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Evelien是一位荷蘭的老師,她待過體制學校與華德福學校,11年前他與一群老師一起創立了一所民主學校。她來自一個教師世家,父母與兄弟都是校長和老師。前兩年我們在歐洲民主學校年會(EUDEC)上認識,今年(2013)我們又在她的學校所舉辦的年會上見面。她參加了我們學校的兩次工作坊(workshop)後,對我們學校產生了濃厚的興趣,於是在今年11月2日從荷蘭千里迢迢專程來到臺灣,在我們學校待了三個星期,同行的還有另外一位老師及學生。

他們待在學校期間,真正參與了我們的生活與學習。他們去上早上的基本能力與知識性課程,他們也參加下午的各種社團性課程和選修課程,他們和老師一起開校務會議與生活輔導會議,也去參加學生的九人小組會議和自治會,在日常生活裡他們和許多老師進行了輕鬆而深入的對話。他們最後也參與了我們每年一度的雪山三路會師登山教育活動。在豐富而緊湊的三星期生活與觀察後,Evelien寫下她初步客觀而平實的印象,以及主觀的感受。看完這封信後,我還蠻配服Evlien的敏銳度以及實事求是的態度。這與去年(2011年下半年)教育部七位評鑑委員來校半天看了一些書面資料,訪談了一些老師、學生、家長後就忽忽作出等第判斷的做法是頗為有趣的對照。

十九年對全人的批評與讚美,幾乎很少是建立在客觀、全面而深入的事實基礎上,帶著開放而實事求是的態度進行的。每個人都急著擷取自己想聽的和看自己想看的東西,然後匆匆作下判決。全人是一個開放空間,我們永遠歡迎對自由教育有興趣的朋友來駐校觀察,與我們進行深入的對話,但請不要太快下判斷。我一直很喜歡Evlien學校的校名—De Ruimte,翻譯成英文就是The Space,一個讓孩子可以輕鬆呼吸的空間。可以自由做自己、可以追求並投入自己興趣的空間。可以與人平等而真實地互動和對話的空間。在華人社會要建構這樣的空間,其困難度非身歷其境的人是難以想像的。

2013.12.15大雄


※以下為荷蘭友人Evelien Prins 2013.12.04之來信、(後附中文翻譯):
Dear Huong,

Today I'll attempt to write down my reflections on the Holistic Education School. In my head there is no structured map of things I would like to say, so I hope you don't mind me starting from loose thoughts. I have been talking to friends and collegues about my 3 weeks experience in Taiwan, which has helped me to phrase my thoughts, but still it is not easy.

When I think back I see myself walking down the road towards the dining hall. I feel relaxed and at ease and also I have this feeling of anticipation, wondering what will happen today, whom I will meet and what I will do. And still very relaxed; softly smiling.
What does this tell me about the school? Because I'm a very sensitive person and if I feel this way walking down the road, I think this will be similar for most students and maybe teachers, but I'm less sure about the last. I see a school with a true heart where people practise what they preached I see a school where students can be who they are, however strange, where there is no standard-student to live up to. I think the students in your school know this in their core and I think this is very important. It does not mean they always act accordingly. Some do foolish things, trying to find out who they are and how they want to live their lives. But I feel they absolutely know the value of this school. They know that here they are taken serious. That their input will be listened to, that they can speak up when they think it's important, that they have something to say about their own lives. And even if they do not act on it, they know this is so.

What do I see the students doing? They react to this situation in many different ways. I think it depends on the questions they struggle with. So it came to be that there were some students in the school I never met or maybe never even saw. For them it was of no interest that we were there. Others spend lots of time with us, each for their own reason (curiosity, practising English, exploring possibilities to travel, having fun, trying to help). This was perfectly fine; because they were them I could be me. But the important thing is that they were free to interact or not interact with me and that I saw them making their choice wisely.

