What are the best resources (books, websites, anything) about the cognitive development of infants and young children? (Looking for either descriptive or prescriptive or both)
Writing my notes here, for whoever is interested from the future.
I went through a few lists of recommendations from parenting websites: after looking at reviews and table of contents, I’d say it seems like almost all of those books can be really helpful for some people and also sound really obvious to other people.
Among all these, there are a few that seem to have at least some content that is not really that obvious for anyone (note I’m saying this without having read these or any other):
“What’s Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life”, Lise Eliot
“Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less”, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
“Temperament Tools: Working with Your Child’s Inborn Traits”, by Helen F. Neville and Diane Clark Johnson
I was thinking that I’d really like to have a comprehensive view of the subject, so an option to consider would be to rent a college textbook on children’s cognitive development. The tables of content of those books look great. Although from the previews I imagine that their fonts might make them a difficult read.
In the past I listened to two very different Great Courses I would recommend that are related to the subject: “Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive” and “Theories of Human Development”.
In their bibliographies I found the following which seem relevant.
From Theories of Human Development:
Robert S. Siegler. Emerging Minds: The Process of Change in Children’s Thinking
From Scientific secrets for raising kids who thrive:
Acredolo, L., and S. Goodwyn. Baby Minds: Brain-Building Games Your Baby Will Love.
Anderson, J. R. Learning and Memory
Bar-On, R. E., and J. D. Parker, eds. The Handbook of Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Development, Assessment, and Application at Home, School, and in the Workplace.
Bialystok, E. Bilingualism in Development: Language, Literacy, and Cognition.
Blumberg, F. C., and S. M. Fisch eds. Digital Games: A Context for Cognitive Development: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, No. 139. Wiley.com., 2013
Bodrova, Elena, and Deborah J. Leong. Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education.
Carpenter, T. P., E. Fennema, M. L. Franke, L. Levi, and S. B. Empson. Children’s Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction.
Dawson, Peg, and Richard Guare. Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, Second Edition: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Intervention)
Dehaene, S. The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics
Gallagher, S. Experimenting with Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid.
Gopnik, A., A. N. Meltzoff, and P. K. Kuhl. The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains and How Children Learn
Sarama, J., and D. H. Clements. Early Childhood Mathematics Education Research: Learning Trajectories for Young Children.
Common Sense Media. Game Reviews, http://www.commonsensemedia.org/game-reviews
Consortium on Social and Emotional Learning. CASEL Guide. http://www.casel.org/guide
Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. http://www.zerotothree.org/
Many of these books can be found used for cheap.
Hi, I just wanted to share that if the motivation is for early instruction, you should consider the side effects. Here is a strongly recomended read Precocity paradox: early instruction may hurt the long-term growth - supermemo.guru
Hi! Thank you for the resource!
I never thought people would want to start kids on an academic path before the school years, but from what I’ve been reading there seems to be a lot of pressure on parents to do just that, and as early as possible. Luckily though I see there’s a lot of experts advising against it. The books “Baby minds”, “The scientist in the crib” and “Einstein never used flashcards” keep stressing that point, and each in their own way gives suggestions on how to help and not hinder the process of learning that children go through naturally - process which they say is already normally helped by the spontaneous attitudes that adults tend to have when interacting with children. I’m glad to see there’s many people interested in children’s well-being!
I’d say that out of curiosity I’m more interested in trying to understand what does it feel like to be a baby or young child.
And for both mere curiosity and practical purposes I’d like to have an idea of what are the main steps that most people go through in their development. Here’s a couple of examples of what I mean: for the first few weeks I won’t bother thinking about how she enjoys the colors around her (since babies don’t see colors very well for a few months), and for a few years I won’t wonder whether she may have purposefully lied about something (since real lies start appearing only when they are about 4 years old).
Also, there are some things that I heard from some good adults when I was a kid that I already know are very sub-optimal (examples: praising for intelligence rather than for effort, and saying that by reading that passage over and over you will eventually remember it), and I wanted to see if there was anything else like that which I didn’t know about so I could use a more helpful approach if possible