Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
Author: Peter Gray
Publisher: Basic Books
Our children spend their days being passively instructed, and made to sit still and take tests—often against their will. We call this imprisonment schooling, yet wonder why kids become bored and misbehave. Even outside of school children today seldom play and explore without adult supervision, and are afforded few opportunities to control their own lives. The result: anxious, unfocused children who see schooling—and life—as a series of hoops to struggle through. In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that our children, if free to pursue their own interests through play, will not only learn all they need to know, but will do so with energy and passion. Children come into this world burning to learn, equipped with the curiosity, playfulness, and sociability to direct their own education. Yet we have squelched such instincts in a school model originally developed to indoctrinate, not to promote intellectual growth. To foster children who will thrive in today's constantly changing world, we must entrust them to steer their own learning and development. Drawing on evidence from anthropology, psychology, and history, Gray demonstrates that free play is the primary means by which children learn to control their lives, solve problems, get along with peers, and become emotionally resilient. This capacity to learn through play evolved long ago, in hunter-gatherer bands where children acquired the skills of the culture through their own initiatives. And these instincts still operate remarkably well today, as studies at alternative, democratically administered schools show. When children are in charge of their own education, they learn better—and at lower cost than the traditional model of coercive schooling. A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn suggests that it's time to stop asking what's wrong with our children, and start asking what's wrong with the system. It shows how we can act—both as parents and as members of society—to improve children's lives and promote their happiness and learning.
Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
Author: Peter Gray
Publisher: Basic Books
"Peter Gray...forces us all to rethink our convictions on how schools should be designed to accommodate the ways that children learn." --Steven Pinker In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that in order to foster children who will thrive in today's constantly changing world, we must entrust them to steer their own learning and development. Drawing on evidence from anthropology, psychology, and history, he demonstrates that free play is the primary means by which children learn to control their lives, solve problems, get along with peers, and become emotionally resilient. A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn suggests that it's time to stop asking what's wrong with our children, and start asking what's wrong with the system. It shows how we can act-both as parents and as members of society-to improve children's lives and to promote their happiness and learning.
Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-reliant, and Better Students for Life
Author: Peter Gray
Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
A developmental psychologist argues that children who are freed to follow their own interests through self-directed play will become better learners and achievers than the way they learn in modern school, which he says shows them that learning is work and not fun. 15,000 first printing.
“We, in modern-day America, underestimate children's abilities to make reasonable judgments far more than have any other people at any other place or time in history. In the name of protecting children we hurt them, sometimes viciously. As Holt shows brilliantly, children need the same rights to advance their own interests and protect themselves as we grant to adults.”—Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life"With his usual profound interest in observing children in the world, Holt presents a series of arguments about the nature of childhood that any serious educator or parent should thoughtfully explore."—Kirsten Olson, author of Wounded By School and Schools As Colonizers“For the sake of our young people, I humbly recommend that if you have read it, it's time to re-read it; if you have not, it's now time. The urgency is that we desperately need a more gentle, loving, and friendly world for our young people and there is no better inspiration than Holt's Escape From Childhood to spur us to action.”—Carlo Ricci, Professor of Education and author of The Willed Curriculum, Unschooling, and Self-DirectionThis is a reprint of John Holt's controversial book about the rights of children and how adults and children can live and learn together more enjoyably and transparently by rethinking their relationships. Under the guise of care and protection, children are kept in the walled garden of childhood, outside the world of human experience, for longer periods than ever before in human history. But for many children and parents, the walled garden of childhood is more like a prison, where authorities compel and limit personal actions. What if children the right to do, in general, what any adult may legally do? The reader who dares to confront such a question will discover new family relationships, not based on parental control, but on the joy of shared experience and responsibilities.
In Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play, you'll find inspiring stories of innovative communities throughout the US and Canada that have successfully created vibrant neighborhood play lives for their children. You'll also get a comprehensive set of step-by-step solutions to change your family and neighborhood cultures, so that your kids can spend less time in front of screens and in adult-supervised activities, and more time engaging in joyful neighborhood play.
