|Print List Price:||$16.99|
Save $3.00 (18%)
Hachette Book Group
Price set by seller.
Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.
View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.
Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.
Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.
Ask Alexa to read your book with Audible integration or text-to-speech.
|Length: 291 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Add the Audible book for a reduced price of $12.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
All kids love learning. Most don't love school. That's a disconnect we've avoided discussing-until this lightning bolt of a book. If you've ever wondered why your curious kid is turning into a sullen slug at school, Peter Gray's Free to Learn has the answer. He also has the antidote.-- "Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids"
Bound to provoke a renewed conversation about turning the tide in an educational system that fosters conformity and inhibits creative thinking.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Forces us all to rethink our convictions on how schools should be designed to accommodate the ways that children learn.-- "Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
About the Author
Dan Woren is an American voice actor and Earphones Award-winning narrator. He has worked extensively in animation, video games, and feature films. He is best known for his many roles in anime productions such as Bleach and as the voice of Sub-Zero in the video game Mortal Kombat.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- File size : 855 KB
- Publication date : March 5, 2013
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 291 pages
- Publisher : Basic Books; 1st edition (March 5, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- ASIN : B00B3M3KZG
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0465084990
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #80,441 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Although equally well-argued, I was less convinced by the second part of his book, his proposal for a solution. Although I am now thoroughly convinced that the student needs to be significantly involved in setting the direction of his learning (I would add, to the extent possible from his age and level of maturity), the specific implementation of this practice I believe needs some further refinement. Essentially, Dr Gray argues for the widespread introduction of “unschooling” environments and specifically schools like the Sudbury Valley schools that encourage each student from a very early age to choose on their own what to study, and how. I had been unaware of the unschooling movement and the Sudbury Valley schools prior to reading this book, and so began my own investigation on these topics. Among other things, I learned that we live near one of these schools, and so I went to check it out. After observing the school and after further reading and reflection, I came to the conclusion that there are at least two issues with Dr’s Gray’s “unschooling” approach as a solution for some of the problems with traditional schooling.
The first problem is that this type of schools (deliberately?) appears to lack sufficient resources, both human and otherwise. If children are in an environment that includes a kitchen and a shop but not a PhD in mathematics, it seems highly unlikely that they will discover a natural bent for quantum physics and calculus. I remember seeing an extraordinary video clip years ago where Jesse Jackson led a tour of two cross town public high schools, one white and one black, showing the dramatic differences in facilities available. (The white high school included computers, sophisticated science equipment, a beautiful track and an Olympic size pool, while the black high school had outdated textbooks, less rigorous academics and a dramatically lower graduation rate.) Perhaps the local Sudbury Valley-type school I saw was unique, but I think that unless we are simultaneously offering them the best possible resources, our children will never rise to their full potential via unschooling.
The second issue I have with unschooling as advocated by Dr Gray is his excessive adulation for learning from one’s childhood peers. It is certainly true that kids can and do learn things from their peers, but many of those things (the pressure to conform, bullying, and drug use, to name a few) are challenges that I believe are better handled with the support of caring adults. It would be interesting to put Dr Gray in the same room with Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, the authors of another excellent book, Hold On to Your Kids. This book is an excellent complement to the many positive/attachment parenting books now available (Peaceful Parents Happy Kids, Playful Parenting, and Two Thousand Kisses a Day are among my favorites). Neufeld and Mate’s book, also well worth the time, focuses on the external pressure from peers that have been affecting the last few generations of children, and not in a good way. Although both books have their share of unsubstantiated assertions, I found myself agreeing much more often with Drs Neufeld and Mate than with Dr Gray regarding peer relationships. Interestingly, both books are highly critical of our current traditional method of schooling, but they come to very different conclusions about what to do about it. It would certainly be interesting to read these two books together.
Since presumably many readers of this review will not be visiting a Sudbury Valley type school in person, I thought it might be worth closing with some further reflections on my visits there. I was able to visit the local Sudbury Valley type school three times, and twice was able to spend a few hours interacting with students of various ages and reviewing the artifacts of various processes including the judicial committee. The children I spoke with seemed generally satisfied with attending this school and many were reasonably articulate as to its value to them, but to me many of them appeared as if they were drifting. Few seemed to have identified areas of learning about which they were passionate, or even especially interested in. The minutes from the judicial committee also made it clear that although the authority of the school may rest with the student-faculty committee, rules and constraints on behavior are as prevalent as in a traditional school. In looking at educational options for my son, I have now visited a fairly large number of schools. For whatever it is worth, my most important litmus test for a school has become to see whether the students and staff are going about their day with enthusiasm and joy. Sadly, it is not something I typically see, and it was not apparent at this school either.
Back to Dr Gray’s book. In spite of my disagreement with some of Dr Gray’s conclusions, I have decided I must give it a 5-star rating because of his cogent presentation of his ideas and because those ideas have forever altered my views on traditional schooling. (As I learned, many of those ideas were initially presented in his Psychology Today column, but I did find that the book presentation of those ideas really strengthened and solidified his views in a way that reading the columns alone did not.) I am glad that he wrote it, and would recommend it to anyone trying to understand how we learn best.
I also now finally understand why, in a few short weeks since kindergarten started, my son has become increasingly selfish, refusing to clean up anything other than his own toys, whereas before, he would gladly help his little sister with her "part of the mess". Now, after consistently being told in the classroom to keep his hands to himself, worry "about yourself", "do YOUR work" (the reason I know this is because I worked in a classroom), he is self centered to a degree I have not seen in him before. This selfishness will eventually be the reason why we are pulling him out of system...Anyway, another story for another time.
Now I accept my past decision (for which family and friends have criticized plenty), of allowing my kids and their playmates to roam our yard, get the toys they want, mix water with dirt IF THEY CHOOSE TO, gather sticks to build a "fort" and all the other fun stuff they like to do (of course all this stopped with kindergarten) without intervening. I had plenty friends looking at me sideways ; You don't go outside with them to watch what they're doing??? OH the audacity!
This may have been the longest review I have ever written, so I will try to conclude by saying that if you want to find out how children learn, you have to read this book. Hint: it has nothing to do with sitting at table and tracing letters. Plenty of social and psychological studies across multiple countries and across time serve as a solid backbone for what the author is presenting. Also: I still have a hard time accepting and applying the Sudbury Valley school model that the author describes. I need to do some research before being OK with it. But tha's fine. It's always nice to learn other points of view. Are you still reading this? I hope that by now you have clicked the "BUY" button. No? do it now
Top reviews from other countries
Supported with references published research, for those than need statistics and fact, this book provides it. For those that don't this book just makes sense.