Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective / Edition 5

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This book addresses typical as well as atypical child development from birth through age 8. This text highlights the diversity of child development from birth through age 8. This text highlights the diversity of child development, preparing professionals to meet the unique needs of children from a wide variety of backgrounds.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The textbook certainly has a lot of strengths. I believe that overall the textbook is unique in its multicultural approach. It is also very reader friendly and contains the information that is essential to understanding the development of children. . . . [T]his text is one of the few that truly does focus on the early development years. Additionally, it is one of the only [texts] that has the multicultural emphasis.”

—Keri Maxwell, West Virginia University

“I use the text because it is the only one that I have found with a true multicultural focus throughout, not just a “multicultural” chapter at the end of the book. . . . [The W]riting is excellent, especially helpful are the examples and vignettes. . . . [The] organization of each chapter tells what is important through questions at beginning of chapter and helps students know what are important points. . . [The book] gives multiple examples of how content is applied; gives a review of important points; and gives application ideas at the end of each chapter. [A] strength [of Chapter 18] is looking at family issues (poverty, oppression, etc.) and going through the different age ranges covered in this book. That helped to integrate that knowledge about families and apply it across ages.”

—Sandra Newcomb, University of Maryland, College Park

“I like the multicultural perspective to broaden students’ thinking about culture, development ,and families. . . . [And] I really like . . . the developmental progression approach and that just enough information is provided for students who want to read more in an area beyond the scope of the course. The writing style is very clear and digestible for my students.”

—Karen M. La Paro, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

“Excellent text. . . . [T]he author has done an outstanding job of presenting key concepts in a readable, understandable, and relational way. Excellent Research into Practice [feature].”

—Marilee Cosgrove, California State University, Fullerton

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780135016466
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/11/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Young Children in Multicultural Perspective

Ch. 1 Studying Early Childhood Development in a Diverse World 2

Ch. 2 Historical Perspectives and Research in Early Childhood Development 14

Ch. 3 Theories of Child Development 34

Pt. II Prenatal Development, Childbirth, and Infancy

Ch. 4 Genetics, Prenatal Development, and Birth 64

Ch. 5 The Newborn 86

Ch. 6 Infant Physical Growth and Brain Development 104

Ch. 7 Cognitive Development in Infancy 126

Ch. 8 Infant Language and Literacy 148

Ch. 9 Infant Social and Emotional Development 168

Pt. III Development in the Preschool Years

Ch. 10 Preschool Physical and Motor Development 196

Ch. 11 Cognitive Development in the Preschool Years 226

Ch. 12 Symbolic Thought: Play, Language, and Literacy in the Preschool Years 254

Ch. 13 Social and Emotional Development of Preschoolers 294

Pt. IV The Primary Years in Cultural Context

Ch. 14 Physical Growth and Motor Development in the Primary Years 328

Ch. 15 Cognition and Schooling 354

Ch. 16 Language, Literacy, and Schooling 392

Ch. 17 Social and Emotional Development in the Primary Years 426

Pt. V Families in Cultural Context

Ch. 18 Parents, Families, and Children: A Multicultural Perspective 462

Glossary 490

References 497

Author Index 535

Subject Index 548

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Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, Third Edition, is a book about the development of all children in the world. It examines the physical, social, emotional, linguistic, and intellectual characteristics of children of diverse cultural backgrounds within and outside the United States. It discusses both typical and atypical development; children with challenging conditions are profiled.

The book can be used as the primary text for child development or early child development courses in community colleges or four-year programs in education or psychology. It can also be used as a supplementary text in graduate-level, life-span human development courses where a goal is to promote cultural understanding and sensitivity. Some of my colleagues have used it as a supplement in courses in multicultural education or the anti-bias curriculum. The book is intended to assist future teachers, child care providers, and family service and mental health professionals in understanding and celebrating the rich diversity of development among children in all neighborhoods in America and around the globe.


An initial examination of the Contents will show that the book resembles other texts in child development. All current and important issues and topics are included. The book is organized in a conventional ages-and-stages format. A closer look, however, reveals several unique features. First, each topic is examined from a multicultural perspective. Sections on language development, for example, include descriptions of second-language learning and the linguistic development of non-English speakers. Chapters on intellectualdevelopment highlight cultural diversity in cognitive style. Attachment patterns and peer relations among children of diverse backgrounds are explored. Cultural variations in motor play and development are examined.

A second unique feature is that topics in atypical development and special education are smoothly integrated in the core development chapters. For example, autism and serious emotional disturbance are fully examined in sections on social development, and mental retardation and learning disabilities are extensively described in chapters dealing with cognition. A purpose of the text is to assist professionals working with children and families in understanding and appreciating the characteristics of children with challenging conditions who will be increasingly integrated within regular classrooms.

A final important feature of the book is its real-life, practical orientation. It is intended as a hands-on guide. A special assessment feature helps professionals to interpret the behaviors of children in classrooms. Each chapter ends with a Research Into Practice section that outlines practical classroom and parenting applications. The chapters include numerous stories drawn from diverse cultures within and outside the United States, which bring theory and research to life.


Why is a multicultural focus in child development so important? During the twenty-first century, traditionally underrepresented groups—often called "minorities"—will constitute a new majority within the United States. Because families of historically underrepresented groups are younger than those of other cultures, their children will make up a growing percentage of the preschool and school-age population. Early childhood classrooms will become increasingly diverse, and teachers and other professionals must be prepared to meet the unique needs of young children of varying backgrounds. Even teachers of monocultural classrooms must assist their students in understanding and appreciating other cultures. A primary goal in early childhood education today is to provide skills, understanding, and sensitivity that allow children to grow up in a pluralistic society. This textbook is designed to assist professionals in meeting that goal by providing a culturally sensitive account of developmental processes.


This third edition includes many new topics and issues. Sections on children with special needs are greatly expanded and updated. New research is presented on challenging conditions and how they can be addressed in the home, school, or center. Specific Classroom Adaptations are recommended throughout the book. Practical ideas are offered in these sections for adapting classroom space, materials, the curriculum, and adult interactions to meet the needs of those with challenging conditions.

The third edition focuses even more extensively on practical applications of child development research for teachers and other professionals. A new Child Guidance feature—one for each age level and area of development—highlights a proven, research-based technique for enhancing children's social, emotional, cognitive, or language growth. The Assessing Young Children feature at the end of many chapters includes a new application section that guides professionals in using information on children's development to plan programs, guide classroom interactions, and enrich development.


Instructor's Manual/Test Bank
An instructor's manual includes a discussion of critical topics for each chapter and a set of cooperative learning activities that instructors can use in their classes. Two or more of these activities are provided for each chapter in the book. These creative, field-tested activities may be copied for classroom use. The instructor's manual also contains a test bank with three different types of items: recall, analysis and application, and essay questions.

Companion Website
A Companion Website his been developed to support readers' understanding and provide practice opportunities to .help them achieve class goals. There are materials on the Website for both students and instructors. Students can complete self-checking quizzes in multiple-choice and essay formats for each chapter to test their mastery of concepts and issues. Links to Web sites related to child development are provided to help students find additional information about topics or to assist them in completing research projects. Students can also respond to discussion questions and post messages to other readers on the message board.

Instructors may assign Suggested Activities to students as out-of-class assignments. Two or more of these activities, which primarily involve observation, are provided for each chapter in the book. Students and instructors have access to this part of the site.

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