Title

The Cultural Organization of Young Children's Everyday Learning

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-21-2016

Abstract

Developmental theory claims development is both a universal process leading to universal outcomes and that consistent patterns of experiences have developmental consequences. The potential conflict is reconciled by assuming there is a single ideal environment for development with detrimental consequences for significant variations. The introduction of anthropological understanding of cultural differences in children's everyday experiences undermines the assumption of an optimal environment, producing an unstable triarchy of claims. This chapter analyzes this instability in three developmental areas: infant social interactions, children's play and work, and attention. For each, the cultural organization of Yucatec Maya children's everyday experience is described. Then, insights based on these cultural differences for the accepted claims in these developmental areas are discussed. In conclusion the three competing claims about development (universal outcome, role of environment, and cultural organization of everyday behavior) are integrated into a general model. This model identifies the centrality of culturally informed research.

DOI

10.1002/9781119301981.ch6

Publication Title

Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology: Culture and Developmental Systems

Volume Number

38

First Page

223

Last Page

274

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