Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Parents on campus

From: Ann Ide <>
Date: Wed Nov 29 18:28:01 2006

This has been very interesting. Sounds to me like there have been times
when parents have been successfully used as resources when there were clear
boundaries as to what they were at school for and for how long, and when the
school values were followed. I'm guessing there have been times when even
staff haven't worked out. Perhaps those who do use parents as resources
might have better luck if they give the person a trial period, or something
similar, and let the kids then decide if they want the class to continue. I
bet there have also been "classes",using the term loosely, with staff that
started and didn't end up panning out,too. I don't think that's necessarily
a sign of failure. It was an opportunity to explore. And a few failures
with staff didn't make anyone stop using any staff again!

I agree with Evan that if the Sudbury model is supposed to be like a village
for the kids, it would be ideal to allow "masters" to work with the kids as
mentioned above. The chances of finding a parent who understands the model,
versus just someone from the community, seems more likely, and maybe
cheaper,too. And if they are only there 1-2 hours a week, it doesn't seem
like it would be a problem for their kids. Some kids might even feel proud
about it! When I used to go into the public school to help with a
particular project, my kids used to love it! I think it has the possibility
of making the village even more complete.

As for kids choosing to "learn things more on their own": I think it's
great that we can learn so much these days via the internet. I also think
we can limit our learning by expecting to learn something new by reading
alone. The Sudbury model certainly appreciates the value of social learning,
and of full engagement. Reading can become merely "academic", and not
really embodied learning. As we say in our house, "All knowing is doing and
all doing is knowing." So, it seems having someone knowledgeable in an area
of interest to engage with would be valuable, and worth the efforts it might
take. I wonder if kids are choosing to learn on their own because it just
seems easier, or because other options aren't really spoken about as if they
have potential, or spoken about at all, for that matter.

At SVS, it may be "in the books" (policy and textbooks) that kids will be
supported in following their interests. But in our experience and
perception, if the staff don't have the skills in an area of desired
interest, then you pretty much have to pay more money ( and coming up with
tuition is hard enough for many) to take a class outside of school, or do it
"on your own". It seems to take an inordinate amount of commitment and
effort to try and get something going otherwise. I fear that this makes it
discouraging to explore something with a real human being, versus just
reading about it.

I truly love our school. This is one hump I just can't seem to get over;
and hearing that there have been times when people are brought in as
resources successfully makes it even harder to understand why all the
Sudbury schools aren't modelling that success.


Ann Ide
Received on Wed Nov 29 2006 - 18:26:44 EST

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