What to do if you get a visit from a social worker or CPS

The problem with allowing social workers to have direct access to your children is that you immediately put yourself in a weak position because the social services then have so-called expert witnesses who, being fallible human beings with their own biases, may say all sorts of terrible things in court and you would then have to show that those experts are mistaken. Whereas if you are the one hiring the experts and your case comes to court, the social services will then be in the position of having to show that your expert witnesses (whom I am assuming will say good things!) are mistaken or committing perjury.

Learning to Sleep

In the often-tense period before Christmas many parents are especially likely to tell their children that if they don't go to sleep promptly Santa Claus will not bring them any presents. Or that he will bring them only a lump of coal.

The Demon of the Flickering Light

Suppose that somebody told you that if you were exposed to a particular pattern of flickering, coloured lights it would cause you later to take unwise or immoral actions without being able to control yourself. You might well be sceptical. After all, how a person responds to a pattern of flickering light is dependent on their interpretation of that light.

Alan Forrester investigates.

Sooooo Bored In School

Click the read more link for this message sent by a 14 year old sitting in school, bored out of his mind.What follows is a message sent by a 14 year old sitting in school, bored out of his mind. Not surprisingly, he asked that his name not be included. Other identifying details have been removed too.

Lying About Lying

There are many situations in which it is right to lie. But it is wrong to mislead children about their parents' real values and beliefs. It is wrong to mislead them about right and wrong.

Respecting Other People's Wishes

This is a slightly modified version of a 17 May, 2000 Debate List post.

Sarah Fitz-Claridge

In discussions about TCS, people sometimes leap to the conclusion that TCS involves children being left to run riot in other people's houses, destroying family heirlooms and generally distressing everyone they come into contact with. Of course that is not TCS but permissive, uninvolved parenting. But for those who are unfamiliar with TCS, perhaps it is worth saying something about this again.

In such discussions, someone usually asserts that children must be forced to obey the rules of the house they are visiting:

The fact is that when I stay at somone's house, I defer to a reasonable extent to their rules and wishes

When I go to other people's houses, I try to abide by their wishes in respect of their property and so on. I try to make my visit add to their lives rather than detract from them. I try to be sensitive and (to the extent that I think they will want this) helpful in a non-intrusive way. I avoid violating their privacy, and I try not to...

The Cognitive Capacity Argument

Posted by David Deutsch on the TCS List on Mon, 15 Jul., 2002

A poster wrote:

It's is also usually the case that what people really mean is not that “children (or women, or people of color) cannot be trusted to make decisions for themselves” but that “children cannot be trusted to make what I feel is a good decision for themselves”. In other words, the child might choose differently than I want him to.

Another poster replied:

This argument ignores the fact that women and people of color are mature adults while a 3 yr old isn't.

And that argument ignores the fact that a white man is white and male, while women and people of colour are...

Introduction to TCS Theory

TCS is an educational philosophy in the broadest sense, in that it is about the conditions under which human minds do and do not thrive, and about how people learn and how knowledge is created, and it has far-reaching implications for all relationships and for all areas of life. It is a whole new world-view. It is the first and only educational philosophy in existence which is not inconsistent with the prevailing idea of how knowledge grows, and with other ideas which are widely held in other spheres.

TCS and Military Training and Organisation

Posted by David Deutsch on the TCS List on Sun, 13 Oct., 1996.

[A poster] wondered whether TCS can be a fully general theory of education, given its apparent incompatibility with the needs of military education and organisation:

This may be an appropriate opportunity to mention the single area where I find TCS educational theory to be implausible: military organisation. I am not yet able to imagine a military force in which which the fighters learn and organise along TCS lines and have the whole achieve the effectiveness required to pose a credible military threat.

Historically this difficulty is represented by the overall success of regimented armies over tribal armies. Regimentation, such as gave the Romans their important military edge, was accomplished through...

Doing Nothing Academically?

This is a slightly modified version of a post which appeared on the TCS List on Sun, 29 Sep., 1996.

Sarah Fitz-Claridge

Parents whose children don't go to school often worry that their children do not appear to be doing much academically, or not doing much that seems worthwhile or valuable. If you are such a parent, it is worth subjecting your theories of what constitutes “worthwhile” or “valuable” to the strongest criticism you can. Try to think about learning and education much more broadly.

Sometimes, previously-schooled children ask for assignments, and then when they get one, lose interest and don't complete it. The reason for this phenomenon may be that doing an assignment takes the intrinsic interest out of the subject-matter. But it is of course quite normal, and indeed good, to start things and not finish them. Contrary to the theory that one should always finish things one starts, it would be irrational to act otherwise when finishing no longer seems a good idea.

Forget assignments. They are a complete waste of time for all concerned. If your children ask you for assignments, they are probably asking you to help them discover what interests them. In most cases, instead of designing assignments, the thing to do would be to try devoting that creativity to the problem of helping them discover a new interest or passion. The capacity to find things one enjoys is a vital form of creativity, and one of the most easily damaged by academic-style coercion. Conventionally the evidence of this damage is systematically hidden (because parents and teachers make children spend most of their time jumping through worthless hoops) until it is far too late and they are adults who are mysteriously unable to find any fulfilment in life despite the ‘marvellous opportunities’ afforded by their extensive education and extra-curricular activities.

Do the Kids Rule?

Posted by Brett Williams on the TCS List on Wed, 4 Apr., 2001.

Someone asked whether to outsiders (such as strangers and extended family members),

TCS looks as though kids are ruling the house.

Outsiders see what they want to see.

What do you say to statistics that claim that if you start letting toddlers rule the family, they'll still be ruling when they're teenagers?

Well, duh. So what?

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