Archive for critique of research

How Developmental Psychology’s Marriage to the School System Distorts Our Understanding of Children

Have you ever seen the Handbook of Child Psychology? If not, I urge you to look at it the next time you're near a university library. Handbook is a misnomer for this work; you'd need both arms to carry it all, and if you have a weak back you might want to lift it only a part at a time. The rest of its title--of Child Psychology--is also, in my opinion, a misnomer. Amazingly, this 5000 page work, billed as the authoritative summary of all of child psychology, has almost nothing to say about children's playfulness and curiosity. How can that be? Here's my theory. . . . It's a theory not just about the Handbook, but about the constraints that researchers into child development have placed upon themselves.

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