[Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: Discuss-sudbury-model digest, Vol 1 #167 - 6 msgs

From: Myra Hunter <myrahunter27_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Mon May 17 00:50:00 2004

Just have to interject my thoughts at this point. My mentor, Greg Baer, (for more info, please check out www.gregbaer.com) credits the true happiness of anyone to whether they have experienced real love, or unconditional love, the kind freely given, not bartered or bought. Acceptance is a big piece of that. It sounds like the goal of a Sudbury Valley type school is truth, freedom and acceptance. Pretty cool. Responsibility also comes into play, once one's needs for love are filled. I am learning that watching "R" rated movies has never contributed one whit to my peace nor happiness and as such I don't choose to watch them. I teach my 5 year old son to know by observing his feelings if something is "right" or not. That is our built-in guidance detector. Doing and thinking the right thins leads to happiness; doing and thinking the wrong things leads to unhappiness. Good choices/good consequences, wrong choices/not so good consequences. This has proven to be essential in my
 life. If my goal is happiness, peace and joy then any choice which does not result in happiness, peace and joy would logically be wrong. We each get to decide and choose for ourselves based on our experiences. As a recent college graduate minoring in education I can tell you that even though public schools may create mission statements such as helping their students to learn critical thinking skills and problem solving, those words sound good but there is not much truth to them. No student in the public education experiences any freedom to make choices of their own and how else could we possibly learn?

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Today's Topics:

1. Re: Fairhaven, "R" rating (Mr Richard Berlin)
2. Re: Fairhaven, "R" rating (Scott David Gray)
3. Re: Fairhaven, "R" rating (Tay Arrow Sherman)
4. Re: Fairhaven, (wmvh)
5. Re: R rated stuff, etc. (Dannyasher_at_aol.com)
6. Re: R rated stuff, etc. (Sally Rosloff)

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Message: 1
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 20:43:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mr Richard Berlin
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Fairhaven, "R" rating
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

> 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.

Daniel Greenberg's book on childrearing does talk
about developmental stages, but he only goes about
as far as age four. I shouldn't speak for him...but
he seems to consider that to be the "magic age" at
which language and cognition are fully developed.
beyond that he considers the difference between
ages to be primarily attributable to experience.

My child is just approaching four...and I have to
say, I see the truth in what Daniel is saying.

I'm sure someone with direct experience will answer
soon, but I'll add one thought now: the mechanism I
have witnessed--at our local Sudbury school--for
deciding whether individuals should be allowed to
do things is a "certification" process. For example,
anyone can cook with a sharp knife, once they have
passed a test which demostrates that they have
the requisite skill to use it safely.

This is an ingenious solution to a wide range of
issues. (It seems to accomodate developmental
differences in a much fairer way than simple
age limits, for example.) So my question is:
could you imagine a reasonable, measurable
and non-ageist set of guidelines for deciding
who can and can't handle "R" rated content?

If so, what are they? And if not, why not?

-- Rich

--__--__--

Message: 2
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 08:19:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Scott David Gray
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Fairhaven, "R" rating
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

