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The Development of Children’s Thinking

The Development of Children’s Thinking
Its Social and Communicative Foundations

First Edition

December 2017 | 416 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The Development of Children’s Thinking offers undergraduate and graduate students in psychology and other disciplines an introduction to several core areas of developmental psychology. It examines recent empirical research within the context of longstanding theoretical debates. In particular, it shows how a grasp of classic theories within developmental psychology is vital for a grasp of new areas of research such as cognitive neuroscience that have impacted on our understanding of how children develop.

The focus of this book will be on infancy and childhood, and it looks at:

  • Theories and context of development
  • How developmental psychology attempts to reconcile influences of nature and nurture
  • Communication in infancy as a precursor to later thinking
  • Language development in primates and young children
  • Cognitive and social development, including the child’s understanding of the mind
  • How studies of moral reasoning reflect upon our understanding of development 
Chapter 1: Introduction: What is Human Thinking and How Does it Develop?
Chapter 2: The Role of Biology in Psychological Development
Chapter 3: Constructivist Approaches to Children's Thinking
Chapter 4: Sociocultural Approaches to Children's Thinking
Chapter 5: The Development of Communication and Social Understanding in Infancy
Chapter 6: Theories of Communication and Social Understanding in Infancy
Chapter 7: Animal Communication and Human Language
Chapter 8: Language in Human Communication and Thinking
Chapter 9: How Children Learn the Meaning of Words
Chapter 10: How Children Come to Control Their Behaviour
Chapter 11: Understanding the Social World
Chapter 12: Social Interaction, Language and Social Understanding
Chapter 13: Moral Reasoning and Action
Chapter 14: Recent Issues in Moral Development

It is refreshing to find an accessible, engaging text that addresses the interplay between socio-emotional processes and the development of children’s thinking – this, together with the inclusion of contemporary literature, examples and video clips, make the book a ‘must read’ for students of Developmental Psychology. 

Dr Sarah Davis, Senior Lecturer Psychology
Institute of Health & Society, University of Worcester

This engaging textbook uses great [real-life] examples and observations of infants and children to illustrate various approaches to conceptualizing early social, communicative, and moral development. The text encourages readers to think critically about presuppositions originating in various theories and world views regarding the nature of the human mind and how infants learn to make sense of their environment.

Moreover, introducing each topic with a number of thought provoking questions, such as “What is morality?” and “How do children come to understand it?”  will encourage readers to think critically about aspects of human development we all tend to take for granted. Drawing on the works of Piaget and Vygotsky, among others, readers will be encouraged to take an action-based approach to infant development which considers how infants learn through acting on their environment as well as through others responding to them.

Viktoria Kettner
Simon Fraser University

Although this book encompasses research spanning more than a century; it never falls into the trap of ignoring recent and groundbreaking new findings. 

This is a valuable resource for students and lectures alike. 

Dr Christopher Arnold
Principle Educational Psychologist

Focuses on deeper aspects of development than just ELGs and observing them.

Dr Kathryn Peckham
Early Childhood, Centre for Research In Early Childhood
May 2, 2023

This book locates the development of children's thinking in a psycho-social context, describing in succinct detail the major theories of which students should be aware. Sufficient detail It is included and the material is well set out, with helpful text boxes that highlight key learning points. Video examples of teaching points are signposted. This will serve the needs of a range of students who are studying child and adolescent psychotherapy.

Dr mary Glover
Department of Psychology and Counselling, Newman University
April 24, 2018

Easy to read text that evaluated theories for children’s development clearly for students to develop their analysis of key points to explore in more detail; gaining a better understanding of theoretical perspectives.

Miss Tracey Canham
Health Care and Early Years, Swindon College
May 27, 2018

A useful resource for my students.

Dr Gill Waters
Department of Psychology, Bradford University
July 16, 2019

Comprehensive and accessible guide

Sarah Holmes
Childhood & Youth Studies, Liverpool Hope University
January 15, 2018

A detailed and critical analysis of both traditional and contemporary theories of cognitive development

Mrs Suzi Smale
Psychology, Petroc College
January 14, 2018

Innovastive and easy to digest. Great book

Mrs Abigail Gosling
Department of Education Studies, Bedfordshire University
January 25, 2018