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View Diary: Starting to Imagine Non-Compulsory Schools (93 comments)

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  •  Does that really work, or would that just turn (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grannyhelen, johnny wurster

    into yet another popularity contest?

    In some sense, american schools are already very free and democratic. Kids get to pick and choose which classes they want to take in jr high and above.  A lot of the extracurricula activites are organized (very well too) by the student governments. In most public schools above the elem level, kids are allowed to dress and express themselves however they want.   In most asian countries- you get sent to the principal's office if your hair is touching your collar!

    Granted- I only have experience with functional suburban type schools. The urban schools with locking steel doors and armed security guards patrolling the halls could be an altogether different experience.

    •  In my limited experience w urban schools (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, blue jersey mom

      they are usually islands of sanity for a child who deals with pretty insane circumstances minimally from the neighborhood, if not also at home.

      These public schools are the only place where some kids can really behave as kids. They afford the oppty to take note and start corrective action when a child looks abused or neglected.

      Caregivers of children they abuse or neglect would not send them to school w/out a mandate. Why would they? As is...they tend to send them late after the start of school, anyway.

      There is a safety thing here for children that I think is missing from this conversation.

      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

      by grannyhelen on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:29:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So to protect the abuse of some kids... (0+ / 0-)

        which is an important effort, our bureaucratic solution is to to "institutionalize" all of them, against their or their parents will if necessary.  I don't think that continues to be compatible with an evolving democratic society.

        Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

        by leftyparent on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:49:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's to teach them. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grannyhelen

          It's institutionalized, for sure, but that's not a bad thing in and of itself.  

          •  In theory no... but in practice... (0+ / 0-)

            We put their individual fledgling agency and natural love or learning up against a huge education-industrial bureaucracy which seems in most cases to teach kids to see learning as a bitter pill that they must swallow.

            Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

            by leftyparent on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 07:24:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just don't think that is the case. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grannyhelen

              It is clear that your child had a bad experience in public school and does not like math, but I think that you are generalizing far too much here.

              First of all, bureaucracies vary greatly state by state. In NJ we have home rule, and most school districts are quite small. All three of my kids went through the local public schools here, and I sat on the school board back in the 1990s. I never felt the weight of the "huge education-industrial bureaucracy", and my kids never saw learning as a bitter pill. Quite the contrary.

    •  Wel ask yourself... does it work for adults?... (0+ / 0-)

      or is our political and judicial systems just a popularity contest?

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

      by leftyparent on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:47:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Take a look at Sudbury schools. (0+ / 0-)

      Most of them are private, but they run on a democratic system. The kids run the school. It can be done and is being done, just not on a mass basis.

      Sudbury Schools

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