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Peter Gray, the first psychologist to write an introductory psychology textbook from an evolutionary perspective, experienced a family crisis when his son started to rebel against public school. Finding alternative schooling for his son led Peter to champion a new paradigm for child development and education from an evolutionary perspective.
He joins David to discuss this journey and more, including how children learn by imitating “real” people, how graduate school is like hunter-gatherer education, and whether we need creativity more than ever.
Links from the Show
00:52- Peter’s blog on Psychology Today
11:57- The Sudbury Valley School (website)
Also see these related TVOL articles:
And explore the Evolution Institute’s East Tampa Academy project, where we are taking the best of what science tells us about how young minds learn to create a high-quality, tuition-free school for children at risk of academic failure.


Published On: October 21, 2019

Peter Gray

Peter Gray

Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College who has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education. He is author of an internationally acclaimed introductory psychology textbook, which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective. Much of his research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn. He also authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today magazine and is president of the nonprofit Alliance for Self-Directed Education.

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