Tag Archives: Peter Gray

On moving from underestimating children towards trustful parenting and voluntary education

“I doubt there has ever been a human culture, anywhere, at any time, that underestimates children’s abilities more than we North Americans do today. Our underestimation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because by depriving children of freedom, we deprive them of … Continue reading

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On the importance of observation

I’m still making notes on Peter Gray’s Free to Learn… He writes quite a bit on the benefits of age-mixed learning (a lovely argument to read). Consider, for example: “In age-mixed groups, the younger children can engage in and learn … Continue reading

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why do we assess students at school?

I’m already sold on Peter Gray’s argument for free play as an educational need of children (and adolescents). However, consider some of these points: “About thirty years ago, a team of research psychologists headed by James Michaels at Virginia Polytechnic and … Continue reading

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How schools came to serve the state

Arguing for changes to the structure of ‘schooling’ we employ in countries like New Zealand and the USA, Peter Gray provides a history of what we know as schools, beginning with an explanation of child-rearing in hunter-gatherer societies, then explaining the … Continue reading

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Societal violence and the treatment of children

I’m still taking notes from Peter Gray’s Free to Learn: “…recently, research involving many types of societies has shown systematic relationships between a society’s structure and its treatment of children. In one study, Carol and Melvin Ember analyzed massive amounts … Continue reading

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Education and hunter-gatherer children

“Education, by my definition, is cultural transmission. It is the set of processes by which each new generation of human beings, in any social group, acquires and builds upon the skills, knowledge, lore, and values – that is, the culture … Continue reading

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Peter Gray on free play vs resume building in childhood

Peter Gray writes: “Children are designed, by nature, to play and explore on their own, independently of adults. They need freedom in order to develop; without it they suffer. The drive to play freely is a basic, biological drive. Lack … Continue reading

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Sudbury Valley School – Peter Gray on why this alternative to schools works

Peter Gray’s Free to Learn discusses an alternative approach to schooling, as it is exemplified by the Sudbury Valley School (http://www.sudval.org/). I wish we had schools like this here in New Zealand! “Sudbury Valley is a private day school located … Continue reading

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