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The Importance of Free Play for Learning

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In an attempt to improve academic achievement, schools and districts are considering a variety of reforms including lengthening the school day, shortening vacation time and any and all interventions to improve test scores. But what is lost when a child's life becomes increasingly scheduled? Writing for The Independent, Dr. Peter Gray makes the case for free play, arguing that in those moments of fun and freedom kids, are learning how to be creative, deal with fear, and form emotional bonds. They're also solving real world problems. Gray writes:

"We can't teach creativity, but we can drive it out of people through schooling that centers not on children’s own questions but on questions dictated by an imposed curriculum that operates as if all questions have one right answer and everyone must learn the same things."

Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not lessI'm a research bio-psychologist with a PhD, so I've done lots of school. I'm a pretty good problem-solver, in my work and in the rest of my life, but that has little to do with the schooling I've had.

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