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Taking Children Seriously

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Taking Children Seriously (T.C.S.) is a nonscientific exploration of parenting and educational philosophy whose central idea is that children are full people.[1]


T.C.S. was conceived between 1988 and 1989 by Sarah Fitz-Claridge,[2] and later grew into an online mailing-list around 1992.[3]

T.C.S. begins with the observation that most traditional interactions between adults and youth are based on coercion. Instead of viewing some sources of ideas – such as parents’ ideas – as having authority, Taking Children Seriously takes the growth of knowledge seriously, which means free competition of the ideas irrespective of source.

The T.C.S. model of parenting and education views coercion as infringing on the will of the child, and also rejects parental or educator "self-sacrifice" as infringing on the will of the adult. T.C.S. defines coercion as: "double-binding – putting others in no-win situations – using your ingenuity to actively prevent problems being solved. Authority. Interacting hierarchically. Looking down on."[4] T.C.S. advocates that parents and children act creatively to find solutions without force or compromise.[5][6]

The T.C.S. philosophy is informed by the epistemology of Karl Popper and David Deutsch, a theoretical physicist at Oxford University. [7]


  1. ^ "[1] Welcome to Taking Children Seriously"
  2. ^ "[2] Autonomous learning, autonomous life"
  3. ^ "[3] How did TCS start?"
  4. ^ "[4] What do you mean by non-coercive? What is the difference between coercion and non-coercion?"
  5. ^ "[5] How can I tell if a proposed solution is a real solution?"
  6. ^ "[6] How is a compromise not a real solution?"
  7. ^ "[7] What is the relationship between Karl Popper’s epistemology, the ideas of David Deutsch and Taking Children Seriously?"

External links[edit]

  • Taking Children Seriously Website
  • "Brain Child Mag Homepage". Brain, Child Magazine. 4 (1): Winter 2003. Retrieved 2008-11-11. Reprinted in the Utne Reader
  • "Pedagogy > Taking Children Seriously". K12 Academics. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 11 November 2008.
  • "People must start taking children seriously". Collegiate Times. 2022-09-13. Retrieved 13 September 2022.*