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

From: Lisa Crocker <>
Date: Tue Apr 5 19:49:00 2005

Hi Rich and all
Thanks for the responses so far. Ouch - my credibility with whom? This
listserve? The public? I would never make such a statement in any kind of
forum where I would have to support it, I am just talking off the cuff here.

(althnough, I do think there is sufficient material suggesting that
television viewing has unhealthy impacts on baby, toddler, preschool, and
young viewers,and the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with an
official position statement on this last year as a result of a landmark
study that was published in Newsweek - however, I am the last person to go
with something just because the AAP says it's good - vaccinations being a
case in point.

I'm just not sure what you meant by the credibility comment -

BUT, but, but, in keeping with Jennifer Blair's comment about resources
espousing the benefits of video games - does anyone have any paraphrased
information on this side of the argument and sources of the information? Is
there a valid, credible argument that young children ages 5 - 9 can actually
benefit from playing video/computer games and/or watching television? (I am
not talking about content here, there is a documented physical/neurological
impact of attending to and viewing these forms of media for extended or
recurring periods of time).

I totally get Rich's comment/warning about deciding what is left for the
democratic decision making and what is not - that is not a good place to be
and is hypocritical. Thus, my dilemma.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Richard Berlin
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 5:55 PM
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] variations on the model in practice

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.
Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
Received on Tue Apr 05 2005 - 19:48:13 EDT

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