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The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind Paperback – December 26, 2000
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
To a small extent the book suffers from the usual dilutory effects of having multiple authors. They also try to be a bit too cute sometimes, but this does not overly detract from the book's success as a layman-friendly introduction to child development research.
There is a very useful Notes section, References, and a good Index.
My advice, for all it's worth: If you are going to get one book about child development research, get Lise Eliot's 'What's Going On In There?', which is less precious, more extensive, and better organized. If you are going to get two books, add this to your list. I find myself referring back to the former book fairly often, but I do browse through this one occasionally as well.
Better yet, the book is written in a thoroughly engaging and often humorous style that possibly owes something to the first named author's brother, the New Yorker writer Adam (or, more likely, both Gopniks inherited the same literary genes).
But don't expect pointers on burping technique.
The tone of the book is chatty, but the content is substantial. The authors discuss the philosophers as well as the scientists who are working in this area. I don't suppose that the average new parent is interested in wading into Chomsky, Ryle or Descartes, but this book actually makes it interesting and compelling.
The book is broken down into the acquisition of particular mental skills. The authors thesis is that babies learn using, more or less, the scientific method, forming hypotheses and then testing them emperically. (The title of the book is a clever word play, referring to this theory, while simultaneously demonstrating what adult scientists are learning from their empirical studies.) While this may seem pretensious, the authors actually make a pretty good case for this theory.
The acquisition of language deviates somewhat from this general theoretical method, but the authors have some fascinating experimental data to illustrate the way babies actually learn language.
In short, this book is highly recommended, not just to new parents, but also to anyone interested in childhood cognitive development or what can be known about the workings of the human brain.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent observations of the human mind as it intera itswith the world from birth through adulthood. it demands a new platform of interaction between babies and their caretakers. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Stella
A good basic intro to developmental psychology and babies. It is a bit out of date now, but still interesting and a good place to start. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kathryn
There are enough other informative reviews, both pro and con, here on amazon.com that a full discussion of "Scientist in the Crib" isn't needed. Read morePublished 21 months ago by edwardc
A very interesting book. It has given me a lot of insight into the behavior of my granddaughter as she is growing up.Published 21 months ago by Joseph S.
Could not get past the intro. "Infants are smarter than Bill Gates" Although they can't talk, control their bodily functions or even their limbs very well, think in... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Interested amateur
This is a pretty good book, the writing is great and it includes interesting details on infancy, a must read for all parents!Published on February 16, 2014 by Genevieve Smith