Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness” as Want to Read:
In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids' Inner Wildness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In Defense of Childhood, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In Defense of Childhood

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hollie Bernhardt
Hollie Bernhardt rated it liked it
Dec 01, 2016
Pam rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2012
Lauren rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2012
Johnnie rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2007
Amy rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2008
Christina rated it liked it
Jul 17, 2014
Helene rated it it was ok
Nov 11, 2015
Denise rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2012
Mireille rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2013
Kate rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2009
Delynn rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2011
Jane rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2010
Nicole rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2009
Paul rated it it was amazing
Oct 20, 2011
Apr 16, 2009 Jo is currently reading it
So far I love this book.
Leslie rated it liked it
Sep 03, 2013
Meanmayormary rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2011
Umicorm rated it liked it
Nov 26, 2016
Cameron D Simmons
Cameron D Simmons rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2013
Mary rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book