[Discuss-sudbury-model] Is this correct?

From: David Rovner <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Sat May 10 15:05:01 2003

Is the following declaration correct?

~ David

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Small Schools and Democratic Practice
http://edheretics.gn.apc.org/EHBchassd.htm
by Clive Harber

Small schools are an international experience, for they exist in large countries and small, rich countries and poor. They also exist in public sectors and private. Despite being so common, they have both advocates and opponents. Those in favour applaud their personal atmosphere and their democratic role at the centre of local communities. Those against believe the accountants' claim that they have high unit costs, a claim that is in dispute. It is also asserted that they can only offer a restricted curriculum, a claim increasingly weakened by the changes in communications and computer technology.
The issue of school size is not merely a matter of numbers. Comparing authoritarian schools that happen to be small, with authoritarian schools that are large, in terms of which is most 'effective', results in a futile debate because deliberate and planned attempts to create small schools have often been associated with aims and values quite different from those found in the majority of larger schools.

This book, therefore, examines the issue of school size in relation to a democratic ideology of education. What is it about a small school that facilitates the development of democratic behaviours and values? Small schools, it is argued, may well be a better investment for contemporary society because they can more easily educate for the democratic and flexible people required for the next century, and more easily avoid the risk of creating the large numbers of alienated and apathetic, or hostile and vengeful young people associated with large schools.

Dr. Clive Harber is Professor of Education,University of Natal.
Received on Sat May 10 2003 - 15:04:54 EDT

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