[Discuss-sudbury-model] "For the child's own good"?

From: Matt77 <mongolmatt_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Dec 11 08:47:00 2005

Thanks for all the responses about my piano/foreign language question. I have a million more questions, but I'll try to ask them one at a time, so I don't wear you all out...! (It's REALLY helpful to me to hear what everyone has to say. I only recently learned about Sudbury schools, and their approach resonates so strongly with me that I'm having a difficult time deciding if I can or should keep my job as a teacher in a traditional school in the future. So I want to learn as much as I can from people who have experience with Sudbury schools.)
  I'd like to stay with the same general topic as my last question, but broaden it a little. Within the general guidelines of the Sudbury model, are there ANY cases when an adult (parent or staff) should force a child to do something the he/she doesn't want to do for what the adult perceives to be the child's own good? I've read someone mention the case of clear, immediate danger to the child (eg. making a child stop and look both ways before crossing a street), but are there other cases? I guess I'm looking specifically for REAL experiences that people who work/live with the Sudbury model have encountered, but if you can come up with any hypothetical cases I'd also like to hear them.
  (I realize the word "force" is a bit loaded. (The words "encouragement" and "coercion" and so on have certainly gotten a lot of attention on this forum.) Can we assume for the sake of this discussion that "forcing" occurs when an interaction with a child moves beyond the extent of any normal interaction we might have with another adult when we suggest something that we think they might be interested in doing (eg watching a good movie) - that is, dropping the subject when we feel they've heard us out fully, understood us correctly, and in the end responded with a "no", without our resorting to saying "Come on, just give it a go!" or "Please??" or in any way asking them to disregard their reasoned decision.)
  Forcing kids to get vaccinations or take medicine? To go to bed early? Don't know...
  - Matt

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Received on Sun Dec 11 2005 - 08:46:07 EST

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