How Children Think and Learn: The Social Contexts of Cognitive Development (Understanding Children's Worlds)

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9780631161394: How Children Think and Learn: The Social Contexts of Cognitive Development (Understanding Children's Worlds)
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This book explores views about how children think and learn. It outlines Piaget's theory of cognitive development and explores the views of some of his major critics. Did Piaget underestimate children's intellectual abilities? Did he misconstrue the relationships between language and thinking? Does his theory misguide the teacher? The author compares Piaget's approach with those offered by Bruner, Vygotsky and other researchers, considering points of disagreement and establishing areas of common ground. But these ideas stand or fall on the contribution that they can make to those actually working in the classroom. The author therefore goes on to consider just what pressing contemporary issues in education stand to gain from them. Do children's accents and dialects contribute to their success or failure at school? What is the value of literacy and why do some children have such problems in reading and spelling? Why does an understanding of mathematics prove so elusive for many children? These are just some of the issues of practical relevance to this book.

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From the Back Cover:

This is the second edition of a textbook that has met with enthusiastic acclaim since its publication in 1988. It explores in detail theories and discussions of how children think and learn. It also looks at the practical implications of research and acknowledges some of the difficult problems teachers face when trying to put theory and research into practice in the classroom.

Although retaining much of the structure and information of the first edition, the author has now included a new, overview chapter in which he outlines some of the major developments that have occurred over the past decade. Ensuing chapters have also been amended to discuss these changes in relation to the topics addressed in each. The chapter on mathematics has been substantially re-worked to include new information in both theoretical understanding and also knowledge of children's understanding, while the final chapter on education incorporates a new section on educational technology and its relation to major theories of learning and development.

About the Author:

The author is Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham.

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