Treatise on Parents and Children
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Venduto e spedito da IBS
In a characteristically polemic essay, Shaw excoriated schools as prisons and family homes as theaters of abuse and neglect. He argued that children who are governed for the convenience of adults—through the use or threat of violence, uninspired and dogmatic instruction, and confinement to the school room—will become adults who are unfit for the duties of citizenship in a democratic society, unable to tolerate difference or engage in dialogue with others. Shaw raised a series of concerns with regard to what we would now call children’s agency, particularly their rights to their own physical person, to explore and choose their own beliefs, and to develop their own appreciation for the cultural forms that most interest them. While he criticized the disparity between the rights of children and adults he recognized that children do not have the same capacity to provide for or protect themselves, calling for a middle path for the reasonable protection of children’s safety while encouraging the development of their own agency and socialization.
One hundred years later, George Bernard Shaw’s Treaties on parents and children (1914) may still challenge quite a few minds and ‚values’. So get ready for a mental earthquake, if a combination of dramatic, comic and socially corrective attitudes are not an usual spot for you, as a reader.