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An extensive general bibliography is complemented by lists of further reading for every chapter and a glossary defines critical and technical terms, making the book accessible to those coming to the field or to a particular approach for the first time. In this second edition there are four entirely new chapters; contributors have revisited and revised or rewritten seven of the chapters to reflect new thinking, while the remaining three are classic essays, widely acknowledged to be definitive.

The glossary, further reading lists and general bibliography have also been thoroughly updated. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Seven of the essays have been extensively revised or rewritten to reflect new thinking, while the remaining three are classic essays, widely acknowledged to be definitive, and these have been given updated bibliographies.

While at de Montfort University, he was Director of the Hockliffe Project, a pioneering venture in digitising 18th- and 19th-century texts. She has written widely on education, gender, and on Ted Hughes. David Rudd lectures in literature and education at the University of Bolton. In , he was Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey.

Will it keep our children singing? Well perhaps not. But understanding something of literary theory will give us some understanding of how the literature we give to our children works. It might also keep us engaged with the texts that surround us, keep us singing even if it is a more mature song than we sang as youthful readers of texts. As long as we keep singing, we have a chance of passing along our singing spirit to those we teach.

The books have, none the less, been marginalised. It is attractive and interesting to students official or unofficial of literature, education, library studies, history, psychology, art, popular culture, media, the caring professions, and so on, and it can be approached from any specialist viewpoint. Its nature, both as a group of texts and as a subject for study, has been to break down barriers between disciplines, and between types of readers.

And as a group of texts it is at once one of the liveliest and most original of the arts, and the site of the crudest commercial exploitation. But the complexities are not mere problematising by academics eager to secure their meal tickets; the most apparently straightforward act of communication is amazingly intricate — and we are dealing here with fundamental questions of communica- tion and understanding between adults and children, or, more exactly, between individuals.

We are also forced to confront our preconceptions. Finally, I hold that in literature we find the best expression of the human imagination, and the most useful means by which we come to grips with our ideas about ourselves and what we are. This leads to the common situation that people will privately like, or value, one type of book, while publicly recommending something else.

Books which would have low status on some cosmic value-scale and which are highly successful commercially, notably J. This division leads to inappropriate critical approaches being taken to the books. To say that, for example, Judy Blume is not as good a writer as Jane Austen is not to compare like with like, and presupposes an innate superiority in the latter. In non- Western countries, the relationships between story and storyteller, adult and child, can be radically different from those in the West see, for example, Pellowski A central example of these kinds of confusion may be seen in the discussion of poetry for children.

It is, most crucially, a tradition of immediate apprehension. I would argue that no poem can be called a poem that does not have at its heart some unknowable mystery. In many places, such as parts of Africa, they have a post-colonial tinge, and an uneasy relationship with indigenous culture; elsewhere, they have seemed sufficiently important to totalitarian states as to suffer severe censorship. It is also possible to perceive similar patterns throughout the world — although it is clearly possible to challenge a wide-ranging view such as this, by Sheila Ray: In the early stages of a printed literature, there are few or no books published specifi- cally for children.

There are perhaps a few books intended for broadly educational purposes, such as the courtesy or behaviour books printed in the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries in European countries, or the twentieth-century text books published to support the formal school curriculum in developing countries. In this situation, chil- dren, as they learn to read, also take over adult books which appeal to them, a process helped by the fact that the early printed literature in any society is likely to draw on traditional stories which contain elements which appeal to every age group.

One of the problems which face developing countries in the twenty-first century is that they are expected to go through all the stages in a rela- tively short space of time — thirty or forty years at most — whereas European countries have taken five hundred years over the same process. Today, the traffic between English and other languages remains virtually one-way Hunt — Censorship permeates the process, operating both before and after the texts are produced, and often in bizarre circumstances. West II, Censorship is relative: if books are withdrawn from classrooms, as they have often been, is that being protective, or restrictive?

Censorship tends to characterise children as impressionable and simple-minded, unable to take a balanced view of, for example, sexual or racial issues, unless the balance is explic- itly stated. Difficulties have arisen over books which contain attitudes that were quite acceptable to the majority in their day. Perhaps the most neglected area has been bibliography — the history of the books as books.

How can we discover what has been understood? What are the mechanisms by which understanding is produced? As Nodelman and Reimer have noted: Unfortunately, many readers approach texts with the idea that their themes or messages can be easily identified and stated in a few words … Reading in this way directs attention away from the more immediate pleasures of a text … away from other, deeper kinds of meaning the text might imply. Given that different purposes and motivations for reading result in different levels of processing and outcome … it is likely that different readers will to some extent interpret different texts in varied ways.

This, indeed, is notoriously the case for literary texts, where it is often said that there are as many interpretations as there are readers to interpret. Yet it is intuitively unsatisfying to claim that a text can mean anything to any reader. The text itself must to some extent condition the nature of the understanding that the reader constructs.

What is missing is as complex an interpretative vocabulary as exists for words, although this is rapidly being supplied through the work of Nodelman , Doonan , Nikolajeva and Scott , Anstey and Bull , and others. Jane Doonan, for example, is concerned less with the complex mechanics of reading pictures than with aesthetics: A less common view, and the one I believe honours the picture-book most fully, holds that pictures, through their expressive powers, enable the book to function as an art object.

In an aesthetic experience we are engaged in play of the most enjoyable and demanding kind … And in that play we have … to deal with abstract concepts logically, intuitively and imaginatively. Doonan 7 Of course, the experience of a book starts before — and goes beyond — the words or the pictures on the page. Storytelling to return to questions of ideology, which are never very far away also has a political axis. There is no shortage, as a sceptic might remark, of schools of criticism, nor of books which will outline their principles.

Zipes rejects such a view: It is impossible to exaggerate the impact and importance of the Little Red Riding Hood syndrome as a dominant cultural pattern in Western societies. The curbing and regulation of sexual drives is fully portrayed in this bourgeois literary fairy tale of the basis of deprived male needs. This is not a scale where some purposes stand higher than others; it is a matrix where hundreds of subtle meanings are generated. This seems to me to be the source, potentially, of immense strength and of immense innovation.

It may seem that the competing elements will pull the subject apart, rather than give it any coherence. The interest in bibliotherapy, sometimes expressed by the psychologically oriented critic … is often dismissed as lacking the formalist rigor of serious literary analysis. McGillis But this should not discourage us. No single set of informing ideas dominates its heartland. No one can confidently map its frontiers: it colonises and is colonised. When we inspect the practices which cluster together uncomfortably under its banner, they appear so diverse, contradictory, arbitrary and random as to defy analysis and explanation.

Bereavement can be linked to bibliotherapy, commodification of childhood to literary archetypes. A recent series of books on childhood, published by the British Open University, sums up the field: The growing field of childhood and youth studies provides an integrative framework for interdisciplinary research and teaching, as well as analysis of contemporary policy and practice in, for instance, education, health and social work.

Childhood is now a global issue, forcing a reconsideration of conventional approaches to study. Childhood is also a very personal issue for each and every one of us — scholars, policy- makers, parents and children. References Alderson, B. Reprinted from The Library 32, 3: — Alderson, J. Allen, R. Anstey, M. Avery, G. Bouvaist, J. Buckingham, D. Chambers, A. Culler, J. Cunningham, H. Darton, F. Alderson, B. Doonan, J. Gilderdale, B. Griswold, J. Hardyment, C. Heywood, C. Hunt, P. Good as? Good for? Introduction 13 Jafa, M. Jenks, C.

Kehily, M. Knoepflmacher, U. Lesnik-Oberstein, K. Approaches to Childhood, Basingstoke and London: Macmillan. Martin, D. Mathias, B. McCloud, S. McGillis, R. Mooney, C. Nikolajeva, M. Nodelman, P. Parker, J. Pellowski, A. Philip, N. Ray, S. Saxby, H. Townsend, J. Travisano, T. Trites, R. Vallone, L. West, M. Whyte, P. Wilkie-Stibbs, C. Wojcik-Andrews, I. Zipes, J. David Rudd explores many approaches to these problems and suggests ways of balancing extreme opinions.

But there are other stories, querying this. Rose 1—2 Adults, she argues, evoke this child for their own purposes desires, in fact , as a site of plenitude to conceal the fractures that trouble us all: concerns over a lack of coherent subjectivity, over the instabilities of language and, ultimately, existence itself Rose However, her insight into the power of the child as a cultural trope standing for innocence, the natural, the primitive, and so on has led to a neglect of the child as a social being, with a voice. Furthermore, such a universal claim effectively adulterates forgive the pun a social constructionist perspective; for if children are merely constructions, social conditions might construct them otherwise.

