How You Can Be a Part of This

Would you like to write for the TCS web site? It would be lovely to have lots of different voices on the site, and lots of different articles, reviews and short pieces.

To temp you to write for the site, let me tell you my current theory of how the site will be, and give you some guidelines to keep in mind. (But feel free to send anything TCS-related. Even a few scrappy notes in point form could be turned into an article, so do send stuff!)

The plan is to have a vast range of different attributed articles, addressing TCS-related issues and including lots of practical ideas to illustrate the TCS way of life. Some articles will assume more prior knowledge of TCS that others. Some articles will be more about painting word pictures of what TCS life looks like in practice than making deep philosophical arguments. Other articles will explain and argue aspects of TCS, assuming no prior knowledge of TCS. Last but very importantly, some of the site will be cutting-edge TCS articles on deeper, more subtle, issues, for people who are already living and breathing TCS.

Apart from in this latter case, in general, theoretical articles should explain or argue the relevant aspect of TCS rather than merely mentioning it without explanation. To get an idea of what I mean by “merely mentioning it without explanation”, see the TCS FAQ on the old TCS site. It just mentions what TCS says without making the arguments. It served its purpose at the time, but it is woefully inadequate now.

Because the entire site is part of a database, readers can search for anything they like. But I also intend to collate lists of articles on different subjects or aspects of TCS, for fun and to increase the browsability of the site.

The front page of the site is a blog. There are some great blogs out there by and for TCS people. This one is different. As the front page of the TCS web site, this blog is likely to be the first thing many people who have never heard of TCS read. So with that in mind, here are some criteria to keep in mind when writing for the front page:

(1) Assume that the reader knows nothing about TCS, perhaps hasn't thought much about these things, but is open to TCS.

(2) The aim is to make the TCS web site friendly and fun as well as fascinatingly TCS so, in general, don't make controversial statements without explaining/arguing them, and make your humour gentle and kind.

(3) Please resist any urge you might have to tone down TCS in an attempt to make it more palatable. There is nothing unpalatable about TCS, and how will anyone become familiar with it if the TCS web site presents ideas other than TCS ones?! It is very important to highlight rather than hide what makes TCS different from any other ideas about parenting and education. Call me an optimist, but I think it is perfectly possible to write articles that are both friendly and true.

(These criteria will probably evolve, of course, just as my conception of the new web site has evolved in the years I have been planning it.)

So, everyone, if you would like to join in and submit material, that would be great! Anyone who wants to contribute is very welcome to do so. Please send submissions to: submissions(at sign)takingchildrenseriously.com.

If you are hesitating to become involved because you fear that your writing might not be up to scratch, please don't worry – everything goes through an editing process anyway.

Please note that just as many publications have editorials, most of the items on the front page are unsigned. If you intend your piece to be an unsigned editorial on the front page, say so. If you want your piece attributed, please say so. If you are flexible about this, please state what attribution you want added in the event that your piece is going to appear as an attributed article. (Do you want your name linked to your email address or web site?)

-- Sarah Fitz-Claridge Founder, Taking Children Seriously