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

http://www.sudval.org/users/sdg/archives/dsm6/0163.html

http://www.sudval.org/users/sdg/archives/dsm7/0279.html

http://www.sudval.org/users/sdg/archives/dsm7/0285.html

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: sgray_at_sudval.org
http://www.unseelie.org/
============================================================
You may easily play a joke on a man who likes to argue --
agree with him.
-- Ed Howe
============================================================
--__--__--
Message: 3
From: "Tay Arrow Sherman" 
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 10:22:31 -0500
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Fairhaven, "R" rating
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
I'm a little surprised no one has brought this up yet, maybe I missed it and someone has...?
I think kids primarily want to see "R rated" films because they are forbidden and therefore more interesting. "What is this secret knowledge that seperates me from adults?" the kid asks themselves. As a child, I was allowed to see unrated foreign films (including ones with male nudity, which is so infinitely taboo in America), but not R-rated American movies, which I watched anyways when we visited friends who had cable and my parents weren't paying attention. I was a very squeamish kid who couldnt stand the sight of blood, and so of course the movie I happened to choose at random as my first R rated movie was about vampires eating each other. This provided me with numerous nightmares for years to come, and I probably would never have watched something like that--knowing full well at that age that blood and violence totally freaked me out--if the adults in my life hadn't set it up next to big bowls of ice cream, candy, and expensive gifts as 'the kind of thing that you dont g
et very much of'.
I remember at my work a while ago someone was talking about going around giving talks to young kids about vegetables and nutrition, where they would bring a wide variety of veggies to the talk and get the kids to try the veggies. At one school, none of the kids would try the radishes, because radishes were "gross". So at the next school, they set the radishes aside and told the kids not to worry about eating the radishes, that they probably wouldnt like them, and that other kids didnt like them. There was a mad scramble for the radishes and every single one was eaten. What's more, the kids all said that they liked them. If you think about how bland and boring radishes are--I personally hate them, I must admit--this becomes even more interesting. Children are like tycoons with their experiences. They seek out the things that seem forbidden because they are exploring the world, and the experiences that are harder to have must be pursued more furiously. We value gold and diamond
s because they are rare, and riches because they are so hard to come by. 
Also, what is this malarkey about sex, nakedness, and toilet humour being for "mature" audiences? Hahaha! Does anyone understand what that is about?? I think, personally, that giving something a "mature audience only" rating makes it isntantly infinitely more marketable to the demographic most interested in seeming more mature--people who, because of their age in years, are treated overall as second class citizens, and will be so until they reach maturity. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, since I can't remember the quote verbatim, when you grow up part of the set of childish things that you leave behind is the overwhelming desire to appear extremely 'adult'. However to elaborate on Lewis's point, I think thats not only a personal journey, but a matter of rights, respect, and the ability of humans to have their own capacities as they are and not as a standardized scale suggests that they should be. 
And in the end, no one, regardless of their age, should have problems telling the difference between fictional images and actual reality. If they do, they are schitzophrenic, and if they are schitzophrenic, they will find images to blur the lines with anywhere--if not in videogames and film, then in books and ads, if in no other form of media then in dreams and delusions, which they will have anyway if they are in fact schitzophrenic. Schitzophrenia runs in my family, and I have seen people, who do nothing all day but read the bible and do volunteer work for disabled children, have psychotic episodes where they can't tell whats real...trust me, it has nothing to do with video games!! :)
Peace,
Tay
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Message: 4
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Fairhaven, 
From: "wmvh" 
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 17:25:40 -0400 (EDT)
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
This is a bit of an aside but I heard of a report that found that the skills kids used playing video games are the same one doctors are using now during surgery using "waldoes" or mechanical hands. 
William Van Horn
http://inmystudio.net
--- On Fri 05/14, Tay Arrow Sherman < spiregrain_at_mad.scientist.com > wrote:
From: Tay Arrow Sherman [mailto: spiregrain_at_mad.scientist.com]
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 10:22:31 -0500
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Fairhaven, "R" rating
I'm a little surprised no one has brought this up yet, maybe I missed it and someone has...?
I think kids primarily want to see "R rated" films because they are forbidden and therefore more interesting. "What is this secret knowledge that seperates me from adults?" the kid asks themselves. As a child, I was allowed to see unrated foreign films (including ones with male nudity, which is so infinitely taboo in America), but not R-rated American movies, which I watched anyways when we visited friends who had cable and my parents weren't paying attention. I was a very squeamish kid who couldnt stand the sight of blood, and so of course the movie I happened to choose at random as my first R rated movie was about vampires eating each other. This provided me with numerous nightmares for years to come, and I probably would never have watched something like that--knowing full well at that age that blood and violence totally freaked me out--if the adults in !