So, while children can be construed as the powerless objects of adult discourse, they also have subject positions available to them that resist such a move. By effecting a sexist discourse they disem- power her while empowering themselves. First, it should be noted that the boys, above, are not free agents; they are simply positioned in another discourse: that of sexism.

With childhood, overextension of the term persists, being applied to discourses where, in fact, children are often as competent as adults. As James et al. Moreover, the body, being part of social relations, can itself resist certain discursive shaping inappropriately breaking wind, and so on.

What seems missing here is, again, some notion of embodiment, of discourse having a concrete location. But this is a nonsense. Children produce literature in vast quantities, oral and written, both individually wrought and through collaborative effort sometimes diachronically , and in a variety of forms: rhymes, jokes, songs, incanta- tions, tall tales, plays, stories and more. And, of course, it should be emphasised that all this literature comes from reworking the discourses around them, through which children negotiate their social and embodied positioning.

Certainly, more work needs doing on this, but it does not help when scholars underwrite this cultur- ally dominant version of events. Folk and fairy tale Harries ; Warner , nursery rhyme and nonsense Rollin ; Warner are similarly being retold. While society cannot do without it, it would certainly be a mistake for criticism to do so cf. Meek ; Nodelman Hybridity The above, more culturally sensitive notion of the constructed child and its literature, however, should not allow us to lose sight of the constructive child, for, as suggested earlier, it is in the gap between the two that a way forward lies.

The term is expressive of that uneasy transaction along borders, in which something other is gradually brought within, melded into adulthood. Then, in the last two lines, the tables are turned, the mimicry made overt: My brother knows all his phrases off by heart So we practise them in bed at night. There is no notion of the child as an innately subversive being here, though. The child has nowhere else to be. This said, the process is anything but mechanical, given the multiple subject positions available, and the way language itself is multi-accented.

Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the process is not simply top down: the habitus of childhood has its own performative dimensions learned from peers, books, playground folklore, the media, and so on, as mentioned in the last section. In practice, this means that, while it is almost impossible for adults to avoid addressing children, their success in doing so will vary remarkably.

Unfortunately, he never was master of his words, perilously ignoring the discursive chain in which he was positioned — the nursery rhyme — as a consequence of which, he has a great fall. It was also in the nineteenth century that the fairy tale became a popular form for staging hybrid relations Auerbach and Knoepflmacher ; Zipes , especially as it became more directly aimed at children. However, although the hybridity has recently become more explicit, my main point is that it has always been there: a product of the differential power relations and signifying latitude of language.

Furthermore, even after publication, children are renowned for feeding back their views to their authors, influencing subsequent works for example, Enid Blyton, through her Sunny Stories magazine. Theorising and theories 25 But the physical response of a child is not necessary. The dialogic process of antici- pating answering words must still occur, as authors construct notional readers — even if only to coerce them into voicelessness!

But it should not be thought that the adults are secure in their status. Again, this example is not used to point to the truth of adults or children, but a concern over the hybrid relation. Conclusion Drawing on a Foucauldian notion of power as both repressive and productive, I have tried to steer a course between biological essentialism and a cultural determinism, arguing that the child is necessarily both constructed and constructive, and that this hybrid border country is worthy of exploration.

Here the tired verities about the child and its literature are seen to be less secure — but more revealing. On the overlapping of those two, there is the common ground. Where, finally, does this leave us in terms of a definition? References Adams, G. Archard, D. Auerbach, N. Bakhtin, M.

Banerjee, J. Barker, M. Barrie, J. Hollindale, P. Bawden, N. Beckett, S. Bhabha, H. Braidotti, R. Broadbent, N. Bruner, J. Burkitt, I. Carpenter, H. Carroll, L. Gardner, M. Cixous, H. Cohen, K. Dunn, J. Elias, N. Jephcott, E. Engel, S. Foucault, M. Hurley, R. Fox, C. Fuss, D. Gordon, J. Grainger, T. Harries, E. Hilton, M. Hoban, R. Hodges, C. What Children? Holland, P. Hoyles, M. James, A. Jenkins, H. Johnson, M. Kimberley, K.

Kincaid, J. Kincheloe, J. Knowles, M. Kristeva, J. Waller, M. Le Guin, U. Lochhead, M. Meek, M. Morgenstern, J. Morrison, B. Myers, M. Nelson, K. Opie, I. Paley, V. Parker, R. Rollin, L. Rose, J. Rosen, M. Rudd, D. Said, E. Sarland, C. Scheper-Hughes, N. Sendak, M. Shavit, Z. Showalter, E. Spivak, G. Stahl, J. Stainton Rogers, R. Steedman, C. Stephens, J. Summerfield, G. Sutton-Smith, B. Taylor, J.

Thwaite, M. Townsend, S. Turner, I. Walkerdine, V. Warner, M. Watson, V. Weir, R. Wolf, S. Young, I. Young, R. Zelizer, V. Introduction There is a problem for this chapter to be noted at the very start, which is that as an English person writing in English for an English-reading audience, and with limited skills in other languages, I do not have access to wider world literatures unless they have been translated into English.

Nikolajeva We are thus at the very start faced with an ideological issue which relates to the political domination by English as a world language; and there is an ideological bias already written into this chapter, a bias that I hope at least to make explicit where it arises. These purposes, or in some cases these denials of purpose, stem from the particular characteristics of its intended readership, and are invariably a product of the views held within the adult population about children and young people themselves and about their place in society.

But wider than this, the books themselves and the social practices that surround them will raise ideological issues. These issues will be related to specific debates in adult society, to do for instance with class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity; or they will be instances of more general debate about the role of liberal humanist values in a capitalist democracy; or, particularly at times of increasing international tension, they will be to do with questions of international identity and international roles.

Ideology Ideology is itself a problematic notion. In the history of Marxist thought there has been a convoluted development of usage of the term, not unre- lated to the distinction just outlined. For the purposes of this chapter, however, ideology will be taken to refer to all espousal, assumption, consideration and discussion of social and cultural values, whether overt or covert. In that sense it will include common sense itself, for common sense is always concerned with the values and underlying assumptions of our everyday lives.

From this perspective it will thus be seen that all writing is ideological since all writing either assumes values even when not overtly espousing them, or is produced and also read within a social and cultural framework which is itself inevitably suffused with values — that is to say, suffused with ideology. In addition, in Marxist terms, considerations of ideology can be divorced neither from considerations of the economic base nor from considerations of power that is, of politics , and that too is the position taken here.

Moral purpose and didacticism At the heart of any consideration of ideology will be a consideration of moral purpose and didacticism and it is useful, I think, to recognise the historical nature of the debate. My examples are largely British. Such works are like the viper — they have a wholesome flesh as well as a poisonous sting; and children are perhaps the only class of readers which can partake of one without suffering from the other.

Hunt 21 The debate was lively in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and has continued on and off ever since. For some while after that, explicit discussion of values was left in abeyance. There was discussion both about how to write for children in ways that were not condescending — an ideological formulation in itself, of course — and about what the differences might be between fiction written for children and fiction written for adults, but considerations either of moral purpose or of didacticism did not appear to be at issue.

In fact the debate had never gone away: it had rather gone underground, as my discussion of the Leavisite paradigm below demonstrates, or recoded itself in educational terms. The debate re- emerged more overtly with Fred Inglis in Only a monster would not want to give a child books she will delight in and which will teach her to be good.

It is the ancient and proper justification of reading and teaching literature that it helps you to live well. Elsewhere, the picture is mixed. In the member states of the European Union, with the dishon- ourable exception of Britain itself, the dissemination of translated books is seen to have an important educational and hence ideological function, fostering mutual understanding and European unity.

See a Problem?

Black characters suffered a similar fate. Girls tended to be represented in traditional female roles. In order to promote working-class, anti-racist and anti-sexist values, it was argued that books should be written with working-class, or female, or black protagonists. Such initiatives have multiplied in the later years of the twen- tieth century, and the practical outcome was a proliferation of series aimed particularly at the teenage market and the emergence of writers like Petronella Breinburg, Robert Leeson and Jan Needle in Britain, and Rosa Guy, Julius Lester, Louise Fitzhugh and Virginia Hamilton in the USA.

