Knowledge Development in Early Childhood: Sources of Learning and Classroom Implications

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Ashley M. Pinkham, Tanya Kaefer, Susan B. Neuman
Guilford Press, Jun 15, 2012 - Education - 270 pages

Synthesizing cutting-edge research from multiple disciplines, this book explores how young children acquire knowledge in the "real world" and describes practical applications for early childhood classrooms. The breadth and depth of a child's knowledge base are important predictors of later literacy development and academic achievement. Leading scholars describe the processes by which preschoolers and primary-grade students acquire knowledge through firsthand experiences, play, interactions with parents and teachers, storybooks, and a range of media. Chapters on exemplary instructional strategies vividly show what teachers can do to build children's content knowledge while also promoting core literacy skills.


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Learning from the Ambient Environment
Procedural versus Declarative Knowledge
Childrens Selective Use of Testimony
How Childrens Knowledge Develops in the Context of Everyday ParentChild Conversations
LessTraveled Paths toward a Science of Learning?
The Importance of Picture Books for Young Childrens Knowledge Acquisition
Chapter 7Television and Childrens Knowledge
Part IIPromoting Knowledge Development in the Classroom
Chapter 9The ResearchReality Divide in Early Vocabulary Instruction
Chapter 10The Contributions of Curriculum to Shifting Teachers Practices
Unpacking the ExCELL Model of Language and Literacy Professional Development
Chapter 12Building Knowledge through Informational Text
Literacy and ContentArea Knowledge
Chapter 14Building Literacy Skills through Multimedia

Chapter 8Four Play Pedagogies and a Promise for Childrens Learning

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About the author (2012)

Ashley M. Pinkham, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the University of Michigan. Dr. Pinkham earned her doctoral degree in cognitive-developmental psychology from the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on sources of children's knowledge acquisition and conceptual development, including observational learning, adult-child conversations, and book-reading experiences.

Tanya Kaefer, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kaefer earned her doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Duke University. She studies reading development and the influence of content knowledge on early literacy skills.

Susan B. Neuman, EdD, is a Professor in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan. A former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Dr. Neuman established the Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program and was responsible for all activities in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Her research and teaching interests include early literacy development, early childhood policy, curriculum, and early reading instruction. Her publications include 12 books and over 100 journal articles

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