Samples of the New Look in Early Human Development

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(5), 369–371. Reviews the book, Human Growth and Development: Wolfson College Lectures 1976 edited by Jerome S. Bruner and Alison Garton (1978). This slim volume is concerned primarily with theoretical discussions of issues of development in infancy and early childhood. In actual fact, the book contains written versions of six lectures given at Wolfson College, Oxford, in 1976, organized around the broad theme of human development. The theme is primarily a revisionist one, asserting the necessity of studying development–including cognitive and language development–in its natural biological and social context. On the whole, this little book does its job of pointing out some of the new directions that developmental psychologists are taking as they move away from the rigid theoretical conceptions associated with the early works of Bowlby, Piaget, and Chomsky which have (until lately) structured the field, and move outward toward an integrated theory encompassing biological, cognitive, and communicative influences on development. Perhaps the pretentious title is not so badly misplaced as it at first appears. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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