A trio of nationally respected childhood-development scientists hailing from Berkeley and the University of Washington has authored The Scientist in the Crib to correct a disparity: while popular books about science speak to intelligent, perceptive adults who simply want to learn, books about babies typically just give advice, heavy on the how-to and light on the why. The authors write, "It's as if the only place you could read about evolution was in dog-breeding manuals, not in Stephen Jay Gould; as if, lacking Stephen Hawking's insights, the layman's knowledge of the cosmos was reduced to 'How to find the constellations.'"
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.
Although Gopnik, Meltzoff and Kuhl have each conducted groundbreaking research into the cognitive development of infants and its philosophical implications, this book evokes less excitement than their more straightforward research. With breathless enthusiasm, the authors review recent findings in developmental psychology and explain, in a tone somewhat self-consciously aimed at the "lay reader," their hopes that they will help answer fundamental philosophical questions. They focus on Kuhl's work in early infant phonetic recognition and language acquisition, Meltzoff's work on imitation in infants and Gopnik's exploration of philosophical development in infants, as well as other important work in the field. How do babies learn? they ask, answering that "they are born knowing a great deal, they learn more and we are designed to teach them." They also give refreshing emphasis to the evolutionary basis for infant-caregiver interactions. For example, they explain that "motherese"Athe high-pitched, slightly louder than normal speech with elongated and articulated consonants and vowelsAis not only preferred by babies but also optimally suited to their developing auditory systems. It's ironic, though, that these authors, who from the first pages decry ill-informed condescension to children, should be themselves so unthinkingly condescending in their tone and presentation: "children and scientists," they repeatedly aver, "are the best learners in the world." Agent, Katinka Matson, Brockman Inc.; 5-city author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 8 days 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 4 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 12 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 12 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 14 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 18 months ago by Genevieve Smith
This book was required for my cognitive development inchildren's class...and it's great!
I feel that every parent should read it. Read more