Constructivist Perspectives on Developmental Psychopathology and Atypical Development

Constructivist Perspectives on Developmental Psychopathology and Atypical Development

Constructivist Perspectives on Developmental Psychopathology and Atypical Development

Constructivist Perspectives on Developmental Psychopathology and Atypical Development

Synopsis

This volume is the result of a symposium titled "Constructivist Approaches to Atypical Development and Developmental Psychopathology."

What emerges from the work included here is a record of innovative extensions, refinements, and applications of the concept of constructivism.

The chapters not only demonstrate the compatibility of constructivism with investigations of atypicality, but also the generation of a constructivist perspective for a wide array of problems in developmental psychology.

Excerpt

Daniel P. Keating
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

In the planning discussions that led to this volume and the symposium on which it is based, two decisions received considerable attention. the first dealt with the range of topics to be included. the notion of "atypical" development has been historically divided into two kinds of exceptionality: One focuses on the differences between the development of normal children versus those with some evident constitutional condition (such as sensory impairment or Down's syndrome), the second explores deviant developmental pathways in seemingly normal children. We note that this is more than an abstract or academic distinction: the ways in which treatment is pursued, the orientation of helping professions, and the theoretical models employed by a variety of professional disciplines are impacted by perceptions related to this distinction. Moreover, there is more than enough high quality developmental research within either of these traditionally disparate approaches to produce a valuable and integrated volume. in addition, it was not apparent in advance whether there was sufficient commonality of theoretical perspectives between these approaches to yield a coherent picture of atypical development, if they were brought together. On the other hand, there is an increasing recognition of the value of a developmental perspective within each approach. in a spirit of exploration, the symposium was convened under the inclusive title, Constructivist Approaches to Atypical Development and Developmental Psychopathology."

As the chapters in this volume attest, the decision to seek integration across this traditional divide proved fruitful. Many themes emerging from the various treatments share critical features, and the outlines of a productive integration begin to appear, although they remain a little shadowy. Later in this introduction, I highlight several issues that strike me as paramount in moving . . .

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