This clear and authoritative text provides a trenchant critique of dichotomous thinking and goes on to describe and exemplify an alternative view of development, showing the power of ecological and dynamic systems perspectives. Thematic chapters identify the classic assumptions of the nature-nurture debate and present the reader with new ways of thinking about these issues. The book begins with material that may be familiar to students, then leads them into areas of thought which may be less familiar but which are important and significant aspects of current research and debate in the field. The author shows how an alternative, ecological systems perspective can be used to form more coherent critiques of major theorists like Skinner, Piaget, Vygotsky, and Gibson.
"Keith Richardson has an obvious gift for conveying difficult ideas in a reader-friendly fashion….This is a very important and timely contribution to theory-building in developmental psychology at both undergraduate and graduate level."
"Authoritative in his approach, the author has a strong grasp of a wide range of theories and research, and I found his treatment of them to be clear, coherent and consistent. It is a text which…will be accessible to second and third year students, and immensely helpful to them for its presentation of a perspective which is not always easily grasped at this level, but which, in one way or another, informs much recent work in developmental psychology."
University of Cambridge
Contents: Preface. Introduction: The Traditional View and Its Alternative, A Summary. Darwinian Dichotomies and Their Dissolution. Towards the Alternative: Ecological, Dynamic Systems. Dynamic Systems Theories. The Ecological Perspective: Gibson's Legacy. The Creation of Knowledge. A Sample of the Evidence: Wise Owls, Accurate Ants. The Origins of Knowledge.