Marvelous Minds: The Discovery of What Children Know

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9780199207053: Marvelous Minds: The Discovery of What Children Know

Children have a spontaneous interest in the world around them - whether the workings of the earth, sun, and stars, the nature of number, time and space, or the functioning of the body. Yet what is there in children's minds that is the key to their knowledge? This book examines what children can and do know, based on extensive studies from a range of different cultures. Topics include 'theory of mind' - the knowledge that others may have beliefs that differ from one's own and from reality, astronomy and geography, food, health and hygiene, processes of life and death, number and arithmetic, as well as autism and brain research on language and attention.

Since what children say and do may not really reflect the depth of their knowledge of the world around them, our goal should be to discover new methods to accurately test children's knowledge, instead of trying to understand the range of failing answers they might give on the many tests that have been devised to determine what they know. Contrary to earlier studies, it is now established that in many areas considerable knowledge is within the grasp of young children with benefits for their later development. For example, although certain number concepts - in particular, fractions, proportions, and infinity - can be difficult to grasp, children generally do not need to undergo a fundamental change in their thinking and reasoning to master these. What the author of this book proposes is that children often display a capacity for understanding that we simply overlook.

Written by a reknowned developmental psychologist, this book presents a fascinating exploration of children minds, and how we can better understand them.

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About the Author:


Michael Siegal holds the Marie Curie Chair in Psychology at the University of Trieste, Italy, and is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield, UK. He has also held appointments at universities in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Professor Siegal has a long history of involvement in research on the development of language and reasoning in typically and atypically developing children, particularly deaf children and children with autism. His work extends to studies of scientific and mathematical understanding in adults following brain damage. Professor Siegal's research has led to more than 150 publications. He is an associate editor of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology and has been a member of a number of editorial boards including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Science, and Trends in Cognitive Sciences. For recreation, he enjoys cooking, cycling, reading, and traveling.
For more information, visit Michael Siegal's webpage: http://alacode.psico.units.it/index.html

Review:

...a useful and enlightening publication... The Psychologist Siegal provides interesting slants that give evidence to back-up his assertions that children are potentially much more knowledgeable about their surroundings than had hitherto been supposed...a useful and enlightening publication that adds to the literature in the area of the development of children's knowledge and understanding. The Psychologist Michael Siegal has written a searching analysis of how children's knowledge develops in a variety of domains, including cosmology, medicine, biology, and number. He repeatedly questions the idea that children undergo any radical conceptual change in noting that psychologists all too easily underestimate - or even confuse - young children with their questions. At the same time, he emphasizes how children can learn about the physical and the mental world via conversation. A veteran globetrotter himself, Michael Siegal also highlights how dramatically the world's cultures vary in their nurturance of children's early cognitive competencies. Students and researchers who want to examine cognitive development from a global perspective would do well to have this optimistic, challenging book in their backpack. Paul L. Harris, Harvard University In this lucidly written book, Michael Siegal weaves together a comprehensive yet highly accessible picture of how children comes to grips with the worlds around them, be it social or physical, internal or external. Through his careful analysis of the mountains of scientific evidence accumulated in the last five decades, Siegal reveals to us the understanding young children have about cosmology, mathematics, biology, psychology, and many other subject matters that have been conventionally thought to be late developmental milestones. You cannot help but agree with Siegal that young children have marvelous minds, indeed! Kang Lee, University of Toronto, Canada An insightful book that takes a critical look at children's knowledge and understanding of different concepts from around the world. Michael Siegal explores how culture can influence children's understanding from an early age and the impact that school curriculum and guidelines can have, especially in early childhood. It is a fascinating book that helps teachers to think creatively and critically about the way they teach and the assumptions they make. Kym Anstee-Gray, Primary school teacher, Brisbane, Australia

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Michael Siegal
Editore: Oxford University Press, USA (2008)
ISBN 10: 0199207054 ISBN 13: 9780199207053
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, USA, 2008. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0199207054

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