In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness

In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness

by Chris Mercogliano
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807032947
Publisher:
Beacon Press
Publication date:
08/01/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,258,345
File size:
304 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >