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This fifth edition of Theories of Development is basically similar to the earlier editions. Its purpose, once again, is to introduce students to a variety of theorists, giving special attention to those who have contributed to that distinctly developmental perspective that began with Rousseau. The book focuses, that is, on writers who help us understand how development might arise from our inner promptings and spontaneous interests and how we might view the world differently at different stages of life.
This new edition updates several chapters. Most notably, it discusses recent critiques of Piaget's theory and the growing research that bears on Schachtel's theory of early memories. The book also suggests how Werner's holistic approach is becoming increasingly relevant, especially with respect to the current push for early literacy instruction. Werner's approach cautions us against rushing in to teach reading and writing skills at young ages. Instead, we should consider all the activities out of which literacy might more naturally emerge.
In the prior edition, published in 2000, I added an epilogue on the standards and testing movement that was sweeping the United States. I pointed out that this educational movement was focusing so exclusively on adults' goals and expectations that it was robbing children of the chance to develop their special strengths at their own stage of life. It would have been great if the standards movement had subsided since then. Instead, it has become even more powerful, causing children even more harm, as described in the revised epilogue.
Over the years, many people have contributed to this book. I would like to give special thanks tomy wife Ellen. As always, she provided unwavering support and valuable insight. I also am deeply indebted to our children. It was initially by watching them that I became so impressed by the growth process I decided to write this book about it. Our children are grown now, but they continue to offer support and ideas that mean a great deal to me.
This new edition has benefited from critical readings and suggestions by professors Laurie S. Hunter, Francis Marion University; Coady Lapierre, Tarleton State University; Chadwick Royal, North Carolina Central University; and Judith Torney-Purta, the University of Maryland. My brother Stephen Crain, professor of linguistics at the University of Maryland, once again helped me write the chapter on Chomsky.
I am grateful, finally, to those who have given permission to quote from various sources: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., and The Hogarth Press Ltd. granted permission to quote from Erik H. Erikson's Childhood and Society, 2nd ed., 1963; Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., and Bruno Bettelheim granted permission to quote from his book, The Empty Fortress, copyright © 1967 by Bruno Bettelheim; Little, Brown, & Co. granted permission to quote the first stanza of "Growth of Man like growth of Nature" from Poems by Emily Dickinson, edited by Martha Dickinson Bianchi, © 1957 by Mary L. Hampson; and Family Circle Magazine granted permission to quote from Louise B. Ames's "Don't push your preschooler," in the December 1971 issue, © 1971, The Family Circle, Inc., all rights reserved. Henry Holt and Company gave permission to reproduce lines from my 2003 book, Reclaiming Childhood. Credit for the use of illustrations and other material is given within the text.