Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

From: Woty <>
Date: Tue Apr 5 00:54:07 2005

On Apr 5, 2005, at 0:30, Alan Klein wrote:

> Sure it is…at least in traditional education! “Kelly, I encourage you
> to take more AP courses.” Meanwhile, the principal is being feted by
> the local newspaper and is lauded by the local educational
> establishment for the number of AP courses his students take. Given
> the power differential that exists and the peer and community pressure
> that exists and the pressure from college admissions officers that
> exists, there is a pretty fine line between that “encouragement” and a
> “should”. (The above is a fairly accurate portrayal of my younger
> daughter’s public high school.)
> Now in the normal use of the term, encouragement can be a good thing.
> I love being encouraged to do what I want to do. I love being
> encouraged by those I trust that I can do more than I think I can in
> the moment. On the other hand, it can also be a bad thing. I hate
> being encouraged to do something I’d really rather not do. I hate
> being encouraged by people I don’t trust to push myself farther than I
> think I can go.

It's perfectly appropriate for teachers and coaches to push their
students and encourage them to achieve things, but it is highly
inappropriate to treat people as students if they are not freely
consenting to such a relationship. Most teachers consider such consent
irrelevant when they are dealing with children, and they assert a
teaching relationship with any children who happen to be present in
their schools. One needn't object to teaching in order to oppose this
anymore than one must object to romantic relationships in order to
oppose stalking.

The Sudbury model is not defined by opposition to teaching or
enouragement, but to pushing children into playing a student role which
they are not freely consenting to. Consent by children is not regarded
as unnecessary, and staff members are not viewed as having automatic
teaching relationships with the children. Similarly, their job is not
to ensure that all of the children get into student relationships. That
is simply none of their business, and it is not their role to make it
their business. Adopting this model for an institution in which
children spend much of their time in no way entails opposition to
teaching, learning, or encouragement. All one must accept to favor it
is that it is good for children to have a community which does not
direct their activities, and that it is good for children to have
access to helpful adults who are not in a position of power over them.

Received on Tue Apr 05 2005 - 00:53:31 EDT

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