John Axtell (email@example.com)
Wed, 04 Apr 2001 18:54:48 -0700
thanks for sharing this, it is just wonderful.
Alan Klein wrote:
> My experience bears Marko out on this point. In 1978, when I was in Ann
> Arbor teaching in a 2nd through 6th grade, multi-graded program, a School
> Board member proposed that all multi-graded classrooms be outlawed. We were
> constantly bombarded with requests (demands) for "hard data" to back up our
> program. During the debate an older School Board member said the following:
> "I remember going to a one-room schoolhouse in Ann Arbor when I was growing
> up. When I was in 4th grade we heard what the 5th graders were doing. When I
> was in 5th grade we got the full curriculum. When I was in 6th grade we
> heard some of what the 5th graders were doing and were able to review it. As
> a result, when my classmates and I got to the consolidated Junior High
> school in 7th grade, we were much farther ahead than our colleagues from
> other elementary schools."
> He then paused. His next words were (and, as Dave Barry says, I am not
> making this up), "I am in favor of single graded classrooms." I promptly
> fell off my chair!
> Other teachers in our school would come by our rooms for various reasons. On
> one memorable occasion, one of them had to step over several bodies of kids
> who were lying on the floor reading, in order to find me. I was sitting on
> the floor with a second grader on my lap, listening to the kid read
> something he had written to me. The other teacher promptly went to the
> principal (a supporter of ours...fortunately!) She said, "No one can learn
> in that environment!" We had just done a mid year assessment of basic skills
> and I had just prepared a report comparing the mid-year results with the
> pre-assessment we had done in September. His response to her was, "Well, I
> have evidence to the contrary." This caused her to back off, but, to the
> point of this discussion, did not make her even close to a supporter.
> It was not data she wanted, nor did the School Board member listen even to
> his own data. Rather, each wanted reassurance that a model of education that
> was so foreign to what they assumed to be true could not possibly be valid.
> ~Alan Klein
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Marko Koskinen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > The problem with numbers is that they really don't tell anything
> > important about Sudbury Model schools. People who have hard time
> > believing in the model have equally hard time with it even if they saw
> > the data. This is because it totally wrecks all that they are made to
> > believe in. Such an enormous change in thinking cannot happen without
> > effort and the effort needed is for them to think and usually people who
> > don't believe in Sudbury Model are also taught not to think for
> > themselves. They believe in authorities, but if the authority tells them
> > to think themselves, they are in deep trouble and usually rather try to
> > avoid such trouble...
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