New Books Network

Tamara Mose and Lucy Crehan

T. Mose 'The Playdate' and L. Crehan 'Cleverlands'

NYU Press and Random House 2017

New Books in EducationNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network February 5, 2020 Richard Davies and Jim Meigs

In this episode we consider vital role of play, and what it does to expand a child’s creativity and resilience. Urban sociologist Tamara Mose...

In this episode we consider vital role of play, and what it does to expand a child’s creativity and resilience.

Urban sociologist Tamara Mose is an Associate Professor at Brooklyn College, and author of The Playdate: Parents, Children and the New Expectations of Play (NYU Press, 2016). She tells us about the strengths and perils of playdates, and the need for children to have unstructured play.

Educational consultant and teacher, Lucy Crehan, is the author of Cleverlands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World’s Education Superpowers (Random House, 2017), an exploration of the lessons learned from the world’s top-performing education systems. Her research also highlights the importance of play in the learning process.

In Finland, where math and reading scores are among the highest in the world, “they don’t start education formally until seven-years-old,” says Lucy. Instead of meeting academic targets in kindergarten or first grade, “they’re focusing on a much broader educational and social development before they start formal learning.

Solutions discussed include: The need for diversity during playdates and in children’s lives, and the developmental role played by unsupervised play. The importance of high academic expectations for older children, and the creative role of play during the school year.


Richard Davies and Jim Meigs are the host of the terrific podcast “How Do We Fix It?,” on which they talk to the world’s most creative thinkers about, well, how to fix things. Lots of things. Important ones. Highly recommended. You can find “How Do We Fix It” on Apple Podcasts.