Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Great article from Ode magazine, pass it on!

From: David Rovner <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Mon Mar 28 07:52:00 2005

Thanks to Dilyara Breyer, from Big Rock Sudbury School, California, for
sending the link.
As the name says, you have a beautiful place there at Tierra Linda.

~ David,
Haifa, Israel.
Working for the advancement of democratic schools.
-----------------------------------
for Spanish speaking defenders of education in freedom, visit, read and
participate
in the forum, educación en libertad: SUMMERHILL
http://groups.msn.com/educacionenlibertadSUMMERHILL/

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dilyara Breyer" <dilyara_at_bigrock.org>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2005 9:12 AM
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Great article from Ode magazine, pass it
on!

> A nice article from one of the fast growing alternative magazine:
>
> http://www.odemagazine.com/article.php?aID=4050
>
>
> It is also pasted below for your convenience,
>
> Dilyara Breyer
> Big Rock Sudbury School, California
>
>
>
>
> In kids we trust
>
> Kim Ridley
> This article appeared in Ode issue: 21
>
>
>
> A new movement is increasingly grabbing attention: democratic
schools. What happens
> when children get a say in their own education? Kim Ridley went in search
of the answer
> for Ode.
>
>
> While his peers at other schools were memorizing their
multiplication tables, Ken
> Pruitt was lying on his back watching clouds, building tree forts with
friends, or poking
> around in the woods. Pruitt was no juvenile delinquent. He was a student
at the Sudbury
> Valley School near Boston, where children get to decide for themselves how
they want to
> spend each day.
>
> Come again? What does cloud watching or fort building have to do
with learning?
> Everything, according to Sudbury Valley's founders. "Children don't know
what they want to
> learn, they know what they want to do," says Mimsy Sadofsky, one of
several original
> founders who still work at the school. What children typically want to do
is play-which
> cognitive scientists say is one of the main ways human beings learn.
> "Learning teaches us what is known, play makes it possible for new
things to be
> learned," says David Elkind, Professor of Child Development at Tufts
University, and most
> recently author of The Hurried Child, All Grown Up and No Place to Go, and
Miseducation.
> "There are many concepts and skills that can only be learned through
play."
>
> Pruitt, who attended Sudbury Valley from ages six to seventeen,
enjoyed a "Huck Finn
> childhood". "I spent hours by myself climbing trees, walking on the
trails, sitting and
> observing," he says. He especially liked to perch on a tree leaning low
over a swamp and
> peer into the tea-colored water, watching fish and insects, frogs and
turtles go about
> their daily lives.
>
> He recalls sitting perfectly still on a stone wall in the woods to
watch for
> wildlife. A deer came so close he could almost touch it, and then a
raccoon. Something
> stirred in him that never would have happened had he been sitting behind a
desk. "Human
> beings, especially children before they' re programmed by society, are
open to seeing
> other living things in the world as equals instead of having the sense
that we're their
> masters. That's what set me on the course to want to preserve wild nature.
By the time I
> was fifteen, it was clear to me that I'd follow a career in wilderness
protection."
> Today, at age thirty-five, Pruitt is Executive Director of the
Massachusetts
> Association of Conservation Commissions. In a state that loses forty acres
a day to
> sprawl, his organization helps people in more than three hundred
communities protect the
> kinds of wetlands he loved as a child.
>
> A new survey of alumni from the Sudbury Valley School shows that
such idyllic school
> experiences has not harmed or hampered them as adults. Eighty-two percent
of graduates
> interviewed pursued further study such as college or trade school after
Sudbury Valley.
> The others said they were ready to enter the fields they planned to pursue
as adults.
> Alumni have become ballet dancers and farmers, physicians and circus
performers,
> carpenters, teachers, lawyers, farmers, entrepreneurs, musicians, clerks,
you name it.
>
> But the most important measures of success seldom have much to do
with college
> admissions or job titles. And that's where Sudbury Valley graduates like
Pruitt tend to
> excel. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said their lives reflect their
values. That's
> what the founders had in mind when they started the school in 1968.
Sadofsky and another
> founder, Daniel Greenberg, along with Jason Lempka, have just published a
new book, The
> Pursuit of
> Happiness: The Lives of Sudbury Valley Alumni. Of the past thirty-seven
years they write,
> "We believe that the school provides an environment that trains each
individual to think
> for themself, and to lead an examined life that is fulfilling, meaningful,
and fun."
