The Nature of Child Development
I. Why Study Children?
A. Responsibility for children is part of everyday life as parent, professional, and/or responsible citizen.Responsible citizenship B. The study of children’s development enables us to understand how humans change as they grow up as well as to understand forces that contribute to that change. C. The study of child development enables us to benefit from understanding our own development and to provide understandings that will help us in our personal lives and rearing our own children. I. The study of child development enables us to benefit from understanding our own development and to provide understandings that will help us in our personal lives and rearing our own children. II. Child Development—Yesterday and Today
A. Historical views of childhood
1. Renaissance philosophies
a. The “Original Sin” view of child rearing dominated during the Middle Ages. In this view, children were perceived as born into the world as evil beings, and the goal of child rearing was salvation. b. The Tabula Rasa view, purported by John Locke, was dominant in the late 17th century. According to this view, children were born as “blank slates.” c. In the 18th century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s view of the child as possessing “Innate Goodness” was widely accepted. Viewing children as inherently good lead to the child-rearing philosophy that endorsed permitting children to grow with little constraint. 2. Current idea: Childhood is important as a time of development that lays the foundation for the adult years.. B. The modern study of child development
1. Child development has been a science little more than a century. The field has evolved into a sophisticated science guided by theory and methods of study. 2. The major shift was from a philosophical perspective to direct observation and experimentation. 3. Alfred Binet invented tasks to measure intelligence. 4. G. Stanley Hall pioneered the use of questionnaires. 5. Charles Darwin kept a baby journal for systematic observation of children and made scientific study of children a respectable science. 6. James Mark Baldwin (1880s) pioneered genetic epistemology, or the study of how knowledge develops. 7. Sigmund Freud (early 1900s) described the unconscious and psychosexual stages. 8. In the 1920s child development research centers were started in Minnesota, Iowa, Berkeley, and at Columbia Teacher’s College, and in Toronto. 9. Arnold Gesell at Yale developed observational strategies using cameras and a photographic dome. 10. In the 1920s and 1930s, John Watson was influential with his theory of behaviorism, methods of systematic observation, and advocacy of “not-so-soft” techniques of childrearing. 11. Jean Piaget (1940s and 1950s) became the giant in developmental psychology when he presented a theory of cognitive development that included qualitatively different stages. .
Arnold Gesell at Yale developed observational strategies using cameras and a photographic dome. In the 1920s and 1930s, John Watson was influential with his theory of behaviorism. e) In the 1940s and 1950s, Jean Piaget, later known as the father cognitive psychology, presented a stage-theory of cognitive development. a) Scientific methods and theories that have been advanced include these: b) Psychoanalytic
C. Contemporary concernsContemporary concerns
1. Health and well-being. Concerns related to to contemporary health and well-being include poverty, AIDS, nutrition problemsstarvation, health care, inadequate exercise, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual abuse. Tiffany Field’s work on infant massage is highlighted. 2. Families and parenting. Family and parenting issues focus on...
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