT being a school, full of
> many people doing many different things, but simply a family of five
living
> out in the country (which does further reduce the number of different
things
> available, by mere distance)...that TV and computer games will be the most
> interesting things available.
>
> ack.
>
> Well, my brain IS sizzling, I must say. lots to think through, here!
>
> peace, Heidi
>
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Rovner" <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 10:56 PM
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] The problem is balance . . .

>
> *Very important,* Peter, and also very difficult to carry it out:
> >The problem is balance. The balance between the needs and wants of the
> community and the
> needs and wants of the individual.<
>
> ~ David
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Peter Talbot" <dumbguy_at_covad.net>
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 10:01 PM
> Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Computer Games at School
>
>
> > > A question. Can you tell me what Sudbury school (or any democratic
> school)
> > > policies are about playing computer games and watching TV? On the
> Sudbury
> > > website, there are pictures of kids playing and embroidering and
> walking
> > and
> > > watching other kids and building. None of anyone sitting in front of
a
> > screen.
> >
> > At the Chicago Sudbury School we have kids playing computer games all
the
> > time. The only limit we set on computer use time is for purposes of
> > fairness--kids get 3 hours of "priority use" that they can sign up for
in
> > 1-hour increments. This system of limitations only exists because we
have
> > more kids than computers, and the issues of equal access and fairness
are
> > important.
> >
> > We also have kids talking, doing sewing projects, playing piano or bass
> > guitar or cooking *all the time.* The same kids. While we do have a TV,
I
> > have yet to see anyone watch it (excepting our sleep-overs, where movies
> > are a staple).
> >
> > I guess the point I'd like to make here is three-fold:
> > 1. an interest in computer games does not necessarily preclude interests
> in
> > other things.
> >
> > 2. An interest in computer games is not a "bad thing" that we as adults
> > have some need to limit/control, in my mind. Our computer corporation
> > installed two games last week. A program called Snood, and an Internet
> > chess program called BlitzIn. Few in established academia would argue
that
> > chess is a total waste of time (my girlfriend disagrees, btw), but many
> > computer games are no less "deep" than Chess, Mah-Jong, Go and other
> > traditional games that are held to be intellectual pastimes. Yet many
make
> > a judgement that computer games are somehow of less value. Why? Who gets
> to
> > decide whether a game is or is not mentally stimulating? Someone who's
> > never played the game? Seems pretty arbitrary...
> >
> > 3. Golf. Golf is **the stupidest excuse for a game on the planet,** in
my
> > opinion. It even has a stupid name. Yet many people enjoy this "sport"
and
> > it has become **the** social game of the power elite. Is it possible
that
> > MMORPGs, or yes, even Snood will have a similar place in future social
> > networks? It's possible, especially as kids (future adults) become more
> and
> > more skilled with computers at younger and younger ages.
> >
> > My personal prognostications aside, the future is uncertain; we don't
know
> > what skills these kids are going to need. What does seem certain is that
> > with our highly specialized society, each individual will need a skill
set
> > as unique as he or she is.
> >
> > >As we get turned around, putting some of these ideas into practice, do
we
> > >leave it all completely open? Kids get to choose what they want to do.
> WEll,
> > >we're already not letting them get by without helping in the upkeep of
> the
> > >family. Chores are part of their life.
> >
> > Nor should we, in my view. As you say, chores are part of life. Service
on
> > our Judical Committee is part of life at our school. Cleaning up after
> > yourself is a fact of life anywhere. When time spend in front of a TV or
> > computer screen interferes with getting essential things done, *then*
> > there's a problem. But the problem isn't a computer, a book, a set of
> chess
> > pieces or any other activity that a kid gets immersed in. The problem is
> > balance. The balance between the needs and wants of the community and
the
> > needs and wants of the individual.
> >
> > In our school, there was a problem with people getting their chores done
> at
> > the end of the day, so we passed a rule that the computers be shut off
> > earlier. Simple, to the point. It allowed people who were really into
what
> > they were doing time to go "okay, what do I need to do before I leave."
> > Since the rule passed, people have been better about doing their chores
> and
> > taking care of their personal clean-up. This makes Peter a happier Staff
> > Member. =)
> >
> > It does become a time-management problem, and one of responsibilty.
People
> > need to be held accountable for how they spend their time when they
aren't
> > meeting their obligations, whether these obligations are financial,
civic,
> > family, or to school. A kid trying to wiggle out of responsibility is a
> kid
> > trying to wiggle out of responsibility. You can't let them get away with
> > that, or they will learn that they can, and that's pure poison. But
don't
> > blame the computer, and don't let them blame the computer either. It's
an
> > inanimate object. One with an off switch.
> >
> > >Some, in the unschooling sub-culture LOL would say "Yeah. Let him
choose
> > >whatever he wants, including as much TV and computer as he feels like."
I
> > >doubt the wisdom of that. But they also say "He won't do only that,
> forever
> > >and ever. He'll find other things to do when screen time gets boring."
> >
> > Risky as it sounds, I have to agree with this. Let him burn out on it. I
> > was chatting with an adult college friend of mine who mentioned we had
> just
> > installed Snood at CSS. Her response was "OhMyGod, I was so addicted to
> > that game--now I can't stand the sight of it." She's an adult, and a
> bright
> > and successful one by any standard.
> >
> > I don't see where a kid who is a free to choose how to use his or her
time
> > would handle it any differently.
> >
> > Peter
> > (apologies if my rant seems repetitive with joe's)
Received on Sun Mar 02 2003 - 13:30:04 EST

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