Gender: Washington Post, 1/25/16: On gender disparity as a theme in Disney princess movies. If you've thought, "My boy started playing with trucks so early/my girl started playing with dolls so early, it must be innate!" then this article will push and prod your thinking a bit. Our culture lays such a thick blanket over child development that it is often difficult to see exactly where and how our environment creates paradigms that we believe to be inborn. When we peel back the layers of culture, we find that nature and nurture are like two sides to a zipper, one being meaningless without the other.
Creativity: NY Times, 1/31/16: Adam Grant (also author of Give and Take, also recommended, and Originals, out this month) writes about how raising a creative child requires few rules and pressures, and a lot of time for doing your own thing.
Preschool: The Atlantic, Jan/Feb 2016: A great article if you're looking to understand the national zeitgeist around early learning, and why our preschool treasures long, extended periods of free play for all of our classes.
Play: Washington Post, 9/1/15: This covers the decline of play correlating to the rise of sensory and attention issues in nursery and elementary classrooms. All of our children need extended periods of play from an early age right through elementary school. Author Valerie Strauss' writing indicates that a rise in organized academic/learning experiences in nursery years increases later educational difficulties, whereas a wealth of free-play experiences in nursery years builds a productive foundation for later academic learning.
Religion: Park Avenue Synagogue, 9/26/15: A Jewish child meets the Pope, and a rabbi muses about the world being a better place. The world can be a better place, and religion offers us a vehicle through which to go about exploring that. Our nursery classrooms are designed to use religious values to empower children to make their world a better place.
Gender: Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, by Cordelia Fine, 2011.
Tech and children: The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in a Digital Age, by Catherine Steiner-Adair, 2014.
Parenting through failure: The Gifts of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Succeed, by Jennifer Lahey, 2015.
Parenting with limits: Permission to Parent: How to Raise your Child with Love and Limits, by Robin Berman, 2015.
Unconventional parenting: The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting, by Alfie Kohn, 2014.
Modern parenting: All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting, by Jennifer Senior, 2014
Play: Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life, by Peter Gray, 2013.