RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Where to begin?

From: JoLynne Martinez <>
Date: Sun Nov 28 14:32:00 2004

My understanding from psychology (Howard Gardner's work primarily) is that
musical and mathematical intelligences are linked. Learning music is
considered to be excellent training for mathematical thinking and vice


Personally, although I don't often use math in my current life and do rely
on other people and technology to assist me in this area, I regret that I do
not know more. I was brought up in an artistic family being told I didn't
need to know math and that I was simply too artistic to be able to
understand it. I think there was also some gender bias there: It's not
feminine to know too much about math.


Now at age 44, I regret listening to all these messages. One of my personal
goals is to learn more about math, and I have been doing some reading in
this area. Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), now that I have stopped
listening to those discouraging messages, I find math isn't really that
difficult, at least what I've attempted so far. And it's fascinating.


Best wishes,




[] On Behalf Of Carol Hughes
Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2004 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Where to begin?


Hi Susan,

It is no surprise to me that your artistic daughter doesn't care for math.
Our very artistic nineteen year old daughter who is brilliant, creative,
sings, plays the piano, paints, writes well and has great wisdom with human
behavior will probably never do math unless it is mandated by some outside
authority. Right-brain oriented people simply don't respond to the
abstract,symbol oriented world. In my humble opinion, they don't need it.
Peculiar learning style, or just one this teacher doesn't relate to from her
limited experience in the world. A traditionally trained teacher cannot
easily change their stripes. I once visited a Montesorri school with a
friend of mine and my three year old in tow. When we went into the
classroom my son picked up a couple of the neat looking Montesorri things.
The teacher quietly took them from him and put them back. So, from that one
gesture I advised my friend to look again carefully. Have you read Maria
Montesorri's biography? Some of the things teachers are doing in these
schools would absolutely cause her to "turn over in her grave". Make no
mistake about it, a Sudbury Valley School is as real as it gets. If you
can, try not to make a big deal out of the subject. Let her try it as much
as she can stand and then consequences be "%^&*&^%". The decision to make
certain subjects a must for children is simply arbitrary. In truth your
daughter can hire a good accountant who loves numbers if she needs the
service. Calculators and computers can do the rest. She can live her
entire life without knowing squat about math. Man, do I hate the words
"failure to perform". It's definately not okay for your daughter to be
described that way. Seems to me the "failure to perform" is the school's.
Keep questioning. Trust your instincts. I would lose the tutoring. Tell
her the school is not equipped to deal with her way of thinking and that's
okay. Making her feel like there is some kind of defect, or fire to put out
will stay with her for a lifetime. Ah, but mom taking a stand and backing
off on her behalf... that will stay with her for a lifetime too.

Just my opinion,


Received on Sun Nov 28 2004 - 14:31:12 EST

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