RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Values?

From: Alan Klein <>
Date: Tue Apr 20 15:37:00 2004


I am sitting in a hotel room in Flint, Michigan, preparing for an MBTI
workshop I am facilitating tomorrow with a local foundation, so your
question particularly struck me as relevant!

There are three important rules when applying the MBTI paradigm:

1. Don't confuse who you are (your MBTI type) with what you do. We all have
an underlying type. Knowing this type helps us make informed choices about
how we use and apply our energy and attention. It does NOT mean we HAVE to
do anything in particular or that we CANNOT do other things or that we
necessarily NEED one thing or another.

2. See Rule #1.

3. I said, see Rule #1!

A democratic school provides a real life setting in which kids can learn
more about themselves, their likes and dislikes, and their learning needs
and wishes. All kids, of all types, will benefit. Those who prefer more
structure in their lives will create that structure. Those who prefer less
obvious structure will create that. In fact, each of those two types will
benefit by watching and learning from the other. This goes for all other
elements of the MBTI paradigm, as well.

My "reading" of The Albany Free School is that it is not as democratic as
The Highland School or SVS. In his book, Chris Mercogliano talks about a
math class in which the kids, who do not really want to be there, act out.
While he adapts and seems to learn from it, such a situation would not occur
in a democratic school -- the kids would not be there if they didn't want to
be there.

As to "impose" vs. "expose". They are in some ways the same, as both involve
a degree of power, manipulation, and assumed superiority of the imposer or
the exposer. If I impose something on you, it is more obvious that I believe
that I, being superior to you in at least some variety of power, have the
ability and right to force you to do something. If I "expose" you to
something that you have not asked for, I am assuming that I have superior
knowledge and know what is best for you.

There is a third and a fourth option, however. I can simply do what I do in
your general presence, without attempting to "expose" you to it. You may or
may not pick up on it. This is what I refer to above when I talk about the
kid who likes less structure learning from the kid who likes more structure
(and vice versa).

I can also simply ASK you if you would like to do something or other. This
asking, of course, requires that you have the absolute right to easily say
"No". I say "easily" as the power differential between adult and child can
be quite imposing. Similarly, when I do sexual harassment prevention
training we talk a lot about dating in the workplace. In this case, it is
pretty well agreed that bosses ought not to date their subordinates. It is
just too difficult to make sure that the subordinate can easily say "No."

Great discussion!
~Alan Klein

-----Original Message-----
Sally Rosloff
I see why my question might have been misleading. What I think I'm still
working through are the possible nuances between impose and expose. I
certainly know what it means to impose but from some of the exchanges
around here I get the impression that what I might consider to be exposing,
some might consider imposing. So.

I just read "Making It Up As We Go Along" about the Albany Free School and
am thinking about differences...they seem to talk more about working with
emotional difficulties, about feelings and about having built a community
around the school.

Also, I've been talking about the free, democratic school model with some
folks who want to start a new school and one of their questions had to do
with temperament types as in the Myers-Briggs model. This person was
wondering about different types needing different things, and that it might
be harder for some people to start from nothing so to speak, that perhaps
they do better with some things to choose from. I get a bit confused that
free schools, if they offer anything, seem to offer art and music and
perhaps cooking, but why those over other things? Ugh, I'm having trouble
writing this. Is my question making sense?
Received on Tue Apr 20 2004 - 15:36:09 EDT

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