In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness [NOOK Book]

Overview

As codirector of the Albany Free School, Chris Mercogliano has had remarkable success in helping a diverse population of youngsters find their way in the world. He regrets, however, that most kids' lives are subject to some form of control from dawn until dusk. Lamenting risk-averse parents, overstructured school days, and a lack of playtime and solitude, Mercogliano argues that we are robbing our young people of "that precious, irreplaceable period in their lives that nature has set aside for exploration and ...
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In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness

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Overview

As codirector of the Albany Free School, Chris Mercogliano has had remarkable success in helping a diverse population of youngsters find their way in the world. He regrets, however, that most kids' lives are subject to some form of control from dawn until dusk. Lamenting risk-averse parents, overstructured school days, and a lack of playtime and solitude, Mercogliano argues that we are robbing our young people of "that precious, irreplaceable period in their lives that nature has set aside for exploration and innocent discovery," leaving them ill-equipped to face adulthood. The "domestication of childhood" squeezes the adventure out of kids' lives and threatens to smother the spark that animates each child with talents, dreams, and inclinations.

There is plenty that those involved with children can do to protect their spontaneity and exuberance. We can address their desperate thirst for knowledge, give them space to learn from their mistakes, and let them explore what their place in the adult world might be.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Mercogliano is, in effect, a cultural therapist. . . offering fresh new ideas and creative solutions. Ultimately, he is what all good therapists are: a purveyor of hope.—Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

"With deep insight, Mercogliano shows how our society is suppressing children's creative energies. But he also brings a positive message, showing how we can help young people break through conventional restraints and pursue their passions. This is a beautiful, searching, and inspiring book."—William Crain, author of Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society

"A very strong and attractive book."—John Taylor Gatto, author of Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

"Mercogliano's book, full of insight, enthusiasm and hope, is as readable and practical as it is illuminating."—Publisher’s Weekly

"Recommended for academic libraries and large child development collections in public libraries."—Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807032947
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 298 KB

Meet the Author

Chris Mercogliano has been a teacher at the Albany Free School since 1973 and codirector since 1985. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, and he is the author of Making It Up As We Go Along, and Teaching the Restless: One School's Remarkable No-Ritalin Approach to Helping Children Learn and Succeed. Mercogliano lives in Albany, New York.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     ix
The Taming of the Child     1
Into the Corral     17
No Work and No Play     40
Real Play     57
The Wildness Within     85
The Importance of Solitude     104
Childhood Lost     121
Adulthood Arrested     141
Saving Inner Wildness     164
Acknowledgments     187
Notes     188
Index     202
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