It is worth noting, however, that the current publication life of any given title can be very short and this can result in the fairly rapid silencing of work that challenges prevailing norms and values. The debate has been revisited in recent years, particularly by Pinsent , Cedric Cullingford and Margery Hourihan She debates the desirability of using such texts and the need to handle them sensitively, and touches on issues of sexuality.

Cullingford, in a much bolder foray, seems largely unconcerned by the ideological debate, but offers in passing fascinating insights into the work of popular English authors such as Herbert Strang and Percy F. Thus more complex considerations of the ways in which ideology is inscribed in texts did not enter into the discussion, nor did considerations of the complexity of reader response.

What such a debate has done, however, is to point out that all texts incorporated value positions. She argues that, at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Henry James and others encapsulated the view that, for the novel to fully come of age as an art form, it had to break free of its family audience. Reviewing and commentary focused on advising parents, librarians and other interested adults on what to buy for children, or on advising teachers on how to encourage and develop the reading habits of their pupils.

While critical judge- ments were offered about the quality of the books, the criteria for such critical judgements were assumed rather than debated. When surveys of the field were published they also tended to sacrifice discussion of critical criteria to the need for comprehensive coverage. However, a developing body of work did start to emerge in the s and s which was directly concerned with confronting the problem and trying to establish criteria for judgement. Foremost among such initiatives was a collection of papers edited by Egoff et al.

The tradition is not dead. Here is Townsend exemplifying the point: We find in fact that the literary critics, both modern and not-so-modern, are reluctant to pin themselves down to theoretical statements. In the introduction to Determinations , F. All of these terms and formulations are offered by their various authors as if they are essen- tially unproblematic, and they are thus rendered as common sense, naturalised and hidden in the discourse, and not raised for examination.

Nowhere, however, are we able to raise the question of the role that this liberal humanist discourse plays ideologi- cally in a late capitalist or postcolonial world, and it is such a challenge that an ideological critique inevitably raises. From Europe a different tradition began to make its influence felt in Britain in the later s and s, particularly with regard to the treatment of character and action. The hero was the hero because of his or her role in the plot. In Britain the Leavisite tradition had, by contrast, tended to emphasise the importance of psychological insight in characterisation, and had seen characters themselves as the source of the action of the story, and it is easy to see how the work of authors writing in English such as Philippa Pearce, Nina Bawden, William Mayne, Maurice Sendak, Anthony Browne or Aidan Chambers, to take a list not entirely at random, lends itself to such approaches.

His exploits can then be seen entirely in terms of his personality. He locates the debate about characterisation in a specifically ideological context, suggesting that enthu- siasm for psychological characterisation is a bourgeois trait. The critique of the position which sees character as the source of meaning and action comes from a wider and more ideological perspective than that of structuralism alone, and structuralism itself has more to offer than insights about character and action.

This becomes a central tool of ideological critique, allowing parallels to be drawn between ideological structures in the works and those in society at large. The underlying ground of ideological value Marxist literary criticism analyses literature in the light of prevailing economic class conflict in capitalist society. This conflict is not slavishly reproduced in the ideological superstructure, of which literature is a part, but it is always possible to trace it in some form in individual work.

The liberal humanist tradition, by contrast, is not so much concerned with class conflict as with materialism itself. The ideological conflict then becomes materialism versus humanism and the paradigm distinction to be made about the work, pace Henry James, is that between art and commerce. Terry Eagleton and Catherine Belsey are among the major critics of the Leavisite tradition, identifying its liberal humanist roots and analysing its escapist response to the materialism of bour- geois capitalism. To take an example, a liberal humanist reading of The Wind in the Willows might see it as celebrating the values enshrined in notions of home and good fellowship, in opposi- tion to the threatening materialism of the wide world with its dominant symbol of the motor car.

An ideological perspective might note, by contrast, the resemblance of those secure warm homes to the Victorian middle-class nursery, and comment upon the escapism of the response to the materialism of the wide world. Belsey also suggests that from the liberal humanist perspective people are seen as the sole authors of their own actions, and hence of their own history, and meaning is the product of their individual intentions.

In fact, she argues, the reverse is true: people are not the authors of their own history, they are rather the products of history itself or, less deterministically, engaged in a dialectical relationship with their history — both product and producer. Belsey takes the argument one step further, suggesting that expressive realism operates to support liberal humanism, and thus, effec- tively, to support capitalism itself. Ideological perspectives insist, in contrast, that texts are constructions in and of ideology, generally operating unconsciously, and it is the job of the critic to deconstruct the work in order to expose its underlying ideological nature and role.

He distinguishes three levels of ideology. The work of Edward Said draws our attention to the ways in which the assumptions of imperi- alism are often buried so deep in the dominant culture as to be invisible to those who live within it. It was only after the successful resistance of the colonised which led to the throwing off of the imperialist yoke that such perspectives began to penetrate the discourses of the dominant culture, leading us to look anew at the ideological assumptions of much of our cultural product.

Within that product a number of things can occur. The first is that imperialist assump- tions are built into the text quite overtly, with imperialist and racist sentiments put explicitly into the mouths of the characters see Cullingford Second, the ground of ideological assumption can mean that the evidence is there in the text, but that commentary has not noted it. All three were in bathing things, but it was hard to see where bathing things ended and mud began. The savages. The operation of imperialism does not occur just at the material level of physical occu- pation and subsequent economic annexation.

It also, Said suggests, operates at a cultural and ideological level. The arrival of the white man in the form of the good doctor and his animal helpers plays out the initial colonisation of imperialism his ostensible reason for being there is to cure the monkeys of some mysterious disease which is decimating the population — the eeriest of pre-echoes of the AIDS story of the final years of the twentieth century.

The next stage, in which Prince Bumpo wishes to be like the hero of The Sleeping Beauty, then demonstrates the operation of European cultural hegemony, as, in order to become such a hero, Bumpo himself has to turn white. Dolittle, with some misgivings it has to be said, for it is to be a painful process, bleaches his face, but does not even attempt to sort out problems that might ensue. As formal operations develop, the adolescent moves beyond conventional standards of morality towards the construction of his or her own moral principles. This theological framework is confronted throughout the rest of the life span, as the meaning of life persists throughout adulthood.

IRIS M. YOB 1. The Preschooler In the early years of life the seeds of faith are sown. The Child The child goes to school and their world enlarges; so they begin to develop straightforward beliefs and assume a wider perspective. The Young Adolescent Their world keeps expanding and they can think abstractly. They are beginning to make life long decisions. They are in a period of conformity and convention — they conform to the conventions within their group: ie. Just as physical development has growth spurts, so spiritual development has a series of turning points crises of faith.

Some are internal physical growth and intellectual development while others are external social groups; memorable experiences such as illness, loss, trips and camps. These crisis points are steps towards maturity. Kohlberg began work on this topic while a psychology graduate student at the University of Chicago [1] in , and expanded upon the theory throughout his life. The theory holds that moral reasoning , the basis for ethical behavior, has six identifiable developmental stages , each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than its predecessor. The six stages of moral development are grouped into three levels: pre-conventional morality, conventional morality, and post-conventional morality.

For his studies, Kohlberg relied on stories such as the Heinz dilemma , and was interested in how individuals would justify their actions if placed in similar moral dilemmas. He then analyzed the form of moral reasoning displayed, rather than its conclusion, [6] and classified it as belonging to one of six distinct stages.

There have been critiques of the theory from several perspectives. Arguments include that it emphasizes justice to the exclusion of other moral values, such as caring; [10] that there is such an overlap between stages that they should more properly be regarded as separate domains; or that evaluations of the reasons for moral choices are mostly post hoc rationalizations by both decision makers and psychologists studying them of essentially intuitive decisions. There should, however, be a correlation between how someone scores on the scale and how they behave, and the general hypothesis is that moral behaviour is more responsible, consistent and predictable from people at higher levels.

The understanding gained in each stage is retained in later stages, but may be regarded by those in later stages as simplistic, lacking in sufficient attention to detail. The pre-conventional level of moral reasoning is especially common in children, although adults can also exhibit this level of reasoning. Reasoners at this level judge the morality of an action by its direct consequences.

The pre-conventional level consists of the first and second stages of moral development and is solely concerned with the self in an egocentric manner. In Stage one obedience and punishment driven , individuals focus on the direct consequences of their actions on themselves. For example, an action is perceived as morally wrong because the perpetrator is punished. An example of obedience and punishment driven morality would be a child refusing to do something because it is wrong and that the consequences could result in punishment.

