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ERIC Number: ED138365
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Early Experience: A Life Span Perspective.
Goldhaber, Dale; Colman, Molly
This paper reviews research findings which are contrary to or inconsistent with the view of early experience as a critical and often irreversible determinant of development. It is suggested that the increasing awareness of the value of a life span perspective is leading to major reevaluation of the role of early experience in development. The disproportionate emphasis on early experience is seen as resulting from: (1) an overreliance on linear, cummulative learning based models of development, which incorrectly equate learning with development; (2) a failure to separate historically and culturally rooted determinants of behavior and development from maturational factors and to distinguish species-specific from culture-specific determinants; (3) a failure to consider that the interactional processes regulating one developmental dimension are not necessarily the same as for another dimension; and (4) a view of the life span that sees "terminal status" at age 18. It is concluded that a stage-based life-span model provides a more appropriate base for determining optimum intervention periods, for separating cohort and environmental determinants from maturational factors, for supporting a renewal of interest in development throughout the lifecycle, and for stressing the importance of developmental predictors having external as well as internal validity. (Author/JMB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Filmed from best available copy; Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (New Orleans, Louisiana, March 17-20, 1977)