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

From: <>
Date: Mon Oct 10 14:11:00 2005

In a message dated 10/8/2005 12:58:41 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> Molly,
> If unschooling kids could benefit from going to Sudbury Schools, how do the
> kids who are choosing to be there more often benefit from the unschooling
> kids? Do you want everyone else to create a community for your children that
> they can drop in here and there to participate? Doesn't seem balanced to me.
> Attendence has to be there for the school to thrive. Part time attendence
> assumes that one could reap the rewards of other people's efforts.


This is not reflective of my intent at all, when I wrote about opening
sudbury schools to unschoolers, who may choose to not enroll because of compulsory
attendance policies.

Maybe because of the nature of their lifestyles, folks who unschool
understand the important reationship between freedom and responsibility. Therefore,
these are not people who are out there trying to benefit at the expense of
others. I'm sorry if I somehow inadvertantly painted that picture.

Speaking for my family and the dozens of unschoolers we know, these are
people who are often enthusiastic about working (often in democratic settings) to
make their communities better places. This was the reason for my statement that
I thought an infusion of unschooling kids could actually be a positive rather
than a negative thing for sudbury schools.

I understand that if all kids used sudbury as a drop-in center, the school
could not thrive. But shouldn't an institution as worthy as a sudbury school
should be able to attract attendance based on its own merits - not on forced
attendance policies? I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but by removing the
compulsory aspect, perhaps a sudbury school would enhance its daily culture by
attracting those unschoolers who are currently deterred because of the perceived
forced attendance policy.

It could follow that kids who want the flexibility of being able to
"drop-in", and who spend fewer hours a day on campus than others, might end up being
more involved and active in the school meetings - or, might make more positive
contributions in other ways - than even some kids who choose to spend every
hour on campus. In any case, the forced attendance still seems at odds with
the rest of the sudbury philosophy, and doesn't feel right to many of us

Molly Mancasola
Received on Mon Oct 10 2005 - 14:10:11 EDT

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