Praise for Free To Learn

“[E]nergetic…Gray powerfully argues that schools inhibit learning….[Gray’s] vivid illustrations of the ‘power of play’ to shape an individual are bound to provoke a renewed conversation about turning the tide in an educational system that fosters conformity and inhibits creative thinking.”
Publishers Weekly

“Intriguing.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Blending the traditions of J. Gary Bernhard’s Primates in the Classroom and A.S. Neill’s Summerhill, Peter Gray’s Free to Learn combines evolutionary and cross-cultural insights with an account of the best in alternative education today. The result is a strong challenge to our prevailing modes of schooling, from the perspective of what is most natural for children: play.”
—Melvin Konner, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology, Emory University, and author of The Evolution of Childhood

“The modern educational system is like a wish made in a folk tale gone horribly wrong. Peter Gray’s Free to Learn leads us out of the maze of unforeseen consequences to a more natural way of letting children educate themselves. Gray’s message might seem too good to be true, but it rests upon a strong scientific foundation. Free to Learn can have an immediate impact on the children in your life.”
—David Sloan Wilson, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology, Binghamton University, and author of Evolution for Everyone

“Peter Gray is one of the world’s experts on the evolution of childhood play, and applies his encyclopedic knowledge of psychology, and his humane voice, to the pressing issue of educational reform. Though I am not sure I agree with all of his recommendations, he forces us all to rethink our convictions on how schools should be designed to accommodate the ways that children learn.”
—Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works

“All kids love learning. Most don’t love school. That’s a disconnect we’ve avoided discussing—until this lightning bolt of a book. If you’ve ever wondered why your curious kid is turning into a sullen slug at school, Peter Gray’s Free to Learn has the answer. He also has the antidote.”
—Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids

“Peter Gray’s Free to Learn is profoundly necessary as a fundamental illumination of the continuing tragedy and entrapment of both kids and their teachers in a generally failing and failed educational system. Gray demonstrates through science and evolutionary biology that the human species is designed to play, is built through play, and that for kids, play equals learning. Free to Learn is timely, paradigm shifting, and essential for our long term survival as adaptive humans.”
—Stuart Brown, M.D., Founder and President, The National Institute for Play, and author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

 “A compelling and most enjoyable read, Gray illustrates how removing play from childhood, in combination with increasing the pressures of modern-day schooling, paradoxically reduces the very skills we want our children to learn. The decline of play is serious business.”
—Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, author of Einstein Never Used Flash Cards and A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool