Awakening Children's Minds

Awakening Children's Minds : How Parents and Teachers Can Make a Difference

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Parents and educators today face a swirl of conflicting theories on child development. Rote learning, for the most part rejected in the 1960s, is once again in favour with "back to basics" learning. Child development theorist Piaget's individualistic view of child as independent discoverer, a notion popular through the 1970s and 1980s, still has a stronghold in popular parenting literature. To confuse matters even further, authors like Harris (author of the best-selling "The Nurture Assumption") portray parents as minor players in their own child's development. Laura E. Berk sifts through the chaos of competing child development theories and provides practical guidance for creating optimal learning environments for children. Since the 1980s, child development has been reshaped by the theories, like those of Russian development psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, in which a child's social and psychological words are underscored. Berk clarifies and illustrates these highly respected - yet often difficult to understand - theories, depicting the child in a social context and helping readers understand the cognitive development of children. Using accessible and meaningful case studies the book provides clear roles for parents and teachers, offers concrete suggestions for creating and evaluating quality educational environments - at home, in child care, in pre-school, and in primary school - and addresses the unique challenges of helping children with special needs. Berk also dispels the disheartening notion that parents' impact is minimal compared to that of peers, arguing that parents are vital in guiding and enhancing their child's intellectual and emotional development. Berk argues that parents' presence in their children's day-to-day lives is vital for providing effective and long-lasting guidance, challenging the widespread notion that small doses of "quality time" are sufficient for assisting children through critical phases of their development.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 161 x 247.4 x 27.4mm | 644.11g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195124855
  • 9780195124859

