Young Child, The: Development from Prebirth Through Age 8

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9780023102417: Young Child, The: Development from Prebirth Through Age 8

The author examines the development of young children with an ecological context that includes the family, the school, community, and society, as a whole. Major child development theories are discussed as they relate to every aspect of the young child's growth. Strong applications for those who work with young children. Features expanded multicultural coverage.

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From the Publisher:

This popular text has a two-fold perspective that concentrates on both children's development and students' development as early education professionals. The authors examine children's development within an ecological context that includes the family, the school community, and society as a whole...exploring major development theories as they relate to all aspects of the young child's growth. In addition, they emphasize the 'development' of adult early childhood professionals and the impact of these adults on the children with whom they work. With this unique dual perspective, students receive more background on children's development than can be found in most curriculum and development texts, as well as more material on their chosen profession than is available from child psychology texts.

From the Inside Flap:

Preface

These are interesting times to engage in the study of child growth and development. As you will see in this third edition of The Young Child, the study of child growth and development is expanding to include a variety of new perspectives. We can think of no more interesting era than the present to be engaged in the study of how growth and development proceed from conception through the early childhood years.

There is heightened interest in childhood today on many fronts. Economic trends and adult employment patterns necessarily bring interest in the who, when, where, and how of child rearing and of nonparental child care. Politicians have made education a centerpiece of their platforms, emphasizing such topics as early education, literacy, family-school partnerships, safe schools, and the use of technologies in education. Sociologists and their related service-oriented organizations are continually launching public awareness campaigns on topics associated with the needs of families—single parenting, teen pregnancy, the effects of poverty and welfare status on families and child-rearing practices, setting standards for and regulating the safety and quality of programs serving children and families, and many others. The health care professions have come into greater prominence in promoting preventive health care and addressing childhood disease and safety issues. Developmental and educational psychologists have had a platter full of issues and concerns associated with recognizing, explaining, and responding appropriately to developmental phenomena and family life and educational trends. Their scholarship has been called upon to address an assortment of issues associated with the diverse needs and characteristics of children and families in an increasingly complex and multicultural, more globally focused society. And of profound interest is the current trend toward translating research emanating from the neurobiological fields into growth-supporting human interactions and child-rearing and education practices. This new emphasis on the neurobiology of human behavior, thinking, and learning has enormous potential for altering adult perceptions of childhood, both affirming and challenging our assumptions about how children grow, develop, and learn, and heightening interest in the extent to which experiences during early growth and development influence the types of adults that children become.

Yes, it is an opportune time to study child growth and development. Indeed, as Marian Wright Edelman said quite eloquently: "It is always the right time to do right for children, who are being born and formed in mind, body, and spirit every minute as life goes on."

In this third edition of The Young Child, we have attempted to bring to this burgeoning interest in childhood a systematic way to explore what is now known about earliest growth and development and how growth and development phenomena are explained. We believe that both parents and practitioners are better equipped to interact appropriately with infants and young children (and to interpret child development knowledge with policymakers) when they are familiar with not only age-related characteristics, but also how scholars in various disciplines explain the emergence of these characteristics. For this reason, the reader will find in this edition reader-friendly discussions of theoretic perspectives on growth and development in each of the developmental domains: physical and motor, psychosocial, cognitive, and language and literacy. Against these theories, we juxtapose neurobiological perspectives to either affirm or challenge existing points of view. Students are thus challenged to examine more closely some traditional, often popular long-held views about children—including, perhaps, many of their own.

The ever-expanding body of knowledge surrounding the study of child growth, development, and learning is a challenge for textbook authors and students alike. In this text, we have attempted to include:

Both contemporary and classical research and theory on child growth, development, and learning Practical child development information from the biological and neurobiological sciences regarding early brain growth and neurological development Emphasis on the positive potential of different developmental pathways Cross-cultural perspectives on growth, development and learning, and sensitivity to diversity among children and families Emphases on the many contexts through which growth and development are reciprocally influenced Broadened perspective on how children learn and become literate Increased emphasis on the development of social and moral competence Increased attention to environmental and health issues affecting the wellbeing of children and families A whole-child perspective that encourages developmentally appropriate expectations Expanded attention to the role of adults in promoting optimal growth, development, and learning during the early childhood years Emphasis on the ethical responsibilities of early childhood professionals ORGANIZATION OF THE TEXT

The text is divided into seven parts. Part One, "An Overview of Early Childhood Development," outlines historical viewpoints and the evolution of the study of early childhood. It presents both classical and contemporary theories of early childhood development and emphasizes the importance of this information to the developing professional. Through this discussion, the reader is introduced to contemporary issues associated with childhood and family life today and emerging research areas in the early childhood care and education profession.

Part Two, "The Child's Life Begins," discusses the family before birth with attention to educational, sociocultural, and economic antecedents to parenting. It describes prenatal development with an emphasis on health, nutrition, and medical supervision of pregnancy. Childbirth and the family dynamics surrounding the newborn are also examined.

Parts Three, Four, Five, and Six trace physical and motor, psychosocial, and cognitive, language, and literacy development during infancy, ages one through three, ages four through five, and ages six through eight. This organization facilitates either chronological or topical discussion and study.

Part Seven, "The Developing Early Childhood Professional," turns the reader's attention to how adults' life-course pathways influence their career development and relationships with children and their families. This chapter emphasizes ethical responsibilities of early childhood professionals, including the importance of continuing to learn about and -with children and their families.

At the end of each chapter are Review Strategies and Activities, which include relevant, hands-on suggestions. In addition, the Further Readings sections that conclude each chapter have been updated and expanded to include a variety of both print and electronic resources. ANGELA AND JEREMY

Two young children, Angela and Jeremy, are introduced in Chapter 2, and subsequent chapters follow their development and relationships. These vignettes illustrate the uniqueness of growth and development in young children and their families. Angela and Jeremy are composites of many children we have known and are not representative of any particular racial or ethnic group. We caution the reader to avoid viewing these children in a stereotypical or prejudicial manner. While both children and their families experience adversity to varying degrees, the vignettes attempt to illustrate the power of resiliency and potential for learning and development in all individuals. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

As with previous editions of this text, we extend our appreciation to the early childhood education students at Southwest Texas University who have so capably provided us with ongoing feedback through their thoughtful written critiques and suggestions. Many changes in this edition are based on these students' suggestions and comments. In addition, we are grateful to Nina Jackson, Coordinator of Adolescent Pregnancy Services, Fort Worth Independent School District, for providing valuable guidance and information on topics relating to adolescent pregnancy and parenting issues. The expert photography of Nancy Alexander, whose expertise in child development and early childhood education complement her photography so beautifully, is invaluable to us. Appreciation is also expressed to Kathleen Fite, Southwest Texas State University, for her continuing support for the text and her expertise in preparing the Instructor's Manual that accompanies this text. Special appreciation goes to Roy C. Baud, a person who should be a part of every author's life—our computer consultant, who, when deadlines were ominously close, was always available to troubleshoot computer or printer glitches.

To our many friends and colleagues around the country whose support and encouragement are so characteristic of early childhood professionals, we again say a hearty thank you.

We would like to acknowledge the reviewers of this edition: Glenn DeVoog

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