Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Infant Learning and Development

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_803

Synonyms

Definition

Infant learning and development reflect interactions among many variables across a number of levels and time scales. All of the contributing interactions are bi-directional and nonlinear. Development occurs at multiple levels within an individual, from cellular, molecular, and neural changes to increases in perceptual, motor, cognitive, social, and emotional abilities, and all of these are impacted by changes in society, culture, and historical era. Development also operates over multiple time scales, meaning some changes occur in a millisecond, while others take days, years, or generations, and the changes that occur at each of these time scales constantly interact with the changes occurring at the other time scales.

Theoretical Background

The central question of how infants develop is quite old, with roots in ancient Greece and early British philosophy. From its inception, the question was asked as a dichotomy, now known as the...

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References

  1. Campos, J. J., Anderson, D. I., Barbu-Roth, M. A., Hubbard, E. M., Hertenstein, M. J., & Witherington, D. (2000). Travel broadens the mind. Infancy, 1(2), 149–219, 397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Schöner, G., & Thelen, E. (2006). Using dynamic field theory to rethink infant habituation. Psychology Review, 113, 273–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Spelke, E. S., & Kinzler, K. D. (2007). Core knowledge. Developmental Science, 10, 89–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Spencer, J. P., Thomas, M. S. C., & McClelland, J. L. (2009). Toward a unified theory of development. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Thelen, E., & Smith, L. B. (1994). A dynamical systems approach to the development of cognition and action. Cambridge, MA: Bradford Books/MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Thelen, E., & Smith, L. B. (2006). Dynamic systems theories. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1: Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 258–312).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWhitman CollegeWalla WallaUSA