> Sudbury Valley is the oldest existing democratic school in the U.S.
and the most
> widely imitated. It has no tests or grades and is run by a "school
meeting" patterned
> after New England town meetings in which all participants have an equal
vote on important
> matters. At a time when debates rage about education standards and
testing, these schools
> offer an intriguing and controversial alternative: putting children in
charge of their own
> education.
> Although each of the more than 160 democratic schools around the
world evolved
> independently, they generally share the practices of allowing students to
choose how to
> spend their days, vote on important school matters, and participate in a
community of
> equals, regardless of age. These practices raise many eyebrows in
education circles, but
> advocates say democratic schools can teach more traditional schools a
thing or two about
> helping children grow into happy adults, learn to navigate a complex
world-and participate
> in a free society.
>
> In mid-December, the Victorian mansion that houses the Sudbury
Valley School in
> Framingham, Massachusetts, bustles with activity. Some students rehearse
music and dance
> performances for an upcoming show at the school. Others make gingerbread
houses, play
> video games, read, argue, sew, study, or just hang out. There's nothing
here that even
> remotely resembles a classroom. Just lots of rooms filled with comfy
chairs and books,
> plus music studios, an art room, a woodshop, performance space, a
darkroom, and kitchen.
>
> Learning flows from the daily life of the school, which includes 160
or so students
> and 10 staff members. Students know each staff person's areas of
expertise, and ask for
> help when they need it. "Although kids may never be in a formal class,"
says Sadofsky,
> "the adults here are models for them."
> Classes are occasionally offered-but only when students initiate
them or ask for
> them. And older students often "teach" the younger ones. During his
teenage years, Pruitt
> took a few optional classes given by staff. "The classes didn't feel like
classes, they
> felt like entertainment, " says Pruitt, who especially enjoyed Daniel
Greenberg's European
> history class. Instead of droning on with boring facts, Greenberg
sometimes dramatized his
> lessons.
> One strength of Sudbury Valley's approach is in some of the things
these schools
> don't do says Alfie Kohn, one of America's leading authorities on
alternative education.
> "The excessive control of children, the use of grades and tests and
textbooks, and a
> factory-like curriculum are all wonderfully absent," says Kohn, author of
The Schools Our
> Children Deserve and What Does it Mean to Be Well Educated. Kohn adds that
learning at
> these schools "often takes place outside of what most adults think of as a
structured
> classroom environment."
>
> Indeed. Just ask Dayna Kimball, who was on the verge of quitting
school a few years
> ago. "I was bored," Kimball says of her junior year at a public high
school in suburban
> Denver, Colorado. "I didn't like the time constraints, and the assignments
seemed tedious
> and redundant."
> Luckily, her mother, Jane, discovered Alpine Valley School (AVS) in
nearby Wheat
> Ridge. Modeled after Sudbury Valley, the Colorado school offered Dayna
Kimball the freedom
> she craved-no tests, grades, or constraints. So what did she do when she
got there? "I
> went to school every day and slept on the couch," she says.
> No one bothered her. No one told her to wake up or asked what she
thought she was
> doing. "They accepted every minute of it," Kimball says. "The slang there
for it is
> 'deschooling.'"
> After about a year, though, Kimball got really bored-and that's when
she began to
> wake up. She started learning a little Japanese, a bit of history, and
dabbled in
> metalsmithing. As part of her studies, she decided to try out a few jobs
in the "real
> world," including a stint at a toy store and another as a bank teller.
> Meanwhile, subtle changes were unfolding in the time Kimball spent
at Alpine Valley.
> Her fellow students, especially the younger ones, touched something in
her. "I was
> standoffish at first, but they opened me up because they wanted to get to
know who I was,"
> Kimball says. As she continued exploring at Alpine Valley, she tried out
another job as a
> para-educator in a public school. And that's when Dayna Kimball discovered
her passion:
> working with autistic children. She says she wouldn't have found it
without the freedom
> and flexibility of Alpine Valley. "Without AVS, I would have dropped out
of school," she
> says.
>
> Today, Kimball works as an intervention support staff person with
autistic children
> at Creative Perspectives, a therapeutic center outside Denver. She also is
earning her
> bachelor's degree in speech and language pathology. "AVS has a philosophy
of people first,
> not grades or accomplishments," says Kimball, who's now twenty-three. "I
now look at my
> kids that way-kids first. It's not about their disability or their ability
to accomplish
> anything. It's about who they are."