"With all the parenting information out there and the constant pressure to be the "perfect" parent, it seems as if many parents have lost track of one very important piece of the parenting puzzle: raising happy kids. Author Katie Hurley shows parents how happiness is the key to raising confident, capable children"--
How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice
Author: Nikhil Goyal
"Are America's schools little more than cinder-block gulags that spawn vicious cliques and bullying, negate creativity and true learning, and squelch curiosity in their inmates, um, students? Nikhil Goyal, a journalist and activist all of twenty years old whom the Washington Post has dubbed a "future education secretary" and Forbes has named to its 30 Under 30 list, passionately thinks so, and in this book he offers both a scathing indictment of our teach-to-the-test-while-killing-the-spirit educational assembly line and maps out a path for all of our schools to harness children's natural aptitude for learning by creating an atmosphere conducive to freedom and creativity. He prescribes an inspiring educational future that is thoroughly democratic and experiential, and one that utilizes the entire community as a classroom."--Amazon.com.
View the culture of childhood through a whole new lens. Identify age-based bias and expand your outlook on and understanding of early childhood as a culture. Examine various elements of childhood culture: language, belief economics, arts, and social structure to understand children's dispositions of questioning, engagement, and cooperation. Emily Plank specializes in play-based education, diversity and culture in early childhood education, and outdoor learning. In 2011, the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children identified Emily as one of seven emerging leaders. She earned her bachelor's degree from Pepperdine University. She and her family currently reside in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Despite great progress around the world in getting more kids into schools, too many leave without even the most basic skills. In India’s rural Andhra Pradesh, for instance, only about one in twenty children in fifth grade can perform basic arithmetic. The problem is that schooling is not the same as learning. In The Rebirth of Education, Lant Pritchett uses two metaphors from nature to explain why. The first draws on Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom’s book about the difference between centralized and decentralized organizations, The Starfish and the Spider. Schools systems tend be centralized and suffer from the limitations inherent in top-down designs. The second metaphor is the concept of isomorphic mimicry. Pritchett argues that many developing countries superficially imitate systems that were successful in other nations— much as a nonpoisonous snake mimics the look of a poisonous one. Pritchett argues that the solution is to allow functional systems to evolve locally out of an environment pressured for success. Such an ecosystem needs to be open to variety and experimentation, locally operated, and flexibly financed. The only main cost is ceding control; the reward would be the rebirth of education suited for today’s world.
The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature
Author: Scott D. Sampson
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Category: Family & Relationships
The beloved host of PBS Kids' Dinosaur Train presents an activity-complemented guide for caregivers and teachers on how to alleviate common childhood challenges by forging strong connections between children and nature. 25,000 first printing.
A Parent's Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids-Without Turning i nto a Tiger
Author: Shimi Kang
Category: Family & Relationships
In this inspiring book, Harvard-trained child and adult psychiatrist and expert in human motivation Dr. Shimi Kang provides a guide to the art and science of inspiring children to develop their own internal drive and a lifelong love of learning. Drawing on the latest neuroscience and behavioral research, Dr. Kang shows why pushy “tiger parents” and permissive “jellyfish parents” actually hinder self-motivation. She proposes a powerful new parenting model: the intelligent, joyful, playful, highly social dolphin. Dolphin parents focus on maintaining balance in their children’s lives to gently yet authoritatively guide them toward lasting health, happiness, and success. As the medical director for Child and Youth Mental Health community programs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dr. Kang has witnessed firsthand the consequences of parental pressure: anxiety disorders, high stress levels, suicides, and addictions. As the mother of three children and as the daughter of immigrant parents who struggled to give their children the “best” in life—Dr. Kang’s mother could not read and her father taught her math while they drove around in his taxicab—Dr. Kang argues that often the simplest “benefits” we give our children are the most valuable. By trusting our deepest intuitions about what is best for our kids, we will in turn allow them to develop key dolphin traits to enable them to thrive in an increasingly complex world: adaptability, community-mindedness, creativity, and critical thinking. Life is a journey through ever-changing waters, and dolphin parents know that the most valuable help we can give our children is to assist them in developing their own inner compass. Combining irrefutable science with unforgettable real-life stories, The Dolphin Way walks readers through Dr. Kang’s four-part method for cultivating self-motivation. The book makes a powerful case that we are not forced to choose between being permissive or controlling. The third option—the option that will prepare our kids for success in a future that will require adaptability—is the dolphin way.
