Cognitive Development is a new title in the Routledge Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Psychology. Edited by Usha Goswami, Director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, University of Cambridge, this four-volume collection brings together the essential scholarship covering cognitive development from infancy to early adolescence. The sheer scale of the growth in research output in cognitive development makes this collection especially timely, and meets the demand for a comprehensive reference work to give greater clarity and focus to this theoretically complex and controversial field.
The collection is organized into four themes spanning the main research and teaching areas in the subdiscipline. For each theme, the editor has selected material is included which covers research spanning infancy through to late childhood and early adolescence to give a general developmental picture of the state-of-the-art in each area.
Knowledge about the physical world of objects and events (`naive physics') has been described as a `foundational' domain for cognitive development and Volume 1 (`Objects and Concepts: The Physical World') contains the very best empirical and theoretical work showing how infants and children come to understand objects and the physical laws governing their interactions, and how they come to understand the kinds of `stuff' in the world, developing object concepts and categories.
Volume 2 (`Language Development and the Psychological World') gathers the most significant scholarship on the development of language and the infant's developing understanding of the psychological world of desires, beliefs and emotions.
At least four types of learning seem fundamental to cognitive development: statistical learning; learning by imitation; learning by analogy and causal learning. Volume 3 (`Learning, Memory and Reasoning') collects work on these types of learning, and also brings together key work from the burgeoning literature on the development of memory and reasoning.
The final volume in the collection (`The Development of Literacy and Numeracy, and Aspects of Atypical Development (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Autism)') collects the essential scholarship on the cognitive developments important for language and number. Also collected in Volume 4 is vital psychological work on some of the most puzzling forms of atypical cognitive development, including autism, dyslexia and dyscalculia.
The collected materials are supplemented by an introduction to each volume, newly written by the editor, together with a full index. It is destined to be welcomed by cognitive development scholars-and those working in allied subdisciplines-as an invaluable reference resource.