The Anthropology of Learning in Childhood

Author: David F. Lancy
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780759113220
Release Date: 2009-12-31
Genre: Social Science

This first major anthropological reference book on childhood learning considers the cultural aspects of learning in childhood from the points of view of psychologists, sociologists, educators, and anthropologists.

The Anthropology of Childhood

Author: David F. Lancy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107072664
Release Date: 2014-12-18
Genre: Social Science

Enriched with anecdotes from ethnography and the daily media, this revised edition examines family structure, reproduction, profiles of children's caretakers, their treatment at different ages, their play, work, schooling, and transition to adulthood. The result is a nuanced and credible picture of childhood in different cultures, past and present.

Learning From the Children

Author: Jacqueline Waldren
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9780857453266
Release Date: 2012-06-30
Genre: Social Science

Children and youth, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, are experiencing lifestyle choices their parents never imagined and contributing to the transformation of ideals, traditions, education and adult–child power dynamics. As a result of the advances in technology and media as well as the effects of globalization, the transmission of social and cultural practices from parents to children is changing. Based on a number of qualitative studies, this book offers insights into the lives of children and youth in Britain, Japan, Spain, Israel/Palestine, and Pakistan. Attention is focused on the child's perspective within the social-power dynamics involved in adult–child relations, which reveals the dilemmas of policy, planning and parenting in a changing world.


Author: Helen Schwartzman
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781461339380
Release Date: 2012-12-06
Genre: Psychology

Writing a book about play leads to wondering. In writing this book, I wondered first if it would be taken seriously and then if it might be too serious. Eventually, I realized that these concerns were cast in terms of the major dichotomy that I wished to question, that is, the very perva sive and very inaccurate division that Western cultures make between play and seriousness (or play and work, fantasy and reality, and so forth). The study of play provides researchers with a special arena for re-thinking this opposition, and in this book an attempt is made to do this by reviewing and evaluating studies of children's transformations (their play) in relation to the history of anthropologists' transformations (their theories). While studying play, I have wondered in the company of many individuals. I would first like to thank my husband, John Schwartzman, for acting as both my strongest supporter and, as an anthropological colleague, my severest critic. His sense of nonsense is always novel as well as instructive. I am also very grateful to Linda Barbera-Stein for her Sherlock Holmes style help in locating obscure references, checking and cross-checking information, and patience and persistence in the face of what at times appeared to be bibliographic chaos. I also owe special thanks to my teachers of anthropology-Paul J. Bohannan, Johannes Fabian, Edward T. Hall, and Roy Wagner-whose various orientations have directly and indirectly influenced the approach presented in this book.

Raising Children

Author: David F. Lancy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108293723
Release Date: 2017-06-05
Genre: Social Science

Why in some parts of the world do parents rarely play with their babies and never with toddlers? Why in some cultures are children not fully recognized as individuals until they are older? How are routine habits of etiquette and hygiene taught - or not - to children in other societies? Drawing on a lifetime's experience as an anthropologist, David F. Lancy takes us on a journey across the globe to show how children are raised differently in different cultures. Intriguing, and sometimes shocking, his discoveries demonstrate that our ideas about children are recent, untested, and often contrast starkly with those in other parts of the world. Lancy argues that we are, by historical standards, guilty of over-parenting, and of micro-managing our children's lives. Challenging many of our accepted truths, his book will encourage parents to think differently about children, and by doing so to feel more relaxed about their own parenting skills.

Playing on the Mother ground

Author: David F. Lancy
Publisher: Guilford Press
ISBN: 1572302151
Release Date: 1996-11-16
Genre: Psychology

Theorists of child development, for the most part, have taken white, middle class, Euro-American children as the norm. These "typical" children, however, are exposed to two major enculturating influences that are by no means common across cultures: formal schooling and parents who consciously attempt to serve as teachers at home. Providing an important contribution toward a more universal understanding of child development, this book concentrates on children of the Kpelle-speaking people of West Africa, who grow up neither spending thousands of hours in quiet study nor receiving a heavy dose of parent tutelage. Acknowledging the centrality of play in children's lives, the Kpelle expect their children to play "on the mother ground," or open spaces adjacent to the areas where adults are likely to be working. Here, children observe the work that adults do as they engage in voluntary activities or "routines" that serve a clear enculturating function. With photographs and vivid first-hand description, the author demonstrates the impact of games, folklore, and other routines on early development among the Kpelle and in other non-Western cultures. He persuasively argues that such enduring routines for raising children as those observed in the Kpelle village are universal and not limited to rural societies, though they take a variety of forms depending on the society. Ethnographically rich and theoretically sophisticated, the book provides a sound empirical foundation for a practice-based theory of child development.

