Abandon Parenting, and Just Be a Parent

first_imgThe Atlantic:Could a 4-year-old possess better instincts for scientific discovery than a college student?In one experiment, researchers showed preschoolers and undergraduates a variety of blocks, some of which made a machine light up and play music. The children turned out to be more open to the notion that unusual combinations of blocks could turn the machine on, whereas the college students got hung up on the most obvious solution—that the shape of individual blocks affected the machine—ignoring evidence that it was wrong. As surprising as the finding might seem to the layperson, it’s consistent with other research showing that children are better at exploring unlikely possibilities, while adults tend to build on our existing knowledge. In a sense, young children are superior innovators and scientists, open to novel hypotheses.…This is just one of the many fascinating studies described in Alison Gopnik’s latest book The Gardener and the Carpenter, which makes a compelling case that parents should get out of the way of children’s natural drive to learn through play and observation of the world. The book explains how young children decide whom to believe; why they categorize; and how their intuitive understanding of statistics, mass, and gravity operates.Read the whole story: The Atlantic More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

​Crackdown on corrupt lawyers who help criminals

first_imgSolicitors and other professionals who collude with criminal gangs could face up to five years in prison under legislation to be proposed by the Home Office.A serious crime bill, expected to be announced in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech, will create an offence of ‘participation in an organised crime group’ to catch professionals who assist gangsters.Prosecutors will have to prove defendants had ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ they were helping criminals carry out their activitiesThe bill will include tougher measures to seize criminal assets and to close loopholes that enable criminals to hang onto their gains.The Home Office said lawyers, accountants and other professionals assist criminals by failing to ask questions about why their services are required and then claiming they were unaware of what was going on.Home Office minister Karen Bradley said: ‘Nobody is above the law. But for too long corrupt lawyers, accountants and other professionals have tried to evade justice by hiding behind a veneer of respectability. ‘This new offence sends out a clear message to those individuals – if you are helping to oil the wheels of organised crime, you will be prosecuted and face being jailed.’President of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association, Nicola Hill, said the move was unnecessary. ‘There is already legislation to catch these people. All this will create is more red tape and legislation for those who abide by the rules.’Chairman of the Law Society’s criminal law committee Richard Atkinson said: ‘Without seeing the detail it’s difficult to see how this will make significant difference to the way lawyers will behave. ‘Are they seeking to impose on lawyers and other professionals a duty to enquire into the workings of their clients?’last_img read more