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  • Kirsty Milward, Rahul Bose
    Thanks for your response, Clive. I agree that there are probably no absolute answers to whether anything is or is not OK (though, interestingly, this is not
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2007
      Thanks for your response, Clive.
      I agree that there are probably no absolute answers to whether anything is or is not OK (though, interestingly, this is not always what I tell my smaller children); there are many possible ways of resolving problems, many possible ways of acting. You're right, I'm not all that comfortable (yet) with the possibly elite dimensions of homeschool; I think there may be some contradictions in it;  but we are setting out to do it anyway, and I dare say we will find ways of living with them.
      It's been a surprise and a pleasure to find ourselves in a position to set up a community initiative in the form of Suchana,  which certainly has the potential to help these children build confidence, to build their cultural self-respect, and to be able to engage with other aspects of the world more on their terms, but I am acutely aware that  this is not nearly enough to level the playing field for them. It might, of course, contribute to making them more able to level it for themselves, but there's no denying it's a long shot, and they've got a hard task ahead of them. Suchana's ELG is no perfect example of 'alternative' methods in action, but it does try to use and promote a different way of thinking about what education might be for. Our evaluation process, for example, foregrounds 'co-operation', 'independent  thinking', 'leadership', 'respect for others' etc - which is pretty unusual in this context, if not in other places. And we try to use this process as a way of communicating with parents about what we are trying to do, rather than as a competitive thing. Anyway, one problem that I hate is that people - sometimes children, sometimes parents - quite often come from other villages wanting to come to Suchana, and I find saying no really hard - but at the moment we can't cope with more. It seems to me that many people opt for more competitive and information-crazy forms of education not because that's what they want but because that's all there is, and in some places there is not even that.
      So in that sense, yes I am dissatisfied. But dissatisfaction doesn't have to be negative; it can provoke us to look for sensible responses, trying new things, problem solving.
      I'm not sure that I agree that equality and justice do not exist in the world at all. Obviously they are not 'things' to go out and pick up, but I think many people experience (bounded, limited) moments where equality/ justice may be present, or being enacted, perhaps in flawed ways, but in ways which nevertheless can inspire.
      Educating children into compassion and intelligence is the challenge, yes. But surely, the more the merrier. With all our limitations, including resource limitations as well as human inconsistencies, is this something which is to be attempted intensely, with a few children, or more broadly but in dilution? It frustrates me to be faced with this choice.
      warm regards,
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