RE: DSM: Interest increasing?


Dana Matthew Bennis (dbennis@umich.edu)
Fri, 5 Jan 2001 12:25:35 -0500 (EST)


Joe wrote:

"I'm interested, since the only real constants of the model is that the
students and staff see to the day-to-day governance, and that learning is
student-led (two concepts you are in harmony with), why aren't you
starting
a Sudbury School?

"I understand the flexibility you seek, but since that very flexibility is
inherent in the model, why would you choose to differentiate yourself from
the range of existing SM schools, with all of their varying governance
styles and judicial systems?"

Joe and others,

   Aren't the goals of Sudbury to increase this wonderful democractic and
student-centered "education" throughout the country and throughout the
world? So that the most kids as possible (or all kids, to be idealist)
can have the incredible experience of being part of this type of
community? That is my goal, and I believe it is also the goal of most
people involved with Sudbury schools (correct me if I am wrong). In
which case, wouldn't a great way to accomplish this goal be to establish
communication between all schools with similar philosophies and goals, and
to recognize their efforts to establish a place where, as you described
Sudbury schools Joe, "the students and staff see to the day-to-day
governance, and that learning is student-led." There are many such
schools out there - schools which developed before or after Sudbury, and
which did not necessarily know about Sudbury when they were founded.
Should their decision not to affiliate themselves with Sudbury imply that
the school is antithetical to the Sudbury model?

   It seems that Sudbury is limiting its efforts to increase the
communication between democractic schools and the amount of democractic
schools to only those schools which call themselves Sudbury model schools.
What about establishing communication with other schools which have the
same philosophies? - sharing ideas, having conferences, pooling
everyone's minds to come up with the best ways to increase the chance
of all kids having the opportunity to be a part of a democractic
student-centered school.

   I believe that Sudbury schools are absolutely wonderful places for
children (and staff too!). And the success and spreading of the Sudbury
idea is extremely important to the spread of democractic education.
Especially because of this reason, if Sudbury could bond a bit more with
other democractic schools, and become a part of the country-wide and
world-wide movement for this type of education, then the spread of
democratic schools and the acceptance and desire for their philosophies
could hopefully increase at a higher rate than ever.

With all praise and love for the Sudbury model,
Dana



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