Children's Minds Paperback – 30 May 1986
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‘One of the most powerful, most wisely balanced and best informed books on the development of the child’s mind…Its implications for education are enormous.’ Jerome Bruner
‘A book of great, and very general significance…a classic.’ Jack Tizard
From the Back Cover
First published in 1978, 'Children’s Minds' has become a classic inquire into the nature of human thought. Margaret Donaldson shows how thought and language originally depend upon the interpersonal contexts within which they develop, and how, given the support of such contexts, children are already skilled thinkers and language users by the time they come to school.
However, when school begins, success depends on the development of new modes of thinking. Margaret Donaldson shows what these entail and analyses the difficulties which they present. She claims that we have not fully understood the nature of these difficulties and so have not known how best to help children to deal with them. She suggests a range of strategies that can be used, arguing that the way in which reading is taught is even more important than we have supposed.
This book is essential reading for all who are interested in the development of the human mind.
"One of the most powerful, most wisely balanced and best informed books on the development of the child's mind to have appeared in twenty years. Its implications for education are enormous."
"A book of great, and very general significance… a classic."
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Top Customer Reviews
Fantastic read, an absolute must have if you're remotely interested in child development or Piaget himself.
Donaldson reasons that an excess of freedom or an excess of instruction can cause severe problems for a child's development and their future ability, however from reading this book it seems that it would always be better to err on the side of too much instruction rather than too much freedom as when looking at experimental data she finds that better instruction improves children's grasp of concepts and enables them to perform much better at any given task.
One of the main realisations that Donaldson makes and for which she must be highly commended, is the idea that error and failure are a natural and vital part of learning. It is a message that is of vital importance because in today's world failure is taboo.
One thing that is slightly disappointing is that Margaret Donaldson presents intellectual ability as a `cold' thing which I think is a real shame and something that should be dealt with.
A book well worth reading, especially for parents and teachers or anybody who comes into contact with children. There are occasional flaws in reason, but this is a solid book with much to praise.
Following on from this point, the issues which emerge are why were Piaget's views accepted for so long. They operated as a discourse of truth and people behaved "as if" he spoke the truth. His ideas permeated pediatricians, teachers and educational psychologists who viewed children as little mannequins needing to be moulded into shape.
Donaldson provides a much more expansive view of the human being, as someone who operates within relationships and acknowledges that they do. Now for adults who cannot see this - this raises some interesting observations about their perception of the world. Are they self absorbed narcissists who project their psychologies onto the world akin to Piaget?
Should this book be the basis of a test for empathy akin to the robots which are subject in Phillp K Dicks book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Didn't really get into it either as a read or as a study resource, But did have a point in that little 'snap shots' helped understand the Piaget debatePublished 13 months ago by anna stephens
An interesting book for anyone studying child development. Prompt delivery, thank youPublished 15 months ago by Lh Dignan
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