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ERIC Number: ED434729
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Childhood and Family in the 21st Century: Preparing for an Unknown Future.
Gammage, Philip
This paper examines the importance of children's early experience and its implications for the future. The paper notes three important societal changes--changes in women's roles, changes in the concept of marriage, and changes in the nature of childhood--and discusses the factors underlying these trends. Current research suggests that the architecture of the brain is more plastic than was previously thought, and windows of opportunity in early learning may be lost or limited if they are not appropriately capitalized upon during early childhood. Noting that children today are least safe in their own homes and most safe in early education and care settings, the paper describes two parent support programs for at-risk parents. The paper describes the immense socializing power of the media as demonstrating the ubiquitous nature of the U.S. culture. Problems with media use are noted, such as the impact of violence and the use of television as a childminder. Implications of these social changes for the child, family, and early education and care are explored: (1) care and education are so interwoven that it makes most sense to see them as thoroughly interdependent; and (2) effective and sensitive parental support must accompany the provision of good institutions. The paper concludes by noting that J. Bowlby's central beliefs in the importance of helping families have not been discredited and that the challenge is to ensure the melding of care and education into a secure profession. Contains 32 references. (KB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A