Wayne State University Press

Landscapes of Childhood

Published by: Wayne State University Press

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Landscapes of Childhood

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Appraising the Human Developmental Sciences

Essays in Honor of Merrill-Palmer Quarterly

Edited by Gary W. Ladd

This volume sets out to celebrate the Quarterly’s significant contribution to developmental research and to highlight the advances made in the field since the early 1950s.

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The Child in the World

Embodiment, Time, and Language in Early Childhood

Eva M. Simms

The Child in the World builds a bridge between continental philosophers, who tend to overlook child existence, and developmental psychologists, who often fail to consider the philosophical assumptions underlying their work. In this volume, author Eva M. Simms draws on both psychological and phenomenological research to investigate child existence in its cultural and historical context and explore the ways children interact with the world around them. Simms examines key experiences of childhood with special attention to the non-dualistic nature of the child’s consciousness and the understanding that there is more to the child’s experiences than cognitive processes. In chapters that proceed from infancy to early childhood, Simms considers how children live their embodiment, coexist with others, experience and the spaces and places of their neighborhoods, have deeply felt relations to things, grasp time intuitively and often in contradiction to adult clock-time, and are transformed by the mystery of the symbolic order of play and language. Simms’s approach is particularly informed by the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, which allows for a descriptive and grounded understanding of child experience as well as sophisticated and critical philosophical thinking about human existence in general. By respecting and celebrating the magical non-dualistic relationship child consciousness has to the world, The Child in the World offers readers a unique opportunity to expand their understanding of human existence. Students and teachers of psychology and philosophy, early childhood educators, psychotherapists, as well as general readers who are parents of young children will enjoy this fascinating volume.

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Children’s Special Places

Exploring the Role of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses in Middle Childhood

David Sobel

From the ages of five to twelve, the middle years of childhood, young people explore their surroundings and find or construct private spaces. In these secret places, children develop and control environments of their own and enjoy freedom from the rules of the adult world. Children's Special Places enters these hidden worlds, reveals their importance to children's development and emotional health, and shows educators, parents, and other adults how they can foster a bond between young people and nature that is important to maturation.

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