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Discussion 1: Western Developmental Psychology in Non-Western Cultures For the most part, the theories you explored in this course focused on Western cultures. Western cultures often are the baseline when conducting cross-cultural comparisons. Miao and Wang’s (2003) article examining Chinese developmental psychology provides insight into how another culture examines human development. While major developmental theorists and researchers (e.g., Gesell) influenced Chinese researchers, the topics of interest for Chinese researchers did not necessarily reflect those of Western researchers. This course has introduced multiple perspectives and presented culturally diverse research examining all phases of human development. For this Discussion, consider what led research to be conducted to examine diverse settings and groups. Was it an attempt to broaden the population within which the findings could be applied, a reaction to a gap in the literature, or perhaps a critique of a conclusion or theory? If you have not had an opportunity to delve into a statistics or methodology course, some of the techniques in this week’s research articles might be confusing, but the process that the researchers used should be understandable. To prepare for this Discussion: Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the applicability of American/Western developmental psychology to Non-Western countries and cultures. By Day 3 Post your thoughts about the applicability of American/Western developmental psychology to Non-Western countries and cultures. Explain why it is important for developmental psychology to consider cross-cultural perspectives explaining human development. Justify your post with specific examples and citations from the Learning Resources. Use proper APA format and citations.
Discussion 2: Social Change Within Developmental Psychology Throughout this course, you may have gravitated to certain stages of development and certain research topics. Perhaps you found cognitive development during early childhood particularly appealing. Perhaps you are interested in the process of identity development during adolescence and the influence of culture. Maybe you want to learn more about how older adults cope with Alzheimer’s disease. There are endless questions and endless opportunities to affect change, improve human development, and positively impact the overall quality of life. Take your curiosities and interests a step further and generate some ideas for positive social change in those areas. Do not limit yourself to what your current resources or capacities are; if you had ample resources at your disposal, what would you want to do to affect positive social change? To prepare for this Discussion: Review the Walden University Social Change website and explore the possibilities for positive social change. Think about a research topic that involves lifespan development and how it could contribute to positive social change. By Day 4 Post about a description of a research topic that involves lifespan development and explain how it could contribute to positive social change. Then, explain the actions you could take to bring about social change for that research topic possibility. Be specific.
Differences and Deficits in Psychological Research in Historical Perspective: A Commentary on the Special Section Michael Cole University of California, San Diego This commentary traces discussions of psychological differences and deficits from the mid-1950s to the current day, positioning the disciplinary discussions in the social– historical context in which they took place. The challenges of assessing diagnoses of deficit and the potential harms that result when misdiagnosis is implemented as social policy pervade the discussion over time. Keywords:academic achievement, cultural deprivation, culture of poverty, nonrepresentative norms, psychological deficit I have been invited to comment on the articles in this special section by virtue of the fact that I began several decades ago to study psychological tests associated with cultural, ethnic, and social class variations in psychological development (Cole & Bruner, 1971; Cole, Gay, Glick, & Sharp, 1971). The question of how differences in psychological test performance come to be interpreted as deficits was central to that line of inquiry. I take it to be my task to bring a historical dimension to the topic of psychological differences and deficits by contrasting how the issues were conceived “back in the day” with how they are conceived of at present. As the first date for a “then and now” comparison, I have chosen the debates leading up to 1971 as the starting point. The current set of articles will provide evidence about the current scene (Summer 2012). Comparing Social and Historical Contexts: Then and Now Because we are dealing with issues that clearly arose in highly charged and tumultuous times, I will begin by sketching the larger social and historical circumstances within which psychologists were—and still are— conducting their research on the difference– deficit issue, before turning to the psychological literature itself. My account should of necessity be treated as a “thumbnail,” not a full-blown picture. Then A useful starting date for my historical comparison is 1954, the year that the U.S. Supreme Court handed down theBrown v. Board of Educationdecision to end racial segregation in schools. What-ever the flaws in subsequent execution of the will of the Court, the movement toward racial desegregation changed the