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Chapter 1

PSC 140 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Tabula Rasa, Child Development, 6 Years

Course Code
PSC 140
P.San Souci

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Themes and Methods
September 28, 2015
1. Why Study Child Development?
a. In order to understand ourselves.
b. In order to be better parents.
c. In order to help choose and shape social policies.
d. In order to understand human nature.
2. Early Philosophical Views of Child Development
a. Plato and Aristotle - the welfare of the state depends upon children being raised properly
i. Plato
ii. Aristotle
b. Locke and Rousseau – how parents and society can best promote children’s development
i. Locke – tabula rasa
ii. Rousseau
c. Plato, Aristotle, Locke, and Rousseau raised important issues about child development:
i. Plato emphasized self-control and discipline
ii. Aristotle and Locke believed that child rearing should be geared toward the individual
iii. Rousseau believed that children should have maximum freedom to interact with their
environment; like Aristotle he believed knowledge comes from experience.
3. Historical Foundations: Research on Children
a. Industrial Revolution in Europe and the United States (mid-1840s).
b. Children as young as 5 and 6 years old worked 12-hour days in hazardous conditions.
c. Earl of Shaftesbury (1843) –
d. Charles Darwin and observational research
e. A Biological Sketch of an Infant
f. Child development began to emerge as a discipline in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
g. Sigmund Freud and John Watson could be considered the first research behavioral scientists.
h. Research methods were crude by today’s standards.
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