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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Geri R. Donenberg, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: The second edition offers an easy-to-understand summary of Piaget's theory. The authors use examples from comics, cartoons, and children's literature (e.g., Winnie-the-Pooh) to concretize terms and concepts and illustrate the relevance of Piaget's theory in children's everyday lives. Chapters focus on different aspects of Piaget's theory including: the development of language; morality; play; logic; intelligence; and concepts of space, time, and numbers.
Purpose: The authors' goal is to clarify Piaget's theory by making the concepts more "user friendly" and inspire readers to delve more deeply into Piaget's work. The revised edition is designed to reflect the more complex and technology-laden world in which children live today. The authors' objectives are worthy, and this primer accomplishes its goals.
Audience: This book is written for beginning students in developmental psychology and education, but parents, teachers, and child-care workers will also find it useful. It is designed as an adjunct to primary source readings in Piaget or a major text in developmental psychology. The authors have published widely in child psychology and are experts in the area.
Features: Delightful cartoons, comic strips, and excerpts from children's literature are used very effectively to illustrate points made in the text. There is a glossary of key Piagetian terms for easy reference and a list of related readings. The references mainly cite Piaget's original work. A combined author and subject index is included.
Assessment: This easy-to-read primer provides a useful summary of Piaget's theory and concepts, making reading and understanding this complicated work engaging and enjoyable. Those interested in a deeper understanding of Piaget will need to use other sources, as there is little critical evaluation of the theory. The book's main strengths are its clarity of presentation, use of illustrations, and appeal to a wide audience.