By Stephen Weston
This publication is a facsimile reprint and should include imperfections equivalent to marks, notations, marginalia and improper pages.
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Additional info for A Specimen Of The Conformity Of The European Languages, Particularly The English, With The Oriental Languages
Bruner, 1996: 71–2) The Head Start programme began with a rather different – in some ways complementary, in others contrastive – view of early development based on a rather different set of scientific investigations: those showing that laboratory animals raised in ‘impoverished environments’, ones with few challenges and reduced stimulation, did less well than ‘normals’ on such standard learning and problem-solving tasks as maze-running and food-finding. Transferred, more metaphorically than experimentally, to schooling and to schoolchildren, this led to the so-called ‘cultural deprivation hypothesis’.
But Bruner also emphasized that infants must have certain cognitive skills to enter into joint attentional interactions with adults and to learn their language. Crucially, they must be able to understand adult communicative intentions. Recent research has confirmed this proposal, and has shown that as the second year of life progresses infants rapidly become skilled at determining adult communicative intentions in all kinds of novel social situations that bear little resemblance to the highly structured and repetitive formats of mother–infant interaction that scaffolded their very earliest productive language.
But it] has now been diverted into issues that are marginal to the impulse that brought it into being. Indeed, it has been technicalized in a manner that even undermines that original impulse. This is not to say that it has failed: far from it, for cognitive science must surely be among the leading growth shares on the academic bourse. It may rather be that it has become diverted by success, a success whose technological virtuosity has cost dear. Some critics ... even argue that the new cognitive science, the child of the revolution, has gained its technical successes at the price of dehumanizing the very concept of mind it had sought to reestablish in psychology, and that it has thereby estranged much of psychology from the other human sciences and the humanities.
A Specimen Of The Conformity Of The European Languages, Particularly The English, With The Oriental Languages by Stephen Weston