Inspired EC

Play Deficit Disorder: A Worldwide Crisis and How to Solve it Locally

A Two Hour Session with Peter Gray - For educators, play advocates, parents and other professionals

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Research in the United States, the UK, Australia, and various other nations has revealed a dramatic decline in children’s free play—especially their free outdoor play—over the past several decades.  This decline in play has been accompanied by dramatic increases in childhood depression, anxiety, and suicide, and, according to some research, a decline in empathy and rise in narcissism.


In this talk Peter will present the logic and evidence behind his claim that the decline in free play is a, if not the, major cause of these deleterious effects on children's emotional and social wellbeing.  Peter will also suggest possible ways by which families, neighborhoods, and communities can restore children’s opportunities for outdoor play.


In addition, we will discuss how we can create rich educational environments where children learn joyfully and naturally, where they maintain and build upon their natural curiosity and creativity. How do we foster children’s abilities to innovate, to ask and answer previously unanswered questions, and to adapt to changing conditions, which are natural to children but are too often driven out of them by the dreary routines of school? 


Based on research into learning in hunter-gatherer bands and at a democratic school in the United States, Peter will describe children’s natural ways of educating themselves and discuss the conditions that optimize those abilities.  

A big thank you to Play Australia for providing a wonderful venue!

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