Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life

Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life

by Susan L. Engel
ISBN-10:
0674018834
ISBN-13:
2900674018838
Pub. Date:
10/03/2005
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
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Overview

Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life

Decades of work in psychology labs have vastly enhanced our knowledge about how children perceive, think, and reason. But it has also encouraged a distorted view of children, argues psychologist Susan Engel in this provocative and passionate book--a view that has affected every parent who has tried to debate with a six-year-old. By focusing on the thinking processes prized by adults, too many expert opinions have rendered children as little adults. What has been lost is what is truly unique and mysterious--the childlike quality of a child's mind.

Engel draws on keen observations and descriptive research to take us into the nearly forgotten, untidy, phantasmagorical world of children's inner lives. She reminds us that children fuse thought and emotion, play and reality; they swing wildly between different ways of interpreting and acting in the world. But just as a gawky child may grow into a beauty, illogical and sometimes maddening childishness can foreshadow great adult ability.

Engel argues that the "scientist in a crib" view encourages parents and teachers to expect more logical reasoning and emotional self-control from children than they possess. She provides a concise and valuable overview of what modern developmental psychologists have learned about children's developing powers of perception and capacity for reasoning, but also suggests new ways of studying children that better capture the truth about their young minds.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900674018838
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 10/03/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1. What We See and What We Miss

2. A Glance Backward: What Have We Learned about Children?

3. Spheres of Reality in Childhood

4. Toward a More Complete Understanding of Children

5. Why This Matters, and to Whom

Notes

Index

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