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The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2016
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Description

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, controlling, and goal-oriented labor intended to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult. In The Gardener and the Carpenter, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parents and children is profoundly wrong—it's not just based on bad science, it's bad for kids and parents, too.

Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and to be very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. "Parenting" won't make children learn—but caring parents let children learn by creating a secure, loving environment.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/09/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781429944335
ASIN:
B01ARRWPUS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Alison Gopnik. (2016). The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Alison Gopnik. 2016. The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Alison Gopnik, The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Alison Gopnik. The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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shortDescription

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, controlling, and goal-oriented labor intended to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult. In The Gardener and the Carpenter, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parents and children is profoundly wrong—it's not just based on bad science, it's bad for kids and parents, too.

Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and...

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title
The Gardener and the Carpenter
fullDescription

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, controlling, and goal-oriented labor intended to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult. In The Gardener and the Carpenter, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parents and children is profoundly wrong—it's not just based on bad science, it's bad for kids and parents, too.

Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and to be very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. "Parenting" won't make children learn—but caring parents let children learn by creating a secure, loving environment.

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      • source: Erika Christakis, The Washington Post
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        "Bracing and thoughtful . . . Educators looking to resist the current vogue for highly scripted, teacher-driven lesson modules will be delighted by Gopnik's strong scientific case for letting children guide their own learning . . . Gopnik shines when she describes the intricate world of children's play . . . She also has a subtle grasp of policy problems bedeviling young children and their families . . . Gopnik never veers from her faith in the warm human bond between caregiver and child that drives not only 'the pathos, but also the moral depth' of being a parent. This lovely book, and the life's work that animates it, will only deepen that bond, helping our children to flourish."

      • premium: False
      • source: Bee Wilson, The Guardian
      • content: "Fascinating and passionate . . . A welcome corrective to the results-driven approach to parenting."
      • premium: False
      • source: Isabel Berwick, Financial Times
      • content: "Alison Gopnik's The Gardener and the Carpenter should be required reading for anyone who is, or is thinking of becoming, a parent . . . Hers is a rare erudition: scholarly, yes, but accessible and rooted in her experience as a mother and grandmother . . . Gopnik's science-based assertion is a welcome corrective to the prevailing culture of coaching and tutoring children--often at great expense--to avoid failure."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from April 18, 2016
        What a relief to find a book that takes a stand against the practice of “helicopter parenting” so prevalent today. Developmental psychologist Gopnik (The Philosophical Baby) provides comfort for parents who want their children to experience a free-form childhood where they can spread their wings and grow up into well-rounded, responsible adults. Her book not only dispels the myth of a single best model for good parenting but also backs up its proposals with real-life examples and research studies. Gopnik argues that the modern notion of parenting as a kind of avocation or career is “fundamentally misguided, from a scientific, philosophical, and political point of view, as well as a personal one.” Employing the two titular professions as metaphors for opposing approaches to parenting, she maintains that parents should not try to shape their children like a carpenter, but rather provide them with room to grow, like a gardener, into creative thinkers and problem solvers. “Being a parent is simply about loving children,” Gopnik states, except that “love is never simple.” This book will provide helpful inspiration for parents and may prompt some to rethink their strategies. An extensive bibliography of further recommended reading is included. Agent: Katinka Matson, Brockman Inc.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 15, 2016
        An internationally recognized leader in the field of childhood learning debunks the concept of "good parenting."Gopnik (Psychology and Philosophy/Univ. of California; The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us about Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life, 2009, etc.) is a grandmother and the director of a cognitive science laboratory. Her firsthand experience of the complexities of being a parent in today's society has led her to challenge the accepted view of "parenting." It is "not actually a verb," she writes, "not a form of work, and isn't and shouldn't be directed to the goal of sculpting a child into a particular kind of adult." Rather, parents should simply provide children with a loving, nurturing environment in which they can learn and thrive. The insatiability of children's curiosity is legendary. As Gopnik notes, research has shown that "pre-schoolers average nearly seventy-five questions per hour." Contrary to the traditional parenting model, which sets specific educational goals for children, parents can play a crucial role simply by responding to a child's questions. "Parents don't have to consciously manipulate what they say to give children the information they need," writes the author. They learn through rough-and-tumble play, careful observation of their environment, direct interaction, and the let's-pretend games they invent for themselves. "Pretending is closely related to another distinctly human ability," writes Gopnik, "hypothetical or counterfactual thinking--that is the ability to consider alternative ways that the world might be." In the author's view, it is imperative for caretakers and educators to nurture young children's curiosity, and they should also allow adolescents to experiment and learn by apprenticeship. Gopnik concludes that recognizing the dichotomy between the goal-oriented carpenter and the nurturing gardener is an appropriate metaphor for our broader cultural values. "Just as we should give children the resources and space to play, and do so without insisting that play will have immediate payoffs," she writes, "we should do the same for scientists and artists." A highly thoughtful and entertaining treatment of a subject that merits serious consideration.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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