Children and their development: A briefer course

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9780536010025: Children and their development: A briefer course

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From the Inside Flap:


When I first taught child development in 1975, I used a brand new textbook written by Mavis Hetherington and Ross Parke. Their book was among the first of the "modern" topically organized child development texts and provided students with an excellent overview of research in child development. In the twenty-five years since, researchers have made incredible progress in understanding children's development (and I'm proud to have been among those contributing). Unfortunately, authors have been overly enthusiastic about the emerging knowledge and textbooks have grown ever larger as more and more complex findings are added. As texts grew, my students complained to me that, with so much information in the book, they had difficulty separating the wheat from the chaff (an appropriate metaphor since I was teaching in the Midwestern United States).

Greater length and complexity was only part of the problem. Most textbook authors avoided effective pedagogy like the plague. They (along with many instructors) seemed to believe that students should be able to learn on their own, without relying on learning aids in the text. As a consequence, although child development texts still presented a valuable overview of the field, they were often ineffective tools for student learning.

In 1993, it seemed to me that a new book was needed—one that would meet instructors' needs for a solid, research-oriented overview of the field but would also emphasize effective pedagogy designed to enhance students' learning. Children and Their Development, first published in 1998, is my effort to meet these goals. This book is traditional in its focus on research. The organization, too, is familiar: I begin with theories and methods, move to biological bases of child development, then describe cognitive development and, later, social-emotional development. Where this book begins to differ from the competition is length: it has about 100 fewer pages than most competing texts. To make the truly important child development work stand out for students, I have deliberately omitted some topics and described others relatively briefly.

But the focus on a student-friendly book is really evident in the way I've structured the chapters to help students learn about child development. I describe my approach in detail in Module 1.1, so I'll simply sketch it here. Each chapter consists of three or four modules that provide a clear and well-defined organization to the chapter. Each module begins with a set of learning objectives and a vignette that introduces the topic to be covered. Within each module, all figures, tables, and photos are fully integrated, eliminating the need for students to search for a graphic. Similarly, boxlike feature material that is set off in other textbooks is fully integrated with the main text and identified by a distinctive icon. Each module ends with several questions designed to help students check their understanding of the major ideas in the module.

The end of each chapter includes several additional study aids. "In Perspective" recaps each module, then links the ideas in the chapter to a major developmental theme. "See for Yourself" suggests activities that allow students to observe topics in child development firsthand. "Resources" includes books and Web sites where students can learn more about child development. "Key Terms" is a list of all of the important terms that appeared in the chapter. The "Summary" is organized by module and the primary headings within each module; it reviews the entire chapter.

Each module includes at least one feature where selected issues are highlighted. The four different kinds of features are "Focus on Research," "Making Children's Lives Better," "Cultural Influences;" and "Real Children:" The features are described in Module 1.1, but "Focus on Research" warrants extra attention here. Most textbooks describe research methods early on, then ignore them for the rest of the book. Children and Their Development takes a different and unique approach. In Module 1.3, I portray child development research as a dynamic process in which scientists make a series of decisions as they plan their work. In the process, they create a study that has both strengths and weaknesses. Each of the remaining chapters of the book contains a "Focus on Research" feature that illustrates this process by showing—in a question-and-answer format—the different decisions that investigators made in designing a particular study. I trace each of the steps and explain the decisions that were made. Then the results are shown—usually with an annotated figure so that students can learn how to interpret graphs—and the investigators' conclusions are described. Thus, the research methods that are introduced in Chapter 1 reappear in every chapter, in a setting that makes research come alive as a set of decisions that often involve compromises. (In my classes, I encourage students to think how the "Focus on Research" studies could be improved with different methods. At the same time, I ask them why the investigators might have resorted to the methods they did.)