The child would apply obedience and punishment driven morality by refusing to skip school because he would get punished. An example of self-interest driven is when a child is asked by his parents to do a chore. The child is motivated by self-interest to do chores. The conventional level of moral reasoning is typical of adolescents and adults. The conventional level consists of the third and fourth stages of moral development. In Stage three good intentions as determined by social consensus , the self enters society by conforming to social standards.

In Stage four authority and social order obedience driven , it is important to obey laws, dictums , and social conventions because of their importance in maintaining a functioning society. Moral reasoning in stage four is thus beyond the need for individual approval exhibited in stage three. A central ideal or ideals often prescribe what is right and wrong. If one person violates a law, perhaps everyone would—thus there is an obligation and a duty to uphold laws and rules. When someone does violate a law, it is morally wrong; culpability is thus a significant factor in this stage as it separates the bad domains from the good ones.

Most active members of society remain at stage four, where morality is still predominantly dictated by an outside force. Post-conventional moralists live by their own ethical principles—principles that typically include such basic human rights as life, liberty, and justice. People who exhibit post-conventional morality view rules as useful but changeable mechanisms—ideally rules can maintain the general social order and protect human rights.

Rules are not absolute dictates that must be obeyed without question. Because post-conventional individuals elevate their own moral evaluation of a situation over social conventions, their behavior, especially at stage six, can be confused with that of those at the pre-conventional level. Some theorists have speculated that many people may never reach this level of abstract moral reasoning. In Stage five social contract driven , the world is viewed as holding different opinions, rights, and values.


Such perspectives should be mutually respected as unique to each person or community. Laws are regarded as social contracts rather than rigid edicts. Democratic government is ostensibly based on stage five reasoning. In Stage six universal ethical principles driven , moral reasoning is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles. Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice, and a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws. Legal rights are unnecessary, as social contracts are not essential for deontic moral action. Decisions are not reached hypothetically in a conditional way but rather categorically in an absolute way, as in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.

In this way action is never a means but always an end in itself; the individual acts because it is right, and not because it avoids punishment, is in their best interest, expected, legal, or previously agreed upon. Although Kohlberg insisted that stage six exists, he found it difficult to identify individuals who consistently operated at that level.

This could be resolved either by allowing for moral regression or by extending the theory. Kohlberg chose the latter, postulating the existence of sub-stages in which the emerging stage has not yet been fully integrated into the personality. This stage is often mistaken for the moral relativism of stage two, as the individual views those interests of society that conflict with their own as being relatively and morally wrong. Kohlberg suggested that there may be a seventh stage—Transcendental Morality, or Morality of Cosmic Orientation—which linked religion with moral reasoning.

Justice itself relies heavily upon the notion of sound reasoning based on principles. Despite being a justice-centered theory of morality, Kohlberg considered it to be compatible with plausible formulations of deontology [18] and eudaimonia. Moreover, morals are not natural features of the world; they are prescriptive. Nevertheless, moral judgments can be evaluated in logical terms of truth and falsity. According to Kohlberg: someone progressing to a higher stage of moral reasoning cannot skip stages.

For example, an individual cannot jump from being concerned mostly with peer judgments stage three to being a proponent of social contracts stage five. Realizing the limitations of the current stage of thinking is the driving force behind moral development, as each progressive stage is more adequate than the last. Knowledge and learning contribute to moral development. Kohlberg established the Moral Judgement Interview in his original dissertation. The dilemmas are fictional short stories that describe situations in which a person has to make a moral decision. The participant is asked a systemic series of open-ended questions , like what they think the right course of action is, as well as justifications as to why certain actions are right or wrong.

The form and structure of these replies are scored and not the content; over a set of multiple moral dilemmas an overall score is derived. Men are likely to move on to the abstract principles, and thus have less concern with the particulars of who is involved. She developed an alternative theory of moral reasoning based on the ethics of caring. Other psychologists have questioned the assumption that moral action is primarily a result of formal reasoning.

Social intuitionists such as Jonathan Haidt , for example, argue that individuals often make moral judgments without weighing concerns such as fairness, law, human rights , or abstract ethical values. It was first created by the Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget — The theory deals with the nature of knowledge itself and how humans gradually come to acquire, construct, and use it.

To Piaget, cognitive development was a progressive reorganization of mental processes resulting from biological maturation and environmental experience. He believed that children construct an understanding of the world around them, experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment, then adjust their ideas accordingly. Piaget noted that reality is a dynamic system of continuous change and, as such, is defined in reference to the two conditions that define dynamic systems.

Specifically, he argued that reality involves transformations and states. States refer to the conditions or the appearances in which things or persons can be found between transformations. For example, there might be changes in shape or form for instance, liquids are reshaped as they are transferred from one vessel to another, and similarly humans change in their characteristics as they grow older , in size for example, a series of coins on a table might be placed close to each other or far apart , or in placement or location in space and time e. Thus, Piaget argued, if human intelligence is to be adaptive, it must have functions to represent both the transformational and the static aspects of reality.

Operative intelligence is the active aspect of intelligence. It involves all actions, overt or covert, undertaken in order to follow, recover, or anticipate the transformations of the objects or persons of interest. That is, it involves perception , imitation , mental imagery , drawing, and language. Piaget stated that the figurative or the representational aspects of intelligence are subservient to its operative and dynamic aspects, and therefore, that understanding essentially derives from the operative aspect of intelligence.

At any time, operative intelligence frames how the world is understood and it changes if understanding is not successful.

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Piaget stated that this process of understanding and change involves two basic functions: assimilation and accommodation. Through his study of the field of education, Piaget focused on two processes, which he named assimilation and accommodation. To Piaget, assimilation meant integrating external elements into structures of lives or environments, or those we could have through experience. Assimilation is how humans perceive and adapt to new information. It is the process of fitting new information into pre-existing cognitive schemas.

This happens when the existing schema knowledge does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation. To assimilate an object into an existing mental schema, one first needs to take into account or accommodate to the particularities of this object to a certain extent. For instance, to recognize assimilate an apple as an apple, one must first focus accommodate on the contour of this object. To do this, one needs to roughly recognize the size of the object. Development increases the balance, or equilibration, between these two functions. When in balance with each other, assimilation and accommodation generate mental schemas of the operative intelligence.

When one function dominates over the other, they generate representations which belong to figurative intelligence. Through a series of stages, Piaget proposed four stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational period. Children learn that they are separate from the environment. In this stage, according to Piaget, the development of object permanence is one of the most important accomplishments. By the end of the sensorimotor period, children develop a permanent sense of self and object. During the Pre-operational Stage of cognitive development, Piaget noted that children do not yet understand concrete logic and cannot mentally manipulate information.

However, the child still has trouble seeing things from different points of view. Such play is demonstrated by the idea of checkers being snacks, pieces of paper being plates, and a box being a table. Their observations of symbols exemplifies the idea of play with the absence of the actual objects involved. By observing sequences of play, Piaget was able to demonstrate that, towards the end of the second year, a qualitatively new kind of psychological functioning occurs, known as the Pre-operational Stage. The pre-operational stage is sparse and logically inadequate in regard to mental operations.

The child is able to form stable concepts as well as magical beliefs. The child, however, is still not able to perform operations, which are tasks that the child can do mentally, rather than physically. Thinking in this stage is still egocentric , meaning the child has difficulty seeing the viewpoint of others. The Pre-operational Stage is split into two substages: the symbolic function substage, and the intuitive thought substage. The symbolic function substage is when children are able to understand, represent, remember, and picture objects in their mind without having the object in front of them.

At about two to four years of age, children cannot yet manipulate and transform information in a logical way. However, they now can think in images and symbols. Other examples of mental abilities are language and pretend play. Symbolic play is when children develop imaginary friends or role-play with friends. Some examples of symbolic play include playing house, or having a tea party. Interestingly, the type of symbolic play in which children engage is connected with their level of creativity and ability to connect with others. For example, young children whose symbolic play is of a violent nature tend to exhibit less prosocial behavior and are more likely to display antisocial tendencies in later years.

In this stage, there are still limitations, such as egocentrism and precausal thinking. Egocentrism Egocentrism occurs when a child is unable to distinguish between their own perspective and that of another person. Children tend to stick to their own viewpoint, rather than consider the view of others. In this experiment, three views of a mountain are shown to the child, who is asked what a traveling doll would see at the various angles.

Three main concepts of causality as displayed by children in the preoperational stage include: animism , artificialism and transductive reasoning. Animism is the belief that inanimate objects are capable of actions and have lifelike qualities. An example could be a child believing that the sidewalk was mad and made them fall down, or that the stars twinkle in the sky because they are happy.

