Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring

From: Helena Chester <hchester_at_winnet.com.au>
Date: Fri Aug 22 05:50:02 2003

I appreciate this perspective and am looking forward to spending some time
at a Sudbury school in Australia in September.

Thanks
Helena
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Jackson" <shoeless_at_jazztbone.com>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2003 8:37 AM
Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Mentoring

> 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 Fri Aug 22 2003 - 05:48:41 EDT

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