RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

From: Alan Klein <>
Date: Mon Apr 4 18:41:00 2005



You are quite welcome, though I think that Hanna and Scott David provided
quite clear and to the point responses to your inquiry.


I am not an expert on Sudbury or other SVS-model schools, so some of your
questions are better answered by Scott David, Hanna, Danny, Mimsy, or


Speaking of which, I did not read Scott David's note to you as saying that
encouragement was forbidden at SVS. In fact, I read the opposite. I am
curious as to what he said that has you see him as holding it to be


By "constructionist" I mean something analogous to the term as used in
political science, specifically referencing the Constitution. A "strict
constructionist" would go by the words of the document and only the words.
Others prefer to use a more interpretive approach. So, what I was trying to
say is that my impression of SVS folks as I have known them is that they are
quite vigilant in keeping the adults involved at SVS from interfering with
the lives and learning of the kids who attend. They may tend to be more
alert to anything that smacks of interference than others would be.


I have to say, though, that I also have a pretty high "Crap Detector" in
this regard, as well, and am equally vigilant as I look at the behavior of
other adults with kids. However, in my own arrogance I give myself more room
to maneuver in this regard, probably because I trust my own intentions AND I
trust my ability to read my relationship with others.


Bottom line, I usually use Hanna's rule of thumb for myself and as I observe
others interacting with kids (and adults, for that matter). If I could see
myself having this same conversation with an adult friend, then I am
probably on safe ground to have it with a kid in my school.


~Alan Klein


-----Original Message-----

From: Todd Pratum

Dear Alan, you wrote "I think I fall a bit outside of what is practiced at
SVS itself. They tend to be pretty strict constructionists in this area..."
What do you mean by constructionists? This is not a term used in
philosophy, psychology, or education.

The reason I am wondering is because I am looking for any historical
background to this idea of not encouraging kids in anyway. Of course the
idea has appeared at times in the past with individual discoveries, but as
far as I can find it has never been codified, defined, or discussed at
length in academic or cultural institutions.

And by extension, does this mean that Sudbury holds no educational thinkers
or education systems in high regard?

I'd also like to thank you for your previous posts, I found them, of all the
postings, the most clearly stated and the most to the point of what I am
asking about and for that I am grateful.
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Received on Mon Apr 04 2005 - 18:40:16 EDT

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