Re: DSM: Education/Science


Susan Jarquin (jarquin@pacbell.net)
Sun, 10 Dec 2000 07:41:40 -0800


Greetings,
    I have a question? As a Sudbury Parent, would I have the right to teach my
children anything I want outside of the school? Are we ever asked to delegate
the entire task of facilitating learning to the school?
Susan

Alan Klein wrote:

> Joe,
>
> I think you miss the essence of what Kathleen is saying when you say, "I
> meant 'we' in the absolutely inclusive sense." (Your original statement,
> which includes the reference to "we", was, "I don't really find that a guide
> such as science is necessary to tell us things like this that we can't help
> but already know.") On the one hand, I, too, have often defined psychology
> "as the science of discovering what we already know", so I have some
> sympathy with you on this point. Kathleen's point, as I took it, was that
> there is no "we" that can be consistently relied upon to "know" certain
> things. We all come from, as a colleague of mine puts it, "different
> worlds". Our life experiences and the messages (both intended and
> unintended) that we get from a wide variety of sources cause each of us to
> create our reality in very different ways. As we often get treated
> differentially along some fairly predictable dimensions (race, gender,
> sexual orientation, etc.), the worlds for those who come from similar
> dimensions is often similar, and often wildly different from those who come
> from other "dimensions".
>
> Yours and my lives have been shaped in large part by our differential
> treatment as straight white guys. Kathleen's and her son's have been shaped
> in large part by their differential treatment as Hispanic/Indians. I read
> her post as both an affirmation of the democratic schooling model of freedom
> and an inquiry into what may be a blind spot for us. I would like to see us
> be curious about that potential blind spot and to be open to its
> exploration.
>
> Finally, my experience tells me that often, when women, gays/lesbians, and
> people of color hear we straight white guys saying "I meant 'we' in the
> absolutely inclusive sense", they often fear being melted down into the vast
> melting pot and thereby losing their historic and current worlds and
> identities. This was not the impact I heard you intending to have, but it
> may be the impact your statement had on some folks.
>
> You went on to say, "'Awareness' is exclusive of 'science'." Could you
> elaborate? I don't have any idea what you actually meant by it and don't
> want to speculate.
>
> Happy holidays to all,
> ~Alan Klein
>
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > In a message dated 12/9/00 11:43:30 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> > > shoeless@jazztbone.com writes:
> > >
> > > > I don't really find that a guide such as science is necessary
> > > to tell us
> > > > things like this that we can't help but already know...
> > >
> > > Joe,
> > >
> Kathleen responded:
> > > A nerve has been hit here, so bear with me. It's difficult to translate
> > > things from the heart. When I read the above statement, I
> > > interpret it as,
> > > "What we as white males assume you all should know."
> > > I'm not suggesting that Sudbury entertain the social sciences or
> > > any of the
> > > sciences. It's a good thing too, cause they aren't about to. The
> > > model being
> > > cognizant of it is another matter. That's what social sciences provide.
> > > Awareness.
> > >
> > > I've looked at so many Sudbury and alternative schools. As
> > > wonderful as
> > > many of them are, there has always been something missing to me.
> > > Not enough
> > > to keep me from grasping and loving the model. Just enough for
> > > me to wonder
> > > about. Not too long ago, I discovered that something. There are
> > > few, if any
> > > people like me there. I'm an Hispanic/Indian woman. 3% of us
> > > even make it
> > > out of graduate school (social statistics at work there.)
> > > This society is dominated by white male thinking. Nothing new
> > > there. I see
> > > the Sudbury model somewhat as an extension of that. Not all of
> > > us are white
> > > males, however. Social Sciences include, ethnicity, women's
> > > issues, history
> > > anthropology, alternative lifestyles. The list goes on. I
> > > address ethnicity
> > > and diversity here.
> > >
> > > My Hispanic/American Indian people have given much to the
> > > world, and if
> > > it weren't for the social sciences, we wouldn't even be
> > > mentioned. We still
> > > aren't in many arenas. I believe that Martin Luther King Jr.,
> > > Cesar Chavez,
> > > Wilma Mankiller and Cochise would wonder why Sudbury model
> > > schools aren't on
> > > the reservations or near the airports where the minorities live. I
> wonder
> > > that myself. I wonder how many of the staff members in Sud schools are
> > > minorities. How many students are minorities? The answer is few.
> > > Why? It's
> > > not because Sud schools don't welcome them or because they shut
> > > them out. Why
> > > then? I don't know the answer. But I do know that we come from a
> > > different
> > > place. We come from a different place way back. We just don't
> > > think like
> > > white males. No matter how much it's shoved down our throats. We
> > > think like
> > > "we" think. Yet, we must adapt to a white male environment.
> > > Women and gay
> > > people might be able to identify with this. I don't know.
> > > Not many people know of Cesar Chavez or Wilma Mankiller. I
> > > know of them
> > > because I'm from them. And Abe Lincons decendents think how they
> > > think. They
> > > and the others I've mentioned have given a great deal in the
> > > social arena.
> > > Martin and Cochise gave their lives and their land for it. What
> > > about that
> > > young man who was killed in Wyoming simply because he was gay?
> > > My brother
> > > was recently murdered because someone thought he was just some
> > > homless man of
> > > color :(. In fact, he was a social peacemaker.
> > >
> > >
> > > I'm in the public school system. I won't give us much. But
> > > I will give
> > > us this: Most of the children I know, know of Cochise and Cesar
> > > Chavez. How
> > > many children in Fairhaven know who Abraham Lincon is? How many
> > > know who
> > > Wilma Mankiller or Cesar Chavez is? I'm not suggesting that
> > > these things be
> > > taught. Quite the contrary. What I am asking is this: Is there
> > > a place for
> > > minorities in a Sud school? I mean a real place? I know there
> > > are tokens of
> > > minorities in these schools. My son was one of them. He was raised in
> a
> > > rich Hispanic/Indian culture. He thinks like that, not like a white
> male
> > > (Even though his dad is Irish!) He struggled in the Sud system.
> > > He found it
> > > difficult to assimilate to the "white" way of doing things (He despised
> > > J..C.!) At the same time, he loved parts of it. He just didn't
> > > experience it
> > > like he was expected to. I doubt anyone was even aware of his
> > > difficulty for
> > > what it was. I saw it, but that's because we come from the same
> > > place. Many
> > > saw the outcome and gave only that creedence. It wasn't a spiteful
> thing.
> > > There was just little awereness. In not addressing cultural
> differences,
> > > they get ignored. Not everyone adapts to this environment in the
> > > same way.
> > > If that's not socially important to you Joe,it's not. That in
> > > essence is what
> > > we, as minorities must deal with. I'm sure you don't know what
> > > it's like to
> > > be called a "spic",tamohawk toter, a "nigger", "just a girl", or
> > > a "fag".
> > > I've been called a few of those. Believe me when I tell you, We
> > > come from a
> > > different place. Unfortunately or fortunately, you'll never know.
> > > But people
> > > of all colors being congnizant of it sure helps matters. I don't
> > > think that
> > > the model should be apprehensive in addressing it. I thank the social
> > > sciences for its' part in bringing it to the light at least.
> > > Please accept this as my perspective. It is sincerely not
> > > meant to be
> > > combative or confrontational.
> > > Viva Sudbury.
> > > Kathleen



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