RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring

From: Joe Jackson <shoeless_at_jazztbone.com>
Date: Thu Aug 21 18:40:00 2003

Helena,

In my experience, nobody has to "do as they're told" in the macro unless
they are confined by their own self-expectations. Therefore,
communicating to students that they are not fully in control when they
enter the "real world" is possibly the most damaging lie we can tell
them.

The Sudbury environment prepares kids to live in a world where they are
limited only by their expecations, rather than spending an entire
lifetime learning this single most important life lesson.

Best,

Joe

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
> [mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org] On Behalf Of
> Helena Chester
> Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2003 3:53 PM
> To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring
>
>
> Hi Joe
>
> I'm a great believer in the concept that we should be
> preparing our students to "make jobs" rather than "take
> jobs", and many of the foundational skills required are
> fostered better by a Sudbury model of education. However,
> there will always be a substantial proportion of people in
> the future who will need to "take" jobs, and working for
> others is usually constrained by clearly defined boundaries.
> I have a lot of professional freedom in my work, but I
> accept that I can't always do things the way I think are
> best, or that even work best for me. How does the Sudbury
> model prepare students for a world where their idealism and
> creativity might be appreciated, but may not be practical to
> implement, and they have to basically "do as they are told".
>
> Helena
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Joe Jackson" <shoeless_at_jazztbone.com>
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Sent: Friday, August 22, 2003 5:22 AM
> Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring
>
>
> > Helena,
> >
> > Cooperative and collaborative skills only need to be taught
> to people
> > who have only had access to a learning environment wherein people
> > external to them were in charge of guiding them. I think that you
> > would find that guiding students only robs them of the
> opportunity to
> > develop such skills on their own, if only you would give them the
> > chance to fully take charge of their learning experiences.
> >
> > But our experience is that you cannot replicate this
> phenominon in a
> > learning environment unless the students are truly given
> charge over a
> > period of years.
> >
> > In any case, we see these skills (cooperative, collaborative) and
> > relationships (mentoring) develop & form naturally and organically
> > every single day in our schools without an ounce of pressure from
> > staff.
> >
> > But it can only take place if you trust that the students will
> > inevitably get there, if they are allowed to have
> responsibility for
> > choosing how.
> >
> > Good luck,
> >
> > Joe Jackson
> > Fairhaven School
> > Upper Marlboro, Maryland
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
> > > [mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org] On Behalf
> Of Helena
> > > Chester
> > > Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2003 2:07 PM
> > > To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> > > Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring
> > >
> > >
> > > Hi Bruce
> > >
> > > Thank you for the welcome and the response to my question on
> > > mentoring.
> > >
> > > I teach in a state school in Tasmania and we are in the
> process of
> > > implementing an approach to education that fosters the creativity
> > > and uniqueness of the individual through open ended "projects".
> > >
> > > I am also contemplating a Master of Education (Honours)
> by research
> > > focus, and I want to do it in an area related to democratic
> > > classrooms and mentoring by peers as well as adults. I
> can relate to
> > > what you are saying about not "assigning" mentors, but I
> also feel
> > > that just as cooperative and collaborative working skills
> need to be
> > > taught (even to adults), generic mentoring skills need to
> be taught
> > > to make the best use of everyone's personal resources.
> And because
> > > I want my students to be part of a self-managed classroom, I
> > > want them to have the opportunity to learn these skills, just
> > > as I value any professional development I am offered.
> > >
> > > I look forward to more interaction on this, as well as
> issues such
> > > as developing and respecting boundaries, and accountability.
> > >
> > > I liked your quote from John Shelby Spong. He is one of
> my favourite
> > > authors.
> > >
> > > Sincerely
> > > Helena
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Bruce Smith" <bsmith_at_coin.org>
> > > To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> > > Sent: Friday, August 22, 2003 2:14 AM
> > > Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > > 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.
> > > > >
> > > > >Helena
> > > >
> > > > ------------------------------------------
> > > > "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_
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
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Received on Thu Aug 21 2003 - 18:39:51 EDT

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