Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

From: Jeff Collins <>
Date: Thu Apr 7 20:09:01 2005

Jennifer Blair wrote:

> Now I just feel like I need more clarity... would, say, informing a
> student of how school meeting works put them in a box, or do they
> learn, the way they learn language, by being immersed in it (that is,
> if they choose to go to school meeting) If a student discussed an
> issue with a staff member that would be appropriate to raise at school
> meeting would the staff member suggest this to the student, or would
> that be considered "encouragement".

Speaking for me (I can't speak for all Sudbury staff members), yes I
would suggest that they bring the issue to the school meeting. I think
Hanna stated it best about a hundred messages ago when she said (I'm
paraphrasing) "I would say anything to a student I would say to an adult
friend." I have used this as a litmus test since I realized the same
thing. Whenever I have a question as to how to approach a student or a
situation, I ask myself how I would approach the same situation if the
student were an adult. So, if an adult and I were having a discussion
that would be appropriate to raise at school meeting, I would surely
suggest that s/he bring to school meeting. I don't consider this
'encouragement', I consider it having a human conversation.

> Which raises another question about encouragement... are students
> treated the same as adults in regard to encouragement... would a
> student be voted out for encouraging other students?

First we really have to clarify what we mean by encouraging. The word
has been used to mean a lot of different things in these discussion. If
encouragement is taken to mean supporting someone in doing what that
person wants to do, then neither the student or the staff member would
be voted out. If encouragement is taken to mean telling someone what
you think they should be doing, then yes the staff member would be at
risk of losing his or her job, and rightfully so. A student who told
another student what he or she should be doing would probably just be
ignored. Just like if a friend gave another friend some unsolicited advice.

> I need to say that I really enjoy the discussions that are happening
> on this list lately. I personally love the opportunity to challenge
> and strengthen my belief system, and I feel hearing other peoples
> perspectives is a great way for me to do it. I support all the work
> sudbury folks are doing. I ask questions to deepen my understanding,
> to know if it is work I should be doing...
> Jennifer Blair

I hope that my ramblings help the general understanding of Sudbury (as
much as I am able). I have only been immersed in the Sudbury model or 3
years and my understanding was incomplete until I had been immersed in
it for at least a year and a half. I am still learning aspects of it
from people like Mike, Hanna, Mimsy, Dan, Scott and others. It does
take a lot of discussion, dialog and personal experience to really
understand an appreciate all of the intricacies of the model. Once it
is understood, it is fundamentally simple - but it is so different than
anything most of us have grown up with that attempting to explain it is
like attempting to explain baseball to someone who has never seen a game
(try it sometime :-)).

Received on Thu Apr 07 2005 - 20:08:39 EDT

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