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

From: Christopher Weeks <clweeks_at_eclipse.net>
Date: Mon Nov 29 22:23:00 2004

Todd Pratum wrote:

> 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?

No.

The universe, our environment, will either impress some value upon them
or it will not. And the degree to which it does so will be in direct
proportion to the value of the skills in question. If literacy is so
damned important, then young people can't help but notice it. If it is
not, then you are merely a romantic pushing your special interest.
Either way, intervention of the type I believe you are suggesting can
only muddy the waters for the students -- causing them to make less
informed decisions and causing them to (rightly) trust you (as a parent
or an "educator") less.

> Just as we need social pressure to not steal, to be healthy, to be civil?

What is to need? And even if we accept that we "need" these things
along with literacy, I haven't seen proof that these needs are only
satisfied as a result of social pressure. And even if they are, so
what? That social pressure is present and strong. Do you imagine that
any rational being would look at our society and simply opt not to learn
to read?

I am not qualified to speak authoritatively "to what the Sudbury
position is on literacy" but my answer would be, "literacy happens."

Chris
Received on Mon Nov 29 2004 - 22:22:03 EST

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