Online conversation- Chris Mercogliano

Join me Thursday, March 7th, for a live and interactive conversation Chris Mercogliano, author of In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness.

“The pressures of modern life are increasingly squeezing the adventure, the wonder, the physicality–the juice–out of children’s lives. Virtually every arena of kids’ experience is now subject to some form of outside control, and this is a serious threat to the unique spark that animates every child. Lamenting risk-averse parents, overstructured school days, and a lack of playtime and solitude, this book is a clear and compelling plea to save childhood” (from the publishers description).

From Publishers Weekly (emphases mine):
Mercogliano… isn’t the first to take the current over-controlling models of parenting and education to task, but the co-director of the Albany Free School (“a noncoercive, democratic inner-city school”) is one of the most passionate, and he demonstrates compellingly how institutions, over-structured schedules and “hyperconcern” are robbing children of their childhood, smothering their creative spark and “inner wildness.” Exploring the life cycle from birth to adulthood, Mercogliano covers a lot of ground, taking into account history, biology, psychology, sociology, philosophy and literature, as well as plenty of anecdotes. But even in his more intellectual moments, examining the work of leading scholars and experts (including Albert Einstein and Henry David), his message is simple: in order to save our children we must allow them time for solitude and play, and restrain the urge to pathologize (and medicate) their “disruptive” behavior. He makes a convincing plea for a return to a broader, less judgmental definition of childhood “normalcy,” a term that used to evoke a “Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn archetype-brash, willful, naughty, rambunctious, aggressive, and always dirty.” Showing parents and teachers how to curb the “domesticating” impulses that have turned growing up into “a carefully scripted medical procedure,” Mercogliano’s book, full of insight, enthusiasm and hope, is as readable and practical as it is illuminating.

Please join us for what promises to be a pretty fascinating interview.

See you online!
Steve Hargadon

Date: Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page.
Recording: A full Blackboard Collaborate recording and an audio mp3 recording will be available at
Mightybell: A Mightybell space with interview resources and to continue the conversation is at