developmental trajectories of millions of children by sending them to integrated schools. But it did not take long before people began to discover that no-longer-separate did not mean no-longer-unequal. The in- equalities of the prior decade may have beendisplaced into for- mally integrated schools, but they did not disappear. Instead the problem wasreplaced by “the achievement gap.” Poor children, and particularly poor children of color, continued to lag 30%– 40% behind their middle class, largely European American neighbors in academic achievement. Something more was needed to achieve the hoped-for benefits of desegregation, because the sources of in- equality went well beyond the educational system into the econ- omy and social system as a whole. That “something more” was the War on Poverty. When this war was declared in 1964, both the public at large and developmental psychologists in particular assumed (and probably still do assume) that intervention into developmentally dangerous trajectories should begin as early as possible. If academic underachievement is the danger, then providing a “head start” for those at the bottom of the scale should provide the necessary immunization. That con- sensus gave rise to Project Head Start as one means of ending poverty through education. Head Start, likeBrown v. Board of Education, was initiated to change developmental trajectories, and each of them involved the use of psychological tests and their prescribed modes of interpre- tation as their data of choice. Five years into its implementation, the data from Head Start were equivocal at best. The success or failure of this project was hotly debated in journals and by the popular press all throughout the later 1960’s. It should also be kept in mind that the summers following the initiation of the War on Poverty were hot in another, nonacademic, sense. It seemed that no sooner had war been declared than major domestic violence broke out: The Watts Riots (1965), then the Detroit and Newark Riots (1967). The murder of Martin Luther King Jr., who was supporting striking garbage workers at the time he was killed, brought together the issues of ethnicity and income in a particularly vivid way. The War on Poverty was not going as planned. I wish to thank my colleagues at the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition (LCHC) for their critical reading of an early draft of this article and their generous suggestions for its improvement. The flaws I claim as my own. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Michael Cole, Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, University of Cali- fornia, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093. E-mail: [email protected] Developmental Psychology© 2013 American Psychological Association 2013, Vol. 49, No. 1, 84 –910012-1649/13/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0029623 84 Then there was that other war that intersected the War on Poverty—the war in Vietnam. It, too, was failing to go according to plan. Vietnam was heating up and with it the level of rejection of existing social institutions in the United States. Resistance to the war blended with the civil rights movement. In May of 1970 the domestic tension snapped: Four college students at Kent State University were killed by national guardsmen. The international war had become an internecine war. This is no more than a rough sketch of the social– historical context “pre-1971.” It was clearly a highly contentious and volatile time. Issues of diversity, income, education, and ethnicity were at the nexus of the contention. Psychologists found themselves right in the middle of the debate, as theorists, practitioners, and policy makers. Now When we consider the current global situation it appears both that a whole lot has changed and yet the core issues of ethnicity and social class inequality remain clearly visible. At a global level, the Cold War has ended. That was a war the United States could claim to have won. In its place we have “globalization,” which has enormously increased international interaction and where issues of haves and have nots are now being fought out. And, unfortunately, the Cold War has been replaced by a myriad of local/regional conflicts and by a religious ideological holy war that has proven to be anything but cold. Reorganized and increased rates of interna- tional interaction have induced both economic development and a “War on Terror.” Overall economic inequalities within the United States have grown over recent decades. What economists refer to as “the great convergence” of income levels that preceded World War II was coming to an end by 1970. In its place there have now been 40 years of a “great divergence,” resulting in contemporary rhetoric and political conflict about “the 1% versus the 99%” and accusa- tions of “class warfare” that have not been heard in this country since the 1930’s. Internationally the degree of inequality is almost literally unimaginable, fueled directly by the triumph of Euro– American–Japanese capitalist democracies. When we turn to contemporary thinking about social differences associated with demographic categories such as “poor” or “mem- ber of an ethnic minority,” the situation has become amazingly more complex and slippery. On the one hand there is diversity of ethnicities due to events at the cultural–social– historical level, which I sketched out above. Owing to the wars of earlier decades and to economic inequalities at the global level, there has been a gigantic population shift in the United States. Socioeconomic class, ethnic, and linguistic diversity have increased rapidly to the point where those of European descent are expected to become a minority during my children’s lifetimes. Simultaneously, fueled by the social forces unleashed by the civil rights movement, there have also been marked changes in the nature of gender relations, notions of disability, and social relations across hitherto repressed forms of diversity of all kinds. These changes have become a part of the fabric of American life, as reflected in popular culture. WhereasOzzie and Harrietwith its all-White, straight, two parent–two child family was the iconic image of family life in 1971, todayModern Familywith its jumble of genders, ages, and ethnicities is the most popular American television program. 