ASCD Handbook Translates Child Development Research into Effective Classroom Actions
Alexandria, VA (08/29/2012)—ASCD is pleased to announce the release of Understanding How Young Children Learn: Bringing the Science of Child Development to the Classroom by prominent cognitive psychology and child development expert Wendy L. Ostroff. This publication is now available in paperback and e-book formats.
The developmental science field is exploding with findings—some surprising, some counterintuitive, and most of great potential value to educators, if educators can access and translate them into classroom practice.
In writing this book, Ostroff, herself a researcher and educator, set out to "distill the mountain of information in front of [her] down to a handbook of children’s learning," a handbook that would guide teachers as they develop curriculum and pedagogy. Understanding How Young Children Learn delivers. It succinctly presents research on children's learning in a way that is memorable and makes immediate sense to readers.
Specifically, the book offers a developmental science approach to key components of children's learning—motivation, attention, memory, and cognition and action. Ostroff dissects these elements of learning into processes that inspire or "propel" each one, such as metacognition, executive control, and confidence. To empower readers to apply what they learn, Ostroff explains how to translate the research's insight into teaching, for example, "Be emotionally supportive of your students and avoid excessive micromanaging," or "Reward student attempts and intellectual risk-taking over 'playing it safe' to get correct answers or high marks." She also lays out specific lesson plans for implementing cutting-edge scientific findings into actual classrooms.
Additionally, Understanding How Young Children Learn enables educators to think like scientists to understand why these propellers serve to strengthen student learning when used effectively.
"In this handbook, Wendy Ostroff bridges the fields of child development and education in meaningful ways," said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Dr. Gene R. Carter. "Understanding How Young Children Learn not only makes child development research accessible, but it also presents effective classroom applications and introduces a new way for teachers to approach learning."
About the Author
Wendy Ostroff’s expertise in cognitive psychology, child development, and metacognition stems from her research experience as a scientist in the Infant Perception Laboratory at Virginia Tech; as a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany; and as a Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford University. She has been developing curriculum on children’s learning for the past 15 years in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University; in the Department of Education and Child Study at Smith College; and, most recently, as associate professor in the program for the Advancement of Learning at Curry College.
For more information about ASCD, visit www.ascd.org. To learn more about our books program or to read sample chapters from past publications, visit www.ascd.org/books.
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