I never felt any worries about the students. Although maybe I did not see the ones who lock themselves in their bedrooms or hardly participate in schoollife in any other way. Most students seemed pretty independant, open, close to themselves and timeless. I wonder why I write this last word... I think I mean that they do not seem to worry much about time and future. And although it may be different for some individuals it feels like most of the students surrender to the here and now (I think this comes from a comparison to De Ruimte where there are always a lot of older students wondering if this is the place they should be and struggling with fears of not making the right decision for their future. This may have to do with the fact that it's hard to leave the school with a diploma, having to do stateexams on all subjects). It also means to me, that students trust the school in its qualities as a school. What the school offers is a very rich environment in which you have abundant choice for finding things that appeal to you. And if it's not there you know it can be created.

I wonder if this is the perfect number of students for the school. I think the school could still grow without many problems. It would be nice for some students to have more chance to meet someone to recognize themselves in: someone with the same shyness, weird obsession, absurd humor or talent. I think it will make the school less lonely or less hard for some students. Teachers are nice, but peers are the really important thing in life. So This number is ok, but more (up til 100-120) I think would be better.

I think your school would be a different school if your students would grow up in a similar (democratic) environment. What I see in our school with students who have been at the school from early age on, is that they have a very different perspective on learning or studying. For them it is no issue, it's just one of the things you can do in life. They have no problems attending classes, being on time, helping to find solutions if they can not attend class. It is all very natural, acting from shared responsibility. Being chairman of the schoolmeeting when you are 12 is an interesting new experience. You've seen people doing it all you life, so you like to try. Adapting your plans as you go is no threat. Gaining knowledge is just one of the things life has to offer. They sometimes struggle but that's life too. There is less panick or paralyzing fear, so also no extravagant acting out.
So I think your school would be more balanced if students came from democratic education: a more relaxed self supporting student population and less worrying teachers.

,,,,

What else?
I enjoyed the lively schoolmeeting at your school. Our meetings are far more boring and businesslike and well organised and also not so well attended. But I really enjoyed observing your meeting! Just to see it can be like this too. One of the things I picked up is standing up when you deliver your point. You literally stand for your point. In our system the motion are delivered on paper and the chairman reads them. But he/she does not feel the passion for this point. You are allowed to present you point yourself but hardly anybody does. I'm going to see if I can change that in our school. I can also see that it is easier to attend the schoolmeeting when you live at the school and have lots of time on your hands. When you attend the schoolmeeting at our school it is 2 hours out of your 7 hour day (4 days). Most students don't want to spend so much time on a meeting.

This is enough for now.
Evelien Prins 20131204

 

英文翻譯
親愛的大雄:

今天我會嘗試寫下我對全人中學的感想,在我的腦海中,我想要說的話並不是一個有什麼架構圖表類的東西,所以我希望你不會介意我由鬆散的想法來做開頭。我一直在跟我的朋友還有同事們聊有關於這三個禮拜在台灣的經驗,而這也幫助我去形塑我的想法,但這仍然不是很容易。

當我回想那段日子的時候,我看到我自己正朝著餐廳的路上走著。我感到很輕鬆愜意,而且我也有某種感知,好奇著今天將會發生什麼、我將會遇到誰、還有我將要做什麼。而我仍然感到非常放鬆,輕輕地微笑着。關於這個學校,那這些到底告訴了我什麼?因為我是一個非常敏感的人,假若走下這條路時我這麼的感覺,我想對大部分的學生、或許還有老師來說,應該也是差不多的感受,不過我不是很確定對後者(老師)來說是不是一樣。我看見一個擁有真誠心靈的學校,在那裡人們實行著他們所倡導的東西,我看到一個學校,在那邊學生可以成為他們想成為的人,不管可能是多麼奇怪,在那裡沒有一個遵奉的所謂標準學生的樣貌。我認為你們學校,在學生的核心價值裡他們知道這些,而且我認為這是非常重要的事。這並不是指他們總是有相對應的行動。有些人做蠢事,試圖要找出他們是誰、如何活出他們人生的答案,但我感覺他們肯定知道這個學校的價值在哪,他們知道在這裡他們被認真對待,他們的付出將會被傾聽,當他們認為重要的時候他們可以大聲講出來,關於他們自身的生活他們有話要說,而即使他們並沒有在這些方面有些行動,他們也知道事情就該是如此。

