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Curious Children, Wise Elders: How Childhood and Elderhood Shape Intelligence and Learning

ParentEd Talks Replay

"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.”


Join us for our 2022–2023 series! Hear from experts on timely issues affecting families, educators and caregivers, and get top tips to add to your parenting toolkit. Sign up for free for the entire 2022–2023 ParentEd Talks series, and then join any live talk you are interested in throughout the year. 

Enter for a chance to win a SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet or a Happiest Baby gift card! We are giving away one SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet (valued at $1,695) and one $500 Happiest Baby gift card, courtesy of Happiest Baby. Only attendees of the March 22 talk (A Parenting Playbook for Raising the Happiest Kids on Earth) are eligible for the prizes, and the winners will be notified via private message in Zoom at the end of each talk.

Get a copy of "The Awakened Brain!" Be one of the first 100 to purchase a series ticket, and you'll receive a copy of “The Awakened Brain: What the Neuroscience of Spirituality Reveals About Our Capacity for Health, Happiness and Resilience” by Lisa Miller, Ph.D.

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