Education in an evolutionary perspective

I just discovered Peter O. Gray’s blog on Psychology Today, titled Freedom to Learn: The roles of play and curiosity as foundations for learning. This is an awesome blog and really worth reading. Here are two of his posts that I strongly recommend. The first states (over and over again) the fact that “School is prison” and makes a good argument for why that is indeed the case. The next post unpacks that statement somewhat by exploring the idea of compulsory education.

For the record, here are a couple of his papers as PDF downloads (I recommend the first, though it may be a bit academic at first glance).

      And finally here is a video of a presentation he made at the Evolutionary Studies Program at Binghamton University.

      Peter Gray: The Human Ancestral Environment for Education, and Its Relevance for Education Today from EvoS on Vimeo.


      1. Excellent Steve. I am pleased to learn that you will be connecting with Dr. Gray. Incidentally I had my 13 year old read the two blog posts of Dr. Gray I link to here… just to make him think :-)

        I look forward to hearing more from you once you get to visit him and the Sudbury schools.

      2. Punya,

        I made the same discovery as I was outlining the purpose and intent of my sabbatical this past fall. I’ve since made contact with Dr. Gray and hope to visit him and one of the Sudbury Valley schools during my travels next school year.


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