Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] variations on the model in practice

From: Richard Berlin <>
Date: Tue Apr 5 19:11:01 2005

You can do anything you want...and to be candid, a school where no
television or video games are allowed is an easier "sell" to the

I would ask, however: What educational goal is being addressed by
democratic governance? If the reason for choosing a democratic model
is so that the students will learn from the experience of freedom and
responsibility, it stands to reason that any time you reserve the
decision power for yourself, you risk undermining that goal. And
retaining control over the "important" issues while ceding power over
only the decisions that don't matter so much to you often damages
trust--see "Parent Effectiveness Training" or its companion "Teacher
Effectiveness Training" for the agonizing details.

Best of luck, Lisa.

-- Rich

p.s. With the statement that "we KNOW from current research that
television viewing and computer game playing is bad for the brain..." I
believe you are forfeiting a lot of credibility.

We "KNOW" that certain pathogens causes corresponding diseases, because
with a high degree of repeatability, introduction of the pathogen
causes a predictable disease response, drugs that kill the pathogen in
vivo hasten healing, etc. This standard of proof has not been met (and
I believe cannot ethically be met) for television or video games. We
may find statistically significant correlations between TV or video
games and other undesirable traits or behaviors, but a correlation does
not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

> I am wondering about possible areas of disagreement here - and I know
> this is not along the pure Sudbury model, but I do not want to have
> television or videogames at the school, at least at the beginning.  Of
> course, there will not be money budgeted for this at first, and the
> children are going to be young - 5 - 9 years old to start.  Now we
> KNOW from current research that telelvision viewing and computer game
> playing is bad for the brain, and has even been found to contribute to
> "attention disorders" in children and adults.
Received on Tue Apr 05 2005 - 19:10:53 EDT

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