Auto Ads by Adsense

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Review: The New Childhood

I really wanted to like The New Childhood. Shapiro strikes me as likely to be a great parent (most parents will not be bothered to learn their kids interests, or pick up a controller and play with their kids!), and the NPR interview was great.

I opened the book hoping for studies, statistics, etc, and got none of that. The book does point out several things, including that wide-spread literacy, reading, and penmanship is largely an industrial phenomenon, and the parents who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons have very little right to complain when their children spend the same amount of time in front of a screen, plus they're interacting, problem solving, and working their way through a rules system that's logical and unyielding, yet demands cooperation and creativity.

But real studies and statistics? Forget it. The book is full of platitudes and raises a ton of questions, but the author presents no answers. There are no suggestions on how parents should guide their kids in the era of fake news, and how to approach education in such a way that kids check their sources before believing everything.

The saving grace of the book is that it's short, and doesn't overstay its welcome. But with that time, you could be reading Brain Rules for Baby instead!

No comments: