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2018 Chautauqua Season

Morning Lecture Series: Peter Gray

Jul 11, 2018 10:45am ‐ Jul 11, 2018 12:00pm



Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College, where his fields include children’s play; self-directed learning; evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, and the role of play in human biological and cultural evolution.

Gray joined the Boston College Psychology Department in 1972; he is the author the widely used introductory psychology textbook, Psychology, now in its seventh edition. He is also author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life, and he writes a popular blog for Psychology Today titled “Freedom to Learn.”

Gray is a critic of standard educational systems and frequently speaks to children’s needs for free play and the ways in which children are designed to control their own education. He is a founder and current board president of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, and a founder and board member of Let Grow, which is dedicated to renewing children’s freedom to play and explore outdoors, in public spaces, without continuous adult supervision.

Gray majored in psychology at Columbia College, and received his PhD in biological sciences from the Rockefeller University.


  • Peter Gray, research professor of psychology, Boston University

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