Re: DSM: Re: TCS (Taking Children Seriously): Non-coercive Schools?

From: Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. (
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 19:16:03 EST

Hi Todd,

Thanks for the heads-up.

You wrote:

> Ardeshir, Joe has a great piece about TCS on his website (
> I went through this piece. My feeling on reading it was, basically, that Joe was getting ticked off by things some TCS
> list subscribers said, but not about the TCS philosophy itself, which stresses common preferences over coersion -- and
> which is really hard to argue against!
> If a common preference had been found, in his example, between the parent he talks about, the 13-year-old, and the
> 26-year-old, then what would have been the harm? Indeed I would think that would have been a lot better than so-called
> "law-enforcement", which is often simply a euphemism for strong-arm tactics.
> I admit that it is hard for me to believe that common perferences can be found in all cases. Perhaps they can -- as
> the TCS philosophy claims -- and perhaps they can't; but that's another debate. But wherever they can be found I would
> much prefer them to strong-arm tactics -- and so, I think, would anyone else, especially if they were on the
> "receiving end of the stick", as it were!
> You added:
> There are also some great links in the DSM archives about democracy vs. conensus -- I'm sure Scott has those at his
> fingertips, because I know he's posted them before.
> I shall certainly look them up. I also disagree that the claim "Whatever the time of day, and whatever their age,
> students in the [Sudbury Valley] school are all doing what they want to do." sounds hollow just because it is not
> literally true if looked at on a second-by-second or minute-by-minute basis. I think that it is clear (or becomes
> clear with just a little reading of the site) that the claim means students are free from most or all of the
> institutional restrictions traditionally imposed on children in schools.
> If that's all it means, it may not be hollow, but is certainly insufficient, at least in my mind, to allow SVS to
> justifiably call itself a "Free School". True freedom does not permit such a distinction.
> The only thing one should not be allowed to do, in my view, is to curtail the freedom of others. That, to my mind, is
> the only justifiable restriction that can be imposed on absolute freedom.
> Best,
> Ardeshir <>
> ************************************************************
> BTW: What about the offering of the money which goes towards paying the fees to SVS to the child himself/herself?
> A.


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