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

From: Jeff Collins <>
Date: Fri Apr 8 05:32:00 2005


It is very clear by a number of your statements in this and previous
emails that you really do not agree with a fundamental aspect of Sudbury
education or democratic education. It is clear that you don't
completely trust the kids to make their own decisions and choices, that
you feel that you are a better arbiter of their activities than they
are. I point this out not because I think there is anything wrong with
this belief, after all this is the basis of the compulsory education
system that is prevalent in our public schools, but to illustrate why I
think you will never come to agree with a Sudbury education.

As a Sudbury staff member, I personally believe that children can and
should be trusted to make their own choices. I don't feel that I am any
more able to determine a child's path in life than the child is to
determine their own path. I don't feel that I am in any way superior to
a child. The only real difference between me and the students at my
school is that I am older and more experienced than they are. However,
I don't feel this age and experience gives my the carte blanche right to
tell someone what they should be doing. If they ask my opinion, I will
give it and give it with the full understanding that they may choose to
totally ignore me.

Jeff Collins
Hudson Valley Sudbury School

Todd Pratum wrote:

> Dear Karen,
> I agree that we should let kids decide, _for the most part_, what
> THEY think is good for them. But TV is--according to many experts and
> many with common sense--a unique and complicated situation. Can
> children decide what food is best for them? (Doritos vs apples?)
> What about nudity and touching? Can children pick out good quality
> furniture as opposed to cheap poorly made furniture? Can they tell
> what adults will respect them and what adults will abuse them? TV
> looks simple but it is very complicated, way too complicated for a
> child to understand. Yes, we all grew up with it, but what kind of
> people would we be if instead of watching TV when we were kids,
> instead we did something else like play in the woods or daydreamed?
> How does TV effect our imagination? These are the questions many
> forward thinking people are asking. Todd Pratum.
Received on Fri Apr 08 2005 - 05:31:10 EDT

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