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“The Gardener and the Carpenter” is a book by Alison Gopnik that talks about the rising pressure on parents and teachers to make sure that children develop in one certain way and it emphasizes that this is not always the best model.

The role model in her book is not the carpenter, who works diligently from an established blueprint.  Instead it is the patient gardener who provides a safe place to let nature take its course, and then gets out of the way.

Are you the carpenter or the gardener?

The classic notion is that there are things that parents or teachers can do to influence children in a certain way. But in the opinion of evolution and psychology, just delivering a protected, secure, and loving space gives kids the opportunity to create and dream and learn many new and unpredictable things.

Kids are continually taking in new information, cracking codes, and experimenting with new and exciting ideas that move the species ahead.  Evidence from decades of research indicates that young kids are natural learners.  Parents and teachers need to listen and trust their intuition and judgement, and they need to understand that there’s extraordinary diversity in kids.

To learn more about parent and teacher roles in child development, read the original article here:

(Hey, Teacher) Leave Those Kids Alone