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

From: <>
Date: Tue Oct 11 06:15:01 2005


I thought about your idea that responsibility and "part-timism" are mutually
exclusive. However, I would consider a kid who felt compelled to spend part
time at a Sudbury and part time somewhere else, a responsible full time
student. If a kid finds a Sudbury school to be the best place to learn many things,
but still has passions or interests which can only be addressed elsewhere,
how is he or she being irresponsible by following his or her own drive to learn
as much as possible.
About your concern about the structure and freedom of unschooling: there is
a lot of structure in an unschooler's life. To be effective, unschoolers,
like everyone, learn they have to be accountable to others in the outside world,
and to themselves.

My unschooling kids' lives are filled with work and tasks that are not "fun
or pleasing." They are constantly seeking out difficult personal challenges or
group dynamics which will stretch them in the ways they need to be stretched.
 Like most people, unschooling kids learn a lot by making mistakes and
learning to take responsibility for those mistakes.

Unschooling is no cake walk - it is very demanding. The inter-relationship
between freedom and responsibility is the same with unschooling as it is in a
sudbury school.

About your point (and Carol's point) about disrupting the flow:

I am familiar with the flow of people working - I see it in my own home and
in my community - I have visited several sudbury schools and have observed for
long periods of time the flow of what people are doing there. People sometimes
stay with one thing all day and sometimes move spontaneously from group to
group. They sometimes discipline themselves to finish something, and sometimes
they choose to abandon something to move on to something new that piques their

People become interrupted, or their work somehow becomes sabotaged, and they
learn to defend themselves against this. People learn how to protect
themselves from being interrupted. People learn to be sensitive to another's need
for no interruption. People learn when it is ok to infiltrate a "group effort"
and when it is not appropriate to be an "outside force" which comes in and
"lends its influence without regard to the flow of what already was." People
learn how to give others the signal that it is not ok that he or she enters
their conversation or their group or influence their work at a particular time.

These are all important lessons that already take place at sudbury schools
and in real life every day. I'm not so sure that part-time attendees would pose
any challenge that doesn't already exist regarding "interrupting flow" - but
if they did, perhaps it is not such a negative thing to have these challenges.
 I'm not so sure that "part-timers" would change the culture of the school in
any negative way - especially if the stigma of part-time attendance that
currently exists was taken away.

Molly Mancasola

Received on Tue Oct 11 2005 - 06:14:38 EDT

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