A Conversation With Peter Gray by Michelle Loucas
On January 31, 2018, Dr. Peter Gray spoke at the Philly Free School on: "Learning Through Play: How Children's Natural Curiosity, Playfulness, and Sociability Serve Their Education." The sold-out event drew a large, engaged crowd. Thank you to everyone who joined us!
Peter describes what he focussed on here:
"Children come into the world exquisitely designed by natural selection to learn about the physical, social, and cultural world around them. In this talk--based on cross-cultural research, laboratory studies, and my own research at alternative educational settings in the United States--I will describe how children's instincts to explore, play, and bond with others provide the natural foundation for education. I will also describe the conditions in which these educative instincts seem to operate best."
If you missed it, watch this video of Dr. Gray's talk on the same topic at the Arts & Ideas Sudbury School in Baltimore.
This free talk was co-sponsored by the Philly Free School and Smith Memorial Playground.
A short bio of Peter:
Peter Gray, research professor of psychology at Boston College, has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education. He is author of an internationally used introductory psychology textbook (now in its 7th edition), which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective. Much of his research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. He also authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today magazine and is president of the nonprofit Alliance for Self-Directed Education.