[Discuss-sudbury-model] Parents on campus

From: Ann Ide <ann.ide_at_rcn.com>
Date: Fri Dec 1 19:30:00 2006

This message kept getting returned to me as undeliverable, so I'm resending it. Sorry if more than one copy shows up.

In reply to Amanda's post (below):

Easy to be confused! That comment was meant to refer more to some of the comments that are made on this forum. Some people have expressed concerns over the possible negative consequences that parents or other non-staffers could have on the kids- like giving the wrong messages that imply the kids "should" this and that,as an example. It's those beliefs that don't seem to demonstrate trust. I don't think I share this particular fear/belief that comes up regarding non-staff adults teaching a class one or two hours a week in a particular subject. I'm thinking the criteria for someone who would be at school all day, every day, all year is very different. All within reason. I'm sure there could be extremes even in the one hour a week case that I would not agree to.

It is true that the process as a policy is in place. What I have questioned, from my perspective, once again, was how well it actually works for the kids in actuality. Even in government, policies, etc. are "in place". That does not mean they are always lived, for various reasons. Words on paper are very different than people, and the beliefs that people hold have a huge impact on actual behavior. And, quite often, we can be blind to those beliefs and their impact. A different context, but the movie "Crash" demonstrates this phenomena well, if I recall. So I guess some people are concerned about the impact a non-staff adult's beliefs could have on a student. I'm wondering if some staff's (in any Sudbury school) beliefs might be influencing the level of possible desire/hesitancy towards pursuing classes with "outsiders".

So what I question is why the kids hesitate when/if they do, and if it's truly from lack of desire, or otherwise. How much do these "fears" and beliefs regarding non-staff adults influence the decisions that kids make and what they pursue?

I highly value most of the spoken and unspoken messages within the Sudbury culture. But there have been some that one or both of my kids have somehow absorbed( perhaps mistakenly, I know) that we haved needed to sort of "correct", since I can't think of a better word right now. One of them was something to the effect of " all classes are boring and unnecessary". Another was that you don't need anyone else to learn something. My husband and I think these are over generalizations and oversimplifications. This could have happened from any number of reasons, one being a sociological phenomena related to beliefs.

That all said, I'm still not claiming any truths here. This forum is partly to think things through with others, and engage in healthy questioning and discussion. Hope I made sense. I've been writing with a wicked headache that I now intend to take care of.

Thanks for your questions!

Ann
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Amanda Phillips
  To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
  Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 1:21 PM
  Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Parents on campus

   

  I understand the concern, but I found this part odd: "Maybe we're being overly protective and not trusting the kids enough in this context! We can let them climb huge beech trees, venture off-campus, etc. but not let them decide if they want to work with a non-staff person at school?"

   

  I'm confused because it seems that there's a process that the kids created to decide if they want to work with a non-staff person at school: the kids initiate a request, the kids deliberate on that request, and the kids decide whether to fund it or allot space for it or whatever. Who's "not trusting the kids enough" in this context? The kids?

   

  If there is any hesitancy to use outside resources for more learning opportunities (and I don't really know if there is), isn't the hesitancy on the kids' parts? And if so, isn't it appropriate for them to make that decision?

   

  Amanda

   

   

   

   
Received on Fri Dec 01 2006 - 19:29:35 EST

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