Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Isn't "certification" a form of "evaluation" ?

From: Tay Arrow Sherman <>
Date: Mon Oct 31 15:43:00 2005

There's a common tendency to imagine that something is either
inherently wonderful or inherently terrible, without examining how it's
used and/or in what context. When looking at a Sudbury model, it is
important to keep in mind that a word you know, and have been
aggravated by, can be used to describe a very different type of thing.

That's certainly the case here. I'd say certification differs from
evaluation in that at SVS, when you are certified to use sharp knives
in the kitchen, you're shown where they are, told not to stab anyone in
the eye, shown how to hold knives correctly for carrying and chopping,
whatever. Afterwards, you can use the knives. If you do something rash,
like run a three legged race while waving the knives wildly in your
hands towards the eyes of the trembling School Meeting, I *think* you
can get de-certified. Evaluation would differ in that it would involve,
by definition, a value assigned to the skill being examined, and a
value transferred to or from the person under examination.

To put it another way, the root of certification is the same as that
for certainty, while the root for evaluation is the same as for value.
They're actually quite different words in many ways, and each should
not be confused with the other.

Some thoughts on the subject:

1.) I am glad that paid staff are constantly evaluated by the school
meeting members who hire and pay them. Was someone actually saying this
is undemocratic? I am perplexed and I disagree.

2.) I think I was certified to do only one thing at SVS, and it was
something like "use scissors in the art room". However, I am not SURE
that I got certified to do this. Is there a record in the school
somewhere? If there is not a record, how will I know I am human? I
graduated in June of 1996, if that helps.



Received on Mon Oct 31 2005 - 15:42:15 EST

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