Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] post-secondary

From: Carol Hughes <carolhughes1_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Sun Apr 27 11:17:00 2003

David,
You have put it so succinctly here. My first realization of these concepts
was in the first year of college - 1964. I was a music ed major. The
curriculum was basically one semester of everything. I quickly realized
that there was no time in my schedule to play the piano, which was my main
instument. It was an absurd way to prepare a music teacher and makes clear
why so many music teachers are absolutely terrible in the traditional school
setting. I dropped out after that and took only courses that I truly wanted
to learn from for a couple of years part time. I still remember that first
September when I was not going to enroll anywhere in anything. This thrill
came over me that I could read/study anything I wanted. I have never
stopped learning and growing and creating since that fall. I started
reading biographies and autobiographies and self-help books. The point of
all this being, that I needed to be out of school to start learning in ways
that are truly relevant to my life and desire for learning. As a result of
my journey, I am now a heck of music teacher and performer. But alas, I am
not certified, or should I say certifiable. So society leaves me no choice
but to pick up the slack from all the ill-prepared teachers out there.
Student after student comes to me for piano lessons, and my first job at
hand is getting them in touch with the joy of learning. I have to get them
while they're young if improvisation is to be considered. Little guys love
composing immediately. But give me a twelve + year old and it takes a few
months to get them comfortable with anything other than spoon-fed lessons.
A little six year old asked me if I was sure that it was okay that he choose
whether or not to practice a certain piece. I said, absolutely, I'm sure.
His question breaks my heart. The arts of our time are Madison-Avenue
driven. The schools are academic product/tenured teacher driven. Where has
the joy of learning gone? Where has the human spirit had to go for
expression? Tis a much longer subject than should be an email. I am
delighted to read your words of awareness. Those of us who are aware can
make a difference. Thanks ever so much for your thoughts. One encouraging
thing that is happening in Massachusetts is that communities have stopped
being willing to write blank checks to area schools for whatever building
and plans they present. Parents everywhere are getting fed up with the
inadequacies of their public schools. Too bad for millions of children that
reform has to come about in this way and that it has to take so long.

Carol

> The point with academic studies overall is not that they do or don't
offer
> some kind of apparent-illusive-pseudo freedoms: freedom of learning,
> academic freedom and/or any other kind of freedoms. The point is that
> universities are monopolies. As you sure know monopolies inflate and/or
> concert prices for their own profite and without the need to face free
> competition and to deal with a free market. In a similar manner - but with
> an almost unlimited support -- universities inflate the apparent/pretended
> value of studies and of degrees and hold the exclusiveness of permitting
or
> preventing people to practice specific professions and/or trades. All this
> is accomplished by the initiative and support of governments who "play the
> game" and make rules that permit the practice of these professions or
trades
> by persons that hold an academic or other degree granted/conferred by some
> institution of education, and prevent and/or limit the practice of these
> professions or trades by people that don't hold one.
> I believe you will agree with me that this situation is indeed a very
> non-proper and undesirable one considering we want to achieve some kind of
> justice and to get closer to some kind of equal opportunity in our
> societies.
>
> ~ David
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carol Hughes" <carolhughes1_at_earthlink.net>
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2003 5:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] post-secondary
>
>
> > Can anyone tell me why I'm just getting these posts on April 26th?
> > Carol Hughes
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Victoria Serda" <vserda_at_sympatico.ca>
> > To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> > Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2003 2:34 PM
> > Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] post-secondary
> >
> >
> > > I'd like to add that in Canada, at the University of Waterloo,
Ontario,
> > there is
> > > the Independent Studies Program (undergraduate degree-
> > > http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/interdis/independent/index.html) where the
> > student
> > > can design their own courses or mix with ones offered by the
university
> > (whether
> > > distance or on campus), and to get the undergraduate degree you do a
> > thesis.
> > > There are no grades or tests, no prerequisite courses, and students
have
> > > meetings one on one with professors. I just finished this program, and
> sat
> > on
> > > the admissions committee, so if anyone has questions, email me. UW was
> > listed by
> > > Macleans Magazine to be the #1 best overall university in Canada for
the
> > 11th
> > > year in a row. http://www.uwaterloo.ca/macleans/. This is the best
> program
> > I
> > > have ever heard of at an undergraduate level.
> > > Victoria Serda
> > >
> > > Joseph Moore wrote:
> > >
> > > > > From: Mike Sadofsky [mailto:sadofsky_at_attbi.com]
> > > >
> > > > > I am hardly an expert on the college and university scene, but
some
> > > > > folks talk about Hampshire and Goddard having a self-directed
> > > > > structure. And depending on what one wants, St. Johns may be a
> school
> > > > > to consider.
> > > > >
> > > > > Mike Sadofsky
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Not a SM grad, just a dad - going from a standard model high school
to
> > the
> > > > Great Books program at St. John's was quite a shock: there's this
huge
> > > > assigned reading list with a schedule for when and where you'll be
> > meeting
> > > > to discuss the works, virtually no tests, and 2-3 papers per
semester.
> > > > 'Tutors' sit at the table with the students in small groups.
Nobody's
> > > > following you around to make sure you get stuff done - you do or not
> do,
> > you
> > > > stay or not stay. My butt-in-the-desk busywork education up to that
> > point
> > > > did nothing to prepare me for this.
> > > >
> > > > I imagine that, if a 'classical' education is what a kid wants,
> Sudbury
> > > > would be far better prep for St. John's College than anything I did,
> > and,
> > > > assuming attitudes there have not changed too much over the last 27
> > (*gulp*)
> > > > years, they'd have little problem accepting a kid who wanted in
> > regardless
> > > > of diplomas and SAT scores they may or may not have.
>
>
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Received on Sun Apr 27 2003 - 11:16:57 EDT

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