With Consent:

parenting for all to win

by Jan Fortune-Wood £6.99 (inc UK pp) 978-1-900219-24-7 (pp)

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With Consent is the second edition of the book Without Boundaries, which argued that, both in theory and in practice, coercion is not only destructive of personal autonomy, but inimical to learning and the growth of knowledge.  In With Consent this theory is re-visited; with a new chapter exploring the role of memes (ideas that reproduce) and entrenched ideas in parenting, new scenarios to illustrate common preference finding and clear summaries to help parents make the shift to the radical parenting paradigm of ‘taking children seriously’.

The book falls into two sections, with a concluding chapter drawing the themes together. The first part sets out a theory of non-coercion as it relates to parenting and learning. It sets out a clear understanding of the terminology (with new easy reference summaries), looks at how changing our ideas can help us to change how we parent, examines the role of parents in the lives of autonomous children and explores the growth of knowledge that can take place when autonomy is respected and nurtured.

The second section takes a practical, in depth look at the issues that arise when we begin to take children seriously. Using illustrative scenarios, the chapters focus on major issues in family life and learning, concentrating on ‘learning to win’ for every family member.

The Taking Children Seriously (TCS) philosophy, which is the inspiration of this book, is a wide ranging and far reaching theory. The book offers a broad introduction to thinking that could revolutionise how we parent and how we think about learning. With Consent offers a distinctively radical and practical alternative not only to how we parent, but also to how we relate to our children and how we all learn.  The book should be of interest to all those in the fields of education and parenting, whether as professionals or practitioners.

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