Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning to think.

From: Richard Berlin <>
Date: Thu Sep 4 14:00:01 2003

> Thank you for your perspective. It is good to have diversity in
> organisations so that people can have more choices. I would never
> want only
> one type of system and no choices in ANY area--education, religion,
> politics.

Diversity is much more than "people having choices." And, although
organizations benefit from diversity, they are fundamentally also
threatened by it. Organizations, by their nature, cannot create
diversity but they are very successful at limiting or destroying it.
This happens--reliably--even if nobody in the organization actually
*intends* to do so.

An educational organization which "sets standards" and applies them
to students can only be decreasing diversity by so doing. And therefore
the output of that educational organization is going to be people who
all think more or less alike--even if they all "laterally think" alike.

This is an inherent cost of intervention. It is a very difficult cost
to perceive from inside the system. And it is becoming increasingly
clear that the "sameness" we are producing is bad for the planet and
bad for our souls.

> There is a lot I want to learn from the Sudbury model, and I can see
> ways I
> can improve things in my classroom by incorporating some of these
> things
> (and I have actually already been doing some of them, but not as
> expertly).
> However, there is no need or even desirability to totally replicate
> another
> system. Informed choice is about presenting the different
> perspectives and
> allowing people to make their own minds up. I am glad that you can do
> that.

I would submit that you are working inside an educational system that
does not want you to make your own mind up. If you are truly able to
do so anyway, then you have "failed" to learn Gatto's six lessons.
Congratulations...I hope you can turn out students whose failures
surpass your own. :-)

-- Rich
Received on Thu Sep 04 2003 - 13:59:24 EDT

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