Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Extreme examples of traditional schools

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Thu Oct 6 14:44:12 2005

On Thu, 6 Oct 2005, Mark MacFadyen wrote:

> I've been reading some of the archives and noticed the
> examples of traditional schooling are really extreme. Some
> of these schools sound like they're right out of the dark
> ages. I teach in a privite traditional school; however, we
> are very humanistic in our approach, and I do a lot of
> project based learning. Kids go to the bathroom whenever
> they like, and there is a fun, positive atmosphere about
> the school. We help each other, learn together
> cooperatively. Still, report cards, evaluating children,
> and many other aspects of my traditional school are
> absolutely wrong. I know my school crushes creativity, it
> is the worst possible model for the education of children.
> But I want to make the point that, well, traditional
> school doesn't have to = hell.

Everything that you've written about your school, could have
been said about the school I was in age 4-9 (before I
finally escaped).

I'm guessing that most people made do under the Soviet
system, and that it wasn't 'Hell' for them. I'm guessing
that most people made do in Feudal hierarchies, and that it
wasn't 'Hell' for them. The same is probably true of any
social system in history that *wasn't* intentionally
designed as a prison, gulag, or camp. The test of anything
that the state makes 'mandatory' is not whether it is
burdensome to most people, but whether the system itself is
unduly burdensome (a 'Hell') to *any* of it's members.

I've written some of the articles about traditional school
horror stories; likely the very ones that you find too paint
too extreme a portrait. But if you look carefully over what
I've written, you'll note that my primary complaint is not
that *most* people feel burdened; but rather that certain
*inalienable* rights are being compromised, and that *some*
people are in a private Hell because of it.

The value of liberty, is that if anyone left at liberty is
suffering, at least it cannot be said that it is some other
specific person's or system's fault. The problem of any
system of control -- however lightly that touch of control
is felt -- is that some people are then responsible for
having cast others into Hell.

There is far, far too much variance in human nature and
spirit to believe that it is *conceivable* for any one group
to decide for another group what is 'right' or what they
'need' to know.

> Mark

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the
world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up
to you to give [life] a meaning.
-- Jean-Paul Sartre
Received on Thu Oct 06 2005 - 11:36:42 EDT

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