Artificialism refers to the belief that environmental characteristics can be attributed to human actions or interventions. For example, a child might say that it is windy outside because someone is blowing very hard, or the clouds are white because someone painted them that color. Finally, precausal thinking is categorized by transductive reasoning. Transductive reasoning is when a child fails to understand the true relationships between cause and effect. For example, if a child hears the dog bark and then a balloon popped, the child would conclude that because the dog barked, the balloon popped.

At between about the ages of 4 and 7, children tend to become very curious and ask many questions, beginning the use of primitive reasoning. There is an emergence in the interest of reasoning and wanting to know why things are the way they are. Centration , conservation , irreversibility , class inclusion, and transitive inference are all characteristics of preoperative thought.

Centration is the act of focusing all attention on one characteristic or dimension of a situation, whilst disregarding all others. Children at this stage are unaware of conservation and exhibit centration. In this task, a child is presented with two identical beakers containing the same amount of liquid. The child usually notes that the beakers do contain the same amount of liquid. When one of the beakers is poured into a taller and thinner container, children who are younger than seven or eight years old typically say that the two beakers no longer contain the same amount of liquid, and that the taller container holds the larger quantity centration , without taking into consideration the fact that both beakers were previously noted to contain the same amount of liquid.

Due to superficial changes, the child was unable to comprehend that the properties of the substances continued to remain the same conservation. Irreversibility is a concept developed in this stage which is closely related to the ideas of centration and conservation. Irreversibility refers to when children are unable to mentally reverse a sequence of events. In the same beaker situation, the child does not realize that, if the sequence of events was reversed and the water from the tall beaker was poured back into its original beaker, then the same amount of water would exist.

When two rows containing equal amounts of blocks are placed in front of a child, one row spread farther apart than the other, the child will think that the row spread farther contains more blocks. Class inclusion refers to a kind of conceptual thinking that children in the preoperational stage cannot yet grasp. The girl knows what cats and dogs are, and she is aware that they are both animals. This is due to her difficulty focusing on the two subclasses and the larger class all at the same time. She may have been able to view the dogs as dogs or animals, but struggled when trying to classify them as both, simultaneously.

Transitive inference is using previous knowledge to determine the missing piece, using basic logic. Children in the preoperational stage lack this logic. They start solving problems in a more logical fashion. Abstract, hypothetical thinking is not yet developed in the child, and children can only solve problems that apply to concrete events or objects.

At this stage, the children undergo a transition where the child learns rules such as conservation. Inductive reasoning involves drawing inferences from observations in order to make a generalization. In contrast, children struggle with deductive reasoning , which involves using a generalized principle in order to try to predict the outcome of an event. Children in this stage commonly experience difficulties with figuring out logic in their heads.

Two other important processes in the concrete operational stage are logic and the elimination of egocentrism. It is the phase where the thought and morality of the child is completely self focused. For instance, show a child a comic in which Jane puts a doll under a box, leaves the room, and then Melissa moves the doll to a drawer, and Jane comes back. See also False-belief task.

Children in this stage can, however, only solve problems that apply to actual concrete objects or events, and not abstract concepts or hypothetical tasks. Understanding and knowing how to use full common sense has not yet been completely adapted. Piaget determined that children in the concrete operational stage were able to incorporate inductive logic.

On the other hand, children at this age have difficulty using deductive logic, which involves using a general principle to predict the outcome of a specific event. This includes mental reversibility. An example of this is being able to reverse the order of relationships between mental categories.

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For example, a child might be able to recognize that his or her dog is a Labrador, that a Labrador is a dog, and that a dog is an animal, and draw conclusions from the information available, as well as apply all these processes to hypothetical situations. During this stage the young person begins to entertain possibilities for the future and is fascinated with what they can be. Adolescents also are changing cognitively by the way that they think about social matters.

However, it carries over to the formal operational stage when they are then faced with abstract thought and fully logical thinking. Piagetian tests are well known and practiced to test for concrete operations. The most prevalent tests are those for conservation. There are some important aspects that the experimenter must take into account when performing experiments with these children. One example of an experiment for testing conservation is an experimenter will have two glasses that are the same size, fill them to the same level with liquid, which the child will acknowledge is the same.

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Then, the experimenter will pour the liquid from one of the small glasses into a tall, thin glass. The experimenter will then ask the child if the taller glass has more liquid, less liquid, or the same amount of liquid. The child will then give his answer. The experimenter will ask the child why he gave his answer, or why he thinks that is. Piagetian operations Formal operational stage The final stage is known as the formal operational stage adolescence and into adulthood, roughly ages 11 to approximately 15—20 : Intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts.

During this time, people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts. It is often required in science and mathematics. While children in primary school years mostly used inductive reasoning , drawing general conclusions from personal experiences and specific facts, adolescents become capable of deductive reasoning , in which they draw specific conclusions from abstract concepts using logic. This capability results from their capacity to think hypothetically. Piaget and his colleagues conducted several experiments to assess formal operational thought.

In one of the experiments, Piaget evaluated the cognitive capabilities of children of different ages through the use of a scale and varying weights. The task was to balance the scale by hooking weights on the ends of the scale. To successfully complete the task, the children must use formal operational thought to realize that the distance of the weights from the center and the heaviness of the weights both affected the balance. A heavier weight has to be placed closer to the center of the scale, and a lighter weight has to be placed farther from the center, so that the two weights balance each other.

By age 10, children could think about location but failed to use logic and instead used trial-and-error. Finally, by age 13 and 14, in early adolescence, some children more clearly understood the relationship between weight and distance and could successfully implement their hypothesis. These primitive concepts are characterized as supernatural , with a decidedly non-natural or non-mechanical tone.

Piaget has as his most basic assumption that babies are phenomenists. Piaget gives the example of a child believing that the moon and stars follow him on a night walk. Upon learning that such is the case for his friends, he must separate his self from the object, resulting in a theory that the moon is immobile, or moves independently of other agents. This conjunction of natural and non-natural causal explanations supposedly stems from experience itself, though Piaget does not make much of an attempt to describe the nature of the differences in conception.

While children in the preoperational and concrete operational levels of cognitive development perform combined arithmetic operations such as addition and subtraction with similar accuracy, [52] children in the concrete operational level of cognitive development have been able to perform both addition problems and subtraction problems with overall greater fluency. The stage of cognitive growth of a person differ from another. It affects and influences how someone thinks about everything including flowers. A 7-month old infant, in the sensorimotor age, flowers are recognized by smelling, pulling and biting.

A slightly older child has not realized that a flower is not fragrant, but similar to many children at her age, her egocentric, two handed curiosity will teach her. In the formal operational stage of an adult, flowers are part of larger, logical scheme.

They are used either to earn money or to create beauty. Cognitive development or thinking is an active process from the beginning to the end of life. Intellectual advancement happens because people at every age and developmental period looks for cognitive equilibrium. To achieve this balance, the easiest way is to understand the new experiences through the lens of the preexisting ideas. However, the application of standardized Piagetian theory and procedures in different societies established widely varying results that lead some to speculate not only that some cultures produce more cognitive development than others but that without specific kinds of cultural experience, but also formal schooling, development might cease at certain level, such as concrete operational level.

A procedure was done following methods developed in Geneva. Participants were presented with two beakers of equal circumference and height, filled with equal amounts of water. The water from one beaker was transferred into another with taller and smaller circumference. The children and young adults from non-literate societies of a given age were more likely to think that the taller, thinner beaker had more water in it.

On the other hand, an experiment on the effects of modifying testing procedures to match local cultural produced a different pattern of results. In , Piaget considered the possibility of RNA molecules as likely embodiments of his still-abstract schemas which he promoted as units of action —though he did not come to any firm conclusion. One main problem was over the protein which, it was assumed, such RNA would necessarily produce, and that did not fit in with observation.

The issue has not yet been resolved experimentally, but its theoretical aspects were reviewed in [57] — then developed further from the viewpoints of biophysics and epistemology. Piaget designed a number of tasks to verify hypotheses arising from his theory. The tasks were not intended to measure individual differences, and they have no equivalent in psychometric intelligence tests. Notwithstanding the different research traditions in which psychometric tests and Piagetian tasks were developed, the correlations between the two types of measures have been found to be consistently positive and generally moderate in magnitude.