The "Focus on Research" and other pedagogical elements are effective; students using the first edition commented that the book is easy to read and presents complex topics in an understandable way. Reading Children and Their Development, students come to appreciate both what we know about children's development and the research process that produced this knowledge. Changes to the Second Edition

In writing the second edition, I have included hundreds of new citations to research published in the past few years. I have also made significant additions to every chapter. Of particular note is the following new material:

Chapter 1 includes information on how to study and explains the rationale for the book's organization. Chapter 2 has material on methods from molecular genetics and two new major sections: one on pathways from genes to behavior and another on nonshared environmental influences. Chapter 3 contains a new section on postpartum depression and information about the national "Back to Sleep" campaign to combat SIDS. Chapter 4 now has information on sexual orientation, bulimia, and brain plasticity. Chapter 5 includes new material on object perception and the development of attention. Chapter 6 is reorganized to include two new modules, one that evaluates Piaget's theory and another that describes new approaches that complement Piaget's work. The latter module has a new section on "the child as a theorist." Chapter 7 now describes inhibitory processes, autobiographical memory, infantile amnesia, and writing. Chapter 8 contains new material on social intelligence and dynamic approaches to intelligence testing. Chapter 9 now begins with a new section defining different aspects of language and has an expanded section on fast mapping of meaning to words. Chapter 10 describes research on emotion regulation and work on adults' representations of their attachments with their own parents. Chapter 11 has a new "Focus on Research" feature on identity in children of transracial adoptions and a new section on the consequences of low self-esteem. Chapter 12 includes material that relates temperament to self-control, information on Kohlberg's Just Communities, and a new section dealing with victims of aggression. Chapter 13 describes social class and race differences in gender stereotypes and also includes information on gender differences in physical and relational aggression. Chapter 14 begins with a new section devoted to a systems approach to the study of the family and contains an expanded section on parental behaviors (with new material on direct instruction and coaching). Chapter 15 has much expanded coverage of peer relations, material on cross-sex friendships and factors that contribute to long-lasting friendships, a new section about TV as a medium (in addition to material about TV content), a largely new section on schools (organized around factors that make schools effective), and brand new material about adolescents' part-time employment. Support Materials

Children and Their Development is accompanied by a superb set of materials. They include the following: For Instructors

Instructor's Resource Manual, prepared by Dale Grubb of Baldwin Wallace College. This IRM contains a wealth of material for new and experienced instructors alike. Each chapter includes chapter organizers, learning objectives, a detailed lecture outline with suggestions, classroom demonstrations and learning activities, critical thinking questions and exercises, assignment ideas, journal exercises, suggested films and videos, and classroom handouts.

Test Item File, prepared by Terri T. Combs of Indiana University-Purdue University. This test bank contains over 3,000 multiple choice, true/false, short-answer and essay questions that test factual, applied, and conceptual knowledge.

Prentice Hall Test Manager. One of the best-selling test-generating software programs on the market, Test Manager is available in Windows and Macintosh formats and contains a Gradebook, Online Network Testing, and many tools to help you edit and create tests. The program comes with full Technical Support and telephone "Request a Test" service.

Prentice Hall's Color Transparencies for Developmental Psychology. Designed in large-type format for lecture settings, these full color overhead transparencies add visual appeal to your lectures by augmenting the visuals in the text with a variety of new illustrations.

PowerPoint Slides and Online Graphics Archive. Available in the Faculty Module of the Companion Website at prenhall/kail, each chapter's art has been digitized and is available for download into any presentation software. PowerPoint lectures for each chapter are also available for download.

Prentice Hall Video Libraries. Prentice Hall has assembled a superior collection of video materials which range from short lecture launchers to full-length detailed features for use in the Developmental Psychology course. The videos below are available to qualified adopters.

Films for the Humanities and Sciences. A wealth of videos from the extensive library of Films for the Humanities and Sciences, on a variety of topics in developmental psychology, are available to qualified adopters. Contact your local Prentice Hall representative for a list of videos. ABC News Videos for Developmental Psychology. These videos consist of segments from ABC Nightly News with Peter Jennings, Nightline, 20/20, Prime Time Live, and The Health Show.

Media Support for Children and Their Development, Second Edition. Both instructors and students will find many useful resources in the media program to accompany this text.

prenhall/kail Companion Website. Prepared by Larry Jenkins of Tidewater Community College, this free online Study Guide allows students to review each chapter's material, take practice tests, research topics for course projects, and more. Professors should visit the Faculty Module of the site to download electronic versions of the Instructor's Resource Manual, Powerpoint Slides for each chapter, and an Online Graphics Archive.