>
> While Sudbury Valley gives children plenty of freedom to play and
develop as
> individuals, it also requires them to participate in the community through
school
> meetings, in which everyone votes on all decisions made at the school. The
weekly meeting,
> says graduate Anna Rossetti, shows that, "democracy can be painful. You've
got to listen
> to a lot of different crap before you get to a consensus." Students and
staff sometimes
> spend hours hashing out every single issue.
>
> Yet Rossetti acknowledges that the experience has often come in
handy.
> "Participating in democracy at Sudbury Valley instills in you an
incredible sense of
> empowerment," says Rossetti, who now works at a Whole Foods Market in San
Diego,
> California, while finishing her bachelor's degree in social sciences.
"That's something I
> take with me all the time."
> And perhaps that's one of the most important lessons from democratic
schools like
> Sudbury Valley. "I think it's hard to learn democracy when we make
children prisoners
> until they're nineteen years old," says Sadofsky.
>
> Freedom is all well and good, but even progressive educators say
kids need more
> pushing and guidance than they typically get at schools like Sudbury
Valley. These
> educators say children also need structure and sometimes more, rather than
less, adult
> involvement.
> "I applaud Sudbury Valley's focus on freedom, but not what I take
to be an
> inattention to community," says Alfie Kohn. "Sudbury has a libertarian
bent, and the
> worldview seems to see all adult involvement as an authoritarian
restriction of personal
> autonomy. Total autonomy is not developmentally appropriate. Kids need
guidance and many
> of them need structure at the same time that they need the opportunity to
learn how to
> make good decisions."
>
> One opportunity for decision-making comes in the school's judicial
committee, in
> which all students participate on a rotating basis, along with staff. This
committee makes
> and enforces school rules. All grievances are settled here, with students
meting out the
> sentences. And that process can go awry, says Kohn, in an environment that
practices what
> he calls "an extremely individualistic sensibility." Kohn says kids can
misuse the
> well-intentioned judicial committee by threatening to "bring up" other
kids who are
> annoying them. "It's striking, and frankly a little refreshing, that kids
sit on this
> committee and have the power to make decisions," Kohn says. "What is
equally striking to
> me is this . there isn't a sense of a community solving problems together,
rather there's
> punishment for aberrant individuals."
>
> Academically, Kohn says progressive education should emphasize not
only following
> children's interests, but also challenging them to consider topics and
problems that may
> not have occurred to them.
> "Leaving kids on their own tends to flatten the slope of their
improvement," concurs
> schools reformer Ted Sizer, whose latest book, The Red Pencil, offers a
powerful critique
> of American education. Sizer, former Dean of the Harvard Graduate School
of Education says
> educators need to "shove great questions in front of kids" that challenge
them to learn.
>
> On the far end of the educational spectrum from Sudbury Valley,
there are growing
> legions of people, including the Bush Administration, who firmly argue
that schools need
> standards-and standardized testing-to make sure all students learn at
least the basics
> like reading and math. In the U.S., each state sets these standards based
on
> recommendations from educators and lawmakers, along with public input.
Advocates say
> standards are essential to allocating money to public schools and the
students who need
> the most help. According to this argument, education standards enable
equity.
>
> Ross Wiener, Policy Director of The Education Trust in Washington
D.C. sees a
> general public consensus around certain core skills children need to know
in order to
> become successful adults and find secure jobs that pay a living wage. But
he adds that
> setting standards to ensure that kids learn the basics is about more than
just getting a
> job. "To participate in a democracy, you certainly need advanced reading
skills, critical
> thinking, logic, and reason."
> But Sudbury Valley graduates like Christian Cederlund would argue
that these are the
> kinds of skills he acquired, plus many more-without suffering through
rigid standards,
> testing, or cookie-cutter curricula. Cederlund says one of the most
important lessons from
> his years at Sudbury Valley was not covered in any textbook: adapting to
change.
>
> An athletic kid interested in science, Cederlund started Sudbury
Valley in 1969 when
> he was six years old and graduated when he was seventeen. When he was a
teenager, a staff
> person showed him pictures of Mikhail Baryshnikov and encouraged him to
try ballet.
>
> Cederlund went on to dance professionally with the Pacific Northwest
Ballet in
> Seattle. But eventually his knees started giving out and he found himself
a college
> freshman at age twenty-seven. He completed a degree, and went on to teach
dance and
> neuroanatomy at the University of Washington. When he burned out on
teaching, Cederlund
> took time off to play golf and discovered his next career-running a golf
touring business
> in Seattle.
