Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] 7 Lessons Taught in School

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Mon Nov 27 22:16:01 2006

Actually, one aspect of Sudbury schools that have caused *some*
parents distress, is that -- while encouraging a broad open community
with parents -- the schools themselves see it as their mission to
encourage independence. In the day-to-day life of the school, parents
are *not* welcome. The school is the *child's* place, not the

To the extent that such independence is the parents' mission, we are
in perfect concordance. But some parents feel awkward at the sense
that their child might not *need* them so much, even if the child
(being given the vantage point of independence) can more clearly
demonstrate respect, love and caring for his/her family life.

Hanna writes it much better than me, in a short paragraph in an
earlier thread

> I also think that no matter how democratic a family is it is a too small unit for children to
> grow up in. I believe that they need an "outside the family community" to belong to as well
> as to the family. The old villages in the non-western world provided just that and here in
> the west we are obliged to create a psuedo village for them and call it a school. The
> children get to belong to a family and to a community which hopefully is in harmony with
> the family but which is separate from them. It provides kids for a place of their own
> to make relationships, to observe people of all ages, to learn skills that are not the
> family's skills such as carpentry or putting on make-up ( skills that my children enjoyed
> acquiring in the school), and above all it is a place in which they can make mistakes in
> privacy from their parents. (staff kids don't get the latter and it's really bad for them).

On the question of national distribution. . . . The question of paths
by which society may change has come up frequently here. I don't
(personally) feel that the schools as they stand can be *fixed*. Just
as with some old buildings, they have to be torn down before something
better can take their place. I suspect a more organic change, in which
Sudbury schools come to be more and more accepted broadly, and
eventually laws are made friendlier for people who don't wish to
attend school.

I don't picture Sudbury schools *replacing* public schools by some
broad sweep of a legislative pen. It wouldn't work -- one can't impose
a culture and community of respect by wishful thinking, and telling
the old school staff that they are functioning differently from that
point on. I picture our ideas spreading, more and more traditional
schools closing, and (if the public remains involved at all) the
library model extending and including resources that we are used to
seeing belong to school (such as sports teams).

On 11/27/06, Andrey Fedorov <> wrote:

> Schools based on the Sudbury model seem to be serve as counter-examples, but
> it's not possible to say if such a model can be distributed nationally. For
> example, could it be that the Sudbury model depends on heavy participation
> of parents in their children's education, which (at the moment) is
> unfeasible on a national level?
> This is just a guess from the impression I have of the model... am I talking
> nonsense?
> - Andrey

-- Scott David Gray
Received on Mon Nov 27 2006 - 22:15:40 EST

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