Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Fairhaven, "R" rating

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Fri May 14 08:21:00 2004

I have frequently said it before, so I won't post the long
version of my arguments here -- for that visit these

The short version:

 It's funny that in media, most people consider it a _good_
thing when a book or film moves an adult to tears or shivers
-- but those same people are afraid of the notion that a
child might seek fulfilment by toying with media that
inspire bittersweet or negative feelings.
 There are many themes that are omnipresent in our daily
lives -- including violence. If one can't form one's
relationship to and understanding of violence as a child,
when _can_ they safely consider or 'play with' the ideas
behind the darker aspects of our culture?
 There is a fascinating book about the kind of play that
children in concentration camps engaged in -- unfortunately
I forget the reference. Children in any environment --
including horrible nightmarish environments -- play at and
develop their skills and play styles to hone survival skills
that they need in both the short and long term. One game
played by children in the concentration camps, for example,
consisted of the child who was 'it' closing his (I don't
recall if girls played the game) eyes in the center of a
circle, when another child hit him hard in the face. Then,
'it' was expected to -- by looking at the expressions on
others' faces -- guess who had hit him.

On developmental stages:

 To be sure, people _do_ change, and are more or less
prepared to muse over or think about certain issues at
different ages.
 But one thing that we know for certain -- each child has a
better handle on what 'stage' s/he is in, and what s/he
needs, than any outside authority. It was just a few years
ago that a cognitive psychologist proved Piaget wrong about
'object permanence' being aquired ~7 years old, and showed
signs of it in 2 month olf infants!
 It is the height of arrogance for developmental
psychologists to say that we know enough about brain
development to make _prescriptions_ on the basis of the tiny
bits we think that we have proofs for!

On Thu, 13 May 2004, Sally Rosloff wrote:

> I just read the article in Education Week about Fairhaven. What did you
> all think of it? Was the part about anyone being able to watch R rated
> movies and play any video game correct? If so, I'm curious about the
> thinking behind it being okay for the youngest children to watch violent
> and graphically disturbing images.
> From all the reading and thinking I've been doing, I have come to
> understand and agree with the idea that everyone, regardless of age, has a
> vote and can participate in running the school and also that everyone, no
> matter how young, can be in touch with and follow their interests, desires,
> and passion. But it has been my experience that 5, 6, and 7 year olds are
> not little adults in their emotional maturity and ability to understand and
> process. In all the books that I have been reading, Sudbury and other
> related ones, I haven't seen much about developmental stages. I know there
> is not as much a need to be concerned with them since each individual
> follows their own time line but it still seems to me that there are in fact
> stages around cognitive development and moving into more abstract
> understanding. So, I'm interested in the thinking about this for Sudbury
> schools.
> Thanks.
> Sally

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
You may easily play a joke on a man who likes to argue --
agree with him.
-- Ed Howe
Received on Fri May 14 2004 - 08:19:12 EDT

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