1 Psychological Theories of Difference and Deficit: Then and Now When we consider all of the ways in which contemporary American diversity and difference are experienced by children and adults alike, in law and in daily practice, it is well worth revisiting the questions of how psychologists should understand the relation- ship between difference and deficit, and the role we should play in shaping children’s developmental trajectories through our judg- ments. Once again, it is helpful to compare then with now. Then The academic arguments about diversity and deficit at the end of the 1960s when Bruner and I undertook to write on the topic were polarized around explanations for the continuing achievement gap between middle class and working class children, with particular concern focused on African Americans. Most of those who adopted a deficit view assumed that growing up in conditions of poverty deprives children of essential cultural conditions for normal intellectual development. 2In the parlance of the day, the “culturaldeprivation” that accompanied poverty and ethnic marginalization produced a “deficit inpsychologicalfunc- tioning.” These cultural deficiencies included less mutuality in social interaction, less emphasis on reasoning and means/end re- lationships in maternal instruction, reliance on punishment and negative reinforcement, engagement in less strategic forms of play, reliance on immediate and concrete forms of reward for learning, lack of impulse control, and the like. This line of thinking tended, in the heat of the debate, to find some extreme expressions. For example, J. McVicker Hunt, influ- ential author ofIntelligence and Experience(1961, p. 323), sug- gested that “The difference between the culturally deprived and the culturally privileged is, for children, analogous to the difference between cage reared and pet-reared rats and dogs.” Others sug- gested that the children in poverty grew up in homes where there was too much stimulation of the wrong kind. Cynthia Deutsch, an early advocate of this perspective characterized the situation as follows: The slum child is more likely than the middle-class child to live in a crowded, cluttered home— but not cluttered with objects that can be playthings for him. . . . [I]n the terms used earlier, the slum child has, in his stimulus field, both less redundancy and less education of his attention to the relevant properties of stimuli. As a result, he could be expected to come to school with poorer discrimination performance than his middle-class counterpart. (Deutsch, 1968, p. 79) Special emphasis was placed upon culturally linked deficiencies in language and its use; the poor were said not only to use language less, but to be restricted to speaking a less elaborated form of language that failed to support intellectual development. This view underpinned the work of Carl Bereiter and Siegfried Engelmann, work that drew special attention in part because it was explicitly 1It should be noted that one social feature that did not change was the solid economic well-being of characters in these shows. The dream, if not the reality, of the idea of economic equality endured. 2The obvious exception was Arthur Jensen’s (1969) claim that the achievement gap reflects a genetic deficit. 85 DIFFERENCES AND DEFICITS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH linked to a strategy for compensatory education that was compat- ible with the environmental learning theories of the day. I quote at length because the passages give an excellent feel for the under- lying assumptions and their connection to a theory of compensa- tory early education: The speech of the severely deprived children seems to consist not of distinct words, as does the speech of middle-class children of the same age, but rather of whole phrases or sentences that function like giant words. That is to say, these “giant word” units cannot be taken apart by the child and re-combined; they cannot be transformed from statements to questions, from imperatives to declaratives, and so on. Instead of saying “He’s a big dog,” the deprived child says “He bih daw.” Instead of saying “I ain’t got no juice,” he says “Uai-ga-na-ju.” Instead of saying “That is a red truck,” he says “Da-re-truh.” Once the listener has become accustomed to this style of speech, he may begin to hear it as if all the sounds were there, and may get the impression that he is hearing articles when in fact there is only a pause where the article should be. He may believe that the child is using words like it, is, if, and in, when in fact he is using the same sound for all of them—something on the order of “ih.” (This becomes apparent if the child is asked to repeat the statement “It is in the box.” After a few attempts in which he becomes confused as to the