Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Some facts

From: Scott David Gray <sgray_at_sudval.org>
Date: Fri Apr 8 16:02:01 2005

On Fri, 8 Apr 2005, David Rovner wrote:

>
>
> Thanks Scott for your response but, do little children discern when somebody
> is forcing, pushing, urging, cajoling or bribing them into learning or doing
> something ?

I'll tell you a personal anecdote:
  When I was 4 years old, I was enrolled in Kindergarten. I
was looking forward to it! Thinking that at last I would be
among other kids in a great place of learning, where all
kinds of ideas would be floated about, and wisdom was to be
acquired.
  My first day, I had a sorry wake-up call. We were simply
told "do this" "do that" and "wouldn't you like to ..."
about such tasks as "color in *three* of the apples now" or
"draw in a *yellow* sun." I remember feeling humiliated, to
be led by the nose through things that were unimportant to
me.
  At one point, the teacher announced that we were all going
to learn to distinguish our right from our left, by standing
in a circle while she sang a song and swinging 'right' on
cue and 'left' on cue. I didn't know my left from my right,
but was aghast and ashamed to be dancing to cue on someone
else's timetable, because she thought that I learned on
*her* timetable rather than mine. I remember the little act
of private rebellion I did. She had specifically warned
"don't try to copy the person in front of you, because they
are going the opposite direction" about this game so I made
use of it -- I repeated a mantra inside my head over and
over as mentally loudly as I could to blank out her song,
aind simply swayed the opposite direction of the person I
was facing.
  And I guarantee you that I was not the only kid in the
world who could tell when an adult was being pedantic. I may
not have had the word pendantic, but all of us kids *knew*
when someone was being pedantic. And kids do know.

> And, I think Sudbury Schools do have a doctrine. The books
> published by The Sudbury Valley School Press are kind of a
> doctrine. They are kind of a formal definition. Don't you
> think so ?

  I don't think so. They are the opinions of the individual
authors -- some of which I have from time to time disagreed
with, just as people in the school often disagree with some
of my opinions about what defines our philosophy of
education. The School Meeting of the Sudbury Valley School
does not publish criterion, and I don't believe that any
other School Meeting does.
  No single author in any community can define doctrine for
that community. The Federalist Papers are not a 'doctrine'
for the US government -- when the Courts note them it is in
order to get a handle on 'original intent' in the written
law. Likewise, I can argue that because so-and-so said
this-or-that *that* must be the reason why the School
Meeting has X poolicy -- but one could easily make counter
arguments.

> ~ David
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Scott David Gray" <sgray_at_sudval.org>
> To: "Discuss-Sudbury-Model Mailing List" <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 5:28 PM
> Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Some facts
> >
> > To speak straight to David Rovner's repeated question:
> >
> > The one occasion I can think of in which a brand new staff
> > member did something like this, was over 20 years ago. The
> > staff member paraded a cow's skull through the school,
> > announcing that he was going to dissect it. For the record,
> > students and others advised him in a very gentle way that
> > what he did felt more than a little pedantic and insulting.
> > He recognized it, and never pulled that sort of stunt again.
> >
> > Instances of rudeness are generally handled personally, by
> > people trying to help others to find a way to coexist with
> > the rest of the community. To be sure, the community does
> > have options if such actions are overt and cannot be curbed
> > socially. For example, the staff member could be brought
> > before the Judicial Committee for infringement of rights; or
> > his/her behavior could be investigated by the School
> > Meeting's ombudsman.
> >
> > As in any culture, if a person inadvertedly misunderstands
> > the culture and does something rude, people try first to
> > resolve the issue in a manner that avoids future
> > embarassment or personality conflict.
> >
> > Just to remind people -- students and staff at Sudbury
> > Valley are equal before the law. There is no need for a
> > special written rule against a staff member cajoling
> > students, because there is already a charge in the lawbook
> > which states that "no one may knowingly infringe on anyone's
> > right to exist peaceably at school, free of verbal or
> > physical harassment."
> >
> > --
> >
> > --Scott David Gray
>
> >
> >
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Rovner" <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 5:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Some facts
>
>
> >
> >
> > The issue was "encouragment", Alan.
> >
> > I wrote:
> >
> > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > From: David Rovner
> > > > To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> > > > Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 11:36 AM
> > > > Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.
> >
> > > > And, if somebody do tell other people what to do,
> > > > does he/she get a fine ?
> > > > he/she doesn't get elected next term ?
> > > > the parlament scolds him/her ?
> > > > he/she feels he/she failed ?
> > > > etc., etc., etc.
> > > > What happens ?
> > > > If something happens, at all.
> > > >
> > > > ~ David
> > > >
> >
> > meaning, how does the whole "system" work ?
> > how it is done ?
> >
> > 1. Who made the decision, first and in each school, that -- "nobody will
> > encourage others 'coercive-encouragment'" (I was coerced to invent this
> > concept) ?
> >
> > 2. Who will make the decision that -- somebody has 'encouraged' someone
> else
> > 'coercive-encouragment' ?
> >
> > 3. Is encouraging 'coercive-encouragment' somebody -- a 'transgression' ?
> >
> > 4. If encouraging 'coercive-encouragment' somebody is a 'transgression' --
> > who will bring the 'transgressor' before court ?
> >
> > 5. What is/are the penalty/ies by law -- for 'encouraging'
> > 'coercive-encouragment' ?
> >
> > 6. If there is/are a penalty/ies by law for 'encouraging'
> > 'coercive-encouragment' -- have this/these penalty/ies been enforced
> > occasionally ?
> >
> > ~ David
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Alan Klein" <alan_at_klein.net>
> > To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> > Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 2:44 PM
> > Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Some facts
> >
> >
> > > SchoolMeetingSchoolAssemblyandGovernmentalAuthorities
> > >
> > > ~Alan Klein
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: David Rovner
> > > In "one word":
> > > who sets the standards, and how standards are set ?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > From: "Scott David Gray" <sgray_at_sudval.org>
> > > > To: "Discuss-Sudbury-Model Mailing List"
> > > <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> > > > Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 4:38 AM
> > > > Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Some facts
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > 2) No, Sudbury staff don't actively advertise potential
> > > > > activities for students. We don't say things to students
> > > > > that an adult wouldn't happily say to an adult in a similar
> > > > > relationship. We *certainly* never announce to a mass of
> > > > > people something as artificial as "I am going to be working
> > > > > in the darkroom at X time. Anyone who wants to join me is
> > > > > welcome to do so." On the other hand, I might quietly
> > > > > mention to a kid who has *already* expressed an interest in
> > > > > working with me, that X time would be good for me because
> > > > > I'm working then anyway.
> > > > >
> > > > > 6) Sudbury Schools *have* no doctrine. No formal definition
> > > > > of a Sudbury School exists, anywhere, to my knowledge. On
> > > > > the other hand, different people involved in schools define
> > > > > key elements of what they are doing. And different schools
> > > > > choose to have associations with one another. There are
> > > > > several schools that Sudbury Valley keeps an association
> > > > > with, and several that we do not keep a collegial
> > > > > association with because their philosophies and aims are too
> > > > > far from ours. And most of the schools that we keep
> > > > > associations with *themselves* keep associations with other
> > > > > schools -- which may or may not overlap to a greater or
> > > > > lesser degree with our list.
> > > > >
> > > > > --Scott David Gray
>
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>

-- 
 
--Scott David Gray
reply to: sgray_at_sudval.org
http://www.unseelie.org/
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Received on Fri Apr 08 2005 - 15:47:37 EDT

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