BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online


    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.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    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: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Educational Neuroscience, Centre for, Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2011 09:08
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:50


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item