The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children
One of the world's leading child psychologists shatters the myth of "good parenting"
Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call "parenting" is a surprisingly new invention. In the past thirty years, the concept of parenting and the multibillion dollar industry surrounding it have transformed child care into obsessive, controll...more
The book mostly hits the emphasis on child psychology with kind of a little "what parents can do" tacked on the end, which is okay, but I kept hoping for more link between theory and practice for individuals and communities. There is a nice chapter in the e ...more
mash of the author's personal experiences with her grandson Augie, some research that she has done and some references to other studies. The Book meandered through a meadow of ideas without building up on any particular one. The main theme she explores is a powerful one but that can ...more
Humans have a long period of childhood re ...more
- The scientific research and studies she presents. The research on play backs up the philosophies of RIE parenting + Magda Gerber. Giving kids lots of free and independent play time fosters creativity and investigation. Children are little scientists, and they have surprisingly sophisticated methods for figuring out the world. Loved learning more about how children learn.
- The way she breaks down the traditional "parenting" model. I've read quite a few books on p ...more
We are doing our children a disservice by attempting to prescriptively "parent" them in the modern sense. Children do not learn or become successful adults by being instructed and molded. They learn through discovery and by example. We (parents, grandparents, teachers, society at large) would do better to get out of their way, let them play, and love them unconditionally.
There. Now you know the good stuff, without hundreds of pages worth of Go ...more
Having listened to the audio book version of this title, it was at times difficult to follow as I noticed that my mind switched off even though the ideas were int ...more
My main takeaway from this book is that kids are meant to be flexible and we shouldn't be trying to constrain them into some idea of what we think is best for them. Our world is unpredictable, and the one reason humans have outlasted all oth ...more
Alison Gopnik's The Gardener and the Carpenter - a Short Review
but here's the closing paragraph:
I enjoyed this book for separate reasons. The meticulous explanations of scholarly work, complete with extensive notes and bibliography, attracted the scientist in me that wants to know the science and history behind learning and child development. The larger themes of what it means to learn, to play, and to be a parent were attractive to me for differen ...more
Basically, humans have successfully turned kids into adults for thousands of years, but "parenting" is a relatively new concept ("to parent" wasn't a verb until the 1940s), and school isn't much older than that (~100 years).
She argues that our evolutionary history pushes bac ...more
Dr. Gopnik makes the case succinctly that the act of play for children is an incredible learning tool; perhaps their best learning tool. Yet she also makes a case for the public school system, albeit one that's more modernized than today's scantron-to-success model of learning, is the best system we can come up with.
I was hoping for more insights on the prior point. If it's known a priori that children learn best with play and not ...more
1. Mirror neurons do not really lead to imitation. It’s very complicated.
2. Adults’ intention matter. If an adult is an expert, children over-imitate including useless extra actions. If the adult is not an expert, children did the most efficient way, imitating less. I ...more
As to the title, a carpenter is someone who follows a blueprint and consciously tries to build a specific thing, while a gardener is more passive, preparing a nurturing environment, staying atten ...more
I bought this book after reading 'Meet the parenting expert who thinks parenting is a terrible invention’ from The Correspondent — which appealed to me. Parents shouldn’ ...more