Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

From: Todd Pratum <knowledge_at_pratum.com>
Date: Sun Apr 3 18:32:00 2005
Let me clarify, I'm not addressing my question exclusively to curriculum.  The question of enforced curriculum is pretty simple, either you believe children know best what they need/want to learn, or you don't believe it.  I am firmly in the camp of the former, I would never force a child to learn something he does not want to do (an oxymoron anyway as that is not authentic learning).  I'm thinking of the many other situations that arise in schools, that of diet, play, environment, travel, behavior, psychology, design, i.e. all the other scenarios of choice a child has.  I want to know if it is doctrine, (is it prohibited) at Sudbury that you cannot encourage (not force, but encourage, the distinction and the etymology is interesting and important) any child in any of his decisions at school or life (besides those of safety, health, law).  Todd Pratum.

Ryan Singer wrote:
The reason I asked was because I fail to think of a single scenario where such coercion would be a positive influence, unless of course it is a matter of personal responsibilty (you can't use the schools dishes unless you clean up after yourself.)  Can you think of a time in which required curiculum is better than self-directed activity?

On Apr 3, 2005 3:10 PM, Todd Pratum <knowledge@pratum.com> wrote:
Alan, thank you very much.  I have printed your messages and will be reading and rereading them tonight, and looking for other replies.  I think this is a very subtle and yet crucial subject that few seem to have studied very carefully.  Your replies seem to me born of a lot of experience, exactly what I wanted in my posting, (I teach but only in non-democratic schools and have only limited experience with letting kids do precisely what they want).  Todd.


Alan Klein wrote:

For me, the same considerations apply as in the "encouragement" question. I want staff members who are fully active human beings. So, it is entirely possible that I will say to a kid (or anyone else), "I am going to be working in the darkroom at X time. Anyone who wants to join me is welcome to do so."

 

A big question to ask oneself is, "Am I offering this activity because I think it will be good for them or because I enjoy doing it?" If the answer is the former, nix the activity!

 

~Alan Klein

 

-----Original Message-----
While we are on this topic, I have heard that staff in Sudbury model schools are not suppose to offer activities to kids, rather wait for kids to ask for specific activities and then help if asked for assistance. I would like some clarification on this as well.

Thanks a bunch,

Jennifer Blair


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TODD LEIF PRATUM. Est.1981
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_________________________
Ryan Singer
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-- 
TODD LEIF PRATUM. Est.1981
Antiquarian & Scholarly Books
627 Vernon Street
Oakland, California 94610
Tel.  510.655.1281  Fax.  510.653.8694
Books Bought -- Catalogues Issued

Received on Sun Apr 03 2005 - 18:31:00 EDT

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