When can contexts and diversity be resources, rather than risks, for children's developmental pathways? Scholars, policy makers, and practitioners increasingly realize that middle childhood matters as a time when children's pathways diverge, as they meet new and overlapping contexts they must navigate on their way to adolescence and adulthood. This volume shines new light on this important transition by tracing how these contexts -- cultural, economic, historical, political, and social -- can support or undermine children's pathways, and how children's own actions and the actions of those around them shape these pathways. With a focus on demographic changes taking place in the U.S., the volume also maps how experiences of diversity, reflecting culture, ethnicity, gender, and social class, matter for children's life contexts and options.
Chapters by a team of social scientists in the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood present the fruits of ten years of research on these issues with diverse cultural and ethnic communities across the U.S. These include:
*a set of models and measures that trace how contexts and diversity evolve and interact over time, with an epilogue that aligns and compares them;
*surprising new findings, quantitative and qualitative, with cases showing how children and families shape and are affected by their individual, recreational, institutional, and cultural experiences; and
*applications to policy and practice for diverse children and families.
The importance of these new models, methods, findings, and applications is the topic of commentaries by distinguished scholars with both U.S. and international perspectives.
The book is intended for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers, as well as students in psychology, sociology, and education.
"This book is a good read for teachers, administrators, and lay persons alike. The beauty of the collection of chapters in this book is that there is recognition of the fact that children are change agents and that they do shape their educational settings in very subtle ways…'Developmental Pathways' is a good discussion text for the university classroom…"—PsycCRITIQUES, December 6, 2006, Vol. 51, No. 49
Contents: W.A. Collins, Foreword: Contextualizing Middle Childhood: Beyond 1984. C.R. Cooper, C.T. García Coll, W.T. Bartko, H. Davis, C. Chatman, Editors' Introduction. Part I:How Adults and Children, Through Their Perceptions and Actions, Connect Resources Across Family, School, and Community Contexts. H.B. Weiss, E. Dearing, E. Mayer, H. Kreider, K. McCartney, Family Educational Involvement: Who Can Afford It and What Does It Afford? J.A. Fredricks, S. Simpkins, J.S. Eccles, Family Socialization, Gender, and Participation in Sports and Instrumental Music. B. Thorne, Unpacking School Lunchtime: Structure, Practice, and the Negotiation of Differences. W.T. Bartko, The Contexts and Significance of Children's Everyday Experiences and Activities: A Commentary. Part II:How Low-Income Families and Children and Their Teachers Interpret and Use Contexts as Resources for Creating Pathways Through Childhood. D. Stipek, Children as Unwitting Agents in Their Developmental Pathways. E.D. Lowe, T.S. Weisner, S. Geis, A.C. Huston, Child-Care Instability and the Effort to Sustain a Working Daily Routine: Evidence From the New Hope Ethnographic Study of Low-Income Families. P. Blumenfeld, J. Modell, W.T. Bartko, W.G. Secada, J.A. Fredricks, J. Friedel, A. Paris, School Engagement of Inner-City Students During Middle Childhood. W.G. Secada, The Mediation of Contextual Resources. Part III:How Immigration Affects Children's Emerging Identities in Their Family, School, and Community Contexts. C.R. Cooper, C.T. García Coll, B. Thorne, M.F. Orellana, Beyond Demographic Categories: How Immigration, Ethnicity, and "Race" Matter for Children's Emerging Identities and Pathways Through School. C.T. García Coll, L.A. Szalacha, N. Palacios, Children of Dominican, Portuguese, and Cambodian Immigrant Families: Academic Attitudes and Pathways During Middle Childhood. C.R. Cooper, E. Domínguez, S. Rosas, Soledad's Dream: How Immigrant Children Bridge Their Multiple Worlds and Build Pathways to College. A.J. Fuligni, J. Alvarez, M. Bachman, D.N. Ruble, Family Obligation and the Academic Motivation of Young Children From Immigrant Families. V.C. McLoyd, Pathways to Academic Achievement Among Children From Immigrant Families: A Commentary. J.J. Goodnow, Contexts, Diversity, Pathways: Advances and Next Steps. A. Prout, Reflections on Childhood, Diversity, Pathways, and Context. C.R. Cooper, H. Davis, Epilogue: Mapping Concepts of Contexts, Diversity, and Pathways Across Disciplines.