> At forty-one, Cederlund now has a family to support, which is
prompting another
> career change. He hopes to blend his love of helping people and his
fascination with
> anatomy and science into creating a new job, perhaps selling medical
equipment or becoming
> an MRI technician. He credits his creative ability to shift from one
career to another as
> a continuation of the life-long learning adventure he started at Sudbury
Valley. "I still
> feel like I'm playing in my life," he says.
>
> Over the past few decades, Sudbury Valley has directly inspired the
creation of
> thirty-nine similar but independent schools in the U.S., Canada, Europe,
Israel, and
> Australia. Students come from many backgrounds-rich, poor, liberal,
conservative, black,
> white, you name it. Each school offers students an alternative that can
help them discover
> paths they might not have otherwise found.
> Among those students are Adu and Ben Sheppard, whose father, Derek,
co-founded the
> Booroobin Sudbury Democratic Centre for Learning in the Australian state
of Queensland in
> 1996. Both brothers say traditional schools didn't serve their learning or
interests-which
> have turned out to be quite divergent. But at Booroobin, located in the
lush, rolling
> hills north of Brisbane, both brothers found freedom to discover and
pursue their
> passions. While Ben set about rebuilding Land Rovers, raising chickens,
and growing
> organic vegetables and flowers in the rich, volcanic soils surrounding the
school, Adu
> spent much of his time indoors, happily playing computer games and
learning simple
> computer graphics programs.
>
> Since then, Ben has rebuilt two Land Rovers "from scratch," and he's
starting on a
> third (a 1951 model). At age 18, he is also cultivating a reputation as an
outstanding
> gardener. Adu taught himself computer animation and graphics programs and
won a government
> scholarship to attend a games development course to study animation and
graphics.
>
> Today, Adu, who's 20, designs web site templates and computer
animation graphics for
> businesses. He's also working on an independent computer game that he and
his
> collaborators hope to publish worldwide. "My aim is to never end up in a
repetitious,
> boring, and mindless day job, and I seem to be doing pretty well so far,"
he says.
> "Booroobin taught me that individuality and free-thinking aren't
impediments. I've stuck
> to who I am and what I want to be in life, and I'm loving it!"
> One wonders, is there any better measure of a good education?
> The Queensland government apparently thinks so. In 2003, the
Queensland Minister
> for Education revoked Booroobin's accreditation because it did not meet
state
> requirements. But Booroobin, which now calls itself a centre for learning,
is still
> accepting students, and Derek Sheppard and others are determined to see it
through, in
> spite of the challenges.
>
> How can parents determine whether or not their children will thrive
at schools like
> Sudbury Valley? "What makes a child a good fit is a desire to be in
control of his or her
> time, and parents who can trust their child to behave with intelligence,"
Sadofsky says.
> "What makes some children a poor fit is an unwillingness, or inability, to
control their
> behavior."
> These schools don't work for children who need a lot of structure,
or lack parental
> support. Beyond these basic issues, sometimes the school simply isn't a
fit for a
> particular child. Both Rossetti and Cederlund have siblings who started at
Sudbury Valley
> and later left.
>
> Paying more than $5,000 a year to send a child to school to climb
trees, nap, or
> wander in the woods demands a big leap of faith from parents. They can
feel isolated, even
> ostracized. Ken Pruitt recalls family friends worrying that his parents
were committing
> child abuse by sending him to a school with such an unstructured
environment.
> Mimsy Sadofsky acknowledges the challenges faced by Sudbury parents.
"People are
> very worried that there will be some big gaps in their children' s lives,
which is the
> opposite of what happens here," she says. "It's a really hard thing when
everybody in
> society is telling you that you have to measure your children all the time
to say, 'I
> don't want to do that. I just want my kids to be free and have fun and
grow up in their
> own way to be responsible.'"
> Dayna Kimball's mother, Jane, is glad she took the chance. "Dayna
had struggled for
> several years. I knew that she was wanting freedom more than anything and
that she would
> resist anything less," Jane says. "I sensed that I had to let life be her
teacher. Paying
> tuition for a place that required her to show up was much better than
having her drop out
> of school. I am extremely grateful to AVS for Dayna's successes. I believe
that the
> philosophy of these schools is in alignment with the way nature operates."
