Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] TCS (was New to Sudbury-Cottage Grove, OR

From: Steven Cox <>
Date: Fri May 30 01:27:00 2003

Understanding the SVS model is difficult to do without actually experiencing
it . TCS is generally not understood by casual examination. SVS model and
TCS share the commonalities that they are both fairly recent developments
(SVS 34 years, TCS 12 years or so), both are based on an openness to
challenging existing theories, and both are intended to improve the lives of
young people. Negating all of TCS is like dismissing SVS schools offhand as
"places where kids can play video games and smoke cigarettes all day without
learning anything."

TCS can be implemented in families but not in large institutions. It is
based on finding common preferences (win-win solutions). By necessity,
people that take part in large institutions usually choose to make
compromises to be a part of that institution. Ideally, a child in a TCS
family could choose to stay at home, attend public school, or a private
school (like SVS if the funds were available). A parents job would be to
explain each of these options to the child, and provide them the opportunity
to visit different schools if the child is interested. BTW I would find it
very ironic if a parent chose to send their child to SVS for their child's
"own good" when the child wanted homeschooling or to attend a public school.
I think the SVS model and TCS both share the commonality that children (like
adults) will make mistakes about what is right, what indeed it is they want,
and how to solve problems.People are not empty buckets with knowledge poured
in, but learn through conjecture and refutation of theories. (Karl Popper
ala TCS).

A TCS kid, or any other rational person, might at first blush think the rule
at SVS in Framingham that you cannot put so much as your big toe in the pond
is silly. The child will probably want to know the whys of the rule, may
test the rule by breaking it, or may try to get the rule changed, or may
just decide that its part of SVS and is easy enough to live with because
s/he knows of plenty of other ponds in other places to jump into.

Most people probably dismiss TCS because they get scared of what a child
might do if unimpeded. But it is my experience that if a child views the
parent as an ally, s/he is much less likely to do something foolhardy.
Children who are forbidden to do certain behaviors and experience punishment
are probably more likely to do something foolhardy then children who are
unafraid to discuss with their parents their plans or concerns. Children
who are taken seriously tend to have a zest for life and want to try many
things, but its my best guess that they are not suicidal! For instance if
they want to jump off the roof with a parachute, they want to do it without
breaking their necks. :-)

Parenting this way, living with children feels like a real joint venture,
not something done to children to make them turn out ok. It takes a kind of
patience on the part of the parent that most of us didn't experience as
children; a willingness to slow down and be ready to discuss most


> Well, I must say, I've gotten quite a bit of enlightenment on TCS this
> afternoon!
> I never go 'whole hog' on anything, but their stand on children's rights,
> especially in regards to education, is what initially drew my interest.
> Many of the things I have heard and read (before this afternoon) were very
> child-oriented and many of the things I have read there have brought a lot
> of comfort to me. But some of what I have read this afternoon makes my
> blood run cold.
> It's sad when extremists take a good thing and turn it into something
> dreadful. Freedom should never be a cause to allow any child to be in an
> obviously dangerous situation. Regardless of what 'freedom' it impedes!
> Thank you for the CNVC link! I'll read more now that I have 'tasted' the
> flavor and found it to be a more nourishing, nurturing way of reaching
> peace. There is a center just 20 miles north of me! I'm looking forward
> further enlightenment.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hilary Tuttle" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 6:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] New to Sudbury-Cottage Grove, OR
> > I don't know that much about TCS. I checked out their website a while
> > and wasn't really drawn to what they had to say, the ideas on first
> > sound interesting but it didn't seem to hang together, it didn't seem
> > anything that would work for my family. Now listening to other peoples
> > experiences w/those folks I feel justified in my non-interest.
> >
> > Here is a website with information that I found very helpful in working
> out
> > a healthier relationship with my very strong and opinionated son.
> > It talks about Nonviolent Communication, a way of
> > that was developed by Marshall Rosenberg.
> >
> > They sell a book that's very helpful in truly understanding this
> > communication style. I found that as soon as I learned the "structure" I
> > discarded it but have kept the underlying principles in the fore of my
> mind
> > when the going gets tough and I'm not connecting with someone.
> >
> > Hilary
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
Received on Fri May 30 2003 - 01:26:01 EDT

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