Children, like all human beings, crave freedom, but they are not free in school. Schools operate by methods of coercion (a "request" in school is really an order), enforced with reward, punishment, and threats. Coercion interferes with children's natural, joy-filled and interest-filled ways of learning and turns learning into "work." In this collection of essays, developmental psychologist Peter Gray describes also how schooling promotes bullying, cheating, and showing off; contributes to high rates of anxiety, depression, and even suicide among students; aims to push everyone, regardless of the shape of their personality, through the same square holes; and leads to a lifetime of anxiety dreams. The last two essays show how the harm has moved down even to the youngest students, caused by the misbelief that academic training should start in kindergarten and before. This collection is for everyone who cares about children's wellbeing.
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