[Discuss-sudbury-model] Values?

From: Sally Rosloff <sallyr_at_socal.rr.com>
Date: Sun Apr 11 17:41:01 2004

Hello All,

I have been reading about 7 publications I bought from the Sudbury
Press. Have been thinking and talking a lot with my husband about it
all. I am involved with a few people thinking of starting a school but not
Sudbury and now that I find myself drawn to that model I am working on
being articulate and able to answer questions.

So, one of the things that came up in talking with my husband was that of
values. What might be perceived as an "agenda." It seems to me that this
is separate from learning per se...it's not the how of learning but the
what. For example, we think it important for our children to know about
social injustice, the history of democracy in this country and the history
of injustice in the world. We belong to a Unitarian Universalist
congregation where my husband is head of the Religious Education program
(very small!) and they include having the kids go to help serve
Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to the homeless through a local church
program, as well as helping with other similar programs throughout the year.

I suppose you could say children are exposed to such things, or not,
through their families or in other way outside of school. But we would
like to think that awareness of these issues could be included in school as
well. I see the wonderful outcome of the Sudbury model from the reading
where graduates are attune to issues of justice and ethics from having been
treated respectfully and ethically themselves...hallelujah! At the same
time we think it important for people to be aware of the history of
democracy in this country and the current state of rights for people,
children included. Is this something that if I were a staff member,
children would get exposed to simply because this is a passion of mine and
I would be living it? Is the idea of doing something as a school, say for
Martin Luther King Day, ruled out because someone might not be interested
in it? I need some help understanding this.

I was also struck, when reading about the plasticene play in the early
days, that it seemed to be the boys playing. What may have appeared to be
disinterest by the girls may actually have been the result of cultural
messages that it is not something girls do. Similar to the current issue
of not enough girls going into math or using the computer. My daughter is
the only girl taking an extracurricular class on creating computer games in
a class of 21. Her older brother included her in his interest and she is
now interested. I doubt that in general girls are not interested because
they are born female. I guess I'm saying that we live in a world where the
matter of interest is not pure and is anything done proactively to watch
out for and counteract those negative influences.

Once again, thanks for thought, input as I grow in understanding.
Sally
Received on Sun Apr 11 2004 - 17:40:29 EDT

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