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ERIC Number: EJ956118
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
"Making a Mess in the Mud": The Discovery of Toddlers' Special Needs by Child Scientists in the 1930s in the Netherlands
Bakker, Nelleke
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v48 n1 p67-83 2012
In this article, the author discusses plans that were launched at three consecutive conferences on care for toddlers between 1929 and 1938 in the Netherlands. These plans and their realisation are evaluated in terms of what was seen as the missing link in the supply of institutional care for young children. The author identifies the professional forces and their concerns, as well as their chosen techniques and cognitive forms. The "discovery" of toddlers' "special" needs was initially inspired by paediatricians' concern about the relatively high mortality and morbidity rates of children aged one to six. An age-specific hygienic shield was created, which produced graphs and charts and consequently, the normal child. During the 1930s, when toddlers' physical health improved rapidly, a shift toward mental health and development became manifest. Developmentalism and psychoanalysis inspired a concern for this age as one of crisis and risk. Therefore, prevention of neuroses was now presented as a major challenge for professionals in toddlers' welfare centres, health colonies, and nursery schools, who were supposed to best understand young children's needs. One of the consequences was that, unlike in the post-war years, experts became convinced that small children were better off in institutions than at home. (Contains 74 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; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands