Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Introduction, reopening the encouragement/enticement debate

From: <>
Date: Wed Jun 14 02:15:00 2006

I have neither taught nor attended an SVS school, so I don't know whether
your "postings" are legitimate indications of the resources available. My
understanding of the model, however, is that the requests should, must come from
the kids. Your knowledge of drugs and Akido is who you are, not "things to
teach." I've recently become interested in math, but I've managed to find
adequate teachers on my own. Part of the "education" I suspect is in HOW
to find resources. Your enthusiasm is wonderful, but to me still "feels" a
  Perhaps I misjudge you. If so, I do apologize. I am merely imagining
now how I might react as a student. I'd want to know you and like you as
a person before I entered into any training contract with you for Akido.
Doesn't Akido teach patience? Wouldn't your "enticement" suggest that the
virtues of a sensei were not yet developed within you?????
In a message dated 6/13/06 1:29:02 PM, writes:

> Hello,
> Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to get some of this off my chest.
> I am new to the list and very interested in the SVS model after being
> introduced to the concept by the "Voices from the New American
> Schoolhouse" video. I am a PhD student in molecular pharmacology and am
> considering abandoning a life of research for teaching, which I have
> always been interested in. I have read _Free at Last_, several of the
> essays posted on's site, and perused much of the archives of
> this list. One thread in particular caught my attention, that of
> "encouragement" and all the various takes on its
> definition/implementation, and I wanted to comment and ask some questions.
> I think I understand the philosophy of the SVS model in its elimination
> of the teacher-student power structure and freeing the students to
> pursue their own interests at their own pace. However, I do not see the
> harm in providing enticement or encouragement to a particular student or
> even the whole school as long as it is presented in a way that is
> non-judgemental. As was brought up in the previous discussion of this
> topic, I think the litmus test of "would I do the same
> encouragement/enticement to one of my adult friends?" and the personal
> understanding that if someone ignores, refuses, or loses interest in
> your idea that it is their choice to do so. I can understand where such
> behavior could be construed as demanding or judgmental, especially in
> the case of much younger students, students new to the system or even
> staff new to the system. However I believe a student that is well
> experienced with the SVS model could differentiate between honest
> suggestions of interesting topics/activities to pursue and a coercive
> judgment on what they should be doing. The true question is whether a
> staff member can consciously recognize the difference. Furthermore, I
> think that non-judgemental enticement can make it easier for students to
> discover what they might be interested in pursuing. If they try it and
> don't like it, then that is just fine and the staff member should be
> accepting of that student's choice.
> Some concrete examples:
> 1. I practice Aikido, a mostly defensive, mostly non-violent martial
> art. While there is a definite teacher-student relationship in the
> beginning, in order to teach safe falling and the basic techniques, the
> training itself is non-combative, cooperative and done at a pace
> commensurate with the experience and skills of the practicing
> partnerships. I enjoy doing Aikido with all manner of ages and sizes of
> people and my desire to teach Aikido stems not from my desire to be a
> teacher and have control, but to train people to a degree that we can
> play safely. What is the harm in posting a flier at a SVS school saying
> I am open to teach people Aikido and to contact me if interested? Or
> what if I wanted to swing my staff around at lunchtime, practicing some
> twirls and simple movements, and a student becomes interested in what I
> am doing and asks to learn? Is it wrong of me to do that in order to
> entice someone to be interested? If someone becomes interested and
> decides they don't want to pursue it, I don't judge them, as I know
> different people look for different things in martial arts.
> 2. I am an information junkie and love passing on stuff I know about.
> It is a pathological condition, I know, and am slowly learning not to
> babble more information than a person is really seeking. Again, what is
> the issue in me posting an announcement saying I would be holding a
> seminar on a topic, say "How Drugs Work in the Brain"? If anyone shows
> up, great. If they wan't more information or want to to talk more, I
> could set up further seminars or reccomend books. If noone shows up, I
> try another topic. Again, I would not judge anyone for not showing up,
> or not being interested in the topic. But if I found someone that was
> really interested, what is the harm in providing them direction into
> related or other areas that I think they might also be interested in?
> If I find out they do not like some things I suggest but do like others,
> I can hone my further suggestions. Again, I would not be judging them
> on their lack of interest, but would be happy to be a resource for them
> and would like to let them know what I can do for them.
> Ok, I should stop there for now and let people process that. I know
> there is still a lot I need to learn about the SVS model and am quite
> open to any and all discourse. Please let me know your thoughts.
> aloha
> Mike Braden
> [Note --  this message did not get sent to the list when I first sent it
> due to an issue with my sending and subscribing addresses.  Since
> then I have actually thought up some reasonable replies to these
> questions which I will address in a subsequent reply]
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
Received on Wed Jun 14 2006 - 02:15:00 EDT

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