Film and Podcast -
Film and Podcast -
Gabrielle Principe, author of Your Brain on Childhood, will speak at The Waldorf School of Philadelphia on Saturday, April 28th, 11.00 a.m.
If you wanted to design a way of life that was exactly counter to the needs of developing brains, you would invent something like modern childhood.
We strap newborns into bouncy seats, babysit them with the television set, and enroll them in early learning centers. During toddler-hood, we give them learning laptops and educational DVDs. As they get older, we sign them up for dance classes, violin lessons, and soccer leagues. We give them artificial playgrounds and teach them how to play at recess. We push them to do the sorts of things we see more mature brains doing because we feel that brain development is a race, and the faster our children’s brains finish, the better.
But if you wanted to create a lifestyle that took advantage of the way the human brain was built to grow, you would have to stop doing all these things and redesign children’s environments—their homes, schools, toys, and pastimes—in a way that would capitalize on natural brain development.
In Your Brain on Childhood, developmental scientist Gabrielle Principe marshals scientific evidence from a diverse array of fields to offer effective ways to outwit the modern world, for the betterment of our children and their development. Principe shows how the solution is simply to design children’s lives to work with how evolution has prepared their developing brains not against it.
Gabrielle Principe, a developmental psychologist, has a lifelong fascination with the implications of evolutionary ideas on children’s development. As a scientist, she has a serious interest in translating the latest scientific research about human development into information that parents and teachers can use to better rear and educate children. As a mother, she has the moxie to use this science to advocate bringing the fun and freedom back in childhood and parenting.
Principe is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Ursinus College, where she studies cognitive development in young children. Principe received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University. Her research has been federally funded by the National Institutes of Health and she has written numerous articles in scientific journals. Her new book is entitled: Your Brain on Childhood: The Unexpected Side Effects of Classrooms, Ballparks, Family Rooms, and the Minivan (Prometheus, 2011).
Interesting interview on Marty Moss-Coane earlier today about “Modern Childhood and the Brain.” Toward the end, the author/psychologist has some nice things to say about Waldorf Education. Here’s a link to the podcast: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/