Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Slave analogy for public schools.

From: <>
Date: Sun Oct 9 13:42:00 2005

In a message dated 10/9/2005 12:02:37 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:

I'd like to add that I get concerned when I hear
any Sudbury person speak with a "better than thou" tone. It starts to sound
rather righteous and arrogant to me. With such an attitude, how can we
maintain open minds for contiunual self reflection, learning and growth ?
Mind you, I am not saying that everyone does this. However, I hear it often
enough. It really bothers me when I start hearing Sudbury kids speak that
way, even my own :-( . Nothing is all good, or all bad.

First of all, "better than thou" is not at all the same as "all good or all
bad." One can say "better than thou" without feeling that one is "all good."
 That is an important distinction, and one that is well to keep in mind,
especially in discussions that involve judgment, which in my opinion, all
discussions do.
That said, are we to abandon all moral judgments? If I concede my many
faults, and yet claim that I definitely live an ethically better life than a
Gulag superintendent or a Concentration Camp Commander, is such a statement a
cause for concern? In general, a claim made by someone that s/he is "better"
than someone else, or that his/her situation is "better" than someone else's
situation, should not so much be a cause for concern as a starting point for
discussion. The obvious question to ask, and deal with, is "why do you think
There are people on this list, myself among them, who believe that Sudbury
schools, while not being at all perfect (or near perfect), are morally better
in their approach to children than are traditional schools (public or
private). I hold this belief despite our adherence to compulsory attendance
policies, which have pros and cons that are also valid subjects for discussion. I
also believe that the fact that Sudbury schools share compulsory attendance
with traditional schools does not, ipso facto, mean that the two types of
schools are on equal moral grounds.
Dan Greenberg
Received on Sun Oct 09 2005 - 13:41:20 EDT

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