number of “ih’s” to insert, the child is likely to be reduced to a stammer.) (Bereiter & Engelmann, 1966, pp. 34 –35) To deal with this presumed absence of language, Bereiter and Engelmann focused on teaching a “language of thought” as the gateway to instruction and education. Crediting Engelmann for the idea, Bereiter described the logic of their remedial approach in the following terms: As Engelmann saw it, the child’s primary need was for a language that would enable him to be taught. Once the child had that, you could go on and teach him anything else you pleased. Such a language did not have to be distilled from a recording of actual verbal behavior but could be constructed, much as Basic English was constructed, by a consideration of the needs it had to serve. Such a language could be taught to children in a relatively short time (in practice, two to six months), and it would then be possible to add the refinements of complete English and also to teach other things in a more direct and normal manner. Teaching disadvantaged children a miniature language that someone else has made up for them may sound a bit 1984ish to the doubters among us; but realize that it is regular English, just a stripped-down version of it, and that the principle of starting with a miniature system which is part of, but more easily grasped than, the entire system is a respectable and widely used pedagogical device. Methods of reading instruction that begin with a limited vocabulary that follows a few consistent spelling rules are an example, as are physics lessons that begin with consideration of a homogeneous frictionless environment. (Bereiter, 1968, p. 341) Whether the image is one of children-as-rats isolated in their cages or children living in situations of uninterpretable chaos, the solution was the same: provide children from as early an age as possible with the necessary cultural– environmental experiences. Cultural Difference, Not Cognitive Deficit It should come as no surprise that these ideas met with heated opposition from linguists with extensive experience working in the African American community, including William Labov, a linguistwho studied social class and ethnic/racial variations in language use. Labov argued that the low scores on standardized language competence tests of children who speak nonstandard or African American English (AAE) arise from the inadequacies of the test- ing, not the inadequacies of the children. Such children come to school speaking a distinctive dialect of English (Labov, 1970, 2010). To demonstrate his point Labov arranged for a comparison of the language used by an 8-year-old boy, in three settings: (a) the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (a common object is placed on the table in front of the child, who is asked, “Tell me everything you can about this”); (b) a visit from a local Black researcher to the child at home in which the topics were chosen to be of direct interest to the child, such as gangs and street fighting; and (c) a visit from the same researcher who this time arranged for the child’s friend to be present, brought along snacks, and started up a conversation about insults directed at mothers, a taboo subject but also the topic of well-known varieties of verbal duels (sound- ing) in the community. The test situation engendered a painful sequence of verbal prods from the interviewer and minimal verbal productions from the child, with pauses of up to 20 seconds between questions and monosyllabic answers. The standard deficit interpretation of this behavior had it that the child had failed to acquire grammatical competence; Labov’s interpretation was that the child was actively attempting to avoid saying anything in a situation where whatever he says could literally be held against him (Labov, 1970). This interpretation appeared to be disconfirmed when the same result ensued in the presumably less formal and locally more intriguing discussion at home about street fighting. It is only the third situation, which created an almost party-like situation, that produced dramatic changes in the child’s speech. Not only did the child go well beyond one-word replies to questions, but he actively competed for the floor and talked excitedly with both his friend and the researcher, demonstrating that he was indeed linguistically competent, even if the language was not standard English. Labov’s findings epitomized the position of the “difference” advocates. From this perspective, test-like, one on one, adult– child interactions grossly underestimated the child’s verbal abilities. Second, the social situation, including the way the adult used language, appeared to be an essential determinant of the child’s verbal behavior and manifest intellectual competence. Bruner and I abstracted several conclusions from this and re- lated research: (a) Formal experimental equivalence of operations does not insure de facto equivalence of experimental treatments; (b) different subcultural groups are predisposed to interpret the experimental stimuli (situa- tions) differently; (c) different subcultural groups are motivated by different concerns relevant to the experimental task; (d) in view of the inadequacies of experimentation, inferences about lack of competence among black children are unwarranted. (Cole & Bruner, 1971, p. 869) Note that these conclusions did not explain the low levels of test performance and the high levels of school failure among poor and marginalized American children. As we put it at the time, While it is very proper to criticize the logic of assuming that