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

From: Tay Arrow Sherman <tay_at_anatomyofhope.net>
Date: Mon Oct 10 16:50:34 2005

"...It is just my personal experience and listening that sometimes
people get a bit global, extreme and righteous about it.   I think
there is a fine difference between speaking confidently about one's
opinion, and being righteous.  Wish I could articulate it better.  But
I think I have heard others express a similar distaste on the forum;
and I don't think such an approach helps our cause when it does
happen." -Ann Ide

I agree, and that is part of what I was getting at. I think some of our
criticisms are vague analogies that we do not explain, and as such,
inarticulate. Sometimes we presume that everyone already agrees with
us. I'm interested in thinking of ways that we can talk to those who do
not--where I live (Georgia) most people have never even heard of this
kind of thing.

I think that sometimes when you're presenting your "weird personal
choice" to people who might not necessarily be sympathetic or even
interested, it helps to approach it from a different track. Like
vegetarianism! I eat a restricted diet and avoid animal products, and I
can see many people become defensive as soon as they hear that.
Everyone has met that preachy vegetarian/vegan person who pushed them
and tried to get them to give up meat or dairy or whatever. I've never
considered it a useful tactic to push people around, either physically
or verbally, and so I have never told anyone they had to give up meat
or even that I thought they should. Pushing people around never gets
anyone on your side, and neither does accusing them of being a Nazi
sympathiser, pro-war, pro-pollution, et cetera (though thanks for that,
Danny, you know how much I sympathise with big corporations and the
gulag!) It just makes it clear to them that they are unwelcome in your
community. In my seventeen year course of never asking any of my
friends to give up animal products, almost all of them have. I cook
vegan cakes and pies, thai stir fries, vegetable dumplings, live my
life with a healthy approach and eat a lot of yummy food, and it looks
appealing. This does not mean that my interest in avoiding animal
products is not partly based in compassion for the treatment of living
things on earth, it just means that I'm using a different sales
practice.

I think that once you get that Sudbury Valley is real, it's really an
option, and it doesn't necessarily turn people into giant mutant killer
octopuses or make them stupid, it becomes obvious that it is BETTER
than public school. It is better for learning, it is better for human
respect, it is better for happiness, it is better for pursuing what
you're really interested in. Public school is coercive, undermines
human dignity by creating perverse power relationships, creates
sickness and lethargy in our society, dulls the intellect by ignoring
it, dulls creativity by actively stamping it out, convinces 99% of
children that they hate learning and especially math, is a factory
production line for depression and helplessness, is responsible for the
fact that people are totally apathetic about politics, and does not
encourage people to have basic life skills or to be accountable for
their own actions. That is my moral judgement about public school, and
I think that it's a bit much for someone who has grown up to think that
if you get straight A's it means you're smart and has never heard of
any alternatives. But that person is exactly who I want to get inspired
by democratic schooling, so I am trying to think of ways to talk to
them, and nudge them, and help them think about how things really could
be as good as we can imagine them being.

Cheers!
-Tay

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http://www.tayarrowsherman.com/
http://www.olio-academy.com/

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Received on Mon Oct 10 2005 - 16:49:22 EDT

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