The Nature of Development

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Section 1 The Nature of Child Development

chapter 1 Introduction

CHAPTER INTRODUCTION

I. Why Study Children? A. Responsibility for children is part of everyday life as parent, professional, and/or responsible citizen.Responsible citizenship B. The study of children’s development enables us to understand how humans change as they grow up as well as to understand forces that contribute to that change. C. The study of child development enables us to benefit from understanding our own development and to provide understandings that will help us in our personal lives and rearing our own children. I. The study of child development enables us to benefit from understanding our own development and to provide understandings that will help us in our personal lives and rearing our own children.
II. Child Development—Yesterday and Today A. Historical views of childhood 1. Renaissance philosophies a. The “Original Sin” view of child rearing dominated during the Middle Ages. In this view, children were perceived as born into the world as evil beings, and the goal of child rearing was salvation. b. The Tabula Rasa view, purported by John Locke, was dominant in the late 17th century. According to this view, children were born as “blank slates.” c. In the 18th century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s view of the child as possessing “Innate Goodness” was widely accepted. Viewing children as inherently good lead to the child-rearing philosophy that endorsed permitting children to grow with little constraint. 2. Current idea: Childhood is important as a time of development that lays the foundation for the adult years.. B. The modern study of child development 1. Child development has been a science little more than a century. The field has evolved into a sophisticated science guided by theory and methods of study. 2. The major shift was from a philosophical perspective to direct

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