A common general factor underlies them. It has been shown that it is possible to construct a battery consisting of Piagetian tasks that is as good a measure of general intelligence as standard IQ tests. Piagetian accounts of development have been challenged on several grounds. First, as Piaget himself noted, development does not always progress in the smooth manner his theory seems to predict. These ideas de-emphasized domain general theories and emphasized domain specificity or modularity of mind. For example, even young infants appear to be sensitive to some predictable regularities in the movement and interactions of objects for example, an object cannot pass through another object , or in human behavior for example, a hand repeatedly reaching for an object has that object, not just a particular path of motion , as it becomes the building block of which more elaborate knowledge is constructed.

Social interaction teaches the child about the world and helps them develop through the cognitive stages, which Piaget neglected to consider. Dynamic systems approaches harken to modern neuroscientific research that was not available to Piaget when he was constructing his theory. One important finding is that domain-specific knowledge is constructed as children develop and integrate knowledge. This enables the domain to improve the accuracy of the knowledge as well as organization of memories.

Additionally, some psychologists, such as Lev Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner , thought differently from Piaget, suggesting that language was more important for cognition development than Piaget implied. Traill , Section C5. Hallpike proposed that human evolution of cognitive moral understanding had evolved from the beginning of time from its primitive state to the present time. Cognitive development. In Encyclopedia of special education: A reference for the education of children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and other exceptional individuals. Simply Psychology.

Retrieved 18 September Jean Piaget. In Key thinkers in linguistics and the philosophy of language. Neil J. Gale Virtual Reference Library. The role of action in the development of thinking. In Knowledge and development pp. Springer US. Mills, G. Wiebe Eds. Memory and intelligence. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Geber Ed. Piaget, Jean — Byrne Ed. Strickland Ed. Detroit: Gale. Salkind Ed. Guthrie Ed. The developing person through the life span 7th ed. Child Development. Retrieved 15 March Educational Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Gruber, H. The essential Piaget. New York: Basic Books.

Life-Span Development 9th Ed. New directions in aesthetics, creativity and the arts, Foundations and frontiers in aesthetics : — Childhood: voyages in development. Retrieved February 2, It does take courage to face up to your own limitations, but Doug shows that when you do this, your strength comes from the network of people that you decide to welcome into your life.

This is a rare text in which a typically minority identity is presented in an organic, natural and positive light. Unlike the usual expectation of an LGBT storyline, where the characters face fear of coming out and navigating a world that does not accept them, Promised Land presents the opposite. They both long to be free, not because where they live is unaccepting but because their spirit for adventure surpasses the idleness of their kingdom. Leo and Jack meet by chance on their adventure through the forest and immediately fall in love. What is interesting about this story is that there is not an obstacle to overcome, as the kingdom offers acceptance.

The illustrations depict Leo and Jack, hand in hand, happy and full of life. Their sexuality does not appear as a barrier in their lives, which is a sobering and refreshing possibility to witness, images that the LGBT community need in their lives. This text also contains another surprising aspect, which compliments the presence of diversity in Promised Land. The Prince Leo and his mother, the Queen of the Kingdom, are also characters of colour. In their world, identity is an emblem of unique power.

Like sexuality, racial and ethnic elements are not setbacks but something to celebrate simultaneously. Diversity characterises Promised Land. In this world, no one is short of it. Reading this text reminds us that control comes in many forms and if we were to situate these forms in real world events they would appear in the shape of bullying and discrimination. Jack and Leo find their harmonious world turned upside down by the evil Gideon casts over the kingdom. Though instead of remaining idle they respond with a force that shows they will not tolerate this control, and they do so with the help and support of their fellow peers, such as their mothers, guards and other inhabitants.

The key message of this text is that group effort prevails and goals can be reached. As a bookseller I find Promised Land to be a unique and interesting spin of expectations. These signature descriptions immediately pique our interest. But at the same time, why should these kinds of texts be so hard to come by? There have been a few instances where customers have asked for such books and unfortunately there is little available in the way of illustrated literature targeted at a younger audience.

This needs to change. A book contains themes, meanings and ideas that can swiftly alter our experience by the mere fact of being in print. This can be found in our beloved picture books. But what if these narratives do not suit everyone? Do and can others exist? Of course! I believe this is the time to publish more LGBT themed literature, especially for a younger audience, as we are living in an era of increasing acceptance. Exposure to positive LGBT narratives will instill a greater perspective for us all — the younger the better. And I am so happy Promised Land exists.

The back-story behind the publication of Promised Land deserves a lot of attention. Writers Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris expressed a need to write something that their eight-year-old selves needed. In their kickstarter statement, they wrote:. As such, we felt there should be more stories like that, and so we wrote one together". We all understand the desire to see our own narratives portrayed in literature and media.

As an LGBT person I will always want to read characters like myself and will never lose the feeling of wanting more than what is generally available. Furthermore, the real world back-story of Promised Land compliments the story that takes place within the picture book, which primarily concerns the theme of responsibility. The fact that the collaborative team behind this book reached their goal shows how needed Promised Land really is.

Promised Land is a book that warms the heart. It instills a sense of faith that a world of acceptance is possible and not so far away. This book is not only a "picture" book intended for a younger audience but for everyone, young and old. Community effort goes a long way and nothing can be done alone. New Zealand Psychological Society. This book bursts with colour, creativity and the main character's contagious enthusiasm.

Raffi feels different from the other boys in his class as he doesn't like noise or rough play. My 9-year-old son doesn't participate in combative team sports at his school; he, like Raffi, seeks out a gentler crowd. When Raffi seeks solace and is looking for a peaceful spot in the playground he comes across a teacher knitting. Raffi is drawn to the colours of the scarf she's knitting and the endless possibilities this skill would allow in terms of expressing his creativity. The teacher offers to teach him to knit and so his journey of self-discovery begins and he uses his new passion, flair and creativity to bring colour and style to the school play — and wins much admiration along the way.

Besides the obvious theme of breaking out of gender roles, I also enjoyed the associated themes. Raffi is incredibly curious and shows real grit sticking with learning a tricky new skill. In the positive psychology field there is a state known as flow, where one is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus and enjoyment in the process of an activity.

You feel like Raffi achieves this as he is totally absorbed and knits everywhere and every chance he can and, most importantly, this also buffers him from a few taunts. He learns to trust his instincts and he starts to see value in being different. Raffi asks his mum many questions including if he is strange for feeling different and because he likes to knit, sew and sing.

It did also make me think we should all look out for those kids in our communities that do not have such loving supports, without these feeling different as Raffi did, would be a much more isolating experience. Lastly, Raffi is a wonderfully thoughtful soul, contributing to the school play and making gifts for his family. I think kids seeing these behaviours and emotional literacy skills portrayed in a positive light is great, for example Raffi showing affection for his parents, striking up an inquisitive conversation with the teacher, working through his emotions with his mother and him thinking of ways he can contribute.

The author, Dawn Huebner, is a clinical psychologist who specialises in the treatment of anxiety in children. In this book, she does a great job of sharing some of the therapeutic strategies grounded in cognitive behaviour therapy CBT and acceptance and commitment therapy ACT in a practical, easy-to-read and "light" way.

The book is for 9—year-olds and is well pitched for this age group. So, if you asked me, "do you think this book would help a 9—year-old with their worry and anxiety? But as Huebner says, read it with your child, stay with them and support them with remembering the strategies and putting it all into practice. Opportunities to talk about worries are always going to get a thumbs up from me. Reviewed by Anna Mowat, who works predominantly as part of the All Right? Wellbeing campaign in Otautahi, where she is based. The book follows Caleb, a teenager in his last year of high school, and his experiences going through and coming to terms with mental illness.

I have the basics: food, shelter, money, clothes. Donuhue writes as Caleb in the first person and in a poetic style that powerfully captures his experiences. It expresses those moments when are our thoughts are not fluid narratives; moments of fear, dread and disconnect. Because Everything is Right but Everything is Wrong is a beautifully written and important book. I would absolutely recommend this book. Listen to an interview with the author, Erin Donohue. Aza lives with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder OCD. Green has spoken openly of his own experiences with mental illness, and his decades of reflection on what this experience really is, combined with his sharp eye for the details of what it means to be human have paid off with a fully-realised character who lives with mental illness and is so much more than her diagnoses.

Aza is bright, curious and capable of deep self-absorption combined with moments of great empathy for others. The plot starts off slowly and then rips along. It is, at times, very theatrical, but so is adolescence. The characters crackle into life, preternaturally eloquent, able to distil complex philosophical ideas into quippy sentences, but nevertheless complex, flawed and likeable.

