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Illustrating both the splendor of child development and the strides that researchers have made in understanding developmental psychology, this volume presents the core research, theory and application of this field in a clear and engaging style. Written by a noted researcher in cognitive development using a modular format, readers are encouraged to focus on the main concepts through the use of real case studies, outlines, objectives, study questions, special features and other pedagogical devices. Kail's approach ensures that readers understand the key issues developmental psychologists study today without overwhelming them with details. Readers benefit from a book that is both research-oriented and accessible. This overview of child development examines the science of child development, research in child development, genetic bases of child development, prenatal development, birth, and the newborn, growth and health, 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, as well as family relationships and influences beyond the family. For those involved with child development.
Table of Contents
1. The Science of Child Development. 2. Research in Child Development. 3. Genetic Bases of Child Development. 4. Prenatal Development, Birth, and the Newborn. 5. Growth and Health. 6. Perceptual and Motor Development. 7. Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development. 8. Information-Processing Approaches to Cognitive Development. 9. Intelligence and Individual Differences in Cognition. 10. Language and Communication. 11. Emotional Development. 12. Understanding Self and Others. 13. Moral Understanding and Behavior. 14. Gender and Development. 15. Family Relationships. 16. Influences Beyond the Family.
Like many professors turned textbook authors, I began this book because none of the texts available met the aims of the child-development classes that I taught at Purdue. What were those aims? I wanted a book that would: provide a solid, research oriented overview of child-development science but would also use effective pedagogy to enhance students' learning; use fundamental developmental issues as a foundation for integrating the many discoveries that make child-development science a dynamic and exciting field; explain the many different methods used by researchers, then illustrate them repeatedly to drive home the lesson that science progresses when complementary methods converge; and demonstrate that the results of child-development research can be used to enhance the lives of children and their families. Children and Their Development,first published in 1998, is my effort to meet these goals. In the next few pages, I want to explain how the book works to achieve the goals I just described. Goal 1: Use effective pedagogy to promote students' learning.The focus on a student-friendly book begins with the structure of the chapters, which is designed to promote students' learning. 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 with the exposition, eliminating the need for students to search for a graphic. Similarly, special topics that are set off in other textbooks as feature boxes are, by contrast, fully integrated with the main text and identified by a distinctive icon. Each module ends with several questions intended to help students check their understanding of the major ideas in the module. The end of each chapter includes several additional study aids. "Unifying Themes" links the ideas in the chapter to a major developmental theme (more about this in a minute . ... ). "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 boldface terms appearing in the chapter. The "summary" is organized by module and the primary headings within each module; it reviews the entire chapter. These different pedagogical elementsdowork; students using previous editions frequently comment that the book is easy to read and presents complex topics in an understandable way. Goal 2: Use fundamental developmental issues as a foundation for students' learning of research and theory in child development.The child-development course sometimes overwhelms students because of the sheer number of topics and studies that don't "hang together"--students see only the trees and never the forest. Of course, today's child-development science is really propelled by a concern with a handful of fundamental developmental issues, such as the continuity of development and the roles of nature and nurture in development. InChildren and Their Development,four of these foundational issues are introduced in Chapter 1, then reappear in subsequent chapters to scaffold students' understanding. The "Check Your Learning" questions at the end of each module include one thought question that is aligned with one of the four issues. Then, as I mentioned already, the end of the chapter includes "Unifying Themes" in which the ideas from the chapter are used to illustrate one of the foundational themes. By occurring repeatedly throughout the text, the themes remind students that all child-development science ultimately addresses a set of core issues. Goal 3: Teach students that child-development science draws on many comp