Contexts of Child Development: Culture, Policy and Intervention
1 Jan 2008
Charles Darwin University Press
This book is an inspiring and thought-provoking collection that aims to deepen our understanding of child development in order to positively influence the people, policies and practices that help shape childrena??s lives. Drawing on a range of methodological, theoretical and practical perspectives, and on leading Australian and international research, the volume challenges us to consider issues as diverse as the continuing impact of past colonial policies and practices on Australian Aboriginal child development today; the ways in which a focus on a??learning through the artsa?? can be beneficial to other areas of development, including literacy; and the potentially disabling consequences of the socio-culturally biased construction of what constitutes a a??good childhooda?? which currently underpins policy in the UK. A key concern of the collection is to advance insights and understandings of child development in relation to questions of cultural diversity, social disadvantage and state-supported interventions. Hence, many of the contributions focus on the outcomes of child development in Australian Aboriginal communities, including Ernabella and Docker River in the Western Desert, Darnley Island in north-east Queensland, the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory, Yakanarra in the Kimberley, and the Yorta Yorta in rural Victoria. While the editors consider that the contributions collectively a??point to complex patterns of intergenerational reproduction of disadvantage for which there is no single intervention pointa??, they conclude that the challenge for educators, policy-makers, governments and communities alike is to find and follow the ways and means by which it is possible to support the outcomes of child development in order that the deleterious effects of multiple disadvantage might be undone.