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Round Square and JC


a quote from JC's speech


 
We believe that the goal of education is, or should be, the development of the spiritual man, that is of that part of each one of us which, with development and training, is capable of a vision or direct apprehension of the purpose of life, of the true nature of ourselves, of the world in which we live and of such other worlds or states of being as may exist besides.



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http://www.roundsquare.org/index.php?id=344

Perhaps some of the precepts in JC's speech might be matched with the "seven laws"... of the Round Square... 




The Seven Laws of Salem

The need to educate so that people would speak of their convictions

The ideas and intentions which triggered the foundation of Schule Schloss Salem by Kurt Hahn and Prince Max of Baden in 1920 and their first practical experiences flowed into the formulation of the so-called ‘Seven Laws of Salem’ around 1930.

They express the principles of Salem education, and in their different versions in German and English they underpin life and work at Salem and indeed, Round Square, to this day and provide a means for educators to address Hahn's desperate desire to educate so that people would speak of their convictions.

 

First Law  Give the children opportunities for self-discovery

Every girl and boy has a “grande passion”, often hidden and unrealised to the end of life.

The Educator cannot hope and may not try to find it out by psychoanalytical methods. It can and will be revealed by the child coming into close touch with a number of different activities.

When a child has come “into his own”, you will often hear a shout of joy, or be thrilled by some other manifestation of primitive happiness. But these activities must not be added as a superstructure to an exhausting programme of lessons. They will have no chance of absorbing and bringing out the child unless they form a vital part of the day’s work. The wholesome passion once discovered grows to be “the guardian angel” of the years of adolescence, while the undiscovered and unprotected boy rarely maintains his vitality unbroken and undiluted from 11 to 15. We do not hesitate to say: often the spiritual difference in age between a boy of 15 and a boy of 11 is greater than of a man of 50 and a boy of 15.

 

Second Law  Make the children meet with triumph and defeat

Let them learn to “treat these two impostors just the same.” – It is possible to wait on a child’s inclinations and gifts to arrange carefully for an unbroken series of successes. You may make him happy in this way – I do doubt it – but you certainly disqualify him for the battle of life.

Salem believes you ought to discover the child’s weakness as well as his strength. Allow him to engage in enterprises in which he is likely to fail, and do not hush up his failure. Teach him to overcome defeat. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat from the tree of life”. Rev. 2-7.

 

Third Law  Give the children the opportunity of self-effacement in the common cause

Even the youngsters ought to undertake tasks which are of definite importance for the community. Tell them from the start: “You want a crew, not passengers on the thrilling voyage through the New Country School.” Let the responsible boys and girls shoulder duties big enough, when negligently performed, to wreck a state.

 

Fourth Law  Provide periods of silence

Following the great precedent of the Quakers. Unless the present-day generation acquires early habits of quiet and reflection, it will be speedily and prematurely used up by the nerve exhausting and distracting civilization of today.

 

Fifth Law  Train the imagination

You must call it into action, otherwise it become atrophied like a muscle not in use. The power to resist the pressing stimulus of the hour and the moment cannot be acquired in later life; it often depends on the ability to visualize what you plan and hope and fear for the future. Self-indulgence is in many cases due to a lack of vision: “Wer das Ferne nicht bedenkt, dem ist Betrübnis nahe.” (Goethe)

 

Sixth Law  Make games important but not predominant

Athletics do not suffer by being put in their place. In fact you restore the dignity of the usurper by dethroning him.

 

Seventh Law  Free the sons of the wealthy and powerful from the enervating sense of privilege

Decadence is not always an inexorable decree of nature, more often it is a wilful waste of splendid heritage. The “poor” rich girls and boys wholly thrown into each others company are not given a chance of growing into men and women who can overcome.

Let them share the experiences of an enthralling school life with sons and daughters of those who have to struggle for their existence. No school can build up a tradition of self discipline and vigorous but joyous endeavour, unless at least 30% of the children come from homes where life is not only simple but even hard.






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First Law  Give the children opportunities for self-discovery

From JC's Speech:   

Paragraph 3. We believe that the goal of education is, or should be, the development of the spiritual man, that is of that part of each one of us which, with development and training, is capable of a vision or direct apprehension of the purpose of life, of the true nature of ourselves, of the world in which we live and of such other worlds or states of being as may exist besides.
 
Paragraph 44. Intimate contact with nature, too, is important, and a realisation of our living relationship with it.  Hence our adventure training programme.
 



Second Law  Make the children meet with triumph and defeat

From JC's Speech:  

Paragraph 29. Another of our basic principles is that we believe that it is the business of those who direct the school, first to set the standards which they believe the students should be aiming at, and state them in no equivocal fashion, and secondly that they should provide a method of grading for each aspect which will enable the student to know what progress the school authorities think he is making.  This grading should, if necessary and where possible, be accompanied by explanations which will help the student to understand his assessment and plan his future progress.
 
