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Why study child development?. In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and of no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again. James Agee American Writer 20 th century. Where is the Research?.

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Why study child development?

In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and of no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.

James Agee

American Writer 20th century


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Where is the Research?

  • Child Development– a field devoted to understanding all aspects of human growth and change from conception through adolescence.

  • Developmental Psychology– the more general field of study, that includes child development, and is devoted to understanding all aspects of human growth and change across the entire lifespan.


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Child Development

  • Child development studies involve

  • Theory

  • Perspective


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Theory

A theory is an orderly, integrated set of statements that

  • describe, explain, and predict behavior

  • defines and relates phenomena

  • bring observations, events, and facts that seem random and disconnected into some meaningful relationship and order

    Theories are useful because they

  • provide organizing frameworks for observations

  • serve as a sound basis for practical action.


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What is Perspective?

Perspective involves the discipline of asking

  • How does it look from another point of view?

  • How would my critics see this?

    Students with perspective expose questionable and unexamined assumptions, conclusions, and implications. When a student has gained perspective, he demonstrates a critical distance from the habitual or knee-jerk beliefs, feelings, theories, and appeals that characterize less careful and circumspect thinkers.

    Perspective is a mature achievement, an earned understanding of how ideas look from different vantage points.

    Wiggins and McTighe

    Understanding By Design


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What is a theory of development?

A theory of development consists of a systematic framework of principles based on organized observations of changes in behavior over time.


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Where do theories come from?

THEORIES EMERGE FROM

PARADIGMS

Paradigms are “the entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques, and so on shared by the members of a given community”. They constitute a set of agreements about how problems are to be understood…and how they are to be investigated. They establish a world view.

Thomas Kuhn (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 175.


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A paradigm is composed of a variety of theories that share the more general perspective expressed by the paradigm, and paradigms have their origins in philosophical viewpoints.

Nearly every field begins as philosophy; and psychology continues to foreground its philosophical origins more faithfully than any other discipline.

Howard Gardner, 1994

New Ideas in Psychology



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There are three questions that drive developmental theories.

1. Do human beings grow by imperceptibly small increments (continuity) or do they grow in spurts and starts from one identifiable stage to another (discontinuity)?

2. Does heredity (nature) or environment (nurture) have the more critical influence on human development?

3. How do human beings generateknowledge and make sense of themselves and of their world?


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CONTINUITY VERSUSDISCONTINUITY

GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT (MATURATIONISTS)

STAGES “WINDOWS” (STAGE THEORISTS)


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CONTINUITY VERSUSDISCONTINUITY

GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT (MATURATIONISTS)

STAGES “WINDOWS” (STAGE THEORISTS)

NATUREVERSUSNURTURE

HEREDITY BIOLOGY GENETICS (HEREDITARIANS)

ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY CULTURAL MILIEU (ENVIRONMENTALISTS)


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CONTINUITY VERSUSDISCONTINUITY

GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT (MATURATIONISTS)

STAGES “WINDOWS” (STAGE THEORISTS)

NATUREVERSUSNURTURE

HEREDITY BIOLOGY GENETICS (HEREDITARIANS)

ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY CULTURAL MILIEU (ENVIRONMENTALISTS)

KNOWLEDGE GENERATION

INNATE REASON & IDEAS

(RATIONALISM)

PERSONAL/SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION

(CONSTRUCTIVISM)

EXTERNAL WORLD

(EMPIRICISM)


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CONTINUITY VERSUSDISCONTINUITY

GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT (MATURATIONISTS)

STAGES “WINDOWS” (STAGE THEORISTS)

NATUREVERSUSNURTURE

HEREDITY BIOLOGY GENETICS (HEREDITARIANS)

ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY CULTURAL MILIEU (ENVIRONMENTALISTS)

KNOWLEDGE GENERATION

INNATE REASON & IDEAS

(RATIONALISM)

PERSONAL/SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION

(CONSTRUCTIVISM)

EXTERNAL WORLD

(EMPIRICISM)


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  • FATHER OF LEARNING THEORY

