Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

From: Todd Pratum <>
Date: Mon Apr 4 19:18:00 2005

  This is Scott's full paragraph: 

"One way or other, we don't have a *rule* on the books
prohibiting a staff member from 'encouraging' something.  
However, we would vote them out at the first opportunity.  
And if they were obnoxious about it, they would get brought
up for infringement of rights."

This is clear to me, it is not allowed, however not ostensibly.

As to "Constructionist", I'm embarrassed I did not think of this before, of course. I am fairly well aware of the various controversies about the interpretation of the Constitution, (and my best friend is a judge!).  This is a good term.  I'd like to see what SVS says in writing (i.e  their "constitution") about encouragement.  By the way, you might want to look up 'encouragement' in the OED,(not abridged or concise) very interesting etymology.  More later.  Todd Pratum. 

Alan Klein wrote:



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 others.


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 forbidden.


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. 
_______________________________________________ Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list

Antiquarian & Scholarly Books
627 Vernon Street
Oakland, California 94610
Tel.  510.655.1281  Fax.  510.653.8694
Books Bought -- Catalogues Issued

Received on Mon Apr 04 2005 - 19:17:14 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Mon Jun 04 2007 - 00:03:11 EDT