Saturday, January 9, 2016

Giants in the Nursery: A Book Review

About The Book:

Giants in the Nursery examines the evolution of developmentally appropriate practice in this biographical history of early childhood education.

 This book, from David Elkind, explores the theory's progression—from its beginnings in writings of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century philosophers, its experimental implementation by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century practitioners, and its scientific grounding in contemporary theory and research—and includes biographical sketches and perspectives of eleven philosophical, pedagogical, and theoretical figures—the giants—in this evolution: John Amos Comenius, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Heinrich Pestalozzi, Frederick Froebel, Rudolf Steiner, Maria Montessori, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, and Lev Semenovich Vygotsky. 

Softbound, 280 pgs.


About The Author:

David Elkind, PhD, is professor emeritus of child development at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. He was formerly professor of psychology, psychiatry, and education at the University of Rochester. Professor Elkind obtained his doctorate at UCLA and then spent a year as David Rapaport's research assistant at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. From 1964-65 he was a National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at Piaget's Institut d' Epistemologie Genetique in Geneva. His research has been in the areas of perceptual, cognitive, and social development where he has attempted to build upon the research and theory of Jean Piaget. 

Professor Elkind's bibliography now numbers over five hundred items and includes research, theoretical articles, book chapters, and twenty-two books. He has also appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning News, 20/20, Dateline, Donahue, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He's been profiled in People and Bostonmagazines, was contributing editor for Parents magazine, and co-hosted the Lifetime Television series Kids These Days. He is past president for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a member of many professional organizations, a consultant to state education departments and government agencies, and lectures extensively across the United States, Canada, and abroad. He is also the scientific adviser to Marco Polo Learning, Inc., an education app company. 


My Review:

I first read David Elkind's work back in Bible college, using The Hurried Child, for one of my psychology classes. It was a phenomanal book and I am so glad to have read it. He is a prolific writer and educator and recently had the opportunity to read his recent release, Giants in the Nursery. 

This book is the perfect one to get an overview of developmentally appropriate practice and the eleven "giants" that were part of shaping the basis of it. In this book, readers are introduced to the following "giants":

-John Amos Comenius
-John Locke
-Jean-Jacques Rousseau
-Johann Heinrich Petalozzi
-Fredrich Froebel
-Rudolf Steiner
-Maria Montessori
-Sigmund Freud
-Jean Piaget
-Lev Vygotsky
-Erik Erikson

What I absolutely loved in this book, besides the historical facts for each person, was how the theories of each relate directly to developmentally appropriate practice and also includes the common themes and roles of play from each theory. 

I really believe this would be an ideal book for anyone new in the early childhood education profession, as well as a great refresher for us veterns of the profession as well. Seriously, a wonderful book overall.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Giants in the Nursery online through Redleaf Press

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Redleaf Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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