They wonder if they are real, if they can control their own thoughts or actions, if what they think or do really matters. They also do their homework, bicker, fall in love and write fanfiction. Sometimes this book made for very intense reading. Aza compulsively self-harms, and that makes for difficult reading.

Sometimes I needed to take a break, but it was never far from my thoughts and I was eager to finish it. I went back and forth on whether I would recommend this book to a young person who experiences mental illness.

Ultimately, I think I would, because being a teenager is a fundamentally lonely experience for many, and I remember well the comfort of recognising parts of myself in the pages of a book. I also remember what it meant at the time to be taken seriously, and John Green never fails to take young people and their hopes, dreams and worries seriously and kindly.

A warning though, the self-harm is graphic and specific and unusual enough to leave an impression. There is humour and warmth here, but it is, ultimately, a dark book. There is no shiny, happy ending tied neatly in a bow, but there is an ending — a surprising one. I really enjoyed it. Just about everybody knows a person who is on the autistic spectrum. Children living with autism often feel or act differently to other kids, but the great thing about All My Stripes is it not only stresses the unique gifts that we all have to offer, but also lets kids with autism and their parents, caregivers, teachers and siblings know that kids on the spectrum have something to contribute to the world too.

The book is fantastic for using in the classroom or kindergartens so other kids can understand what it is like to have autism and how something like the feel of paint can upset or cause issues for someone who has sensory processing issues for instance. The book has a great reading guide and note for parents and caregivers at the end. Not only does All My Stripes break down barriers, it promotes discussion which, in a classroom of primary school aged kids is a great thing especially when trying to get kids to understand something as complex as the autistic spectrum.

This book is a guide to living with intense grief and finding your way through, without letting grief take over. Is this book useful? Yes, I think it is. I live with grief myself, having lost my son and sister to suicide in recent years. My resistance focuses mostly around thinking — yeah well, the research is all very well ha!

And there is value in feeling the pain, even as we heal. Guess what, grief fucking hurts, it just does. It is what it is. No getting around it. You grieve because you loved. But I agree with Lucy — while unavoidable, grief is not something you want to leave in control of your life. Grief can cause damage and dammit, grief is sneaky. It permeates everything and causes havoc in subtle and not so subtle ways. Strategies for dealing with it are very useful and this is what this book offers. You can read this book chapter by chapter or dip in and out as you please.

Or ask someone you trust to read it to you and help you with the exercises it suggests. As time goes on, the way we look back and understand our grief and the way it works can change. Likewise, scientific perspectives can shift. I think it would be a fascinating conversation. Read this book? Yes, it is compassionate and offers thoughtful personal observations with well-researched perspectives. Do or believe everything it says? No, not necessary. As Lucy notes, everyone grieves differently and no two bereavement experiences are the same. This book is part of a series that introduces cognitive behavioural therapy CBT skills to kids to help them deal with stress, anxiety and anger.

The author, Kate Collins-Donnelly has worked as a therapist, psychologist, criminologist and anger management consultant based in the UK for many years. She aims to provide the information in a 'simple, activity-filled, easily readable and interesting way'. I think she achieves this especially with the workbook format. The worksheets are set in a wider context by including an introduction for parents and professionals about evidence- based CBT.

It also includes safety guidelines noting when people start to explore their anger it may raise some difficult issues and she encourages the reader to seek support. In this version for young people, which she states is suitable for children aged 10 and over, it has some examples from her real clients aged between 13—18 years. They refer to complex life issues such as a year-old boyfriend cheating, a year-old being picked up from the police station and a teen abusing a family member who has come out as gay. I am not so sure my son, who is almost 10, would relate to these scenarios, though I guess it would give him a sense that uncontrolled anger can cause problems and get you in trouble!

This book would be most suitable for young people who have more serious anger issues. I hurt her really bad once. I'm horrible. I punch her. Collins-Donnelly has also penned a similar workbook for younger children called Starving the Anger Gremlin for children aged 5 —9.

This has more of a focus on emotions and develops skills through a range of puzzles and drawing activities. I think both books impart valuable CBT skills that help young people identify unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours and give them tools to move towards more healthy ones. This therapy modality is accepted as effective and the author has clinical training. The choice of which book to read may not depend so much on physical age, but the emotional age of the child and what issues they may be experiencing.

These are a series of illustrated children's picture books, aimed at year-olds, designed to help children deal with confidence issues, change, loss and grief, managing anxiety and fears, bullying and worries. So my daughters and I dived straight in. But the story became dark, as did the pictures. I then sought to read, by myself, The Grand Wolf … who dies. I mean, I get it, this stuff is real for some kids. But the plot or focus, eg, death, or in the previous book, fear, is developed quickly in these stories. It comes as a bit of a shock.

I am very impressed. I feel this should be included with the actual book! And I would know everything to do and say when my daughter begins to worry about the Shadow Monsters actual existence! I think overall most of these books have some good ideas but some of the stories and images could scare children. I liked that the shadow book tried to teach kids that you can use your imagination to feel better magic and less scared, to make your fears go away. The book on bullying is a great story with a great meaning. It teaches kids that if you are bullied to stay strong and that you can beat the bad feelings and still have fun.

In the one about worries, that baby dragon has so many worries bottled up inside him and it makes him feel heavy. This book teaches kids to share their worries with people, overall a good story. Feelings are a big topic in our household. Our household consists of myself and my two tamariki, a year-old with an awesome Asperger's brain and a delightfully demonstrative 6-year-old. Feel a Little contains 14 poems, each one about a different feeling with illustrations to match. The day I brought the book home I suggested to my year-old he may like to read some of the poems to his sister.

Much grumbling ensued, but he was persuaded to read just one of his choice. So he started with Happy:. It may have been the bright, bold illustrations, or the easy upbeat rhythms, but many more poems were recited, one after the other with much enthusiasm. However my 6-year-old lost interest quickly, perhaps a few too many feelings being described "at her" all at once.

A few days later when I sat down with her one-on-one and focused on one poem she engaged better but still struggled with some of the more complex ideas. Feel a Little clearly has an older target audience in mind. I found many of the poems beautifully captured the essence of an emotion, the physical sensations as well as the nuance of how people may experience a feeling. However, that was also a wonderful aspect of the book, as it enabled reflection and discussion with children about how they personally experience feelings.

What words would they use to describe an emotion? My year-old really liked how some of the poems gave some advice about how to manage emotions such as Angry :. But apart from that I think the book is a fantastic way to get children and adults to reflect more about their emotional world.

Giving children a way to explore, discuss and express their feelings, in my opinion, is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children and Feel a Little provides an excellent medium to do just that. I first came across the resource on The Spinoff, in an article by Stack called How depression saved my life. Stark frankly detailed his experience of depression simply and without embellishment and his article resonated with me and the people I shared it with.

Stack has recovered and now has a job he loves, financial security and is surrounded by great people. I clicked over to the website, handed over my email address and was immediately emailed a free copy of the resource. I read it in one big gulp. I loved it. The resource is full of hope and positivity without being condescending — a tricky balance to achieve in my experience.

It never lets you forget depression is manageable and recovery is possible, and reading it was a really uplifting experience. All the advice is scientifically-proven and includes some background information about why, for example, getting sunlight is important, and then includes tips to put that advice into action. I particularly appreciated the inclusion of advice for those who are in debt debt and mental distress often go hand-in-hand as being in financial difficulties can place a huge burden on mental health.

Fuck Depression is a free resource. Download it at fkdepression. To save you time reading all the way through this review, let me just sum up at the beginning by saying I really, really liked this book and recommend it for professionals, parents and kids.

I do believe this book has what it takes to turn worriers into warriors and the writer deserves a big high five or fist pump! So why am I such a fan? The writer, Dr Dan Peters, tells us about his anxiety, he is deeply empathetic and his experience helps to normalise anxiety. Peters leaves no leaf unturned in explaining absolutely everything! Peters begins at the biological goings-on moving through to the ways and reasons we worry. The idea Peters gives that the Worry Monster is a bully, is a great message to start from and work with.

However, this might be the clue for older children that this book is for a younger audience, so be clear that this is an "idea", and may be useful for your older child, but all the other strategies are the same for any person child or adult wanting to overcome anxiety, and importantly, they work. Peters extensively explains the effects of worry, especially on behaviour.

I love that these plans start with something a child knows they can manage, then they move their way up to more challenging tasks or situations. I have recommended this book so many times since reading it. Warriors we are! Conversations for Change is an amazing new resource that reTHiNK has created as part of Like Minds, Like Mine to challenge stigma and discrimination toward mental health issues and encourage social inclusion.

