Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring

From: Bruce Smith <>
Date: Thu Aug 21 12:32:00 2003

Hi, Helena. Welcome to the list!

I wonder whether you have something particular in mind when you say
"mentoring". As a staff member at a Sudbury school, I honestly don't think
so much about "effective teaching and learning [strategies]." My job is
more a matter of helping people when asked, building the community,
respecting individuals' right to do their own thing and expecting them to
do so responsibly. Does this intersect with your understanding of
mentoring? I don't know.

In the absence of a shared understanding of the term, I would think that
"mentoring" relates reasonably well to what goes on within the Sudbury
model. Certainly staff are expected to be positive role models, and in the
absence of contrived barriers between adults and students (and among
students), there is a great deal of room for everyone to get to know each
other as people, to build relationships.

Sure, there is plenty of mentoring going on at Sudbury schools; yet it's
not a formal strategy or policy. We don't assign people mentors, but
mentoring does occur spontaneously, indirectly, and/or sporadically.
Mentoring at Sudbury schools happens when it happens, and students are
always free to (and often do) pursue their own activities without the
involvement or even the presence of older/more experienced people.

I hope this begins to address your question.

Bruce Smith
Alpine Valley School

At 07:57 AM 8/21/2003 +1000, you wrote:
>Hi, I'm new to this list, and am interested in Mentoring as an effective
>teaching and learning strategy. I'm wondering how mentoring fits into the
>Sudbury philosophy and practice.

"Religion is, therefore, not what we have always thought it to be. Religion
is not a system of belief. It is not a catalogue of revealed truth. It is
not an activity designed to control behavior, to reward virtue, and to
punish vice. Religion is, rather, a human attempt to process the God
experience, which breaks forth from our own depths and wells up constantly
within us."

         -- John Shelby Spong, _Why Christianity Must Change or Die_
Received on Thu Aug 21 2003 - 12:31:47 EDT

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