A Cultural-Historical View of Child Development: Key Concepts for Going Beyond a Universal View of the Child

Marilyn Fleer
page. 19~37 / 2015 Vol.9 No.1


A developmental view of child development with its biological imperatives has been extensively critiqued over the years and found to be wanting from a range of cultural (Rogoff, 2003; Howes, 2010), social (Qvortrup, Corsaro & Honig, 2009) and even health (Bendelow, 2009; Rogoff, 2011) reasons. But what has been missing from these debates has been a theoretically robust presentation of another way of conceptualizing children’s development (Hedegaard & Fleer, 2013). In drawing upon cultural-historical theory, this paper argues for a more localised and nuanced conception of human development. Through analyzing how society creates the conditions for children’s development (Hedegaard, 2012), this paper presents a view of development that captures both a traditional (historical lived in the present moment) and contemporary (new cultural technologies) view of children’s lived experiences.

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