The Development of Children’s Thinking
Its Social and Communicative Foundations
- Jeremy Carpendale - Simon Fraser University, Canada
- Charlie Lewis - Lancaster University, UK
- Ulrich Muller - University of Victoria - British Columbia, Canada
The focus of this book will be on infancy and childhood, and it looks at:
- Theories and context of development
- How developmental psychology attempts to reconcile influences of nature and nurture
- Communication in infancy as a precursor to later thinking
- Language development in primates and young children
- Cognitive and social development, including the child’s understanding of the mind
- How studies of moral reasoning reflect upon our understanding of development
With minimal jargon, clear language, and plenty of examples, the authors offer both a tour of social and communicative development, as well as a comprehensive argument regarding how development should be conceptualized. Drawing from relational views of development tracing back from George Herbert Mead, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky, to more modern thinkers and theories, this book argues convincingly for placing the developing child within a developmental system.
Students and other readers will also relish in the organization of the book, which traces development from the first moments infancy to the social complexities of childhood.
This text does an excellent job uncovering the assumptions that underlie theories in development psychology, such as those regarding knowledge, meaning, language, and morality. This feature is particularly valuable for students as it provides the tools for evaluating future theories in light of their philosophical assumptions, not just by what empirical evidence there happens to be.
This textbook is one of the very few that makes me want to continue flipping through the pages because of its interesting content and how easy it was to read. The authors did an amazing job synthesizing existing literature and contrasting theories, as well as exerting their positions in these debates while allowing readers to form their own stance regarding the topic at hand. I find it very admirable that they do not try to impose their opinions on you. The witty and light-hearted examples included throughout the text also turned this academic work into such an enjoyable read!
In The Development of Children's Thinking, Carpendale, Mueller, and Lewis provide a refreshing, engaging, and much-needed description of child development that underlines eloquently the need to view development holistically and in context.
I like that the textbook begins with a summary chapter and biology chapter, as I think these provided an excellent base to distinguish how the theories of children’s development differ in regards to their worldviews and biological perspectives. Another feature of this textbook which I appreciated was that after describing each theory, it also gave criticisms of it. I think by doing so, I was forced to think deeper about the topics, which again led to me having a concrete understanding of the material.
Overall, this textbook made it very easy for me to comprehend the topics regarding the development of children’s thinking, and allowed me to be successful in my course. I would recommend this book.
Carpendale, Lewis and Muller have written a serious, historically-grounded introduction to the deep controversies that lie beneath the busy surface of contemporary research in developmental psychology. This is textbook on thinking that is aimed at thoughtful students.
The Development of Children’s Thinking presents an action based, constructivist, systems approach to development — offering an integrated perspective from biology to cognition to sociality to morality. This book is an essential corrective and alternative to dominant cognitivist and Cartesian theoretical perspectives.
When presenting often quite intricate topics, the authors offer cohesively organized and highly attentive to details study material while allowing space for critical thinking and further discussion. As such, presented numerous examples are great helping tools for material comprehension and orientation to a real-life setting.
The text also provides opportunities for a reader to exercise their critical thinking and analytical skills creating a platform for active reading. Such a thought-provoking and inspiring book is a window into the fascinating world of children’s thinking and development that is both exciting and educating.
At last! A textbook that gives the social dimension of cognitive development its due
Professors Carpendale, Mueller, and Lewis have written a unique and invaluable textbook. Although honoring the philosophical and scientific history of diverse treatments of cognitive development, they convey the exciting and empirically rich contributions being made by contemporary developmental scientists framing their research through using dynamic, relational models of human development.
A splendidly innovative textbook! It presents a fresh and lively view of cognitive development embedded in social interaction. By integrating the classic theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, so often set against each other, the authors show how biological and social factors interact in the development of language, social understanding, and morality. Highly recommended!
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 7: Animal Communication & Language
Excerpt of Carpendale Ch 13: 288 & 290