RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] (no subject)

From: Coby Smolens <>
Date: Sun Oct 2 05:12:00 2005

Hi Mark,
In my experience, which includes ten years of deep immersion in the Sudbury
model, as a parent, founder and staff member of a Sudbury school, I have
never heard of any such formal conceptualization as that which you describe
coming from a Sudbury school per se. One thing that can fairly safely be
said of the Sudbury is that such delineations are not given any particular
importance, in the same way that students are not segregated into artificial
age groupings or classes. Sudbury schools are places that give all kids the
space, and all the time they need, to engage in whatever type of activity
best suits their own interests. In this environment there is plenty of room
for people who in other cultures would be singled out as "gifted", to work,
play, study, practice, hang out, and just plain "be" with everyone else.
Since everyone is responsible for their own education, and no two people
ever take the same route, the differences just don't become an issue. Since
no one is expected to arrive at any educational goal at any particular time,
there is a tangible sense that everyone is simply living their life and
learning as they go along; and that someone who has reached a certain level
of proficiency in, or understanding of, a subject they are interested in at
the moment is just where they are at the moment, somewhere along the path
they have chosen. They are traveling along the route they have taken and
it's just part of a never-ending process. As are we all.
Another point to be made is that since everyone has the freedom to take
his/her own path, some people develop strengths that others don't - so the
meaning of "gifted" really becomes moot. A person with advantages in some
areas usually has deficits in others. The really interesting aspect of
working in this environment is watching the development of a culture which
nourishes very strong individuality and a tremendous sense of responsibility
for the community as a whole at the same time.
Coby Smolens,
Communications Clerk
Big Rock Sudbury School
1055 Las Ovejas Ave #14
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 492-3009

[] On Behalf Of Mark MacFadyen
Sent: Saturday, October 01, 2005 11:11 PM
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] (no subject)

I am a Canadian teacher taking a course at Hong Kong University on Gifted
Education. For my term paper, I have the opportunity to select a topic of my
choosing. I have been interested in Sudbury school's democratic model since
running across the web site last year.
Can anyone provide me with any direction regarding the Sudbury model with
regards to the education of the gifted and talented? Books, web sites, an
phone interview with a knowlegable persron, would be very helpful. There are
many conceptualizations about what a gifted student is, and I am interested
in writing about Sudbury's conceptual model. I will email you my paper when
finished if you like.
Thank you!
Mark MacFadyen


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Received on Sun Oct 02 2005 - 05:11:48 EDT

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