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Chapter 8

Child Development - Chapter 8 - Notes.docx

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PSYC 4010
Tifrah Warner

PSYC 4010 - Developmental Psychology Child Development Thinking about Theories Chapter 8 – Notes The historical event: Contextualism Introduction  Basic tenets of contextualism  Contextualism is based on assumptions fundamentally distinct from those of the dialectical (organismic) paradigm  Contextualism is based on the idea of the unique historical event  Four themes in contextualism (Rosnow and Georgoudi): 1. The historic event is the basic unit of analysis with a consequent focus on change and development 2. The context consists of all the conditions surrounding the event. The sociocultural context in which the event takes place provides meaning to the event 3. Variability and chance are an integral part of contextualism because contexts themselves are ultimately developed and impermanent realities 4. Action and knowledge William James and functionalism  Went to medical school  Had a friend by the name of Peirce – focused on the link between theory and practice and particularly the application of philosophy to everyday life; truth was discovered through scientific method and then the next step was to apply it to solve everyday problems  James developed his own version of pragmatism; appealed to the “practical-minded” – those interested in using science to solve everyday problems  James argued for adaptive functioning  The mind is seen as constantly engaged in interaction with adaptation to the environment; he emphasized the selective function of consciousness; he argued that “thoughts and feelings exist”  James‟s main point was that development of a functional psychology whereby the aim was not to reduce psychology to its constituent elements, but rather to study consciousness as an ongoing process or stream  He proposed that history was simply a collection of unrelated facts, without any assumption about what the end state would be, or that it would represent an improvement John Dewey: active minds in cultural settings  Dewey developed a rather idealist philosophy, perhaps influenced by the writings of Rousseau; his philosophical system was related to a whole in a manner consistent with the new evolutionary biology with its emphasis on the organism in interaction with the environment  Dewey argued against the suggestion that human beings are mechanisms made up of separate parts and those who viewed consciousness as the simple addictive sum of discrete elements such as sensations  Dewey did not believe that stimulus and response were separate, unrelated entities, instead arguing that they were „functionally related to each other through purposeful activity‟  Dewey believes that our interaction with objects as a whole that gives them their meaning; development – active participation in the construction of contexts that in turn impact on any future action  Dewey was convinced that understanding something involves seeing how it is connected with other things and events  Authentic learning occurs in the midst of purposeful activity; he believed that the best learning occurred when instruction was geared to a student‟s interests and motivation; he took a child-centered approach to education  Dewey strongly believed that from our experiences that we develop our own theories about the world Margaret Mead and cross-cultural research  Three different kinds of culture: post-figurative, co-figurative and prefigurative
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