Review quote

"Berk illustrates her concepts with observed dialogues and cites many studies and examples. Instructive and even inspiring, ... educators and motivated parents will find much to explore."-- ublisher's Weekly"This is one incredible book! A veritable college course for parents on children's mental development, richly detailed, persuasively reasoned, and sensitively conveyed. Its contents are directly linked to the explosive growth in scientific knowledge in developmental psychology yet rendered in a style not at all stuffy or pompous. Among the best advice the science of child psychology has to offer, this book contains not a shred of nonsense, folklore, or unscientific advice.... Exceptionally informative, this books strikes just the right balance among the various influences that determine a child's mental development. It does so without talking down to parents, treating them instead as the experts they are on their children yet who are in search of further information on what science has to tell us about our children's development."--Russell A. Barkley, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School"In this wonderful volume Berk outlines some of today's most exciting ideas about child development. She goes well beyond theory, however, by providing insightful suggestions for concrete practice. This is a powerful, yet accessible text by a major author that promises to have a major impact for years to come on how we go about teaching and parenting."--James V. Wertsch, Professor and Chair, Department of Education, Professor, Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis"A refreshingly practical and pragmatic guidebook for parents and teachers of young children. Complex and controversial concepts, such as biological vs. environmental influences, are readily understandable through the use of vignettes, illustrations, and clear explanations. Berk emphasizes the critical role of adults as she offers insights into young children's thoughts, emotions, and actions and discusses accompanying implications for practice."--Kathy R. Thornburg, Director of the Center for Family Policy and Research, University of Missouri"Laura Berk has done a masterful job of writing about current child development theory and research from the perspectives of parents and teachers. Awakening Children's Minds demonstrates profound respect for the issues faced by parents and teachers, and offers clear and honest answers. This is a stellar contribution to the field and a wonderful example of how to communicate expert knowledge in a sophisticated yet accessible manner."--Douglas R. Powell, Professor and Head of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University "Berk illustrates her concepts with observed dialogues and cites many studies and examples. Instructive and even inspiring, ... educators and motivated parents will find much to explore."-- ublisher's Weekly "This is one incredible book! A veritable college course for parents on children's mental development, richly detailed, persuasively reasoned, and sensitively conveyed. Its contents are directly linked to the explosive growth in scientific knowledge in developmental psychology yet rendered in a style not at all stuffy or pompous. Among the best advice the science of child psychology has to offer, this book contains not a shred of nonsense, folklore, or unscientific advice.... Exceptionally informative, this books strikes just the right balance among the various influences that determine a child's mental development. It does so without talking down to parents, treating them instead as the experts they are on their children yet who are in search of further information on what science has to tell us about our children's development."--Russell A. Barkley, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School "In this wonderful volume Berk outlines some of today's most exciting ideas about child development. She goes well beyond theory, however, by providing insightful suggestions for concrete practice. This is a powerful, yet accessible text by a major author that promises to have a major impact for years to come on how we go about teaching and parenting."--James V. Wertsch, Professor and Chair, Department of Education, Professor, Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis "A refreshingly practical and pragmaticguidebook for parents and teachers of young children. Complex and controversial concepts, such as biological vs. environmental influences, are readily understandable through the use of vignettes, illustrations, and clear explanations. Berk emphasizes the critical role of adults as she offers insights into young children's thoughts, emotions, and actions and discusses accompanying implications for practice."--Kathy R. Thornburg, Director of the Center for Family Policy and Research, University of Missouri "Laura Berk has done a masterful job of writing about current child development theory and research from the perspectives of parents and teachers. Awakening Children's Minds demonstrates profound respect for the issues faced by parents and teachers, and offers clear and honest answers. This is a stellar contribution to the field and a wonderful example of how to communicate expert knowledge in a sophisticated yet accessible manner."--Douglas R. Powell, Professor and Head of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University "Berk illustrates her concepts with observed dialogues and cites many studies and examples. Instructive and even inspiring, ... educators and motivated parents will find much to explore."-- ublisher's Weekly "This is one incredible book! A veritable college course for parents on children's mental development, richly detailed, persuasively reasoned, and sensitively conveyed. Its contents are directly linked to the explosive growth in scientific knowledge in developmental psychology yet rendered in a style not at all stuffy or pompous. Among the best advice the science of child psychology has to offer, this book contains not a shred of nonsense, folklore, or unscientific advice.... Exceptionally informative, this books strikes just the right balance among the various influences that determine a child's mental development. It does so without talking down to parents, treating them instead as the experts they are on their children yet who are in search of further information on what science has to tell us about our children's development."--Russell A. Barkley, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School "In this wonderful volume Berk outlines some of today's most exciting ideas about child development. She goes well beyond theory, however, by providing insightful suggestions for concrete practice. This is a powerful, yet accessible text by a major author that promises to have a major impact for years to come on how we go about teaching and parenting."--James V. Wertsch, Professor and Chair, Department of Education, Professor, Department of Psychology, Washington Universityin St. Louis "A refreshingly practical and pragmatic guidebook for parents and teachers of young children. Complex and controversial concepts, such as biological vs. environmental influences, are readily understandable through the use of vignettes, illustrations, and clear explanations. Berk emphasizes the critical role of adults as she offers insights into young children's thoughts, emotions, and actions and discusses accompanying implications for practice."--Kathy R. Thornburg, Director of the Center for Family Policy and Research, University of Missouri "Laura Berk has done a masterful job of writing about current child development theory and research from the perspectives of parents and teachers. Awakening Children's Minds demonstrates profound respect for the issues faced by parents and teachers, and offers clear and honest answers. This is a stellar contribution to the field and a wonderful example of how to communicate expert knowledge in a sophisticated yet accessible manner."--Douglas R. Powell, Professor and Head of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University "Berk illustrates her concepts with observed dialogues and cites many studies and examples. Instructive and even inspiring, ... educators and motivated parents will find much to explore."-- ublisher's Weekly"This is one incredible book! A veritable college course for parents on children's mental development, richly detailed, persuasively reasoned, and sensitively conveyed. Its contents are directly linked to the explosive growth in scientific knowledge in developmental psychology yet rendered in astyle not at all stuffy or pompous. Among the best advice the science of child psychology has to offer, this book contains not a shred of nonsense, folklore, or unscientific advice.... Exceptionally informative, this books strikes just the right balance among the various influences that determine achild's mental development. It does so without talking down to parents, treating them instead as the experts they are on their children yet who are in search of further information on what science has to tell us about our children's development."--Russell A. Barkley, Professor of Psychiatry andNeurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School"In this wonderful volume Berk outlines some of today's most exciting ideas about child development. She goes well beyond theory, however, by providing insightful suggestions for concrete practice. This is a powerful, yet accessible text by a major author that promises to have a major impact foryears to come on how we go about teaching and parenting."--James V. Wertsch, Professor and Chair, Department of Education, Professor, Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis"A refreshingly practical and pragmaticguidebook for parents and teachers of young children. Complex and controversial concepts, such as biological vs. environmental influences, are readily understandable through the use of vignettes, illustrations, and clear explanations. Berk emphasizes thecritical role of adults as she offers insights into young children's thoughts, emotions, and actions and discusses accompanying implications for practice."--Kathy R. Thornburg, Director of the Center for Family Policy and Research, University of Missouri"Laura Berk has done a masterful job of writing about current child development theory and research from the perspectives of parents and teachers. Awakening Children's Minds demonstrates profound respect for the issues faced by parents and teachers, and offers clear and honest answers. This is astellar contribution to the field and a wonderful example of how to communicate expert knowledge in a sophisticated yet accessible manner."--Douglas R. Powell, Professor and Head of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue Universityshow more

About Laura E. Berk

Laura E. Berk is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Illinois State University. She is a leading authority on early childhood development and education, with more than thirty years of research experience and numerous publications, including three popular texts and articles in publications such as Psychology Today and Scientific American. She lives in Normal, Illinois.show more

Rating details

69 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 38% (26)
4 36% (25)
3 19% (13)
2 7% (5)
1 0% (0)
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