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In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness
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In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Beacon Press
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Chris
Feb 25, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this short book, Mercogliono launches an attack on the modern forces of conformity and societal control over children by labeling these threats “the systematic domestication of childhood itself.” What would warrant such an accusation against the quality of our care of life’s most precious resource? Criticizing parenting and children’s education can be a slippery endeavor, for what life-form doesn’t want to take care of its progeny? None as it turns out, but Mercogliano offers a helpful ...more
Keith
Aug 11, 2010 Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at our local library while browsing the shelves and found it to be a very interesting read. I have a great appreciation for our librarians now that I have started visiting there more often because this is not the first time I've found something really good there that I would never have known about if not for my visits there.

The premise of the book is that modern childhood is overscheduled and overprotective and that children nowadays do not have enough freedom to explore the wor
...more
Laura
Jul 11, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
This is a great reminder that not only is it impossible to protect our children completely - it isn't even well-advised. I love books about giving children greater freedom, especially because doing so can be so difficult for people who are parents or teachers or others who work with children every day. Finding good literature about how to control children is easy; finding good literature about how to help children learn self-control is not so easy. I think a lot of his ideas would take real ...more
Miriam Axel-lute
Apr 02, 2008 Miriam Axel-lute rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents, grandparents, teachers, day care workers
Chris makes a convincing argument that our obsession with safety for our kids is having serious negative side effects -- basically that it's destroying their ability to become self-motivated adults. He walks us through how this shows up in a range of areas, from school to access to nature to the disappearance of meaningful work for children.

This can be an uncomfortable book sometimes for us parents. It's hard enough to let go in smaller ways than what Chris is suggesting. But I also found it ins
...more
Kristi
Mar 11, 2009 Kristi rated it liked it
It's not that this is a bad book, it's just not gripping me like the last child development books I read. I've read all of this stuff before, so I found myself skimming a lot. The gist of it: it's important for children's development that they get time to play. Real play. Not structured adult versions of play, but running around the backyard playing imaginative silly kids games. He calls it "inner wildness". It's a fairly anti-school book because kids mostly sit at desks all day and he attacks ...more
Kendall
This book was fascinating in terms of history and philosophy - lots of explanation of how we got to this point as a society, and lots of studies referenced. But as a mother who had necessary c-sections and can't afford expensive school alternatives, this book had little practical help. Yes, I will get my kids out in nature, and I do limit tv use, but I am hardly going to let them run free on the street like it seemed the author suggested. And I refuse to feel guilty for being a c-section mom, ...more
Christie
Mar 22, 2008 Christie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2008
He's preaching to the choir here, so for me little of what he said was new, but it is always good to be reminded of why we do some of the things that we do differently. He's view about the inner wildness is unique, but his arguments protecting it are points that I already agree wholeheartedly with. It is a reinvigorating read, he writes well enough, and his stories are interesting.
Angel
Sep 19, 2013 Angel rated it it was amazing
Tremendo libro, me hizo pensar mucho en de cuantas maneras estamos siendo domesticados desde que nacemos hasta cada vez más tarde en nuestras vidas. No solamente está en peligro la niñez sino todo el desarrollo en un mundo cada vez más desnaturalizado.
Amy
Jan 03, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
This book is fascinating, very readable and well-written. the author has very radical progressive views on education and he's extremely persuasive. it makes you think a lot about your own childhood and start to see how the early influences played out in your own life for better or worse.
Miriam
Sep 19, 2010 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, education, kids
Mercogliano always has a refreshing perspective on child development and education. I don't always agree, but I enjoy reading his books and learning from his school and viewpoint.
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