Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring

From: Helena Chester <hchester_at_winnet.com.au>
Date: Fri Aug 22 05:48:00 2003

Thank you for sharing this with me, Carol. I am excited at having found an
Australian school that I am in the process of making arrangements to visit.

Helena
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carol Hughes" <carolhughes1_at_earthlink.net>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2003 9:48 AM
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring

> "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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Received on Fri Aug 22 2003 - 05:47:42 EDT

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