  • NURTURE/CONTINUITY

  • KNOWLEDGE DERIVES FROM EXTERNAL WORLD

  • MIND IS TABULA RASA

  • EDUCATION IS ESSENTIALLY A SOCIALIZING PROCESS


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  • IDEAS DERIVING FROM LOCKE

  • EMPIRICISM

  • POSITIVISM

  • RADICAL POSITIVISM

  • BEHAVIORISM

  • MECHANISM

  • EXPERIENTIALISM

  • ENVIRONMENTALISM

  • PROCESS-PRODUCT ORIENTATION

  • EDUCATION IS ESSENTIALLY A SOCIALIZING PROCESS


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  • FATHER OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

  • NATURE/DISCONTINUITY

  • DEVELOPMENT IS THE RESULT OF INTERNAL INFLUENCES

  • KNOWLEDGE DERIVES FROM INNATE REASON AND IDEAS

  • EDUCATION SHOULD BE A PERSONAL, DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESS


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IDEAS DERIVING FROM ROUSSEAU

RATIONALISM

NATURALISM

DARWINISM

NATIVISM

BIOLOGICAL DETERMINISM

PSYCHODYNAMIC

ETHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

GENETIC PREDISPOSITION

HEREDITARIANISM

  • EDUCATION SHOULD BE A PERSONAL, DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESS


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IT IS THE MEANING OF OUR EXPERIENCES, AND NOT THE ONTOLOGICAL STRUCTURE OF THE OBJECTS, THAT CONSTITUTES REALITY

EMMANUEL KANT

KNOWLEDGE AND MEANING ARE CONSTRUCTED BY THE INDIVIDUAL

INDIVIDUALS INTERPRET SENSORY INFORMATION AND CONSTRUCT PERSONAL, SOCIAL, AND CULTURAL MEANING


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IT IS THE MEANING OF OUR EXPERIENCES, AND NOT THE ONTOLOGICAL STRUCTURE OF THE OBJECTS, THAT CONSTITUTES REALITY

EMMANUEL KANT

IDEAS DERIVING FROM KANT

CONSTRUCTIVISM

PHENOMENOLOGY

QUALITATIVE INQUIRY

HERMENEUTICAL

FUNCTIONALISM

SYMBOLIC INTERACTION

INTERPRETIVISM

SYSTEMS THEORY

CONTEXTUALISM


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Philosophies: World Views

  • RATIONALISM

  • EMPIRICISM

  • CONSTRUCTIVISM


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Philosophies: World Views

  • HEREDITARIANISM

  • ENVIRONMENTALISM

  • CONSTRUCTIVISM (CONTEXTUALISM)



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Definition of development?

Development is the transformation or pattern of changes that are orderly, cumulative and directional.Orderly: there is logical sequence to changeCumulative: includes all that was there plus something new (value added)Directional: moves toward greater complexity


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Aspects of Development

  • Physical Development – changes in body size, proportions, appearances, and the functioning of various body systems – brain development, perceptual and motor capabilities, and physical health.

  • Cognitive Development – development of a wide variety of thought processes and intellectual abilities, including attention, memory, academic and everyday knowledge, problem solving, imagination, creativity, and the uniquely human capacity to represent the world through language.

  • Emotional and Social Development – development of emotional communication, self-understanding, ability to manage one’s own feelings, knowledge about other people, interpersonal skills, friendships, intimate relationships, and moral reasoning and behavior.

  • Moral Development – development of personal rules and conventions regarding one’s interactions with others


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Periods of Development

  • The Prenatal Period – from conception to birth.

  • Infancy and Toddlerhood – from birth to 2 years.

  • Early Childhood – from 2 to 6 years.

  • Middle Childhood – from 6 to 11 years.

  • Adolescence – from 11 to 20 years.


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The Three Questions

  • Is development continuous or discontinuous? Or both?

  • Is there a single, universal course of development, or are there many?

  • Is “nature” or “nurture” more important for development?

    *Theories in development take a stand on these issues.


