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Jeff Landry

Chapter 1Historical Views of Children and ChildhoodFamous Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle wrote about ideal forms of government and believed that schools and parents were responsible for teaching children the selfcontrol that would make them effective citizensBoth philosophers particularly Aristotle also worried that too much selfdiscipline would stifle childrens initiative and individuality making them unfit as leadersPlato believed that experience could not be the source of knowledge because human senses are too fallible he thought children are born with innate knowledge of many concrete objects such as animals and people as well with knowledge of abstracts such as courage love and goodness childrens sensory experiences simply trigger knowledge that theyve had since birth no learning is necessaryoRousseau believed newborns are endowed with an innate sense of justice and morality that unfolds naturally as the child growsoRather than emphasizing parental discipline Rousseau argued that parents should be responsive and he encouraged them to be receptive to their childrens needsAristotle denied innate knowledge and thought that its rooted in perceptual experienceChildren acquire knowledge piece by piece based on the information provided by their sense childs mind is like a blank tablet and ready for experience to do the writingoLocke argued that children start off with a blank slate and claimed that experience moulds the infant into a unique individualoParents should instruct reward and discipline young children gradually relaxing their authority as children growOrigins of a New ScienceOne major event was the Industrial Revolution in England which caused children to be viewed as adults by about 5 to 7 years of agethey were considered grownups and entered the world of work for cheap labouroReformers appalled at these conditions children had to endure worked hard to enact legislation that would limit child labour and put more children in schoolsThe other major event that set the stage for new science of child development was the publication of Charles Darwins theory of evolutionoArgued that individuals within a species differ some individuals are better adapted to an environment making them more likely to survive and to pass along their characteristics to future generationsLeaders in this new field were G Stanley Hall theories of child development Binet mental tests Freud role of early experience and Watson behaviourismApplied developmental science uses developmental research to promote healthy development particularly for vulnerable children and familiesoSome childdevelopment experts provide useful information whenever government officials need o address problems affecting childrenoOthers contribute by serving as advocates for children by working with advocacy groups childdevelopment researches can alert policymakers to childrens needs and can argue for family policy that addresses those needsoFinally one of the best ways to sway policymakers is to create programs that workThe Biological PerspectiveMaturational Theory is when child development reflects a specific and prearranged scheme or plan within the bodyGesells view states that development is simply a natural unfolding of a biological plan experience matters littleLike Rousseau Gesell encouraged parents to let their children develop naturally because without interference from adults behaviours such as speech play and reasoning with the world would emerge spontaneously according to a predetermined developmental timetable oThis theory was disregarded because it had little to say about the impact of environment on childs developmentEthological Theory views development from an evolutionary perspectivemany behaviours are adaptive they have survival valueThey believe that all animals are biologically programmed in such a way that some kinds of learning occur only at certain stagesoA critical period in development is the time when a specific type of learning can take place before or after the critical period the same learning is difficult or even impossibleoImprinting is creating an emotional bond with the mother
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