[Discuss-sudbury-model] Fw: [savesummerhill] Re: a democratic school as a boarding school or as a day school . . . for Michael

From: David Rovner <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Sun Mar 2 16:16:00 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: <slowsnail2001_at_yahoo.co.uk>
To: <savesummerhill_at_yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 2:38 PM
Subject: [savesummerhill] Re: a democratic school as a boarding school or as
a day school . . . for Michael

> Dear David,
>
> First, just to address the issue of 'democratic' schools. I think
> this is an inappropriate title for Summerhill. It is a school based
> on rights. It can destroy its democratic structures and try
> alternative ways of running itself. It has in the past. And the way
> it appoints teachers, or runs its justice system has been changed, by
> the community from using the entire community to a jury system... The
> children, and staff, as equals, can explore and change the way the
> school is run.
>
> Getting to your question about boarding. The character of 'free'
> schools that are 'day' compared to 'boarding' are incredibly
> different. Summerhill safeguards the privacy of its children, so that
> they only have to be accountable to their parents as much as they
> want, the child controls the information getting to the parents.
> Parents are not allowed in classrooms, except with the permission of
> the children and teacher, they may visit and chat, but they do not
> have a role in the classroom. Indeed in the day to day running of the
> community the parents role is to stand back, allowing space for their
> child.
>
> A lot of our lives are defined by crossing boundaries, the
> preparation for the travelling, the getting there, and the arrival.
> And also the returning. Day children at Summerhill have different
> lives and expectations than boarding children. 'Why did you go to a
> school today?' is a different question as to 'why did you get-up?'
> The starting point of a day child and a boarder is therefore very
> different. This can be made more extreme by the frame put on it by
> the parent and such simple questions as 'what did you do at school
> today?' Making their day not only starting from a conscious set of
> objectives about doing and maybe being 'taught', but also a day in
> which accounting for what happened to an adult authority figure may
> be a part of its conclusion.
>
> I will keep this e-mail brief. It only starts to look at the issues
> of boarding and day. Summerhill is a boarding school as an integral
> part of its 'rights' foundation. This makes us extreme. This makes us
> a school very different from day schools. It does not mean we argue
> that this is the best, or that all schools should be boarding. But it
> makes us important, not as a model to copy, but as a model to explore
> issues of rights, freedoms, responsibilities, learning and family.
> Something we are actively doing with many state schools and their
> teachers and children.
>
> Best wishes
> Michael Newman
> Summerhill School
>
>
>
> --- In savesummerhill_at_yahoogroups.com, "David Rovner" <rovners_at_n...>
> wrote:
> > Michael, can you please elaborate on the subject: a democratic
> school as a boarding school or as a day school, advantages and
> disadvantages -- as you see it ?
> >
> > You surely must know that, in the beginning in Israel, kibbutzim
> had "the house of the children" where they learned, played, and
> slept, sort of a boarding system, even though children usually went
> to visit their parents in their "flats", in the afternoons. This
> lasted years beyond the influence of Soviet ideology. Recently young
> families in the kibbutzim have been *voting* this system away
> for "lina mishpajtit": sleeping at home, and by now almost all
> kibbutzim did that. Uncanny, isn't it?
> >
> > ~ David
Received on Sun Mar 02 2003 - 16:15:36 EST

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