Award-Winning Documentary Coming To University of Tampa

mag813 April 20, 2017 0
Award-Winning Documentary Coming To University of Tampa

Are children suffering from play deficit disorder and a disconnection from nature? Why is play vital for learning, health and happiness? How can children get the essential play time they need? These questions and more will be answered at this one-time event featuring a screening of the award-winning documentary, “NaturePlay,” a panel discussion with the filmmakers and a talk by Dr. Peter Gray, a research psychologist at Boston College and author of “Free to Learn.”

“NaturePlay” is an award-winning documentary that reveals the stark contrasts between America’s obsession with standardized tests at the cost of everything else, and Scandinavia’s embrace of all things nature-based. After experiencing the “diseased” U.S. education system firsthand, Danish filmmaker Dan Stilling (who filmed “The Martian”) and American producer/writer Aimie Stilling head to Scandinavia to show how children are educated there—in stark contrast to the U.S. approach. The result is a beautiful, 80-minute documentary that moves between the forests near Copenhagen to the fjords of northern Norway, looking at the unusual and truly wonderful ways in which Scandinavian children are taught.

“This film gets at the heart of what independent learning is all about: trusting kids to learn from the world around them and to make connections that inspire authentic, deep learning,” says Susan Embury, a cofounder of Real Life ALC, a Tampa-based Agile Learning Center.

Dr. Peter Gray is a research psychologist at Boston College and author of “Free to Learn.” He is best known for his research concerned with children’s natural ways of learning and the role of play in children’s development. Dr. Gray recently started the Alliance for Self-Directed Education with other collaborators.

“Dr. Gray is an expert in independent learning and we’re thrilled to have both him and the filmmakers with us for this event’s discussion,” says Elizabeth Mahaney, Real Life ALC’s chief administrator and cofounder.

The event is Sunday, April 30, 6:30-9:30 p.m., at the David Falk Theater at The University of Tampa. A donation of $15 is requested, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. Register at or call (813) 240-3237 for sliding scale ticketsThis event is presented by Real Life ALC and David Martin with Brighter Technologies and Brighter Schooling.

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