my life hadn't set it up next to big bowls of ice cream, candy, and expensive gifts as 'the kind of thing that you dont g
et very much of'.
I remember at my work a while ago someone was talking about going around giving talks to young kids about vegetables and nutrition, where they would bring a wide variety of veggies to the talk and get the kids to try the veggies. At one school, none of the kids would try the radishes, because radishes were "gross". So at the next school, they set the radishes aside and told the kids not to worry about eating the radishes, that they probably wouldnt like them, and that other kids didnt like them. There was a mad scramble for the radishes and every single one was eaten. What's more, the kids all said that they liked them. If you think about how bland and boring radishes are--I personally hate them, I must admit--this becomes even more interesting. Children are like tycoons with their experiences. They seek out the thin!
gs that seem forbidden because they are exploring the world, and the experiences that are harder to have must be pursued more furiously. We value gold and diamond
s because they are rare, and riches because they are so hard to come by. 
Also, what is this malarkey about sex, nakedness, and toilet humour being for "mature" audiences? Hahaha! Does anyone understand what that is about?? I think, personally, that giving something a "mature audience only" rating makes it isntantly infinitely more marketable to the demographic most interested in seeming more mature--people who, because of their age in years, are treated overall as second class citizens, and will be so until they reach maturity. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, since I can't remember the quote verbatim, when you grow up part of the set of childish things that you leave behind is the overwhelming desire to appear extremely 'adult'. However to elaborate on Lewis's point, I think thats not onl!
y a personal journey, but a matter of rights, respect, and the ability of humans to have their own capacities as they are and not as a standardized scale suggests that they should be. 
And in the end, no one, regardless of their age, should have problems telling the difference between fictional images and actual reality. If they do, they are schitzophrenic, and if they are schitzophrenic, they will find images to blur the lines with anywhere--if not in videogames and film, then in books and ads, if in no other form of media then in dreams and delusions, which they will have anyway if they are in fact schitzophrenic. Schitzophrenia runs in my family, and I have seen people, who do nothing all day but read the bible and do volunteer work for disabled children, have psychotic episodes where they can't tell whats real...trust me, it has nothing to do with video games!! :)
Peace,
Tay
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--__--__--
Message: 5
From: Dannyasher_at_aol.com
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 21:06:45 EDT
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
-------------------------------1084583205
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
I can't believe how this subject keeps coming up, despite being addressed 
eloquently each time it appears (this time included). Nine lives, I guess.
At some point, I can't remember when, someone (I wish I could acknowledge the 
person by name) mentioned the book, "Killing Monsters: Why children NEED 
fantasy, super heroes, and make believe violence" by Gerard Jones. By 
coincidence, I am reading it now, and it is by far the finest, most comprehensive (one is 
tempted to say "definitive") exposition on the subject, from every 
conceivable angle, with lots of research data (including critiques of certain allegedly 
scientific studies) and anecdotal material. It is well written, and can 
calmly recommended to any person who wants to delve into the subject.
It's a shame to keep reinventing the wheel. If this subject really interests 
you, I urge you to get hold of the book.
Dan Greenberg
Sudbury Valley School
-------------------------------1084583205
Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
rset=3DUS-ASCII">
f">
I can't believe how this subject keeps comi=
ng up, despite being addressed eloquently each time it appears (this time in=
cluded).  Nine lives, I guess.
 
At some point, I can't remember when, someo=
ne (I wish I could acknowledge the person by name) mentioned the book, "Kill=
ing Monsters: Why children NEED fantasy, super heroes, and make believe viol=
ence" by Gerard Jones.  By coincidence, I am reading it now, and it is=20=
by far the finest, most comprehensive (one is tempted to say "definitive") e=
xposition on the subject, from every conceivable angle, with lots of re=
search data (including critiques of certain allegedly scientific studies)&nb=
sp;and anecdotal material.  It is well written, and can calmly recommen=
ded to any person who wants to delve into the subject.
 
It's a shame to keep reinventing the wheel.=
  If this subject really interests you, I urge you to get hold of the b=
ook.
 
Dan Greenberg
Sudbury Valley School
HTML>
-------------------------------1084583205--
--__--__--
Message: 6
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 13:21:40 -0700
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
From: Sally Rosloff 
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Hello All,
Below is my message to which there have been some replies:
<<<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 
=== message truncated ===
Merry Christmas,
Myra Hunter
		
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Received on Mon May 17 2004 - 00:49:59 EDT

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