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Download The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups, by Erika Christakis Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Erika Christakis Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A bold challenge to the conventional wisdom about early childhood, with a pragmatic program to encourage parents and teachers to rethink how and where young children learn best by taking the child’s eye view of the learning environment

Parents of young children today are embattled: pick the “wrong” preschool and your child won’t get into the “right” college. But our fears are misplaced, according to Yale early childhood expert Erika Christakis. Children are powerful and inventive; and the tools to reimagine their learning environment are right in front of our eyes.

Children are hardwired to learn in any setting, but they don’t get the support they need when “learning” is defined by strict lessons and dodgy metrics that devalue children’s intelligence while placing unfit requirements on their developing brains. We have confused schooling with learning, and we have altered the very habitat young children occupy. The race for successful outcomes has blinded us to how young children actually process the world, acquire skills, and grow, says Christakis, who powerfully defends the preschool years as a life stage of inherent value and not merely as preparation for a demanding or uncertain future.

In her path-breaking book, Christakis explores what it’s like to be a young child in America today, in a world designed by and for adults. With school-testing mandates run amok, playfulness squeezed, and young children increasingly pathologized for old-fashioned behaviors like daydreaming and clumsiness, it’s easy to miss what’s important about the crucial years of three to six, and the kind of guidance preschoolers really need. Christakis provides a forensic and far-reaching analysis of today’s whole system of early learning, exploring pedagogy, history, science, policy, and politics. She also offers a wealth of proven strategies about what to do to reimagine the learning environment to suit the child’s real, but often invisible, needs. The ideas range from accommodating children’s sense of time, to decluttering classrooms, to learning how to better observe and listen as children express themselves in pictures and words.

With her strong foundation in the study of child development and early education and her own in-the-trenches classroom experience, Christakis peels back the mystery of early childhood, revealing a place that’s rich with possibility. Her message is energizing and reassuring: parents have more power (and more knowledge) than they think they do, and young children are inherently creative and will flourish if we can learn new ways to support them and restore their vital learning habitat.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliant, altogether original, impeccably researched but also deeply heartfelt call to action…Her advice—practical, authoritative, but offered with the loving, personal concern of the mother and teacher that she is—soars beyond sensible into the realm of wise, disruptive, and irresistible. A tour de force.”

    Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness

  • “If only adults observed little children with half the energetic curiosity that little children bring to their scrutiny of adults!…For a guide to keen-eyed appreciation of preschoolers’ amazing powers, you can’t find a better one than Christakis. Read The Importance of Being Little and you won’t look at kids, or classrooms, the same way again.”

    Ann Hulbert, author of Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice about Children

  • “Erika Christakis wants to foment a revolution in early childhood education, and with this deeply insightful, scientifically grounded, and utterly original book, she just may get her way.”

    Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

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