Bringing the real world into developmental science: a commentary on Weber, Fernald, and Diop (2017)

Gilda Morelli, Kim Bard, Nandita Chaudhary, Alma Gottlieb, Heidi Keller, Marjorie Murray, Naomi Quinn, Mariano Rosabal-Coto, Gabriel Scheidecker, Akira Takada, Marga Vicedo

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Abstract

This article examines the parent intervention program evaluated by Weber et al. (2017) and argues that there are scientific and ethical problems with such intervention efforts in applied developmental science. Scientifically, these programs rely on data from a small and narrow sample of the world's population; assume the existence of fixed developmental pathways; and pit scientific knowledge against indigenous knowledge. The authors question the critical role of talk as solely providing the rich cognitive stimulation important to school success, and the critical role of primary caregivers as teachers of children's verbal competency. Ethically, these programs do not sufficiently explore how an intervention in one aspect of child care will affect the community's culturally organized patterns of child care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e594-e603
JournalChild Development
Volume89
Issue number6
Early online date10 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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