>
> Even with their problems, Sudbury and schools like it are slowly
catching on, and
> every year staff and students gather at the International Democratic
Education Conference,
> which was held in India last December. Jerry Mintz, Director of the
Alternative Education
> Resource Organization, says each democratic school offers something
valuable. He explains,
> "There is a spectrum of approaches within the idea of non-compulsory
classes: some schools
> set a timetable, such as Summerhill School in England." Some, he notes
offer classes every
> day, others only when students ask for them, as is the case at Sudbury
Valley. "The bottom
> line is that these schools respect students' rights and the right to take
control of their
> own education."
> Ken Pruitt is now a father himself. He wants his two young children
to have the same
> freedom he enjoyed as a boy. His daughter, Emma, starts school next year.
The Pruitts
> would love to send her to Sudbury Valley, but it's a long drive. At a
minimum, he says,
> the couple will keep a careful eye their children's education-but not in
the traditional
> sense "If we have them go through a traditional school system," Pruitt
says, " we will
> observe whether or not their natural spark, curiosity, and desire to learn
are being
> driven out of them. If that did start to happen, we'd take drastic
measures and get them
> out.."
>
> Human beings are born to learn. Democratic schools, which like every
school have
> their flaws, raise provocative questions about the best way to allow our
children to find
> their authentic paths, a sense of personal responsibility, and contribute
to a free and
> thriving world.
> The solutions might be simpler than we think: long afternoons of
cloud watching.
> Days upon days to play with friends, dance or nap, read a book or muck
around in a swamp.
> In a world where many kids' lives are overscheduled, micro-managed, and
endlessly tested,
> perhaps more freedom is exactly what they need.
>
> Resources:
> www.sudval.org
> www.edrev.org (Alternative Education Resource Organization)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> David Dickerson (Nacogdoche, TX)
> I am a teacher in a public high school in Texas, deep in
the birthplace
> of Bush's "No child left behind" debacle. From inside, the education
system, as it is
> represented in my district, at least, is not working. The problems are
myriad and there is
> honestly no single solution, but I see students every day who push against
authority
> (however it is manifested). This system does not work--maybe a democratic
approach would
> better serve citizens of this democracy. As a parent, I am looking for
some alternative
> for my daughter. I will not allow her to be subjected to a situation like
the one I see
> before me.
> maura buchman (atlanta, georgia)
> The educational system in the U.S. is deeply flawed. We
live in a time
> where most children only receive 15 minutes of recess a day during school.
It is
> frightening that we are confining our future minds to four cinderblock
walls and are too
> afraid to let our children explore their own world and their own spirits
and selves. How
> are they ever supposed to get to know themselves and what they want from
life if they are
> never given the chance to experience it ?
> A. Martinez (san diego, CA)
> I agree with maura and David. Democratic schools sound
very interesting.
> They allow children to be themselves instead of what someone else wants
them to be. We
> always tell our children to be themselves and then we pack them up and
send them to a
> school who asks them to be standardized and generic. I wish I would have
gone to one of
> these schools!
> Melissa Spenker (Long Beach)
> This is so exciting. I wasnt aware these schools
existed. I remember
> questioning the benifits of memorizing useless information as early as the
second grade. I
> hope to find a democratic school for my future children.Thanks for the
inspiration.
> Lara Wild (Baltimore, MD)
> I'm a High School senior, and while I agree that
students need much more
> free time than they are given and there should be less emphasis on grades
and more on
> actually learning, I don't see how anyone can learn history, math,
science, language, or
> any other subject without instruction. The schools offer great life
experience, but
> textbook knowledge is also important. When these students went on to
college they had to
> sit in a classroom. There needs to be a middle road between leisure
learning and
> traditional textbook learning.
> Nina M. Lubin (Long Beach, CA)
> As a mother of three, grandmother of five, earner of a
Human Studies
> B.A. and Educational Counseling M.A., and now retired school counselor, I
hope I have some
> grasp of what students experience, parents want, and what educators and
government
> officials are promoting. I also believe in testing. A well-designed and
properly
> administered assessment protocol is genuinely helpful and useful, and can
tell much.
> Neither justifying one's existence nor fear of losing face are ever good
reasons to
> maintain a point of view or design an educational system. Having said
that, there are many
> positive ways for education and learning to take place. What's sad is that
some kids
> aren't doing much of either one, despite motivated teachers and
technology. Parents need
> kids to be occupied and supervised so they can go about their own day's
work (and
> therefore don't really "Question Authority", as Einstein suggested). And
our current
> culture has now determined that keeping kids busy memorizing rote facts to
pass "No Child
> Left Behind"-type testing, and scheduling nonstop before-and-after school
and weekend
> activities which leave kids drained and sleep-deprived is the way to go.
