Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Socrates

From: Marc Kivel <>
Date: Tue Apr 5 14:13:00 2005

I appreciate the amount of time you're sharing with
me, Woty.

You wrote in reply to comments on manipulation:

> And the hypothetical correctness does not render the
> manipulation
> acceptable.

Well, I suppose that depends on the learner, true?
Some folks are means oriented and some are goal
oriented. While manipulation might taint the answer
for the former, it might be immaterial to the latter.

You say

> But manipulation doesn't have a place in education.

Really? Of course it does. Your responses to me are
an attempt to challenge the way I think and persuade
others of your point of view. It's rhetoric,
attempted manipulation, and also educational.

> > To be a purist is a noble aspiration, but who is
> > greater, the purist who stands by the man in the
> ditch
> > and points out the man's plight, or jumps in the
> ditch
> > and helps the man find a way out?
> The purist who helps someone out of a ditch without
> dehumanizing him.

Purists don't lower themselves into ditches - that
would make them impure! And what is more human:
jumping into the ditch or belittling someone who is
not as wise as one's self?

> And the purist who does not consider childhood to be
> a ditch which one must be dragged out of.

Childhood is no ditch...defining answers before
knowing the whole question is.

> Certainly sages do not regard their disciples with
> sincere respect --
> that is a major argument against sages.

Indeed. Where do you think all those who came up with
the idea of democratic schools received their learning
- or did you think it came full-grown from the heads
of the folks at the original Sudbury Valley? Ever
hear of Janusz Korzchak?

> Scientists can respect younger scientists and take
> their ideas
> seriously. They do not need followers. What do we
> need sage-disciple
> relationships for when we can relate this way?

Those younger scientists were schooled (for the most
part) in less than democratic ways for many years
before being taken on as a junior partner.

Ask anyone who has become a master having been an
apprentice - what was your apprenticeship like? You
sweep floors, you carry hod, you sweat and you keep
your mouth shut when your master gives you direction.
It is not democratic, it is autocratic. That is the
reality of how many geniuses are formed.

> But neither are your 48 years
> equivalent to someone else's 68, and I would guess
> that you do not regularly defer to those
> who are older than you are.

Actually, I do. I find much wisdom even if I then
choose to go a different way. At least now I have 68
more years of expereince and wisdom to consider in
making my choices.

> Equality of voice is not something yours to
> accord -- if it's a gift, then it's something you
> can take away, and that is not true equality. In any
> case, giving young people equal voice
> with yours over direction of their own lives is
> hardly respectful -- it's taking half of what is
> theirs rather than all of it.

Equality of voice is not a matter for the speaker but
for the recipient. I acknowledge you as worth hearing
or not. You speak, a crow caws. The crow warns me of
a mugger behind a tree. You assault me without trying
to understand my position. Whose voice is worthy of
my attention - whose voice is as loved by me as my
own? Smiling

> Sure, what one should say to people is governed by
> what you know about
> them. That doesn't really have anything to do with
> age.


> Genuine respect = intellectual battling? Since when?
> There is nothing disrespectful about teaching a
> subject to someone who wants lessons
> from one, but there is something inherently
> disrespectful about ignoring someone's thoughts in
> order to ask them leading questions
> until they give up and agree with one.

And what of the person who does not know how to ask?
Or one who asks one thing but does not understand what
she or he is asking?
Received on Tue Apr 05 2005 - 14:12:04 EDT

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