RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]

From: Kelly Reynolds <kellyrey_at_bellsouth.net>
Date: Wed Mar 31 19:50:00 2004

Scott, would it be ok if I sent this post to a group of people I have been
discussing this with?

Kelly

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
> [mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org]On Behalf Of Scott David
> Gray
> Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 7:20 PM
> To: Discuss-Sudbury-Model Mailing List
> Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]
>
>
> On Wed, 31 Mar 2004, Sam Patton wrote:
>
> > Have you, or others you know, found that you hadn't
> > learned something that was needed later in life? I'm
> > thinking specifically of something like calculus or
> > algebra. Do a lot of the students (is that the right
> > term?) at SVS choose to learn that kind of thing?
>
> Nope. Certainly, when I was a student, I never chose to
> learn calculus. I did, however, want to calculate
> probabilities (trying to win a long-running war-game), and
> figured out how to do it (looking some things up in books).
> I never was motivated to 'learn calculus' -- I was motivated
> to solve the issue that I cared about right in front of me!
>
> Hrm, correction. I guess that I _have_ frequently realized
> that there was something that I wanted to know that I didn't
> know. It just never felt a handicap, because as soon as one
> _needs_ (or wants) to know, it's very easy to find out. I
> certainly don't think that I encounter difficult problems
> that I need to know more to solve any more (or any less)
> than most people. I do feel more confident in my ability to
> find out such things than most people in traditional school
> though (having not been misled into believing that such
> things are difficult).
>
> > Another question: you are free to just sort of sit around
> > and hang out. Do some students choose to spend their
> > entire school experience doing pretty much nothing? What
> > do you find motivated you?
>
> "Notihing" is a somewhat negative word, and hard to define.
> "Notihing" is a somewhat negative word, and hard to define.
> When I sit and talk with others about politics, science,
> theology, pop culture, etcetera, is that "nothing?" If so,
> then indeed many students do "nothing" for most of their
> career at SVS. When I sit and read fiction or watch movies
> with friends, or play games, is that "nothing?" If so, then
> many students do "nothing" at Sudbury schools.
>
> Many people think that "something" in a school means sitting
> down _in_order_ to acquire facts. In which case very, very
> few students at Sudbury schools ever do "somethinng."
>
> But facts are easy! Even learning to read -- something that
> traditional schools think takes 12 years -- is just a 26
> letter code. If you've ever chosen to study a foreign
> language with a non-latin alphabet, you know that learning
> to read takes DAYS or WEEKS at most. Most people at Sudbury
> Schools just absrob" reading the same way that infants
> absorb language -- very little actively trying to read, but
> happening naturally when struggling with the computer, video
> game, or being read to.
>
> Facts are easy. What's tough is balance, perspective,
> humanity, responsibility. You can't learn responsibility as
> easily in an environment where others are responsible for
> you. When you're responsible for yourself, then you learn to
> wrestle with the _real_ issues that face humanity. Kids who
> study for the SATs can get all the math they need to get
> into the college of their choice in a couple weeks. When
> someone first sits down to do his/her taxes s/he somehow
> figures out how to do them. Learning as it comes up is more
> natural, and much easier.
>
> People are motivated to do what people are motivated to do!
> Look at how kids spend their weekends, summers, and free
> time when in the company of other children. That's what kids
> do at SVS.
>
> I know that when I was a student at SVS, I was deeply
> motivated to do "nothing" all day, and was extraordinarily
> busy doing it! There were never enough hours in the day to
> have all the conversations, play all the games, fight all
> the (verbal) fights and horse around! Most people would call
> what I did with my time "nothing" -- I found the opposite,
> and that I never did more "nothing" then when I wasted four
> years in college passing tests and parroting back what
> professors and graduate students wanted to hear; it was so
> terribly anti-intellectual! SVS is _deeply_ intellectual,
> because it doesn't assume that people _need_ scheduled
> classes, grades or gold stars as incentives to _think_ and
> _feel_. This stuff is _innately_ interesting -- we don't
> have to cajole or persuade or force anybody to do anything!
>
> Sudbury schools are _not_ about motivating people to learn.
> They are about letting people learn as an aside to doing
> whatever it is that they are motivated to do. When I was a
> student, nothing external 'motivated' me; motivation -- all
> motivation -- is internal. Including the hokey motivation "I
> want to Ace this test" -- which inspires people to turn off
> their heads and to turn on their capacity to BS the tester.
>
> Side story: When I was a student at Boston College, one of
> my dearest friends, Father Madigan, was a professor who one
> day asked me 'why are you one of the only students who does
> the reading? don't they know that they could get better
> grades doing the reading?' I responded that I was an
> anal-retentive jerk who felt he should read it, but that I
> felt reading didn't have a lot to do with passing the tests.
> We made a gentleman's bet -- I would skip one of the
> readings at random, and _he_ would have to tell from my
> mid-term which reading I skipped. Suffice to say, I won the
> bet -- I aced that section of the mid-term, despite the fact
> that he asked an essay question (the hints for the answer he
> was expecting were embedded in the question).
>
> > sam
> >
> >
> > >From: Scott David Gray <sgray_at_sudval.org>
> > >Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> > >To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> > >Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]
> > >Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 08:23:39 -0500 (EST)
> > >
