Early Childhood Development : A Multicultural Perspective

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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While arranged in the conventional ages-and-stages format, this book diverges from convention to take a multicultural approach to all facets of development in children from birth to age 8. Throughout the book, case studies and examples provide future teachers with a hands-on guide to how children develop, how children's skills develop, and how that development should inform sensitive, successful teaching practice. Every topic is examined through the lens of diversity--from intellectual development to attachment patterns, from peer relations to motor skills. Coverage of atypical development and the challenges of special education is woven seamlessly through each chapter. Includes expanded coverage of children with special needs. For professionals in the field of teaching.

Table of Contents

1. Studying Early Childhood Development in a Diverse World.
2. Historical Perspectives and Research in Early Childhood Development.
3. Theories of Child Development.
4. Genetics, Prenatal Development, and Birth.
5. The Newborn.
6. Infant Physical Growth and Brain Development.
7. Cognitive Development in Infancy.
8. Infant Language and Literacy.
9. Infant Social and Emotional Development.
10. Preschool Physical and Motor Development.
11. Cognitive Development in the Preschool Years.
12. Symbolic Thought: Play, Language, and Literacy in the Preschool Years.
13. Social and Emotional Development of Preschoolers.
14. Physical Growth and Motor Development in the Primary Years.
15. Cognition and Schooling.
16. Language, Literacy, and Schooling.
17. Social and Emotional Development in the Primary Years.
18. Parents, Families, and Children: A Multicultural Perspective.


Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective,Third Edition, is a book about the development of all children in the world. It examines the physical, social, emotional, linguistic, and intellectual characteristics of children of diverse cultural backgrounds within and outside the United States. It discusses both typical and atypical development; children with challenging conditions are profiled. The book can be used as the primary text for child development or early child development courses in community colleges or four-year programs in education or psychology. It can also be used as a supplementary text in graduate-level, life-span human development courses where a goal is to promote cultural understanding and sensitivity. Some of my colleagues have used it as a supplement in courses in multicultural education or the anti-bias curriculum. The book is intended to assist future teachers, child care providers, and family service and mental health professionals in understanding and celebrating the rich diversity of development among children in all neighborhoods in America and around the globe. TEXT ORGANIZATION AND FEATURES An initial examination of the Contents will show that the book resembles other texts in child development. All current and important issues and topics are included. The book is organized in a conventional ages-and-stages format. A closer look, however, reveals several unique features. First, each topic is examined from a multicultural perspective. Sections on language development, for example, include descriptions of second-language learning and the linguistic development of non-English speakers. Chapters on intellectual development highlight cultural diversity in cognitive style. Attachment patterns and peer relations among children of diverse backgrounds are explored. Cultural variations in motor play and development are examined. A second unique feature is that topics in atypical development and special education are smoothly integrated in the core development chapters. For example, autism and serious emotional disturbance are fully examined in sections on social development, and mental retardation and learning disabilities are extensively described in chapters dealing with cognition. A purpose of the text is to assist professionals working with children and families in understanding and appreciating the characteristics of children with challenging conditions who will be increasingly integrated within regular classrooms. A final important feature of the book is its real-life, practical orientation. It is intended as a hands-on guide. A special assessment feature helps professionals to interpret the behaviors of children in classrooms. Each chapter ends with aResearch Into Practicesection that outlines practical classroom and parenting applications. The chapters include numerous stories drawn from diverse cultures within and outside the United States, which bring theory and research to life. WHY STUDY CHILD DEVELOPMENT FROM A MULTICULTURAL PERSPECTIVE? Why is a multicultural focus in child development so important? During the twenty-first century, traditionally underrepresented groups--often called "minorities"--will constitute a new majority within the United States. Because families of historically underrepresented groups are younger than those of other cultures, their children will make up a growing percentage of the preschool and school-age population. Early childhood classrooms will become increasingly diverse, and teachers and other professionals must be prepared to meet the unique needs of young children of varying backgrounds. Even teachers of monocultural classrooms must assist their students in understanding and appreciating other cultures. A primary goal in early childhood education today is to provide skills, understanding, and sensitivity that allow children to grow up in a pluralistic society. This textbo

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