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1 Burnside Child Care and Parenting- General

This title in other editions

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

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Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life Cover

ISBN13: 9780465025992
ISBN10: 0465025994
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 todays 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 its time to stop asking whats wrong with our children, and start asking whats wrong with the system. It shows how we can act—both as parents and as members of society—to improve childrens lives and promote their happiness and learning.

Review:

"Developmental psychologist Gray declares that 'school is prison, but almost nobody beyond school age says it.' In this energetic though repetitive manifesto, Gray powerfully argues that schools inhibit learning by ' with the development of personal responsibility and self-direction' by 'turning learning into work' and reducing 'diversity in skills and knowledge.' Gray suggests that children possess a natural instinct to educate themselves, and through unstructured play and exploration with individuals of all ages, they will blossom and develop into confident individuals. Drawing on various psychological case studies as well as an in-depth examination of the Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Mass., Gray shows that children learning in 'unschooled' environments demonstrate a deep desire to learn, as well as a capacity for self-control, and display feelings of anxiety and depression far less than students in a structured environment. Many educators and parents may find Gray's ideas naïve and impractical, but his vivid illustrations of the 'power of play' to shape an individual are bound to provoke a renewed conversation about turning the tide in an educational system that fosters conformity and inhibits creative thinking. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that in order to foster children who will thrive in todays 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 its time to stop asking whats wrong with our children, and start asking whats wrong with the system. It shows how we can act—both as parents and as members of society—to improve childrens lives and to promote their happiness and learning.

Synopsis:

Children come into this world burning to learn, but the enduring lesson of school is that learning is work, to be avoided however possible. In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray shows that we can reverse the harmful effects of modern schooling by liberating our children to pursue their own interests through self-directed play. Gray, who has devoted his research career to understanding the biological foundations of education, argues that to promote learning, we must engage the core aspects of human nature—curiosity, playfulness, and sociability—instead of inhibiting them. A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn shows that its time to stop asking whats wrong with our children and start asking whats wrong with the system.

About the Author

Peter Gray has devoted his research career to understanding the biological foundations of education. He is a research professor in the department of psychology at Boston College and writes a popular blog called Freedom to Learn for Psychology Today. He is also the author of a leading psychology textbook, Psychology, currently in its 6th edition. Gray has appeared as a guest expert on child development on various radio and television outlets, including NPR, The Today Show, CNN International, and has been quoted in magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Mens Health, and the Boston Globe.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. What Have We Done to Childhood?

Chapter 2. The Play-Filled Lives of Hunter-Gatherer Children

Chapter 3. Why Schools Are What They Are: A Brief History of Education

Chapter 4 .Seven Sins of Our System of Forced Education

Chapter 5. Lessons from Sudbury Valley: Mother Nature Can Prevail in Modern Times

Chapter 6. The Human Education Instincts

Chapter 7. The Playful State of Mind

Chapter 8. The Role of Play in Social and Emotional Development

Chapter 9. Free Age Mixing: A Key Ingredient for Childrens Capacity for Self-Education

Chapter 10. Trusting Parenting in Our Modern World

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Holly Scudero, November 26, 2013 (view all comments by Holly Scudero)
It doesn't take a genius to see that there is something wrong with the modern conventional school system. Why do so many children hate learning? Why is it so stressful, and why do so many children not seem to learn things for the long haul? Psychologist Peter Gray tackles this topic in his wonderfully insightful and important book “Free to Learn.” He describes the history of our school system, and how it is better suited for indoctrination than education. He talks about what he calls the “seven sins of our system of forced education,” and shows how it is justifiably comparable to a prison. He discusses how our system fosters cheating and promotes bullying. And he talks about how all of this emphasis on education, starting early and taking up so much of our kids' lives, combined with the rise of helicopter parenting have contributed to the decline in free play, arguably one of the best ways for kids to learn on their own. Gray also highlights a better option: the democratically-minded Sudbury Valley School. As a mother of a toddler, the topic of education is very much on my mind, and this timely book was an extremely enlightening read. There is so much valuable information contained within this book, and reading it is sure to cause readers to look at the concept of education in an entirely new light. This is a book that every parent should read.

This review originally written for Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780465025992
Subtitle:
Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
Author:
Gray, Peter
Author:
Peter Gray
Publisher:
Basic Books
Subject:
Education & Training
Subject:
Education-General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20150210
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » General
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Learning

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life Used Hardcover
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$17.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Basic Books (AZ) - English 9780465025992 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Developmental psychologist Gray declares that 'school is prison, but almost nobody beyond school age says it.' In this energetic though repetitive manifesto, Gray powerfully argues that schools inhibit learning by ' with the development of personal responsibility and self-direction' by 'turning learning into work' and reducing 'diversity in skills and knowledge.' Gray suggests that children possess a natural instinct to educate themselves, and through unstructured play and exploration with individuals of all ages, they will blossom and develop into confident individuals. Drawing on various psychological case studies as well as an in-depth examination of the Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Mass., Gray shows that children learning in 'unschooled' environments demonstrate a deep desire to learn, as well as a capacity for self-control, and display feelings of anxiety and depression far less than students in a structured environment. Many educators and parents may find Gray's ideas naïve and impractical, but his vivid illustrations of the 'power of play' to shape an individual are bound to provoke a renewed conversation about turning the tide in an educational system that fosters conformity and inhibits creative thinking. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that in order to foster children who will thrive in todays 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 its time to stop asking whats wrong with our children, and start asking whats wrong with the system. It shows how we can act—both as parents and as members of society—to improve childrens lives and to promote their happiness and learning.

"Synopsis" by ,
Children come into this world burning to learn, but the enduring lesson of school is that learning is work, to be avoided however possible. In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray shows that we can reverse the harmful effects of modern schooling by liberating our children to pursue their own interests through self-directed play. Gray, who has devoted his research career to understanding the biological foundations of education, argues that to promote learning, we must engage the core aspects of human nature—curiosity, playfulness, and sociability—instead of inhibiting them. A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn shows that its time to stop asking whats wrong with our children and start asking whats wrong with the system.

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