Toxic Childhood
Saturday 27 October, 1.30pm until 3.00pm, Henry Moore Gallery Battle Talk

How have children’s lives changed in the past two or three decades? Have they changed for the worse or the better? In particular, have children’s lives been narrowed by the health and safety constraints on outdoor play and by the apparent domination of television and computer games in their lives?

What kind of impact are parental and public concerns about their safety likely to have on their ability to engage freely in play with their peers, and on their social and physical development? Are children (especially in the English-speaking Western world) turning into obese couch potatoes or anti-social geeks? Do these technologies limit children’s range of play (as some claim) or extend it with games that challenge their intellect and dexterity?  Does the internet put children at risk of online abuse or rather enable them to benefit from the possibilities of connecting with other children around the globe?

 Speakers

Sue Palmer
author, Toxic Childhood and Detoxing Childhood; former headteacher
Dr Helene Guldberg
director, spiked; author, Reclaiming Childhood: freedom and play in an age of fear and Just Another Ape?
Chair:
Dr Wendy Earle
impact development officer, Birkbeck, University of London; convenor, Academy of Ideas Arts and Society Forum

 Produced by

Dr Wendy Earle impact development officer, Birkbeck, University of London; convenor, Academy of Ideas Arts and Society Forum

Comments on Sue Palmer 'Out to play', Helene Guldberg

Out to play, Sue Palmer

 Recommended readings

School vetting controls tightened
News report outlining the bill from spring last year
staff writer, BBC, 28 February 2006

recommended by spiked

A toxic view of working-class parents
Julian Grenier, 13 May 2007

Should childhood come with a health warning?
Helene Guldberg, 13 September 2006

Session partners