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How Babies Think: The Science of Childhood (original 1999; edition 2001)
The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind by Alison Gopnik (1999)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0688177883, Paperback)A trio of nationally respected childhood-development scientists hailing from Berkeley and the University of Washington has authored The Scientist in the Crib to correct a disparity: while popular books about science speak to intelligent, perceptive adults who simply want to learn, books about babies typically just give advice, heavy on the how-to and light on the why. The authors write, "It's as if the only place you could read about evolution was in dog-breeding manuals, not in Stephen Jay Gould; as if, lacking Stephen Hawking's insights, the layman's knowledge of the cosmos was reduced to 'How to find the constellations.'"
The Scientist in the Crib changes that. Standing on the relatively recent achievements of the young field of cognitive science (pointing out that not so long ago, babies were considered only slightly animate vegetables--"carrots that could cry"), the authors succinctly and articulately sum up the state of what's now known about children's minds and how they learn. Using language that's both friendly and smart (and using equally accessible metaphors, everything from Scooby-Doo to The Third Man), The Scientist in the Crib explores how babies recognize and understand their fellow humans, interpret sensory input, absorb language, learn and devise theories, and take part in building their own brains.
Such science makes for great reading, but will likely prove even more useful to readers with a scientist in their own crib, acting as tonic to pseudoscientific how-to baby books that recommend everything "from flash cards, to Mozart tapes, to Better Baby Institutes." As the authors put it, "We want to understand children, not renovate them." --Paul Hughes
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:19 -0400)
A review of research on learning and infancy, drawn from hundreds of case studies, shows how children by the age of three are virtual learning machines and discusses how parents can help this learning process.
(summary from another edition)
An edition of this book was published by Beyond Words Publishing.
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