RE: Sheep (Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] tv and thinking)

From: Jesse Gallagher <>
Date: Thu Dec 8 11:37:00 2005

Scott, while I agree with much of what you said, I think it bears pointing out that we don't always assess other people's choices and behavior with the intention of passing moral judgment on their competentency or rationality.
 Surely you will agree with me that it is perfectly respectable--and respectful--to observe and acknowledge that someone else's point of view is informed by a set of assumptions and/or access to a set of ideas that simply fall on the lower end of the continuum of all possible assumptions and ideas in terms of their internal consistency and conceptual complexity.
 I think where we go wrong is in passing value judgments based on those observations, as our assuming the role of judge over other humans presupposes our own exclusive access to the "truth". I am certainly guilty of that from time to time, though less so as I grow older and just the slightest bit wiser.
 When I have the presence of mind, considering each challenging situation from the perspective of the blind men who examine the elephant is very helpful to me. But what a qualification that is, "when I have the presence of mind!"
 Might I gently suggest that my own shortcomings in the matter of relying upon inaccurate and needlessly divisive assumptions might well be relics of my TV-habituated mind's reliance upon simple narratives and simplistic resolutions to navigate my world?
 Thankfully, I am able to trust in the order of the universe more now than ever before, but it still becomes difficult for me when I observe the pain and suffering of others.
 Thanks for sharing your thoughts,

Scott David Gray <> wrote: This "sheep" sub-thread actually brings up a key point about
the idea of non-coercive education as practiced in the
Sudbury model. *And* the reason why most supporters of the
Sudbury model believe that access to new media (including
TV, video games, etcetera) is key to the model.

The primary difference between the Sudbury model and *every*
other school that *ever* existed, is that *every* other
school believes in some form of curriculum. That is,
believes that there are some key set of ideas and ideals
that are key to being human, that group A ( the educators)
must make sure that group B (the educated) receive.

Schools that self-proclaim as free (e.g. Summerhill) often
believe that the best rout to that is gentle nudging, and
getting people to *accept* the wisdom of entering into this
or that course of study. But this is not the Sudbury way.

In Sudbury schools, we believe that each human animal
(leaving aside the tiny *tiny* minority of people that
present some real neurological or psychological pathology)
*always* has a better idea of how to spend it's own time
than any other person does.

The idea that in order to be seen as a fully rational /
competent person, one needs must meet certain criterion
(e.g. "X knowledge of math or history," or seeing the Bush
administration as a "group of liars, murderers, and
thieves") is a key of schools oriented around a curriculum.
The fundamental difference between *most* schools, is *what*
that curriculum is.

Sudbury schools simply abandon the idea that one person or
group should ever have authority to decide what is important
for another person or group.

And that's why generally Sudbury advocates have no truck
with TV, or video games, or ballet, or modern art, or jazz
-- whatever their *personal* reactions to or understandings
of those media.

On Thu, 8 Dec 2005, Kathy Boyer wrote:

> Jesse,
> You surprised me! It honestly never occured to me that someone who did
> not support George W. Bush and his administration (or the "more
> conservative" way) would also support choice-based, non-coercive,
> participatory democratic schooling!! :) lol!
> Kathy

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every
rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from
those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and
not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money
alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius
of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a
way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of
threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Received on Thu Dec 08 2005 - 11:36:04 EST

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