12/02/2001

Without Boundaries (by Jan Fortune-Wood)

I'd come across Jan Fortune-Wood on mailing lists about home education, and found some of her views intriguing. I'm fairly relaxed as a parent and educator, but not to the extent of believing totally in non-coercion and autonomy at every moment. So I was interested to read the theory behind her beliefs, which is expressed in this book. The subtitle is: 'Non-coercive parenting and autonomous education'.

'Without Boundaries' is an excellent book, outlining the 'Taking children seriously' philosophy from a common sense viewpoint, rather than the extremism with which it's sometimes associated.

Having said that, I found the first paragraph of each chapter unecessary (it simply said in brief what she was going to say in the rest of the chapter!) and I didn't agree entirely with all the conclusions. I do think that some boundaries are, sometimes, a good idea.

Still, it's well worth reading for the best, most well-balanced presentation of the theory that I've come across.

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