Contemporary Perspectives on Socialization and Social Development in Early Childhood Education

Edited by:
Olivia Saracho, University of Maryland
Bernard Spodek, University of Illinois

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives in Early Childhood Education. Editor(s): Olivia Saracho, University of Maryland.

Published 2007

The purpose of this volume is to present a selection of chapters that reflect current issues relating to children’s socialization processes that help them become successful members of their society. From birth children are unique in their rates of growth and development, including the development of their social awareness and their ability to interact socially. They interpret social events based on their developing life style and environmental experiences. The children’s socialization is influenced by several important social forces including the family and its organization, their peer group, and the significant others in their lives. In “Theories of Socialization and Social Development,” Olivia Saracho and Bernard Spodek describe the children’s socialization forces and the different developmental theories that have influenced our understanding of the socialization process. These include maturationist theory (developed by Arnold Gesell), constructivist theories (developed by such theorists as Jean Piaget, Lev S. Vygotsky, and Jerome Bruner), psychodynamic theories (developed by such theorists as Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Harry Stack Sullivan, and Alfred Adler), and ecological theory (developed by Urie Bronfenbrenner). Each theory provides interpretations of the meaning of the children’s social development and describes the different characteristics for each age group in the developmental sequences.

Introduction: Explorations in Social Development: The Theory Base, Olivia N. Saracho and Bernard Spodek. Theories of Socialization and Social Development, Humor as a Facilitator of Social Competence in Early Childhood, Doris Bergen. Attachment in the Preschool Years: Implications for Social Learning, Gary Creasey and Patricia A. Jarvis. Feeling, Thinking, and Playing: Social and Emotional Learning in Early Childhood, Christopher J. Trentacosta and Carroll E. Izard. Cognitive Development in Social Context: Implications for Early Childhood Education, Mary Gauvain. Social Learning through Social Motivation, Ole Fredrik Lillemyr. Social Learning in the Peer Context, Gary W. Ladd. Friendships in Very Young Children, Barbara Davis Goldman and Virginia Buysse. “Stop Bullying Me and My Friends!”: Examining the Role that Peers Play in Promoting Bullying and Victimization in Early Childhood, Vickie E. Lake. The Development of Ethnic Prejudice in Early Childhood: Theories and Research, Drew Nesdale. Social Learning and Weight-Related Problems, Moria Golan. Morality and Gender: Preschool Children’s Moral Contracts, Eva Johansson. Developmental Perspectives on Social Development, Olivia N. Saracho and Bernard Spodek. About the Contributors.