Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] tv and thinking

From: Ann Ide <ann.ide_at_rcn.com>
Date: Tue Dec 6 20:55:00 2005

Bruce,

I'm not sure what you exctly meant by schools devising rules regarding tv and media. My understanding of it at SVS is that the rules govern how they are used, but not how many hours a student can or cannot spend on them, except maybe for fairness as regards letting others have a turn.

Ann
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Bruce Smith
  To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
  Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 7:04 PM
  Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] tv and thinking

  As a staff member, my interest in this thread lies primarily in how it relates to the Sudbury model and how our schools operate. On the surface, I have to say that the energy and thoughtfulness of the debate is certainly consistent with what goes on in our schools.

  As for the substance of the model, I believe the most relevant values are responsibility and trust. By responsibility I mean more than mere accountability: while School Meeting members are certainly held responsible for the consequences of their choices, those choices are theirs to make. Only in cases of manifest, immediate harm to safety ( e.g., running with scissors or jaywalking across a busy street) are those choices actively pre-empted. In all other instances, we trust our young people to initiate, regulate and evaluate their own activities. (Of course we retain the right to express and act on our disagreement with their choices, but that is a matter for interpersonal discussion and community processes such as Judicial Committee.)

  I simply cannot conceive of television viewing intrinsically rising to this standard. Schools invariably devise rules and procedures regarding the use of media, and disrespectful behavior is never appropriate, but these are matters that students and staff, as individuals and as a community, can handle in a democratic manner.

  A footnote: this is my interpretation of how the model speaks to the issue of television viewing _at school_. As for children younger than school-age and family dynamics, that is a separate, if related, discussion.

  Cheers,

  Bruce

  --
  "I suggest that our true 'defense' industry is in public transportation
  and other ecological virtues. By practicing these we defend something
  most worthy of defense: our planet. Let us defend our food chain, our
  air, water, forests, soil, bodies, imaginations, spirits, plants, animals,
  and the children to come."
                                 -- Matthew Fox, _Reinventing Work_
Received on Tue Dec 06 2005 - 20:54:26 EST

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