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Analysis of Human Development as a Construction Through a Dynamic Network of Meanings


This project is proposed by the members of the Research Centre on Early Child Development and Education (CINDEDI), of the Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, which aims to produce knowledge about processes of human development and, specially, about early child development in day care contexts. It will be based on investigations, personnel training and institutions counseling. The knowledge base produced, besides contributing for the advancement of Developmental Psychology, has also produced some relevant subsidies for the formulation of proposals for educational work with children under six year old, as well as teaching and training materials to be used in training programs of human resources to work in this area (see publications of members of CINDEDI on recent years). With a long tradition in the area, the researchers involved have, more recently, studied Adult-Child and Child-Child Interactions in Day Care Centers, first with its major focus on its process of construction and on the role of the physical and social contexts (1985-1992) and then on the analysis of the mediating elements of early child development (Thematic Project funded by FAPESP, 1992-1996). The present project represents continuity and an attempt to deepen the previous one. In its final report, it was presented, among other productions, a theoretical model which was elaborated by us to analyze the complex network of factors involved in the process of integration of babies and their families into the day care context. This model contributed for the discussion about mediating elements of adult-child and early peer interactions. It defines a complex cluster of elements which make up a certain situation, organized as a comprehensive network of meanings. That network encompasses the subjects involved, the immediate context and the socio-historical matrix in which they are inserted. In the case of the insertion of babies into the day care centre, it is centered on the main subjects: the mother (M), the child (C) and the educares (E). Their interactions create three inter connected fields M-C, E-C, M-E. The M-C field is inserted in a larger social netv,/ork, the family scenery, which occurs in a certain context, involves certain settings, routines and specific programmes, fed by certain believes and representations and based on a certain social relationships, which might or not give them support (relatives, friends, neighbours)... (AU)

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