The inspiring true story of "one of the country's finest educators" (National Review) and the school he changed forever. Under the leadership of highly unorthodox principal Dr. Ben Chavis, Oakland's American Indian Public Charter School was hailed as an "education miracle" by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger after it was transformed from a failing "nuisance" into one of the best public middle schools in the nation. This is the story of that transformation and of a man who dared to be different. With his rigorous, no-nonsense approach, Dr. Chavis debunks the myth that poor, minority, inner-city schools have little chance at academic excellence. Focusing on back-tobasics ideals, he has created a structured educational model that, combined with the enthusiasm of his students and teachers, delivers astounding results. In Crazy Like a Fox, Dr. Chavis recounts how he did it-in his own words and through the stories of the extraordinary young people he's helped.
How Educating for Happiness Not Money Would Transform Our Schools
Author: Susan Engel
Publisher: New Press, The
Amid the hype of Race to the Top, online experiments such as Khan Academy, and bestselling books like The Sandbox Investment, we seem to have drawn a line that leads from nursery school along a purely economic route, with money as the final stop. But what price do we all pay for the increasingly singular focus on wage as the outcome of education? Susan Engel, a leading psychologist and educator, argues that this economic framework has had a profound impact not only on the way we think about education but also on what happens inside school buildings. The End of the Rainbow asks what would happen if we changed the implicit goal of education and imagines how different things would be if we made happiness, rather than money, the graduation prize. Drawing on psychology, education theory, and a broad range of classroom experiences across the country, Engel offers a fascinating alternative view of what education might become: teaching children to read books for pleasure and self-expansion and encouraging collaboration. All of these new skills, she argues, would not only cultivate future success in the world of work but also would make society as a whole a better, happier place. Accessible to parents and teachers alike, The End of the Rainbow will be the beginning of a new, more vibrant public conversation about what the future of American education should look like.
Darcia Narvaez,Kristin Valentino,Agustin Fuentes,James J. McKenna,Peter Gray
Author: Darcia Narvaez,Kristin Valentino,Agustin Fuentes,James J. McKenna,Peter Gray
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
The social contexts in which children develop have transformed over recent decades, but also over millennia. Modern parenting practices have diverged greatly from ancestral practices, which included natural childbirth, extensive and on-demand breastfeeding, constant touch, responsiveness to the needs of the child, free play in nature with multiple-aged playmates, and multiple adult caregivers. Only recently have scientists begun to document the outcomes for the presence or absence of such parenting practices, but early results indicate that psychological wellbeing is impacted by these factors. Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution addresses how a shift in the way we parent can influence child outcomes. It examines evolved contexts for mammalian development, optimal and suboptimal contexts for human evolved needs, and the effects on children's development and human wellbeing. Bringing together an interdisciplinary set of renowned contributors, this volume examines how different parenting styles and cultural personality influence one another. Chapters discuss the nature of childrearing, social relationships, the range of personalities people exhibit, the social and moral skills expected of adults, and what 'wellbeing' looks like. As a solid knowledge base regarding normal development is considered integral to understanding psychopathology, this volume also focuses on the effects of early childhood maltreatment. By increasing our understanding of basic mammalian emotional and motivational needs in contexts representative of our ancestral conditions, we may be in a better position to facilitate changes in social structures and systems that better support optimal human development. This book will be a unique resource for researchers and students in psychology, anthropology, and psychiatry, as well as professionals in public health, social work, clinical psychology, and early care and education.