Paragraph 30. And so we have our different grading systems concerning the activities which are designed to help in the development of the four aspects of man's nature.  First we set standards
for the students to aim at, then by grading, we let them know how we think they are doing.  The object of grading is not to stimulate Competition with others but to let the student know what progress he is making.
 
Paragraph 31. Hence we have a grading system for studies, academic and artistic and practical, another for sports, games and the adventure training programs or expeditions, and a third for "the whole man."  This last is of course the key one and combines all the others in its assessment.
 
Paragraph 32. It charts the course of the development of the boy or girl as regards his character, sense of responsibility, maturity and general development in relation to the basic standards of conduct and morality which we lay down and which are derived, as far as we are able to understand them, from the  teachings of Jesus Christ and other great teachers.
 



 

Third Law  Give the children the opportunity of self-effacement in the common cause

From the Guide to Conduct

1. Consider the comfort and convenience of other people. This is the hallmark of courtesy.
2. Don't make unnecessary or exaggerated noise. 3. Don't draw attention to yourselves. Never be
loud or vulgar.
4. Show restraint in your dress.
5. See that your clothes are neat and clean and appropriate to the occasion.
6. Don't loiter or lounge about or look sloppy.
7. Always make way for others and defer to anyone older than yourself.
8. Notice if anyone else is in difficulty and, if you think you can be of service, offer quietly to help.
9. Show respect to everyone you meet, regardless of their position, nationality, color or religion.





Fourth Law  Provide periods of silence

From JC's Speech:  

Paragraph 43.... development of the spiritual man lie in such techniques as contemplation, meditation, prayer and the growing insights of psychology and parapsychology.







Fifth Law  Train the imagination

From JC's Speech:  

Paragraph 45. The development of sensitivity to and the practice of art in all its forms provides a very positive channel for the development of the spirit; that is through music, painting, sculpture and all forms of craft -- to all of which of course we attach great importance here.







Sixth Law  Make games important but not predominant

From JC's Speech:  


Paragraph  22. With regard to Sports, games and expeditions.   Because of their value in developing and training different aspects of the character as well as for their value in the development of the body and the maintenance of health, every student is required during the course of the year (unless some medical reason prevents it) to:
 
a) Take part in at least one team game.
 
b) Ski during the winter and take part in ski expeditions.
 
c) Take part in expeditions on foot when snow and climatic conditions permit.
 
d) Follow a course of gymnastics appropriate to his ability.
 
Paragraph   23. These physical activities contribute also to the intellectual, emotional and spiritual development of the student.  Intelligence is required to perform physical activities well. Considerable emotional satisfaction can also be had from them, from the physical pleasure of doing, as well as from the satisfaction derived from successful performance, and from the companionship with and service to others.  All the foregoing plus the contact with nature also make their contribution to the spiritual development of the individual.
 



Seventh Law  Free the sons of the wealthy and powerful from the enervating sense of privilege

From JC's Speech:     

Paragraph 46. Absolutely essential too is a positive and loving relationship with all other people regardless of their origin, background or beliefs, and a positive and loving relationship with everything in the world and in the universe around us.

plus:   There are "house jobs."


Guideline to conduct


Guide to Conduct
1. Consider the comfort and convenience of other people. This is the hallmark of courtesy.
2. Don't make unnecessary or exaggerated noise. 3. Don't draw attention to yourselves. Never be
loud or vulgar.
4. Show restraint in your dress.
5. See that your clothes are neat and clean and appropriate to the occasion.
6. Don't loiter or lounge about or look sloppy.
7. Always make way for others and defer to anyone older than yourself.
8. Notice if anyone else is in difficulty and, if you think you can be of service, offer quietly to help.
9. Show respect to everyone you meet, regardless of their position, nationality, color or religion.




AND
Train the body...


Paragraph 15:   we start from the premise that the body is the temple of the spirit. This can be stated in different ways. It is the house which "we" inhabit during the short span of our life on earth.  It is not "us."  It is an instrument which "we" use to express or manifest the various aspects of truth as "we" perceive them.
 
Paragraph 16. Therefore, the more perfect the body is as an instrument for this purpose, the greater will be its contribution towards the attainment of our goal.  We should therefore learn to care for it, nourish it, and exercise it in a way which will help it to function in the best possible way for this purpose.





AND 

Build respect for all things and a relationship with nature

Paragraph 44. Intimate contact with nature, too, is important, and a realisation of our living relationship with it.  Hence our adventure training programme.
 
Paragraph 45. The development of sensitivity to and the practice of art in all its forms provides a very positive channel for the development of the spirit; that is through music, painting, sculpture and all forms of craft -- to all of which of course we attach great importance here.
 
