RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] "setting limits"

From: Amanda Phillips <aphillips_at_law.harvard.edu>
Date: Sun Oct 29 23:00:01 2006

Anyone (staff member or student) can bring up anyone else for violating a
rule in the *democratically authored* school lawbook, but I think that your
hypothetical asks what happens when you see kids doing something destructive
for which there is nothing in the lawbook?

 

I think your hypothetical isn't realistic because "abuse of school property"
or "roughhousing" would probably cover the situation you propose. But
assuming for argument's sake that there's nothing in the lawbook that would
cover this situation, I think that the kids would learn a valuable lesson if
they jumped on a couch, destroyed it, and then no longer had the benefits of
that couch. And if they had to revise parts of the school budget to purchase
a new couch or other new furniture, that would be a valuable lesson, too. If
they had to have a bake sale or a car wash to raise money to buy a new
couch, that would also be a valuable learning experience. The kids would
learn from whatever happened, and the kids would decide what to do to solve
whatever problems arose.

 

It's not about "setting limits," or *controlling* the students - it's about
treating them with respect and allowing them to make their own decisions,
even if we might disagree with their decisions.

 

But again, the students have already made a sensible rule that covers
jumping on couches.

 

Cheers,

Amanda

 

  _____

From: discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
[mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org] On Behalf Of Wendy Lucas
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2006 8:27 PM
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] "setting limits"

 

Hello,

 

I'm curious where democratic education handles what most schools call
"setting limits". For example, let's say there was a group of children
jumping on some couches. They aren't in danger of hurting themselves, but of
course if this behavior continues, they will damage the couches. Let's say
"no jumping on couches" is not in the school lawbook yet. How would a
teacher at a democratic school react in the moment of finding these children
doing this?

 

-Wendy

 

 
Received on Sun Oct 29 2006 - 22:59:42 EST

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