Emerging Minds: The Process of Change in Childrens Thinking

Paperback | October 1, 1998

byRobert S. Siegler

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How do children acquire the vast array of concepts, strategies, and skills that distinguish the thinking of infants and toddlers from that of preschoolers, older children, and adolescents? In this new book, Robert Siegler addresses these and other fundamental questions about children'sthinking. Previous theories have tended to depict cognitive development much like a staircase. At an early age, children think in one way; as they get older, they step up to increasingly higher ways of thinking. Siegler proposes that viewing the development within an evolutionary framework is moreuseful than a staircase model. The evolution of species depends on mechanisms for generating variability, for choosing adaptively among the variants, and for preserving the lessons of past experience so that successful variants become increasingly prevalent. The development of children's thinkingappears to depend on mechanisms to fulfill these same functions. Siegler's theory is consistent with a great deal of evidence. It unifies phenomena from such areas as problem solving, reasoning, and memory, and reveals commonalities in the thinking of people of all ages. Most important, it leads tovaluable insights regarding a basic question about children's thinking asked by cognitive, developmental, and educational psychologists: How does change occur?

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How do children acquire the vast array of concepts, strategies, and skills that distinguish the thinking of infants and toddlers from that of preschoolers, older children, and adolescents? In this new book, Robert Siegler addresses these and other fundamental questions about children'sthinking. Previous theories have tended to depict c...

Robert S. Siegler, Professor of Psycholoy, Carnegie Mellon University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.71 inPublished:October 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195126637

ISBN - 13:9780195126631

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Table of Contents

1. Whose Children are we Talking About?2. Evolution and Cognitive Development3. Cognitive Variability: The Ubiquity of Multiplicity4. Strategic Development: Trudging up the Staircase or Swimming with the Tide5. The Adaptivity of Multiplicity6. Formal Models of Strategy Choice or Plasterers and Professors7. How Children Generate New Ways of Thinking8. A New Agenda for Cognitive Development

Editorial Reviews

"In Emerging Minds, Siegler designs a clear, thorough, and well-defined map for the new paradigm...Siegler shows the prevalence of variability and its eminent role in development. Other researchers adhering to process-oriented approaches also highlight the importance of variability, butSiegler's account is outstanding in its thoroughness and scope. Siegler reviews years of research, numerous domains of study, research done by him and many others, and populations involving the whole age range from infancy to adulthood. He shows that variability prevails not only between domains, asdomain specificity advocates have claimed, but also within a domain (both across children and in a single child)...In addition, he provides the reader with an extensive set of future questions, outlines directions for further research within the new terrain, and designs a new agenda for cognitivedevelopment."--Human Development