Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragement (was Reading) (was:Re: Lack of interest?)

From: Alan Klein <alan_at_klein.net>
Date: Wed Mar 17 09:15:00 2004

I may have a different take on this one than some here do. In the context of
the relationship between and among people in a democratic school, I really
have no problem with a school-related example similar to your hiking one.

You had the freedom to decline your spouse's request and to reject his
advice and encouragement. Similarly, in a democratic school, all members
have the freedom to decline and reject. Therefore, I don't think it's a
problem for staff members to share their perspectives with students. In
fact, I hope that students do the same with staff and, in my years of
experience at The Highland School, they do so.

That said, we are talking about a relationship and about "art", rather than
"science. There are no hard and fast rules or guidelines. It is very much at
the core of what makes a good staff member in a democratic school and what
does not.

I fully understand that the ubiquitous culture has a very different view of
the power balance between student and staff. It is incumbent on staff to err
on the side of caution in this regard. The beauty of the situation is that
if a staff member oversteps, it is likely that they will not remain staff
members very long - the system is self-healing.

~Alan Klein

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sally Rosloff" <sallyr_at_socal.rr.com>
> So, I'm still wondering about the encouragement thing. I think I
> understand your viewpoint Carol about the lack of fear in Sudbury
> students...I'm working on it and from reading the posts I'm getting the
> idea that the culture/environment that is created with this model is very
> powerful and creates room for alternatives that are hard to imagine coming
> from outside it...thus the kinds of questions those of us outside it ask.
>
> I could use some more comments on the example I gave about hiking to help
> me keep working this through and understanding it.
Received on Wed Mar 17 2004 - 09:14:47 EST

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