Taking Children Seriously

From Academic Kids

Taking Children Seriously, or sometimes simply TCS, is an educational philosophy founded by the libertarians Sarah Fitz-Claridge and David Deutsch. It is based upon the idea that it is possible and desirable to raise and educate children without either doing anything to them against their will, or making them do anything against their will.

What distinguishes TCS parenting and education from other such philosophies is that in TCS families, instead of the parents imposing their will on their children, or self-sacrificing for their children, parents and children work together to find real solutions to any problems or disagreements they have. A real solution, says Fitz-Claridge, is a common preference, a solution all parties genuinely prefer to all other candidate solutions they can think of. If a common preference cannot be found, then the child's desires have priority over the adult's since all forms of coercion of the child are avoided.

Fitz-Claridge says that the philosophy is inspired by the epistemology of Karl Popper. According to TCS, Popper's epistemology is a universal theory of how knowledge grows and it has profound implications for educational theory. Fitz-Claridge says that Popper himself never made this connection.

Fitz-Claridge [1] (http://www.fitz-claridge.com/) publishes a journal of the same name, and maintains a mailing list and website [2] (http://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/).

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