“All over the world the school has an anti-educational effect on society…” – Ivan Illich, 1971, Deschooling Society
Children should do what they want just as adults do what they want. We can be there alongside our kids as they explore their interests the way they themselves choose, in an unstructured manner. Cole… says most of everything he achieved was because of his parents’ support and help.
Friendly criticisms of this warm, charming, beautiful book that is absolutely brilliant at showing us how it is for our babies and young children, creating empathy, and at doing that with gentle humour and without demonising parents.
How the word ‘respect’ led this parent to Taking Children Seriously
A critical review of books aimed at parents.
Many ‘limits’ work mainly because the parent is bigger physically and can stop the child from leaving, or going outside, or they can keep the child from eating dinner until the child follows their commands. Once the child becomes a teenager, then the parent has to resort to other ways to ‘control’ the child. It’s a vicious cycle and then by the time your child is an adult and leaves home they probably want nothing to do with you.
Most parenting books purport to be about how to be a nice parent instead of a nasty one, but under the surface veneer we find the same old rubbish about how to make children do what you want them to do: they do not take children seriously as full people whose lives are their own.
It can be a big step forward to get that kids want to be responsible, contributing, loving people and that trying to push them in that direction is more likely to derail that than help it.
This author has some good criticisms of overt coercion but spends about 200 pages advocating more covert coercion. Not Taking Children Seriously.
Kohn has a gut feeling that behaviourist dog training techniques are bad, and he is quite right about that. But he has no explanation of why they are and how they are. All he has is (worthless) ‘evidence’ that they are.
Punished by Rewards presents an argument based on empirical research.
Understanding that knowledge grows through creative conjecture and inner criticism facilitates non-coercive interactions.
Herbert Spencer argued that children have equal rights with adults. In his Social Statics, written in 1850, Spencer boldly states that every child “has claims to freedom—rights, as we call them—coextensive with those of the adult.”
An article written in the early days of the internet.
All choices restrict future choices. The real question is whether one is learning and growing through one’s own free choice, or not.
The Faber/Mazlish How To Talk So Kids Will Listen books are not taking children seriously: they advocate double-binding and lying to children to manipulate them into going along with the parent’s agenda that is independent of and impervious to the child’s own wishes.
Never stop reading to your children. I remember not wanting to read to my mother even when I could, in case she stopped reading to me. Being read to is one of life’s great pleasures we can all enjoy, even as adults.
Although Popper is not commonly regarded as a writer on education, in The Open Society, he develops a devastating critique of our academic tradition.
This 1989 workshop advocated taking children seriously, not just ‘autonomous learning’.