Re: DSM: about Sudbury model

Eduardo Cortina (
Sat, 31 Mar 2001 13:22:34 -0500

Thought I'd respond to this one. Just been lurking lately, but thought
I'd add my two cents. . .

John, do you make your claim about homeschooled children based on any
research you know about or just based on what you have witnessed
personally? I certainly know of a few people who switched to
homeschooling whom I would consider "well educated." Of course this
brings up another question. What is your definition of "well educated"?

I didn't read Bill's post so I don't know what he meant by the statement
that children in SVS end up with an education. I think that this can be
a point of confusion because the type of education SVS students get is
very different than students in other environments? Poeple are learning
all the time. I think the question that is important to look at is what
is the value of what people or children are learning, and what type(s) of
learning will lead to the best results for themselves and society. Of
course, we as a nation of poeple, have very different opinions about what
the best results or end product should be as well. And this will
determine, to a great degree, what kind of "education" we subject
children to.

If more value is placed on the type of learning that is forced on
children-- like that in grade school, rather than the learning that they
might do on their own (by playing outside for example), I believe you are
more likely to get future generations that look much like the status quo,
becuase the current generation (adults) is deciding for the future
generation (children) what they should know. But more than this, we are
teaching them a way of doing things, and a way of being-- our way.

I believe the Sudbury way is different because it allows children to find
their own way to a much greater degree than anything else available at
them moment. Therefore, there is more of a chance they will develop
different ideas about the world ways of relating to that world than those
children who are taught in a more traditional manner. I suppose the
risk in this scenerio is that they will create something worse for
themselves than what we've got, wherease the risk in the other scenerio
is that they will create more of the same thing. And again, what is
worse or better is a matter of opinion as well.

I think many people like the status quo, and therefore wish to do
education more traditionally for their children, whereas poeople want
something different for their children than what most children get, look
to alternatives like the Sudbury model.

Finally, I would like to say that play is a type of education, or method
of learning. In fact, it is the method of choice for children, as you
have observed quite well yourself. It is also the method of choice for
most (all??)young mammals. I think Daniel Greenberg has an article
available on the SVS website that speaks to this.

On Fri, 30 Mar 2001 17:54:27 -0800 John Axtell <>
> Bill,
> Certainly an interesting take on the concept.
> I wonder why if children have freedom in a SV model they seem to end
> up with an
> education and when homeschooled and if given freedom few children
> end up being
> well educated unless the parents force it.
> Most children will stay outdoors if at all possible and seldom seem
> to want to
> come indoors. Well that is what all of my children did. I wonder if
> most people
> would think my kids odd and have found that most kids if given total
> freedom
> gravitate from play to "education"? My kids may just be a bit
> abnormal.
> John
> wrote:
> > Dear Folks,
> >
> > Thanks for your help.
> >
> > >From Freedom to Learn:
> > "Here, students of all ages determine what they will do, as well
> as when,
> > how, and where they will do it. This freedom is at the heart of
> the school;
> > it belongs to the students as their right, not to be violated"
> >
> > So then it is seen that this freedom does allow for a great and
> deep and rich
> > education. But having this great educational outcome is not the
> intent of
> > offering freedom. It (the education) is collateral, a by product,
> > epi-phenomenal. This is all to say that if something more
> beneficial to
> > education came along that was not freedom, we (Sudbury Schools)
> would not
> > adopt it. This is the sense in which I mean Sudbury is beyond
> education. This
> > something beyond is the offering of freedom, a process, which
> appears best
> > highlighted in "The Art of Doing Nothing".
> >
> > Deep Regard,
> > Bill Richardson

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