poor performance implies lack of competence, the contention that poor performance is ofnorelevance to a theory of cognitive development 86 COLE and to a theory of cultural differences in cognitive development also seems an oversimplification. (Cole & Bruner, 1971, p. 871) After reviewing a good deal of the literature on factors associ- ated with social class, ethnic, and cultural variations in cognitive performance under a wide range of testing procedures, we reached a conclusion that provides a baseline for judging the extent to which the intervening 40 years have brought about progress in our understanding of the relation between cognitive differences and cognitive deficits: The problem is to identify the range of capacities readily manifested in different groups and then to inquire whether the range is adequate to the individual’s needs in various cultural settings. From this point of view, culturaldeprivationrepresents a special case of cultural differencethat arises when an individual is faced with demands to perform in a manner inconsistent with his past (cultural) experience. In the present social context of the United States, the great power of the middle class has rendered differences into deficits because middle- class behavior is the yardstick of success. (Cole & Bruner, 1971, p. 874) Difference and Deficit Now: The Articles at Hand The first things one notes immediately on reading the articles in this special section ofDevelopmental Psychologyare that devel- opmentalists continue to wrestle with the issues Bruner and I addressed in 1971, and that the range of human diversity being systematically studied has widened as part of the secular trends toward acceptance of various kinds of diversity that were once either ignored or treated as pathologies. Issues of socioeconomic/ ethnic diversity are the focus of half the articles, while the remain- der address issues where the biological state of the child is known to be compromised in some way. Beginning with the domain with which I am most familiar, that of ethnicity and social class, these articles show clear continuities and discontinuities with the debates of 1971. With respect to continuities, the article by Hoff (2013) provides a myriad of evidence gathered by her and many others in support of the view that poor children are exposed to language that is more restricted in amount, variety, and complexity than middle class children. Moreover, the child-directed language of poor mothers is used more frequently for purposes of directing children’s behavior than for purposes of “eliciting and maintaining conversation.” These children perform relatively poorly on various measures of oral language development and subsequently are slower to acquire literacy and perform more poorly in school. These results mirror well the then-available evidence that motivated the deficit view of the 1960s and 1970s. However, Hoff (2013) is well versed in the lessons taught by Labov and a variety of other scholars: These same children may be highly skilled in language practices about which their middle class peers are clueless. Moreover, skill in local, specialized uses of language may even predict school failure. From Hoff’s point of view, given the enormous importance of education to economic well-being, the observed language differences are, de facto, cul- turally organized academic (life income) deficits. Hoff’s conclu- sion is that, pragmatically speaking, the evidence calls for society to provide extra support for the development of English skills, support that begins early whether the child is African American or comes from (say) a Spanish-speaking home and neighborhood.Pearson, Conner, and Jackson (2013) focus more than does Hoff on the evidence that AAE is a complex, rule-governed, perfectly normal linguistic system that overlaps, but is not coextensive with, general American English (GAE). They note that while profes- sional associations may argue for treating knowledge of AAE as a “communicative asset” for learning, in popular culture (including the popular culture of many teachers and admired African Amer- ican leaders such as Toni Morrison and Bill Cosby, who found use of AAE “garbage”) it is considered a “plague” that carries a strong social stigma. Instead of looking to unspecified sources of support for learning GAE during infancy and early childhood, Pearson and colleagues look to better educated teachers and a supportive school system where teachers can distinguish dialect from disorder. Teachers need to be able to provide “dialect-sensitive” and “culturally sensitive” instruction that promotes awareness and appreciation of dialect variation so that children are properly supported to acquire skills essential to the ability to read, such as phonemic awareness. In addition, the instructional circumstances should be such that the social stigma of speaking a dialect that converts difference into deficit is replaced by an appreciation of linguistic and cultural diversity that creates effective bilingual (bidialectical) and bicul- tural development. Fryberg et al. (2013) provide a different approach to sources of poor school achievement. They focus not on language but on cultural identity and cultural differences in the interpretation of assertive student behavior. They report the intriguing finding that First Nations Canadian youth who self-reported strong identifica- tion witheithertheir home cultureorwhat they refer to as the mainstream White culture tended to have higher academic perfor- mance. The youth who fail to identify strongly with either culture are