RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

From: Lisa Crocker <lisacrocker_at_adelphia.net>
Date: Sun Apr 3 18:59:01 2005

Todd,
I recall reading of this in Greenberg's Free at Last, but unfortunately, I
just loaned to one of my prospective teachers for our new school, so I
cannot pull it out and find the passage...if you have a copy, you may find
it by perusing the chapter titles. Good luck - and I do recall reading that
and it stuck with me - a definite mention that no suggestions of any kind
are made to the students, although I remember it being in an academic arena,
not any other...a specific example he used was the reading issue, it was
never suggested that a child should read, would enjoy reading, might be able
to find things out if he could read, etc.
 
Lisa in Vermont

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
[mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org] On Behalf Of Todd Pratum
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 5:41 PM
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

Scott, thank you for this. I am talking about something more subtle than
"your life will be devoid of meaning if you don't read this book" And as
you say in your penultimate paragraph it IS more subtle than that. But this
may answer my question, you are saying it is NOT doctrine (i.e. not
prohibited) to encourage a child, but never if the reason behind your
encouragement is "for his/her own good", is that correct? Please clarify.
Or maybe there is no stated doctrine on this subject at all? And I'm
wondering, do you know any place where this Sudbury position is elucidated
in writing, maybe one of Greenberg's books? Or? Thank you so much for your
time in this. Todd Pratum.

Scott David Gray wrote:

Language is a funny thing.

The phrase 'no encouragement allowed' is very strong, and a

little misleading in its tone.

I have expressed before the cultural norm for adults and

staff in Sudbury schools this way:

  I feel it to be rude or awkward for me to say or suggest

or advise a particular pursit *for the child's good.*

However, I certainly have casual, friendly personal

relations with students (just as I do with staff) in which I

might say 'oh you'd *love* this game' or 'I thought of you

when I was reading *this* book.'

The idea being that it is rude for me to think or act on any

ideas that *I* might know better for a person (of any age)

what is right for that person than s/he does. But I may

nonetheless have a reasonable desire to talk about something

with that person for *my* sake. There is an implied

disrespect in the former, but not the latter.

Of course, the line between these two behaviors is very

subtle. As I say, in practice this isn't something that

staff in Sudbury schools do *consciously* but rather it is

part of the *culture* and it would feel wrong to do

otherwise.

Let me give a case when one *wouldn't* suggest something to

another person. I don't walk up to people of *any* age and

sayor imply 'your life will be devoid of meaning if you

don't read this book.' Nor do I walk up to a person who I

don't know and say 'everyone is better off if s/he knows

algenbra.' That's not my place. And it is rude -- not just

at SVS but in any friendly company. Don't you hate people

who do taht to you (we've all met such people)?

On Sun, 3 Apr 2005, Todd Pratum wrote:

  

After 20+ years of studying educational theory, Holt, Steiner, Neill,
Montessori, Dewey et al, I am about to start a small

school in Berkeley California, housed inside my 12,000 library. I have
read many Sudbury books and I am deeply grateful for

what I have learned about democratic education from them, and education in
general. I have bought many copies of Sudbury

books that I have given away to people and I continue to do this to this day
(I particularly like giving away copies of

Education in America by Daniel Greenberg, those short little essays are so
cogent and clear!). I've always known from the

beginning that you must trust the child's and their particular learning
process, no matter how different or even

counterproductive it may seem, and when I first learned of the Sudbury model
(about 15 years ago) I was thrilled to find

compatriots in arms!

Recently however I have learned from a person who knows Daniel Greenberg and
the other core faculty in Massachusetts, and has

observed them in action many times, something that I don't really
understand. According to this person, at Sudbury you are

not allowed to encourage a child to do anything, ever, (safety and health
excepted). For example, as I understand it, you

are not allowed to encourage a child to study one thing over another, or do
one thing over another, but always let the child

decide without any influence from the staff whatsoever, even if you think
you may have some inside knowledge about the child

and that that inside knowledge of yours could help the child. I realize that
the idea that adults know better than children

has been at the root of so much pedagogical abuse, but I did not know, if
true, that there is no encouragement allowed at

all. Is this true? If so, then I would like to know if this idea has been
explained in writing anywhere? I would like to

hear from seasoned Sudbury people especially. Thank you very much.

 --

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

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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
_______________________________________________ Discuss-sudbury-model
mailing list Discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
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Received on Sun Apr 03 2005 - 18:58:16 EDT

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