The Evolution of Childhood

Author: Melvin Konner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674045661
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Science

With an eye to the entire range of human evolutionary history, a study of human development examines cross-cultural and universal characteristics of growth from infancy to adolescence.

Anthropological Perspectives on Children as Helpers Workers Artisans and Laborers

Author: David F. Lancy
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9781137533517
Release Date: 2017-12-12
Genre: Social Science

The study of childhood in academia has been dominated by a mono-cultural or WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic) perspective. Within the field of anthropology, however, a contrasting and more varied view is emerging. While the phenomenon of children as workers is ephemeral in WEIRD society and in the literature on child development, there is ample cross-cultural and historical evidence of children making vital contributions to the family economy. Children’s “labor” is of great interest to researchers, but widely treated as extra-cultural—an aberration that must be controlled. Work as a central component in children’s lives, development, and identity goes unappreciated. Anthropological Perspectives on Children as Helpers, Workers, Artisans, and Laborers aims to rectify that omission by surveying and synthesizing a robust corpus of material, with particular emphasis on two prominent themes: the processes involved in learning to work and the interaction between ontogeny and children’s roles as workers.

Development Learning for Very Young Children

Author: Hilary Fabian
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781446205754
Release Date: 2009-03-05
Genre: Education

'[T]his book has been well planned and provides information which is relevant for students and teachers alike in supporting teaching and learning. In particular, the practical aspects of group tasks and discussion points enable the reader to develop their reflective skills through the knowledge gained' - ESCalate 'This informative and thought-provoking collection of essays brings together theory, policy and practice for practitioners working with children aged from birth to three years old...It would be a great resource for students' - Nursery World 'This is a very well edited collection easily accessible to everyone involved in the early years, with the common thread being the holistic nature of very young children's learning. Using the contents of the different chapters for reflection and analysis, those implementing the new Early Years Foundation Stage will be able to promote and enhance children's development and learning experiences and certainly their own practices...This book powerfully reminds readers of what is at the heart of their care and learning interactions with babies and young children' - Professor Emeritus Janet Moyles, Play Consultant With a focus on the most critical years in a young child's development, this book brings together the essential theory, policy and practice for everyone working with young children. Concentrating on the 0 to 3 age range, the book considers all relevant legislation such as Every Child Matters and the new Early Years Foundation Stage. The content is organized into four sections: - development and learning; - policy to practice; - leadership and management; - establishing effective relationships. Examining the influence of policy on practice, issues covered include the stages of child development, observing young children, making partnerships with parents, building relationships within and between teams, working in a multi-agency way and creating a caring and stimulating environment. To illustrate practice and aid reflection, the chapters have: - chapter objectives; - case studies; - group tasks; - discussion points; - recommendations for further reading; - useful websites. Suitable for all early years students and practitioners, it is a must-have resource.

Learning in Early Childhood

Author: Pat Beckley
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781446254349
Release Date: 2011-11-04
Genre: Education

By explaining the theoretical context and highlighting relevant research evidence, this book supports a whole child approach to learning in the early years. Drawing on case studies from a wide range of early years settings, the chapters consider how the different professions in education, health and social care can work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for all young children. Included are chapters on: ·theories of learning ·partnerships with parents and carers ·motivation and self-esteem ·diversity ·inclusion ·thinking skills ·approaches to play ·engaging early learners ·leadership and management ·multi-agency working The links made between theory and practice, and the practical suggestions for how to make this happen in any early years setting, make this book a vital text for all early years students.


Author: Catherine Allerton
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 9781474258197
Release Date: 2016-05-19
Genre: Social Science

Conducting ethnographic fieldwork with children presents anthropologists with particular challenges and limitations, as well as rewards and insights. Children: Ethnographic Encounters presents ten vivid accounts of researchers' experiences of working with children across a variety of cultural contexts. Part of the Ethnographic Encounters series, the book offers honest reflections on successes as well as failures and shows that in all cases ? even those that 'failed' ? anthropologists can learn something about children's position in their social world. Going beyond the usual focus on North America and Europe, the text offers comparative insights into the nature of childhood in different societies. The chapters provide first-hand accounts of fieldwork with children in diverse geographical places such as Mexico, the Ecuadorian Amazon, Rwanda, central India, Thailand, Malaysia, and China. The book provides hope, encouragement and inspiration to anyone planning to undertake ethnographic fieldwork with children and provides important insights to students and researchers working in the growing field of anthropology of children and childhood, in childhood studies, and related fields.

