Free to Learn

Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Prepared for Li

By Peter Gray
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465025992, 288pp.)

Publication Date: March 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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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 it’s time to stop asking what’s wrong with our children and start asking what’s 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, Men’s Health, and the Boston Globe.

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