“Ideas of what constitutes taking children seriously are open to criticism and revision in the light of new knowledge. I am under no illusion that my ideas are The Final Truth.”
– Sarah Fitz-Claridge
From the archives: The original post was posted on 2nd February 1995
“I’d like to know from you on this list your evaluation of the Montessori type of education. How good is it, measured by the standard of Taking Children Seriously?
I think it’s epistemologically very sound, and does take children seriously. Of course, I’m not an expert on what constitutes official Taking Children Seriously.”
It might be thought that you are looking for the ultimate Taking Children Seriously doctrine or once-and-for-all answer. Whilst I agree that we are seeking truth, I suggest that current ideas of what constitutes taking children seriously are as open to criticism and revision in the light of new knowledge as anything else. There is no dogmatism here—not in my view, anyway. If one thinks one knows the answer, one won’t be trying to improve upon one’s present ideas.
- Coercing children to play an instrument
- The constraints of childhood
- Surely it is not coercive to have a rule that whenever our child goes out, he must first tell us where he is going and for how long? What about being a responsible parent?!