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ERIC Number: EJ823227
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1074-9039
Children's Development from a Cultural-Historical Approach: Children's Activity in Everyday Local Settings as Foundation for Their Development
Hedegaard, Mariane
Mind, Culture, and Activity, v16 n1 p64-82 Jan 2009
A central dilemma in developmental psychology has been to combine general concepts with research of the individual child in all her complexity in everyday life activities. Psychologists such as Riegel, Bronfenbrenner, Burman, Morss, Hedegaard, and Walkerdine have criticized research approaches that study child development from a functional view. Sociologists and anthropologists, such as Corsaro, James, Jenks, Prout, and Qvotrup have instead argued for childhood studies as the alternative to developmental psychology. None of these approaches is alone sufficient; instead, it is important to formulate a theoretical approach of child and youth development that combines general psychological concepts with research of children and youth in concrete settings, such as home or school. The aim of this article is to argue that this will be possible by building on Vygotsky's cultural-historical theories of the zone of proximal development and developmental crises. A theory of children's development should include more directly than it has in the past the practice in children's everyday institutions and the conditions the society give children for development and at the same time attempt to grasp the child's perspective. A theory of children's development has to be anchored in societal values, that is, what different institutions value as a good life. Examples from my research on children in Danish kindergartens and immigrant children in Danish schools are used to exemplify the arguments. (Contains 1 figure and 4 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark; Turkey