How can a school
> provide the framework for not-strictly-academic concepts like critical
thinking skills and
> decision-making processes when teachers have to "teach to the tests" that
students must
> pass to progress to the next grade? Put aside educational standards for
the moment:
> without groundwork in place for creative thinking, understanding higher
science and math
> concepts is unlikely. It's like well-meaning parents doing their
children's homework: the
> assignments are done, but the material remains not fully learned by the
student, along
> with the confidence-bursting lesson to the child that s/he isn't good
enough. Praising
> kids to promote self-esteem will never overcome the anxiety-producing
insecurity of not
> being able to function successfully in one's life. And children grow up
not knowing how to
> make good decisions, or how to analyze or solve a problem. For these and
other reasons, I
> strongly agree that democratic learning environments, as well as
extra-academic skills (of
> course, congruent with children's abilities) need to be built into our
standard
> educational system. Author Kim Ridley has beautifully and thoroughly laid
it out for us.
> Now what? How can we convince parents who are demanding that their child
WILL go to
> Harvard that what will suit their child perfectly, as well as provide a
living wage, is
> community college coursework leading to certification in Airplane Engine
Maintenance? Or
> Culinary Arts? Or Medical Billing? Here in Long Beach, we have pioneered
Seamless
> Education, where kids move from elementary grades through higher education
at our local
> community and state colleges, and adult school programs as well. We have
the best Parks
> and Recreation System in the country, which also provides ongoing learning
opportunities
> and personal fulfillment classes, summer day camps, and many a place to
lie in dense green
> grass and study the clouds. The question brought to the table is
optimally, "How can we
> work together to help each student succeed?" Maybe we should follow that
with, "What's
> missing and needs to be added to potentially optimize each individual's
life?" Thank you.
> Roberta (Doylestown, PA)
> My daughter goes to a wonderful school that seems to be
a mix of
> democratic and traditional. While they follow the state guidelines of what
courses must be
> taught, students still get to pick what they want to learn in addition to
those obligatory
> courses. They are not forced to go to class - everyone has a bad day now
and then, and the
> teachers realize that. They are as concerned about the emotional growth of
these kids as
> they are their academic growth. My daughter was drowning in the muck of
the traditional
> school. Now, she is thriving, and able to nuture the spirit I always knew
was inside.
> Jon Owens (Lemoyne)
> My 10 year old daughter attends a Sudbury School, and I
feel that
> placing her there is one of the best things I will ever do for her.
Although she excelled
> in the public school, she was miserable. Now, she is happy and
responsible. She
> participates in few academics, yet I'm not concerned. She will find her
niche in her own
> time and way. In my experience, interpersonal skills and values are more
important in
> one's career than are academic knowledge anyway. She is a joy to be around
and I am proud.
> Blake Boles (Idyllwild, CA)
> History, math, science, language, and the many other
'essential' classes
> in high school hold no relevance to the lives of the majority of students.
The simple rule
> of learning that Sudbury & other democratic schools embrace and
traditional schools
> (public or private) deny is that people learn what they are interested in
learning; if
> there is no interest, than learning will not happen, no matter how many
carrots you dangle
> in front of a student's face or how many consequences with which you
threaten them.
> "Exposure" to new areas of life (academic or not) comes through community
and interactions
> with peers & adults, and that is exactly what SVS provides. A major
fallacy of traditional
> education is the idea that for a student to be "exposed" to biology, that
they should take
> a half-year or year-long course in biology. With such thinking, it is very
easy to wisk
> away the entire childhood & adolescence of an adult. Our society is
complex, yes, and
> there are many different subjects that can be learned, yes; but without
the time to figure
> out who *you* are and what really interests *you*, none of our complexity
can be
> appreciated.
> Anna (Hayward, WI)
> I am 26 years old and searching for my passion. have
been for quite a
> few years, and i feel that this only started once i graduated high school
and struck out
> on my own. i am finding this to be a difficult and drawn-out process. i
wish that i could
> have had the freedom and support to explore my interests as a child. i
blended well with
> the limits of traditional schooling and i think that i am feeling the
repurcussions of
> those limits now. i find it rather intimidating to explore beyond and
break the mold of my
> life and i think that an education like that offered at SVS and other such
schools may
> have taught me how to engage life, rather than watch it happen. i am
teaching myself now.
> :)
Received on Mon Mar 28 2005 - 07:51:45 EST

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