Bright Ideas

Resources from Dr. Peter Gray

Natural Start Staff


Dr. Peter Gray delivered a powerful and thought-provoking keynote address, reinforcing the importance of allowing children to learn and play freely. We are so grateful to him for his participation and look forward to following his work! 

Download the handout from Dr. Gray's keynote address, Mother Nature's Pedagogy: How Children Educate Themselves Naturally Through Free Play and Exploration

Purchase Dr. Gray's book here.

Dr. 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 (Psychology, Worth Publishers), which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective. His recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He is the author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books). He also authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today magazine, and is a founding member and president of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, which aims to create a world in which children’s natural ways of learning are facilitated rather than suppressed.