those at particular risk for academic failure . . . unless (contrary to their home cultural norms) they are perceived as “assertive.” (Assertiveness was indexed by teacher ratings of such behaviors as defending one’s own view in class, participating willingly in class discussion, and questioning rules that seem unfair or unclear.) This study provides provocative evidence of significant hetero- geneity in school attainment among a culturally marginalized group, a finding that clearly points to a “difference” interpretation of cultural variations in academic performance not focused on questions of language development. Correlations among self- reports do not permit causal attributions concerning either home background or schooling practices, but the authors are probably justified in concluding that fostering academic achievement among First Nations children may “involve legitimating a variety of ways of being.” The remaining articles in this collection, where issues of differ- ence and deficit are linked to biological causes, provide instructive cases to help us think about how ideas of deficit and difference in developmental comparisons have changed over the past 40 years. The case of language development among children who experi- ence severe hearing loss, for example, highlights the intimate relation between culture and language development in a new way that is signaled by the distinction between the terms “deaf” and “Deaf.” The case of autism and the evolution of notions of neu- rodiversity raise these same issues involving a different mixture of cultural and biological factors. In 1971 there was still great uncertainty about the status of American Sign Language: Was it a crude system of largely iconic 87 DIFFERENCES AND DEFICITS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH gestures or a bona fide language with its own forms of phonology, morphology, syntax, and so on? “Deaf and dumb” referred not only to hearing loss and lack of vocalization but was often inter- preted by hearing people as the rough equivalent of “stupid.” By 1971, scholars were beginning to understand that ASL is a fully developed human language (Stokoe, 1960/2005), although this idea was not yet widely accepted. In 1972, James Woodward proposed a distinction between the inability to hear (deafness) and the ability to use ASL as a member of a community with its own customs, beliefs, and values, which he designated as Deafness. But broad acceptance of these ideas was slow in coming. As late as the early 1980s I was told by a well-known senior colleague that it was out of the question to hire a deaf scholar with a PhD as a faculty member because it would be impossible for the person to lecture and interact with students. Today, ASL and other sign languages originating in many different societies are accepted as fully devel- oped human languages. Moreover, it is recognized that Deaf culture is a vibrant and dynamic medium for sign language devel- opment, and Deaf scholarship is widely accepted (Padden & Humphries, 1983, 2005). Whether or not serious hearing loss represents a deficit has been shown to depend critically upon circumstances. Children born into a community where sign language is prevalent acquire that lan- guage. Consequently, as Lederberg, Schick, and Spencer (2013) put it, they are on an “equal but different trajectory.” However, insofar as such children must deal with a dominant social envi- ronment in which sign language is absent and their hearing loss produces communicational difficulties, a deficit will generally develop in such circumstances. These are just the kinds of condi- tion that Bruner and I identified as those that convert differences into deficits. Also serious is the case of children born into hearing homes where ASL is unknown or perhaps disapproved of because of problems that parents see lying ahead for their children. As Lederberg et al. point out, children in such a situation experience delayed language acquisition and may never achieve normal adult levels in either signed or oral language. Even children whose ASL development is perfectly normal can experience severe difficulties acquiring literacy, owing to the difficult task of mapping ASL phonemes produced through pat- terns of visually perceived movement with phonemes based upon sound patterns to which the learner has little or no access. In a society where literacy is the gateway to education, this problem poses ongoing challenges for those affected. The advent of what Lederberg et al. (2013) refer to as advanced audiological interventions raises new and difficult issues concern- ing difference and deficit that have yet to garner significant atten- tion outside the community of Deaf and deaf people directly concerned. Quite apart from the shortcomings of such devices, those who fought for the recognition of ASL as a language and the mandated social supports for inclusion that have made it possible for Deaf scholars to work in institutions dominated by hearing people face the loss of a culture that has sustained a valued community. Unsurprisingly, arguments over the value of cochlear implants and other technologies that seek medical solutions to hearing loss have given rise to acrimonious controversy over differences and deficits in the Deaf and deaf communities. The full inclusion of people with severe hearing loss is now demonstrably possible. But it remains an open question just how much hearing people will support such accommodations and how successful theresearch community will be in finding ways to support the acqui- sition of literacy