Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an internationally recognized leader in the study of children's learning and development. She writes the Mind and Matter column for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of The Philosophical Baby and coauthor of The Scientist in the Crib. She has three sons and lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband, Alvy Ray Smith.
"Bracing and thoughtful . . . Educators looking to resist the current vogue for highly scripted, teacher-driven lesson modules will be delighted by Gopnik's strong scientific case for letting children guide their own learning . . . Gopnik never veers from her faith in the warm human bond between caregiver and child that drives not only 'the pathos, but also the moral depth' of being a parent." --Erika Christakis, The Washington Post "Fascinating and passionate . . . A welcome corrective to the results-driven approach to parenting." --Bee Wilson, The Guardian Alison Gopnik's The Gardener and the Carpenter should be required reading for anyone who is, or is thinking of becoming, a parent . . . Hers is a rare erudition: scholarly, yes, but accessible and rooted in her experience as a mother and grandmother . . . Gopnik's science-based assertion is a welcome corrective to the prevailing culture of coaching and tutoring children--often at great expense--to avoid failure." --Isabel Berwick, Financial Times [The Gardener and the Carpenter] calls into question the modern notion that good parents can mold their children into successful adults . . . Children are not supposed to become like their parents; they learn from them to create something new. Each generation is different from the ones before. And that, Gopnik suggests, is the whole point of being human. --Courtney Humphries, The Boston Globe Deeply researched . . . [Gopnik's] approach focuses on helping children to find their own way . . . She describes a wide range of experiments showing that children learn less through 'conscious and deliberate teaching' than through watching, listening, and imitating." --Josie Glausiusz, Nature "What a relief to find a book that takes a stand against the practice of "helicopter parenting" so prevalent today . . . [The Gardener and the Carpenter] not only dispels the myth of a single best model for good parenting but also backs up its proposals with real-life examples and research studies . . . This book will provide helpful inspiration for parents and may prompt some to rethink their strategies." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)