The Gardener and the Carpenter - by Alison Gopnik (Paperback)
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About the BookCaring 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. -- Back cover.
In The Gardener and the Carpenter, Alison Gopnik, one of the world's leading child psychologists, illuminates the paradoxes of parenthood from a scientific perspective and 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.
"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 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." --Erika Christakis, The Washington Post"Fascinating and passionate . . . A welcome corrective to the results-driven approach to parenting." --Bee Wilson, The Guardian "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." --Isabel Berwick, Financial Times "[The Gardener and the Carpenter] calls into question the modern notion that good parents can mold their children into successful adults . . . Children are not supposed to become like their parents; they learn from them to create something new. Each generation is different from the ones before. And that, Gopnik suggests, is the whole point of being human." --Courtney Humphries, The Boston Globe "Deeply researched . . . [Gopnik's] approach focuses on helping children to find their own way . . . She describes a wide range of experiments showing that children learn less through 'conscious and deliberate teaching' than through watching, listening, and imitating." --Josie Glausiusz, Nature "What a relief to find a book that takes a stand against the practice of "helicopter parenting" so prevalent today . . . [The Gardener and the Carpenter] 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 . . . This book will provide helpful inspiration for parents and may prompt some to rethink their strategies." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)