ERIC Number: ED265952
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Context and Continuity: Changing Perspectives on Children.
Litowitz, Bonnie E.
When studied closely, it is evident that children who seem to be developing through their own interactions with the environment are really benefiting from adult interactions in the process. The developing child must form a dyadic relationship with a caretaking adult. The complex workings of that dyadic unit now preoccupy researchers as they study interactions and are forced back to a more careful reexamination of context as well. Researchers now see development not as internally driven but as "outside-in." Each child grows up speaking a "mother tongue," a member of the parent's culture, but individually shaped in relation to that parent as distinct from all other members and speakers. As a result of taking the mother-child dyad as the unit of observation and analysis, a major direction of the 1980s focuses on interaction research. Two questions arise from recent studies. How can investigators observe interactions without being simply additive? How can they analyze the learning process taking place in interaction without reverting to neobehaviorist conditioning and contingency patterns? The challenge of the 1980s is to redefine "social" beyond just the notion of child-plus-other. Attention must also turn to the transformations of early dyadic relationships and early contexts constituting those relationships. (RH)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Erikson Inst. for Advanced Study in Child Development, Chicago, IL.