RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

From: Geert Wester <>
Date: Sat Apr 9 16:42:00 2005

Dear Jeff,

If you were answering my contribution, I am afraid you misunderstood it.

Also in Holland there is the discussion about whether we can do anything
towards the child, afraid to impose on him/her.
Yet, at the same time, I hope we aknowledge that children (and me myself as
an adult as well) live out of the impressions and impulses they receive. So
I absolutely agree children need a rich, non-imposing environment!!

And as for yourself: is it really necessary to regret to speak out what
lives in your heart?
I feel it is exactly this freedom that we have lost that hinders us to
freely interact with children.
When the heavyness of our thoughts overshadows the love in our hearts, it is
time to go out and feel the sun, the rain, the wind and let ourselves be

Holland, Deventer

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
[]Namens Jeff Collins
Verzonden: donderdag 7 april 2005 23:18
Onderwerp: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

I am probably going to regret wading into this discussion, but I can't
hold back any more...

I really don't think any Sudbury School locks its students in a box and
eliminates outside interaction. The story you are speaking about is
basically what was done to this child.

Using language as an example - and it is a very good example - did
anyone have to "encourage" you to learn your native language? Did they
stand over you and say, time to learn to speak, let's start with the
'aah' sound. I would bet that you learned to speak the same way almost
all the rest of the developmentally normal humans learned to speak - by
hearing the spoken language and wanting to be able to communicate and
grow and then speaking it and making mistakes and seeing your mistakes
and then correcting them until you became able to communicate effectively.

Sudbury is *not* about putting a box around someone. It is *not* about
isolating a student in their own world. It *is* about creating a place
for them to pursue their own interests in their own way in their own
time *without* interference.

Do we encourage people? Yes, absolutely - when encourage is defined as
"to give support to" (see Websters). However, we do *not* feel the need
to direct students. In fact we feel strongly that any attempt to direct
a student circumvents and eventually kills any natural curiosity (there
is a use of the word for one of the previous writers).

So do we encourage students by giving them support? Yes, it is our
job. Do we 'encourage' (meaning 'direct' or 'impose a curriculum on')
them to do what we think is important? No. If you want that, there are
a bazillion other public and private schools that offer this.


Jeff Collins
Hudson Valley Sudbury School
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Received on Sat Apr 09 2005 - 16:41:45 EDT

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