Now Available in Paperback! In Einstein Never Used Flashcards highly credentialed child psychologists, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., with Diane Eyer, Ph.D., offer a compelling indictment of the growing trend toward accelerated learning. It's a message that stressed-out parents are craving to hear: Letting tots learn through play is not only okay-it's better than drilling academics! Drawing on overwhelming scientific evidence from their own studies and the collective research results of child development experts, and addressing the key areas of development-math, reading, verbal communication, science, self-awareness, and social skills-the authors explain the process of learning from a child's point of view. They then offer parents 40 age-appropriate games for creative play. These simple, fun--yet powerful exercises work as well or better than expensive high-tech gadgets to teach a child what his ever-active, playful mind is craving to learn.
Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids
Author: Shimi K. Kang
Category: Child rearing
In this inspiring book, Harvard-trained child and adult psychiatrist and expert in human motivation Dr. Shimi Kang provides a guide to the art and science of inspiring children to develop their own internal drive and lifelong love of learning. Drawing on the latest neuroscience and behavioral research, Dr. Kang show why pushy "tiger parents" and permissive "jellyfish parents" actually hinder self-motivation. She proposes a powerful new parenting model: the intelligent, joyful, playful, and highly social dolphin. As the medial director for Child and Youth Mental Health community programs in Vancouver, Dr. Kang has witnessed firsthand the consequences of parental pressure: anxiety, high stress, suicide, and addiction. As the mother of three children and as the daughter of immigrant parents who struggled to give their children the "best" in life--her mother could not read and her father taught her math while they drove around in his taxi--Dr. Kang argues that by trusting our deepest intuition about what is best for our kids, we will allow them to develop key dolphin traits to enable them to thrive in an increasingly complex world: adaptability, community-mindedness, creativity, and critical thinking. Life is a journey through ever-changing waters, and dolphin parents know that the most valuable help we can give our children is to assist them in developing their own inner compass. Combining irrefutable science with unforgettable real-life stories, The Dolphin Way walks readers through Dr. Kang's four-part method for cultivating self-motivation. We are not forced to choose between being permissive or controlling. The third option--the option that will prepare our kids for success in a future that will require adaptability--is the dolphin way.
Taking a fresh look at the role of creativity within the early years, this accessible guide explores what is meant by creativity and considers how creative skills, behaviours, and thinking can be identified and fostered in the individual child. Underpinned by the latest research and policy, chapters illustrate how creative attitudes can be adopted in all subject areas, and opportunities for creativity maximised. Creative Learning in the Early Years acknowledges the power of creative processes in helping children reach their full potential in the early years and beyond. Photocopiable work tools enable the reader to plan, observe, assess, and record progress as they develop playful and creative approaches, whilst practical advice and demonstrable examples are easily integrated into existing practice. Topics addressed include: recognising and encouraging creative tendencies stimulating the child’s imagination developing adult creativity and self-awareness creating enabling environments and creative spaces using documentation and planning to inspire creativity. An exciting and accessible guide which encourages exploration, experimentation, reflection, and development, Creative Learning in the Early Years will support current and future early years practitioners as they discover the rich opportunities opened by creative practice.
FREE RANGE KIDS has become a national movement, sparked by the incredible response to Lenore Skenazy?s piece about allowing her 9-year-old ride the subway alone in NYC. Parent groups argued about it, bloggers, blogged, spouses became uncivil with each other, and the media jumped all over it. A lot of parents today, Skenazy says, see no difference between letting their kids walk to school and letting them walk through a firing range. Any risk is seen as too much risk. But if you try to prevent every possible danger or difficult in your child?s everyday life, that child never gets a chance to grow up. We parents have to realize that the greatest risk of all just might be trying to raise a child who never encounters choice or independence.