Cambridge Forum: The Manifesto Against Parenting

featuring ALISON GOPNIK discussing

The Gardener and the Carpenter:
What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children


October 12, 2016
7:00 PM ET
(Doors at 6:00)


The Atrium, 4th Floor
50 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138


Cambridge Forums are free and open to the public.

Cambridge Forum welcomes ALISON GOPNIK for a discussion of her book The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children.

A book signing will precede the program starting at 6pm, with refreshments.

Gopnik is the author of The Gardener and the Carpenter, the NY Times parenting and education best seller, and a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. An internationally recognized leader in the study of children's learning and development, Gopnik writes the “Mind and Matter” column for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of The Philosophical Baby and coauthor of The Scientist in the Crib.  She has three sons and lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband, Alvy Ray Smith.

About The Gardener and the Carpenter

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.

The Atrium, 4th Floor
50 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Event Series: Cambridge Forum

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