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Discovering the Culture of Childhood


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About the Author

Emily Plank has worked as a family child care provider, mentor, and adult educator, and as a writer and consultant on workshop presentations and interactive keynotes for educators and families. Her specialties include play-based education, diversity and culture in early childhood education, respectful guidance and discipline, and outdoor learning. In 2011, the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children identified Emily as one of seven emerging leaders in the field of early childhood education. She earned her bachelor's degree from Pepperdine University and has lived in various locations around the world. She and her family currently reside in Lausanne, Switzerland.


Regardless of how long you have been working with young children, you'll experience many aha moments that will stay with you long after you have put this book down.
-- Jenna Bilmes

No mini-adults here. This book is your passport to new understanding of children and their most baffling behaviors. Emily Plank opens our eyes to see we are everyday travelers in a distinct and foreign land: the culture of childhood.
-- Heather Shumaker, It's OK NOT to Share The book is filled with meaningful stories that help adults recognize the language of play so they can more fully engage with and support children in play, celebrate children's rich imaginary belief systems rooted in fantasy and make-believe, and explore the curiosity-driven arts and culture of children with a focus on process and child-centered creativity.
-- Gaye Gronlund, author of Individualized Child-Focused Curriculum When we visit another land we can view the natives' differences from us as deficiencies, to be judged, or as fascinations, to be understood. Only the latter can lead to real communication. The same is true in our relationships with little children. In this brilliant book, Emily Plank helps us learn to appreciate children for who they are, fully formed children not unformed adults, and thereby overcome our tendency to try always to make them more like us. They will, on their own, become more like us in due time, as they grow naturally into the adult culture. -- Peter Gray, Research Professor at Boston College and author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

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