The Anthropology of Education

Author: David Julian Hodges
Publisher: Cognella Academic Publishing
ISBN: 1609273966
Release Date: 2011-07-27
Genre: Education

This unique anthology outlines and reconsiders the disciplinary origins of the anthropology of education. The book is a student-oriented compilation of classic articles written by anthropologists who helped pioneer the field some fifty years ago. Their names constitute a veritable who s who in cultural anthropology: Kluckhohn, Linton, Mead, Benedict, and Redfield to name a few, who while accomplished in the general area of cultural anthropology nevertheless gave specific attention to the developing area of the anthropology of education. Also included in the collection are contemporary classics by non-anthropologists such as Paulo Freire, James Baldwin, and Jonathan Kozol, who tackle more recent issues facing education and educators. The readings are termed classic because, collectively, they represent the best of that to which today s students of the anthropology of education should be exposed for a first-rate introduction to the field. Despite their relevance and importance, many of these articles are out-of-print, difficult to find, or otherwise unavailable, thought there is still an abiding need for the insights they provide. The need for the thinking of these pioneers is as great today, arguably greater, than when the articles were written. Their contributions and insights must not succumb to the awful tendency of our times for scholarship to be both instant and disposable. David Julian Hodges, Ph.D. is professor of anthropology at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he has served with distinction in several capacities: Acting Dean, School of Education; Acting Chairperson, Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies; and President of the Faculty. Dr. Hodges has conducted ethnographic fieldwork among the Cajuns of Southwestern Louisiana and the Iban of Borneo. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta. He received his Master s degree and Ph.D. from New York University, under the tutelage of anthropologist Ethel J. Alpenfels. Dr. Hodges also engaged in post-doctoral studies at Harvard and Oxford universities.

Young Children Playing and Learning in a Digital Age

Author: Christine Stephen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317224976
Release Date: 2017-11-27
Genre: Education

Young Children Playing and Learning in a Digital Age explores the emergence of the digital age and young children’s experiences with digital technologies at home and in educational environments. Drawing on theory and research-based evidence, this book makes an important contribution to understanding the contemporary experiences of young children in the digital age. It argues that a cultural and critically informed perspective allows educators, policy-makers and parents to make sense of children’s digital experiences as they play and learn, enabling informed decision-making about future early years curriculum and practices at home and in early learning and care settings. An essential read for researchers, students, policy-makers and professionals working with children today, this book draws attention to the evolution of digital developments and the relationship between contemporary technologies, play and learning in the early years.

Children as Caregivers

Author: Jean Hunleth
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813588056
Release Date: 2017-03-03
Genre: Social Science

In Zambia, due to the rise of tuberculosis and the closely connected HIV epidemic, a large number of children have experienced the illness or death of at least one parent. Children as Caregivers examines how well intentioned practitioners fail to realize that children take on active caregiving roles when their guardians become seriously ill and demonstrates why understanding children’s care is crucial for global health policy. Using ethnographic methods, and listening to the voices of the young as well as adults, Jean Hunleth makes the caregiving work of children visible. She shows how children actively seek to “get closer” to ill guardians by providing good care. Both children and ill adults define good care as attentiveness of the young to adults’ physical needs, the ability to carry out treatment and medication programs in the home, and above all, the need to maintain physical closeness and proximity. Children understand that losing their guardians will not only be emotionally devastating, but that such loss is likely to set them adrift in Zambian society, where education and advancement depend on maintaining familial, reciprocal relationships. View a gallery of images from the book (

Free to Learn

Author: Peter Gray
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465037919
Release Date: 2013-03-05
Genre: Psychology

Our children spend their days being passively instructed, and made to sit still and take tests—often against their will. We call this imprisonment schooling, yet wonder why kids become bored and misbehave. Even outside of school children today seldom play and explore without adult supervision, and are afforded few opportunities to control their own lives. The result: anxious, unfocused children who see schooling—and life—as a series of hoops to struggle through. In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that our children, if free to pursue their own interests through play, will not only learn all they need to know, but will do so with energy and passion. Children come into this world burning to learn, equipped with the curiosity, playfulness, and sociability to direct their own education. Yet we have squelched such instincts in a school model originally developed to indoctrinate, not to promote intellectual growth. To foster children who will thrive in today's constantly changing world, we must entrust them to steer their own learning and development. Drawing on evidence from anthropology, psychology, and history, Gray demonstrates that free play is the primary means by which children learn to control their lives, solve problems, get along with peers, and become emotionally resilient. This capacity to learn through play evolved long ago, in hunter-gatherer bands where children acquired the skills of the culture through their own initiatives. And these instincts still operate remarkably well today, as studies at alternative, democratically administered schools show. When children are in charge of their own education, they learn better—and at lower cost than the traditional model of coercive schooling. A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn suggests that it's time to stop asking what's wrong with our children, and start asking what's wrong with the system. It shows how we can act—both as parents and as members of society—to improve children's lives and promote their happiness and learning.