[Discuss-sudbury-model] Philosophy (was Paradigms)

From: Carol Hughes <hughes0005_at_comcast.net>
Date: Sun Jul 25 09:13:00 2004

Hi Harlan,
Explaining the SVS model to skeptical people should be kept to a minimum for
your own sanity. Status quo is what the masses seek despite incredible
evidence that change is needed in our educational systems. I was once doing
a music class with 3-5 year olds. This was in one of the wealthiest
communities in the Boston area - Wellesley. One of the parent/teachers
crossed her arms and said, "I can't watch your class", and walked out. What
was so difficult to watch? I would pile a mountian of musical instruments
on the gym floor, let the kids pick which ones they wanted to try, give one
of them a baton and show them how to direct 4/4 time and watch what happens.
Then, of course, the totally radical thing I did was to tell her four year
old that he could sit across from us and play with whatever else if he
didn't want to participate. Terrifying eh? Is it a surprise that her son
was considered a behavior problem cause he wasn't cooperative? Hey, he was
four and ya gotta get that structure in there right away - this was her
paradigm. So much of educational values are based on fear. I would ask
your skeptical audience what they most fear in the educational process.
What induced the most fear in them from their own experiences in school?
The number one question is always always, will they be prepared for college.
When did college become the one and only indicator of a successful
education? It is as though schools exist to feed consumers into other
schools, and how many of the graduates become part of this system of
creating more and more students? People almost never ask what kind of human
being your child is. Just, what grade are they in, and where did they go to
college. How silly this is. In your last 25 or 30 exchanges with adults,
how many of them talked about college or what their degree is in? When do
we get to the real stuff? How confident, competent, compassionate and
productive are you? That's what I want to know. I still remember feeling
like a fish out of water when I got a job in the corporate world that very
first September in my life when I was no longer a student. I felt like I
was on another planet being among groups of people who were not my exact
age. I couldn't have articulated it, but I felt a total lack of relevance
between my experience in the working world and all the materials I had been
studying for a jillion years. What do parents want for their children? Can
they think outside of the box and imagine their child's life after any
school at all? Most cannot. It takes guts to do things differently with
your kids. But damn it if you don't show some guts to your kids how will
they develop them?
Stepping off band box (but only for a moment)
Carol
Received on Sun Jul 25 2004 - 09:12:36 EDT

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