Category Archives: communication

Talk talk

“The most famous physics institute of the 20th century was the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark. Bohr is the man who created the quantum theory of the atom, which lies at the heart of modern physics. He collected around himself the greatest physicists of his time, and hung out with them. That’s what they did, they hung out. I’m using that phrase because we hear it a lot in this school. In his Institute, they’d come for a season to hang out. They’d take walks in the woods, they’d sail on the ocean, they’d swim, and what they treasured more than anything was talking. They talked about physics, they talked about theories, they talked about God, they talked about philosophy. What they were doing, all these greater and lesser physicists, was trying to understand about each other: “How does he see the world? What is he thinking?””

Article: “Conversation: the Staple Ingredient” by Daniel Greenberg at Sudbury Valley School

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Ergo, Sudbury Valley School

“Children learn to read the way they learn to talk. Reading, like speaking, is a social activity best taught by communities and through relationships. Children learn by watching older people, especially older children, read. They learn to read by discovering that important things they want to know are in the symbols. They learn to read because of the pleasure of discovery and praise from parents, teachers, siblings, and friends for their achievements. They learn to read because it both makes them part of a broader community and because they become independent of others, more grown up. Children learn to read because it gives them a private place to visit, and because in the end, they learn to love to read because it opens their imaginations to unseen worlds.”

Ergo, Sudbury Valley School

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DAVID BROOKS — What would he think of Sudbury Valley School?

“[S]he [Amy Chua] is not really rebelling against American-style parenting; she is the logical extension of the prevailing elite practices. She does everything over-pressuring upper-middle-class parents are doing. She’s just hard core.”

“I have the opposite problem with Chua. I believe she’s coddling her children. She’s protecting them from the most intellectually demanding activities because she doesn’t understand what’s cognitively difficult and what isn’t.”

ARTICLE LINK: Amy Chua Is a Wimp (and don’t forget to click on the Comments…. Highlights tab … “There is a middle way between these two extremes.”)

Actually, I think it’s like any duality… it’s both easy and hard to be a kid with a parent like the “Tiger Mother”… easy because you don’t have to choose (freedom is difficult)… hard because playing the piano or doing math problems for hours and hours against your will is not fun!

So I think David Brooks would think SVS is interesting in that it is the true opposite of the parenting and educational approach the Tiger Mother took. High standards, but standards that come FROM WITHIN each person, not from their parents.

See also:
Sudbury Valley – the Easiest School or the Hardest? (a written version of this talk was also published in the SVS Journal, Volume 40, Number 1, Fall 2010)
Stupid white man criticizes smart Chinese woman
Gender & the Brain: A New View (Chua has 2 girls, so it made me think… what if she had boys?)
Video Games Boost Brain Power, Multitasking Skills
(also depression?) (and childhood obesity?)
– Organic Intelligence, Toy Story and “What Did You Do In School Today?” (SVS Journal, Vol 40, Num 1, Fall 2010)
– A longer Brook’s article on this same theme: “The meal was delightful, but it [a first date] was also a rigorous intellectual exam that made the S.A.T. seem like tic-tac-toe.” ARTICLE LINK: “the Composure Class” (seems partially an attempt to followup on his BOBO word from 2000 but bear with him! Good description of attachment parenting “Thanks to his mom’s attunement, he became confident that if he sent a signal it would be received. Later in life, his sense of security enabled him to go out and explore the world.”)

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Conversation and the Sudbury Valley School

“When I drop my boy off at school, I still get my good-bye kiss and
smile, old as the hills that thrill, and I watch him go down the path
towards his school, and begin to run, so eager is he to continue the art
of conversation and observation in his new day time home.”


The Magic of Conversation
Free and Clear Communication
Why Does a Sudbury Valley School Work?
Curiosity, Self-Respect and Learning
– Organic Intelligence, Toy Story and “What Did You Do In School Today?”, Sudbury Valley School Journal, Fall 2010 (Vol 40, Num 1)

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