On-Line Course Management. For professors interested in using the Internet and on-line course management in their courses, Prentice Hall offers fully customizable on-line courses in WebCT, B1ackBoard, and eCollege to accompany this textbook. Contact your local Prentice Hall representative or visit prenhall/demo for more information. For Students

Study Guide, written by Dea DeWolf This attractive, highly visual Study Guide reinforces the key pedagogical features of the textbook. The author incorporates both illustrations and design elements from the text. Each of the fifteen chapters follows the same modular organization as the text. Each of the modules in every chapter includes learning objectives, matching exercises to review key theories, definitions, terms and concepts, practice true/false questions, cumulative fill-in-the blank chapter summaries, multiple choice questions, and essay questions.

Psychology on the Internet. This "hands-on" Internet tutorial features Web sites related to psychology and general information about using the Internet for research. This supplement is available free when packaged with the text and helps students capitalize on all the resources that the World Wide Web has to offer. Acknowledgments

Textbook authors do not produce books on their own. I want to thank the many reviewers who generously gave their time and effort to help sharpen my thinking about child development and shape the development of this text. I am especially grateful to the following people who reviewed various aspects of the manuscript: Jack Meacham, University of Buffalo; Lesa Rae Vartanian, Purdue University; Adam Winsler, George Mason University; Tony Simon, Furman University; K. Robert Bridges, Pennsylvania State University; Frank Manis, University of Southern California; Marianne Taylor, University of Puget Sound; Karen Rudolph, University of Illinois; Cynthia Stifter, Pennsylvania State University; James Black, University of Illinois; Laura Hess, Purdue University; Lisa Oakes, University of Iowa; Jacquelyn Mice, Auburn University; Amy Weiss, University of Iowa; Brad Pillow, Northern Illinois University; Janet Dipietro, Johns Hopkins University; Lee Ann Thompson, Case Western Reserve University; Gary Ladd, University of Illinois. Thank you, as well, to those who reviewed the first edition of the manuscript: Susan McClure, Westmoreland County Community College; Rebecca Bigler, University of Texas-Austin; Kathleen Fox, Salisbury State University; Rick Medlin, Stetson University; Joan Cook, County College of Morris; Elizabeth Lemerise, Western Kentucky University; Jim Dannemiller, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Mark B. Alcorn, University of Northern Colorado; Vernon C. Hall, Syracuse University; and May X. Wang, Metropolitan State College of Denver. Without their thoughtful comments, this book would be less complete, less accurate, and less interesting.

I also owe a debt of thanks to many people who helped take this project from a first draft to a bound book. Jennifer Gilliland has supported this book enthusiastically and served as a savvy guide to its revision. As she did for the first edition, Harriett Prentiss labored long to make my writing clear and inviting. Laura Curry helped to compile the many new references that were added to this edition. Anne Demarinis, under the direction of Carole Anson, designed a book that is both beautiful and functional. Julie Sullivan skillfully orchestrated the many activities that were involved in actually producing the book. Kathy Ringrose found the marvelous photographs that appear throughout the book. To all these people, many, many thanks.

—Robert V. Kail

From the Back Cover:

Illustrating both the splendor of child development and the strides that researchers have made in understanding developmental psychology, this accessible book presents the core research, theory, and application of the developmental psychology field. A noted researcher in cognitive development, using a modular format, writes it and a clear and engaging style. Readers are encouraged to focus on the main concepts through the use of real case studies, outlines, objectives, questions, special features, and other devices. Chapter topics include issues related to the science and genetic bases of child development; prenatal development, birth, and the newborn; physical and motor development; sensory and perceptual development; Piaget's theory of cognitive development; information-processing approaches to cognitive development; intelligence and individual differences in cognition; language and communication; emotional development; understanding self and others; moral understanding and behavior; gender and development; family relationships; and influences beyond the family. For individuals who want to learn more about the key issues and diversity, of children's developmental journeys into adulthood.

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