In Defense of Childhood

Not being a teacher or a pundit in the alternative education arena (yet) I am taking it upon myself to begin reading and viewing many of the speakers who expound on this subject. To be honest though, few speak in a common tone. There is a tendency, although the information is good, and valuable, to speak like a professor. Like a lecturer in front of a large assembly in a college auditorium.

This is not the case with Chris Mercagliano’s book, which I have just begun. Despite its academic references, Chris manages to keep it real, by constantly siting examples from his own life to illustrate the changes we have experienced in this country in how children are reared. This rings true to my own situation as I have put forth in some of my previous posts, and will continue in posts to come.


I wanted to comment briefly on a quote by Albert Einstein that Chris references. It refers to the intense cramming of information into students, to justify our sense they are learning.

“One had to cram all of this stuff into one’s mind, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such deterring effect that after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problem distasteful for an entire year.”

Now that I have quoted it, I am not sure I can do any better than Einstein in pointing out the flaws in our educational attitudes. If this subject is of interest to you, I highly recommend Chris’ book.


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