RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] compulsory element of sudbury model

From: Alan Klein <>
Date: Fri Oct 7 12:21:01 2005

It is important, I believe, to remember where that compulsory component came
from. It was either through a democratic vote of either the School Meeting
or the Assembly. Students have a vote in both bodies.


There are actually many "compulsory components" of every democratic school
of which I am aware: Judicial panels, Guild rules, By-Laws, etc. In contrast
to non-democratic schools, they are all decided on by groups that include
students as voting members and not just with token representation.


~Alan Klein



Scott, in light of this last statement, can you please help me better
understand how the compulsory component of the Sudbury Model can be
justified. I am already aware of the rationalization that minimum
attendance is required to enhance school culture, however, I have difficulty
with the mere fact that any kid is being forced to attend during those times
when his or her passions or interests lie elsewhere in the community. I am
referring to a potential scenario in which a person may become interested in
being involved in a project outside of the school, but the school mandates
that he or she attend the school a minumum number of hours per week. That
seems to protect the institution over the rights of the individual.

Wouldn't the sudbury model, with its pure adherence to democratic
principles, better serve the needs of its individuals, if it trusted the
individuals to decide for themselves when the school was an appropriate
place for them to be and when it was not? Shouldn't we question the concept
of the institutionalization of children?
Received on Fri Oct 07 2005 - 12:20:48 EDT

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