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Critical Questions (Perspectives)

  • Continuity vs. Discontinuity

    • Continuous theory of development: development follows a smooth progression from infancy to adulthood, with a single quantitative dimension

    • Discontinuous (stage) theory of development: development occurs in stages, each qualitatively different from the one before


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Critical Questions

(Developing Perspective)

  • Nature vs. Nurture

    • Nature – inborn biological givens – the hereditary information children receive from their parents at the moment of concept that signals the body to grow and affects all their characteristics and skills.

    • Nurture – the complex forces of the physical and social world that influence children’s biological make up and psychological experiences before and after birth.


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Critical Questions (Perspectives)

  • Stability v. Change

    • Stability – children who are high or low in a characteristic will remain so at later ages.

    • Change – children who are high or low in a characteristic can change at later ages, typically due to changes in the environment in either a positive or negative way.


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Historical Foundations

  • Modern theories in child development are the result of centuries of change in cultural values, philosophical thinking about children, and scientific progress.

  • Many early ideas about children linger as important forces in current theory and research.


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Medieval Thought

  • Little importance was placed on childhood as a separate phase of the life cycle.

  • Preformationism – once children emerged from infancy, they were regarded as miniature, already-formed adults.


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The Reformation

  • During the 16th century, a revised image of childhood sprang from the religious movement that gave birth to Protestantism.

  • The Belief – children were born evil and stubborn (original sin) and had to be civilized toward a destiny of virtue and salvation.


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The Enlightenment: Age of Reason

  • Conceptions of childhood appeared that were more humane than those of past centuries.

  • John Locke – “tabula rasa” – children were not basically evil, rather they were, to begin with, nothing at all, and their character could be shaped by all kinds of experiences.

  • Jean-Jacques Rouseau – “noble savages” – children were naturally endowed with a sense of right and wrong and with an innate plan for orderly, healthy growth.


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John Locke (1632 – 1704)

  • Refuted doctrine of innate ideas (Plato, Descartes)

  • Main goal of education is self control

  • Principles of learning

    • Associations

    • Repetition

    • Imitation

    • Rewards and punishments


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Jean Jacques Rousseau (1644 - 1699)

  • Key Ideas

    • Development proceeds according to an inner, biological timetable

    • Development unfolds in a series of stages

    • “Child-centered” philosophy of education


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Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) Theory of Evolution

  • Natural Selection – certain species were selected by nature to survive in particular parts of the world because they had physical characteristics and behaviors that fit with, or were adapted to, their surroundings.

  • Survival of the Fittest – individuals within a species who best met the survival requirements of the environment lived long enough to reproduce and pass their more favorable characteristics to future generations.


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Scientific Beginnings

  • Late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

    • Baby Biographies – researchers selected children of their own or close relatives, beginning in early infancy, documented day-to-day descriptions and impressions of the child’s behavior.

    • G. Stanley Hall (1844 – 1924) – the normative approach to child study – measures of behavior are taken on large numbers of children, then age-related averages are computed to represent the typical child’s development.


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Scientific Beginnings, Continued

  • Late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

    • Mental Testing Movement – comparisons of the intelligence test scores of children who vary in sex, ethnicity, birth order, family background, and other characteristics became a major focus of research – emphasis on individual differences.

    • James Mark Baldwin (1861 – 1934) – a theorist rather than an observer of children, formulated perhaps the first comprehensive theory of child development – emphasized that children actively revise their ways of thinking about the world, but also learn through habit or by copying others’ behavior.


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James Mark Baldwin (1861–1934)

  • one of American psychology’s seminal thinkers.

  • Mental Development in the Child and the Race

  • influenced thinkers as diverse as Piaget and Vygotsky

  • helped create a standard for rigorous objective procedure and a functionalist attitude within the newly emerging science

  • formed a concept of organic selection that accounted for the effects of acquired adaptations without violating principles of natural selection

    • Baldwin proposed that cultural practices ought to be considered among the factors shaping human genetic inheritance – Baldwin Effect (Baldwin Evolution)

  • over the past few years Baldwin studies have undergone a small renaissance, especially as his relationship to Piaget and Vygotsky has been explored


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