"One of the things that’s very distinctive about human beings is that as long as we’ve been around, ever since we evolved, we’ve gone beyond just biological parents in taking care of children. So, other people in the community, relatives, grandparents, older siblings. The old line about it takes a village. It really does take the village. And the elders in this village seem to have this particularly powerful effect." — Alison Gopnik, Ph.D.
Resources from the talk
Both the ongoing child-care crisis and the pandemic have highlighted our failings to protect and care for the young and the old, two groups that are critical to our success and evolution as humans. Parents and grandparents are invited to view this ParentEd Talks event, in which distinguished developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik, Ph.D., will share how these two vulnerable and long life stages — childhood and elderhood — play important roles in helping humans flourish.
Drawing on her own cutting-edge scientific research, Gopnik will reveal fascinating insights into how caregiving relationships in childhood and old age evolve distinctive capacities for cognition. Gopnik will explain how these two developmental life stages are related, and how the relationship between children and grandparents is so valuable, from strengthening our intelligence and adaptability to preserving culture and traditions.
"Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and very different both from their parents and from one another. The variability and flexibility of childhood allow them to innovate, create and survive in an unpredictable world." — Alison Gopnik, Ph.D.
About the speaker
Alison Gopnik, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. An internationally recognized leader in the study of children’s learning and development, she is the author of multiple bestselling titles, including “The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children.”
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