那我看到學生在做些什麼?他們對這個情況的反應有許多不同的面象,我想這取決於他們此刻所面對的問題而定。所以最終結果是學校裡有些學生我從來沒碰過面,或者連看都沒看到,我們在那邊這件事對他們來說,是沒有任何興趣的。而其他的學生花了很多時間跟我們相處,每一個都有他們自己的理由(好奇、練習英文、探索旅行的可能性、找樂子、試著想幫忙等等)。這都相當的好,因為當他們是他們時,我也可以做我自己。但這一切最重要的,是他們可自由決定要不要跟我有所互動,而我看到他們很明智地做他們的決定。

我從沒有對這些學生感到有任何的擔心,或許在其他方面,我並沒看到把自己鎖在房間內或幾乎不參加任何學校活動的學生。大部分的學生似乎相當的獨立、開放、與自己親近、不受時間所影響。我懷疑我為甚麼會寫最後這個詞…我想我指的是他們似乎不用而擔心時間跟未來太多。雖然這樣講對某些個人來說是不太一樣的,但感覺大部分的學生都服膺於當下的感受。(我想這來自於跟我們學校De Ruimte的比較,在我們學校總是有許多較資深的學生會懷疑這裡是不是他們應該要在的地方,並且與不能替未來做正確決定的恐懼掙扎著。這或許是跟難以拿到畢業證書離開學校、必須在所有科目上參加國家考試這事實有關。)這對我來說也是指,學生信任這個學校做為一所學校,學校所提供的品質是一個非常豐富的環境,你可以在裡頭擁有多樣的選擇來找尋吸引你的東西,而假如那裡沒有的話,你知道它是可以被創造出來的。

我好奇目前是否對這學校來說是最理想的學生人數,我想學校仍然可以繼續成長而不會有太多問題。如果能讓某些學生有更多機會去遇見別人、藉此來認識自己,如一樣帶有害羞天性的人、有著奇怪狂熱的人、有可笑的幽默或天份的人等等,將會是非常好的。我想這樣子對某些學生來說,學校將變得不那麼孤單或困難。老師雖然好,但同儕才是他們生命中真正重要的。所以這個數字ok,但若能增加到一百至一百二十個學生,我想會更好。

我想你們學校將會是一個不一樣的學校,假如你們的學生成長於一個相近似的(民主的)環境。就我們學校我所看到的是,那些很小就進來學校的學生,在學習或讀書的想法上他們非常的不一樣,對他們來說這沒什麼大不了的,只是你在生活中可以做的事情其中之一。進課堂、準時到、當不能進課堂時會盡力想辦法等,對他們來說都不是問題。很自然地,他們的表現來自於共同分擔的責任感。當你滿十二歲時當自治會的主席是一件有趣的新經驗。你一直在過往的人生中看到別人這麼當,所以你也想要試看看。當你走到哪一步而調整你自己的計畫,都不是什麼脅迫,獲取知識只是生命必須要提供的某一項東西而已。他們有時候掙扎著但那也是生命的一部分。因為較沒有恐懼或麻痺了的害怕,所以也不會有過度的自我扮演。

所以我想你們學校假如學生來自於民主教育的背景將會更為平衡:一個較放鬆的自我支撐的學生人數以及較不擔憂的教師群。


還有其他什麼的嗎?
我很享受你們學校活潑生動的自治會,我們的自治會是挺無聊、公事化、組織良好但出席的不怎麼好。但我真的享受觀察你們的自治會!就只是來看自治會也可以這麼做。我想要提出來的一點,就是當你發表論點的時候站起來這件事,你說的一字一句就代表你的觀點。在我們的系統裡,這個舉動是先透過筆寫在紙上,再由主席朗讀出來,但主席不見得會有對這個觀點的熱情。你自己是可以被允許來主動呈現你的觀點的,但幾乎沒什麼人這樣做。我會考慮看看是否能在我們學校做點改變。我也可以看到當你們生活在一塊而且手邊有很多時間的時候,對大家來說參加自治會是比較容易的。當你在我們學校參加自治會的時候,那將是一天七小時裡的兩小時(一個禮拜有四天),對大部分的學生來說,他們不想花那麼多時間在一個會議上。

Evelien Prins 20131204