Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Sudbury & literacy

From: <>
Date: Mon Nov 29 20:37:00 2004

In a message dated 11/29/2004 6:03:26 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

I am fully committed to the
idea that children have to learn according to their own volition, and at
their own self-chosen pace, under their own terms, most certainly! But
at the same time don't we need to impress upon them the value and
importance of literacy? Congruent to this shouldn't there be at least
some social pressure to be literate?

Well, here is a logical contradiction, writ large. (Yes, that is proper
English.) One cannot be "fully committed" to children learning "according to
their own volition, etc." and at the same time promote the necessity "to
impress upon the value and importance of literacy" -- or of any other pet subject;
or exert "social pressure" to be literate or anything else. My right to
pursue interests according to my own volition implies explicitly my right to be
free of anyone's social pressure to meet their agendas.
You write, "I've spent most of my life with books and
scholarship (as a bookdealer, collector, and constant reader), and it
seems a pity to me if, with our 'radical' educational philosophies, we
are to deny the universe of written wisdom and experience, the writings
of Lucretius, and Bede, and Joyce, to all but a small group of people
who are naturally gifted (i.e. to not encourage people to learn proper
language skills, even if they don't want to)." Well and good - you have
chosen a way to spend most of your life, and you should be pleased to have had
the opportunity to do so. But you should be just as comfortable with anyone
else's decision about how to spend _their_ lives, and accord them the same
respect you wish to receive.
By the way, where did you get the idea that Sudbury schools "deny the
universe of written wisdom, etc." to their students? That is news to me. On the
contrary, Sudbury schools _permit_ all universes to be explored without
prejudice, and it seems to me the world would be a lot better off if all
educational institutions followed that example, rather than promoting a narrow agenda
that exalts certain pursuits (always and exclusively those engaged in by the
teachers in those institutions, by coincidence) and denigrates others, or
humiliates people who do not subscribe to the chosen list.
Dan Greenberg, Sudbury Valley
Received on Mon Nov 29 2004 - 20:36:10 EST

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