Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring

From: Carol Hughes <carolhughes1_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Thu Aug 21 19:54:00 2003

"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."
Helena

Hi Helena,

The answer for my children who grew up at a SVS (who are now 18, 23 and 25)
is that they do not "do as they are told" just out of hand. They do what is
needed to get the job done that is around them, but they question management
and discuss their work environment freely, they are very very good workers
and have all heard numerous comments to that affect. They are clearly
motivated to succeed in whatever circumstances they find themselves,
however, they absolutely will not accept unfair, inferior, disorganized
circumstances from anyone just because they happen not to be the one
designated in charge. Boundaries are always a mutually agreed upon
phenomenon. Therefore, if a child grows up in an environment where they
have been freely working on boundaries and cooperation among their peers,
there is no better way to find out what works and what doesn't. Rather than
a world of idealism and creativity alone, the Sudbury model is a real world,
a community where the people there are putting their every effort every day
into inventing their world. Once they leave the Sudbury school, they just
continue to do what they were already doing there. Was it Kozol, in
"Teaching as a Subversive Activity" who said when asked how do children
manage in the real world if life "isn't that way", replied, "the world isn't
any damn way". I totally concur.
Carol Hughes

> 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. . 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 - 19:53:08 EDT

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