It's comprised of a set of five activities to use with groups of young people aged 15—24 and is written so that teachers, youth leaders or young leaders can safely and effectively facilitate it. Although I read through the physical copy, it's free and easily downloadable from their website which means accessibility is not an issue. All learning styles considered Looking through the contents, what stood out to me was the fact that all learning styles were considered when compiling and creating the information. You'll find audio, visual, and practical activities and resources to utilise alongside the written content.

The team at reTHiNK has also done a good job at ensuring that activities are written in a way that all age groups can understand and engage with, which sets it apart from similar resources. As a young person myself, I feel that this resource will help educate those in high school to be more mindful and aware of things that they say, while also informing the older generation about the real issues we're facing and to not just brush these things lightly.

One key thing that comes across is that the resource represents the New Zealand community. This comes across through the real life stories and quotes that are used throughout. I would highly recommend individuals who work with groups to tap into this resource to help educate people about mental health and wellbeing. I hope that this resource will also help those going through tough times to realise there are places and people who can help them and that asking for help is a courageous thing. It started a great conversation about why you would stop the sun, what would happen, and if you needed help who were the people you could ask for help.

The discussion then flowed to making a stand when you knew things were right and believing in yourself regardless of what people said about you and your goals. We asked the kids to give us the Bryan and Bobby world famous book rating system we use at our reading group — thumbs up or thumbs down. This autobiography was gifted to the Mental Health Foundation's library and is quite an interesting read as Colegate writes well. The book follows his immigration to New Zealand in the s and the journey of his family as they support each other through periods of mental unwellness.

Colegate's mother and son both experienced schizophrenia, and Colegate himself was diagnosed with bipolar in his mid-twenties. He writes in more detail about his mother and son than his own mental health journey, but it would have been nice to know more about his experience with bipolar. However, you do get to know about him through his storytelling and you learn what's important to him, which I assume are the same things which aided his recovery and kept him well.

Threads that emerge include; humour, curiosity, being with family, connecting with people, whakapapa, travel and adventure. The book is sprinkled with family photos from the family album, eulogies and insights from his children and you get a real sense of the unity of his family despite some difficult times. Colegate describes his wife Ann as the rock of the household through difficult times and we learn she also brought this strength to community work for which she received a Civic Award for her contribution to the Like Minds, Like Mine public awareness programme.

Even though this is more a memoir than a book about bipolar, that in itself shows that mental illness does not need to define you or limit your ability to lead a rich life. My understanding is Colegate is in his eighties and still giving presentations and advocating that people talk about mental health issues and seek help. I'm sure the work Colegate and his family have done over the years to advocate and encourage others as a result of their life experiences has impacted positively on many.

Turnbull, G. These words from someone who had experienced traumatic stress piqued my interest in reading it. At over pages, it's not a book for the time poor. However, it's very easy to read and holds your interest. Among others, he treated first responders involved in the Lockerbie air disaster in Scotland in , the Kegworth air disaster in , returning soldiers from the Falklands, RAF pilots who had been shot down in the Gulf war, hostages freed from Lebanon, and later in his career, civilians suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD at the Ticehurst Centre in England.

They, by and large, saw PTSD as a psychopathology — as an illness. This was why Lockerbie had been so life-changing for me. It was difficult — impossible, actually — for me to believe they had developed a psychopathology. Unresolved trauma is often an underlying cause of a range of symptoms that can, if not treated, be debilitating. The book outlines numerous forms of therapy that are helpful and healing for PTSD. It can be dipped into for different aspects of understanding trauma and its effects and the modes of treatment now available.

The book is available for loan from the Skylight library. Phone to arrange for it to be sent out to you. For information about other books available in the Skylight library and all their services, visit www. Porr, V. Oxford University Press. The book is written to support the families of loved ones with borderline personality disorder BPD. My second thought is that the book takes a very compassionate approach.

The book focuses on two things; increasing your understanding of the disorder and giving you skills to handle the situations that arise. Knowledge is power Understanding BPD is a crucial first step to increasing the compassion you feel for what your loved one is going through. Porr explains the science behind the disorder — how brain scans show heightened emotional reactivity in the amygdala, slower recovery from these reactions, and impaired working of the executive functions of the brain that perceive, reason, and plan actions.

She paints a picture of the impact of these changes and what it must be like to live with the disorder. The rest of the book gives you tools and techniques for responding to and helping your loved one.

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These are grounded in two effective therapies for BPD — dialectical behaviour therapy and mentalisation therapy. Dialectical behaviour therapy is based around a set of skills which can help tolerate distress, regulate emotions, and improve communication and relationships. While aimed at those with BPD, these skills can equally help families communicate and successfully navigate their own relationships with their BPD loved one.

Learning these skills, particularly validation, together with a new appreciation and understanding of what was in front of me, was the turning point in restoring some hope to our family relationships. Helpful, practical skills Porr is not a believer in the tough love approach for BPD. Developing and using the skills she teaches tends to reduce the levels of confrontation and conflict in and of themselves, but she does also address ways a family member can set limits if they feel abused.

Mentalisation is the skill of intuiting what other people are thinking, and Porr devotes the last chapter to why misunderstandings occur so often, and what you can do about it. This is a book I have gone back to again and again, for information, for skills, and to feel my experience is validated. Reviewer chose not to be named to protect her privacy. Edited by Slade, M. Cambridge University Press. In recent years interest has been growing in how positive human traits and environments can be an intervention for creating better personal and population mental health.

Despite this, relevant theory, models and evidence have been limited. This is probably largely due to wellbeing interventions in mental health being a new field, and the inertia of current research agendas focussing on deficit approaches to mental distress. The area of wellbeing for mental health research is gaining momentum however, and Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health provides a good overview of areas of current inquiry. For wellbeing enthusiasts who are excited about the possibility of wellbeing and positive mental health approaches becoming part of mainstream mental health policy and services, this volume will be a useful resource providing up-to-date evidence and thinking on the benefits of approaching mental health holistically.

Wide range of topics The book also gives a good sense of the diversity of research and inquiry around mental wellbeing being an agent in reducing mental illness and assisting in recovery from mental illness. The range of topic areas covered across the 26 chapters includes:. There are many examples of Australian and New Zealand wellbeing research in the book, reflecting the location of the editors, and this should make the text more attractive to readers in this country. Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health shows that incorporating wellbeing and positive mental health into mental health policy and future service design will continue to provide opportunities for more engaging and strength based mental health service practice.

As a result there will be challenges for the mental health system as wellbeing broadens the scope of how we view mental health in our public health service systems. Suicide postvention is the support of those left behind after a suicide. This approach was developed by Edwin Shneidman and Norman Farberow, pioneers of suicide prevention in America in the s.

I think they would be cheering for this book which carries on their work. Expert contributors. Contributors are researchers and clinicians, also leaders and experts in postvention. Topics covered include current demographic and clinical issues, coronial processes, mental health, support groups, support for youth, therapy, counselling, online support, indigenous healing practices, spirituality, cluster suicides, murder-suicides and development of postvention guidelines.

As each chapter stands alone, these can be read in any order or as suits. Part 1 looks at current knowledge and what this implies for support. Part 2 covers suicide bereavement support in different settings, while parts 3 and 4 look at different populations and countries. New Zealand is located in the Asia- Pacific section and is represented by Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, who writes on her work to develop postvention guidelines for Pacific communities.

Her approach involves keeping voices of Pasifika suicide bereaved central, allowing communities to identify their own issues and ways forward. Informative and inspiring From a work perspective, I find this book valuable. It prompts action. On a personal level, as someone bereaved by suicide, I find it validating and reassuring to be able to dip into a book like this and learn that my experiences matter, while finding out more about current research and initiatives in suicide bereavement and postvention. Wealth of information This book holds a wealth of information that supports goals related to developing effective postvention supports.

Postvention is prevention. Postvention is action. It inspires. It educates. It leads. I really enjoyed this book. The author takes us through a journey of the six key principles which drive things to catch on. These are Social Currency we share things that make us look good , Triggers top of mind, tip of tongue , Emotion when we care we share , Public built to show, built to grow , Practical Value news you can use and Stories information travels under the guise of idle chatter.

He uses really interesting examples to guide the reader through each of these steps, such as the telephone booth that was in fact a door to a secret restaurant and why a NASA mission boosted sales of chocolate bars, so it's a really interesting and fun read. It's described on Amazon. The worlds of these two young men collide through a chance encounter, and as a result, they begin to question their life situations.