> > >I have often looked back at my life, certain that it would
> > >be a less happy one had I not attended SVS. Of course this
> > >is subjective -- I can't prove what would / could have been.
> > >But I know that I am not the only SVS alumnus who looks back
> > >at the path he was on in traditional school (self-hatred,
> > >boredom which was blamed on the self rather than the
> > >restraints around, total disrespect) and thinks that SVS
> > >almost certainly saved him from a life of crime,
> > >mind-altering addictions, and bitterness.
> > >
> > >On the more positive side... Other alumni who've gone on to
> > >college and I have talked about that experience. For each of
> > >us, we clearly found college easier than our contemporaries
> > >from traditional school (not that college matters, but hey).
> > >I think that there are two reasons. First, each of us
> > >watched our peers swimming waiting to be told when/how to
> > >get their readings / papers / etcetera done -- while each of
> > >us were used to being responsible for ourselves and
> > >therefore not waiting to be handheld. Second, each of us was
> > >able to take college with a sense of humor -- we all knew
> > >that the grades and tests were meaningless -- only games to
> > >be played or ignored, rather than things over which to tear
> > >ourselves apart. These experiences in college also seem to
> > >be mirrored by alumni who've gone on to various professions
> > >-- that they had a better sense of what was / wasn't
> > >important, and took charge of their needs themselves.
> > >
> > >Any disadvantages? Again, there's a problem trying to
> > >imagine what could have / would have been. But I guess that
> > >there is one disadvantage. Given the innate disrespect in
> > >which children are held in our wider culture, I know that I
> > >am not the only alumnus of the school who has lost friends
> > >in the wider community because we were unwilling to tolerate
> > >injustice. This actually tends to extend beyond injustice
> > >to kids -- SVS alumni tend to look with horror on injustice
> > >of all sorts, and so are much less prone to shrug and say
> > >'that's life' -- as such, SVS alumni are prone to have more
> > >people who deeply like and respect them, but also more
> > >people who disrespect them and think of them as arrogant or
> > >foreward because SVS alumni are generally more willing to
> > >'shake things up.'
> > >
> > >On Tue, 30 Mar 2004, Sam Patton wrote:
> > >
> > > > I completely agree that badly is in the eye of the beholder. My
> > >definition
> > > > would probably include whether they were happy after
> graduating. Were
> > >they
> > > > able to feel fulfilled and satisified living in the
> post-SVS world. In
> > >SVS,
> > > > everyone seems to be taken seriously and has a voice that
> is heard and
> > > > respected. Sadly, that is considerably different than most
> of society.
> > > >
> > > > I'd love to hear how SVS prepared you for post-SVS life.
> What have you
> > >done
> > > > post-SVS?
> > > >
> > > > sam
> > > >
> > > > >From: "Tay Arrow Sherman" <spiregrain_at_mad.scientist.com>
> > > > >Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> > > > >To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> > > > >Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]
> > > > >Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 17:57:38 -0500
> > > > >
> > > > >Hi Sam,
> > > > >
> > > > >Turning out badly is very much in the eye of the beholder,
> isnt it?
> > >Whats
> > > > >your definition, can we use that?
> > > > >
> > > > >If you'd like to ask me about how SVS prepared me for
> post-SVS life, I
> > > > >would be happy to have extended dialogue with you.
> > > > >
> > > > >Peace,
> > > > >Tay Arrow Sherman, SVS graduating class of 1996
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >Is there any information about people who went through a
> government
> > >type
> > > > >school or any other type of school and turned out badly? Pick any
> > > > >definition
> > > > >of badly you'd like :)
> > > > >
> > > > >~ David ;)
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >----- Original Message -----
> > > > >From: "Sam Patton" <sam_patton_at_hotmail.com>
> > > > >To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> > > > >Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 3:13 AM
> > > > >Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Sudbury Valley graduates who fail
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > > Is there any information about people who went through
> a Sudbury
> > >Valley
> > > > >type
> > > > > > school and turned out badly? Pick any definition of
> badly you'd
> > >like :)
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Sudbury Valley sounds too good to be true. I don't
> have any kids,
> > >but
> > > > >I'm
> > > > > > already arguing with my girlfriend about whether this
> would be a
> > >good
> > > > >way
> > > > >to
> > > > > > educate our "potential future" children. One of the
> things I'd like
> > >to
> > > > >know
> > > > > > is how the students turn out in later life. Do they miss out on
> > > > >anything
> > > > > > that they really needed that a more traditional school
> would have
> > > > >provided?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > sam
> > > > >--
> > > > >___________________________________________________________
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> > >
> > >--
> > >
> > >--Scott David Gray
> > >reply to: sgray_at_sudval.org
> > >http://www.unseelie.org/
> > >============================================================
> > >If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of
> > >them is doing the thinking.
> > >
> > >-- Lyndon Baines Johnson
> > >============================================================
> > >
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>
> --
>
> --Scott David Gray
> reply to: sgray_at_sudval.org
> http://www.unseelie.org/
> ============================================================
> A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight
> car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the
> whole railroad.
>
> -- Teddy Roosevelt
> ============================================================
>
>
>
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Received on Wed Mar 31 2004 - 19:49:37 EST

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