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Introduction

Spencer, J. and Thomas, Michael S.C. and McClelland, J.L. (2009) Introduction. In: Spencer, J. (ed.) Toward a Unified Theory of Development: Connectionism and Dynamic System Theory Re-Considered. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195300598.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300598...

Abstract

Book synopsis: From William James to Sigmund Freud to Jean Piaget to B. F. Skinner, scholars (and parents) have wondered how children move from the blooming, buzzing confusion of infancy, through the tumult of childhood and adolescence, into adulthood. Does development occur continuously over time or in a series of dramatic stages? Is development driven by learning or by biological maturational processes? What is the nature of experience, and how does it generate change? The study of development has always been organized around these big questions. Answers to these questions have a profound influence on daily life, forming a framework for how parents think about their own children, and influencing both national policy and educational curricula. This book defines and refines two major theoretical approaches within developmental science that address the central issues of development-connectionism and dynamical systems theory. The chapters in this book provide an introduction, overview, and critical evaluation of each approach, including three sets of case studies that illustrate how these approaches have been used to study topics ranging from early motor development to the acquisition of grammar. It also presents a collection of commentaries by leading scholars, which offer a critical view from both an “outsiders” and an “insiders” perspective.

Item Type: Book Section
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): learning, biology, experience, national policy, dynamical systems theory, motor development, acquisition of grammar
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2011 09:08
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:17
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/1560

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