Paragraph 46. Absolutely essential too is a positive and loving relationship with all other people regardless of their origin, background or beliefs, and a positive and loving relationship with everything in the world and in the universe around us.





NOTE FROM JOHN VORNLE
JC, at one stage, seems to have had a falling out/separation from Kurt Hahn.  I think it was less philosophical (with specific reference to the text you quote) than the details of the implementation.  Nevertheless, it is the details of the implementation that made all the difference between an Aiglon and a Schloss Salem.  I think this difference is important to highlight as I still today consider JC's thought original, unique, and non-conformist (rejecting much conventional wisdom of the time).

I remember discussions about practical implementation differences while staying overnight with the Salem boys while on ski races.  They had no lights out ( or it was much later than the ones I was used to, I forgot which it was).

Does anyone else agree?

Regards,  John    johnvornle@gmail.com

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HERE ARE SOME OF THE PROCEDURES that John Vornle has identified...



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Water with every meal.  Brown bread.  Hot porridge for breakfast.

Table service.  Table cleaning.

Room inspection in the morning and the evening.

Mark reading in a public forum.  Grades that included marks for effort and results.

Wednesday house exchanges.

Regular team sports, not only with the best athletes, but you had to work with whoever was assigned to create a team an each team played the other house team competitively.

Packing all your belongings into a trunk and a suitcase at least twice a year.

Decorating a room and setting it up at least twice a year.

Rotating assignments and responsibilities for the daily duties of running a house/home.

Total responsibility for your personal well-being while climbing the mountains and camping.

Non-denominational, non-sectarian, religious Christian practice that also accepted non-reciprocal practicing Catholics, Muslims, and Jews.

Limited study time for homework.

Morning snacks.  Afternoon tea.

Constant roll calls by last name.

Pocket money and fines.

Breaking the rules without actually getting into trouble with the law.

Saturday dances.

Teacher/student counsel sessions reviewing attitude and citizenship of peers.

All effort that develops the mind and the body, the body requiring physical exercise, the mind requiring educational and spiritual nourishment.---practiced in an environment that required community cooperation.

Does this help?

John



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Annual acceptance of a bunch of new students from different countries, cultures, and circumstance.

Acceptance of Girls into a male oriented school.

Did you see that JC did not consider "Catholics" as "Christians."  I always found his twist amusing.

Regards,  John


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Hi Noel:

I had it easy, as I was first with a short sentence list.

I now remember the music listening restriction.  Yes. Good one.

FYI, I had mentioned the second one with the public mark reading.  You get no credit.  I challenge you now for another one!

I'm adding:

Leadership in the field (i.e on expeditions... thus there was leadership in academics, in the house (house duties), in the school (school monitors), in sports (house teams, sports teams), and in expeditions (always had a team leader).  All "leadership" rolls required different skills and attitudes.

Early wake up.

Lights out (at hours that allowed 8 hours sleep for the younger students...)

Physical punishment (laps)

Academic punishment (pensums)

Permission to drink (senior students, no?)

Annual testing on the school's mission statement.

Weekly letter writing.

Daily dress codes

Out-of-bound areas



Regards,  John


Keep a window open at night

Always wondered if this rule was intended to be an "all season" rule or only during the warm weather 

Noel


Noel,

Absolutely correct!  I had completely forgotten about that rule, despite having been a lights out prefect for at least two terms.  I now remember how the window latches worked especially well for this objective.

It remains a great habit.

Regards,  John 

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From the core guidelines of "delayed gratification" and "planned hardships," we can derive values and procedures:

 

1. What do we value? Learning to appreciate nature. Procedure: Reward the students with points for spending time in nature.

 

2. What do we value? Teenagers who know how to make conversation and see the good in each other. Procedure: Ask teachers to eat with the students, preferably lunch and dinner.

 

3. What do we value? Time spent by teenagers thinking about big issues and important ideas. Procedure: A Thought for the Day. The entire school sits to listen to a short talk, usually given by a teacher, and then the group ponders the words for at least three minutes in silence.

 

4. What do we value? Time spent by teachers and other adults with students outside the classroom. Students can see their teachers following passions away from academics. Procedure: The teacher leads an activity, usually an extracurricular club (chess, fencing, cultural expedition, field trips, weekend trip to another city, hike in nature).  

 

5.  What do we value?   What a gift it would be to see ourselves as others see us.  Procedure:  A system to tell students what we see in them and underscore their moral evolution with awards.  Labels like “standard bearer” and “standard bearer candidate” communicate the level of responsibility that the student has achieved in the school community.

 

If you can find other ways of describing procedures that evolve from the JC vision, contact JohnCorlette@gmail.com.

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