that is central to social and economic well-being in the modern world. Just as our understanding of ASL and our acceptance of the reality of a Deaf community have changed dramatically over the last 40 years, conceptions of autism have morphed substantially. Forty years ago autism was presumed to be a unitary biological deficit in which social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior were combined with mental retardation. Today, autism is more widely understood as a spectrum of behaviors in which the sup- posedly clumped symptoms of what was seen as a single disorder are now viewed as variably present. Each of the remaining two articles provides a window on new perspectives for thinking about difference and deficit with respect to what is now referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the case of loss of hearing, knowledge of the specific biological causes is extensive and agreed upon. There are genetic markers for deafness and there is a well-developed medical theory of the various ways in which deafness can arise from disease and from environmentally induced brain lesions. By contrast, as Norbury and Sparks (2013) point out, while there is broad agreement that ASD is the result of a biological difference in brain function there is no consensus concerning specific biological markers or appro- priate biological tests for ASD, so psychologists must depend upon behavioral data. Once one begins to rely on behavioral data for diagnosis and treatment, justification of difference/deficit interpre- tations is subject to the effects of culture in both the interpretation of the problem and the behavioral regimens that are intended to cure or ameliorate specific forms of behavior. The picture that emerges from the two articles dealing with ASD provides rich evidence of how complex the issue of difference and deficit can become, as well as the identification of where children fall along “the spectrum.” First of all, such classifications depend upon whose point of view is taken; it seems perfectly reasonable that parents whose child displays, say, what the doctors call Asperger’s syndrome may feel quite certain their child is disabled and that Asperger’s syndrome is a serious psychological deficit. Manifestation of the symptoms means at least reorganization of socially accepted life routines and an increase in having to deal with the medical community, which is no picnic. At the same time, these children may display behaviors widely deemed by their social group to be talents and may be engaged with others in a manner that is distinctly social, although perhaps in a way that seems unconventional. From this perspective, the rise of what Kapp, Gillespie-Lynch, Sherman, and Hutman (2013) refer to as “autistic self-advocates” and of the neurodiversity movement is also perfectly reasonable. From this perspective it is society, not the individual, that is deficient. The complexities of characterizing different points along the “autism spectrum” fully justify the title of the article by Kapp and his colleagues (2013): Are we dealing with clearly defined deficits, human variety (differences) that should be accepted and incorpo- rated into social life, or both? Their answer, as I understand it, is both: autism spectrum disorder, especially at the more severe end of the spectrum, is interpreted as a deficit, the consequences of which should be ameliorated to best of society’s ability. A clear change from 40 years ago is that the humanity of people who manifest ASD symptoms is currently acknowledged, and despite 88 COLE their marked differences from social norms their participation in everyday social life is, under some conditions at least, made possible. Finally, when we consider the issue of neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD in cross-cultural perspective, we appear to come full circle back to the ideas that so vexed psychologists and society in 1971. I confess to a feeling of “de´ja` vu all over again” when reading Norbury and Sparks’s (2013) discussion relating problems of testing for ASD in other cultures. As their review admirably illustrates, many of the problems vexing developmen- talists who wish to study ASD in other cultures mirror the diffi- culties of cross-cultural research more generally. For example: When Puerto Rican kids are shown a picture of a knife and say “for cutting” is it an indication of language delay or a preference for describing over labeling? What are we to make of the fact that ASD kids increase eye contact when they are interested in the topic at hand? What is the significance of the fact that parents and teachers often differ in their evaluation of ASD children’s social commu- nication/interaction behaviors? When Chinese children who are suspected of ASD fail to look peers in the eye is it really a symptom of ASD or of the inappro- priateness of such behavior in Chinese culture? These are just the kinds of questions that undermined confi- dence in the conclusions drawn from cross-cultural research on cognitive development all through the 1960s and later decades. They are the same questions to which Labov issued his challenge in 1970. And now they are being discovered all over again in research on neurodevelopmental disorders. Some Reflections on Difference and Deficit Then and Now A good deal has changed over the past 40 years in the study of differences and deficits in child development. No one today be- lieves that the average poor African American child comes to school bereft of language. ASL is recognized as a fully developed language that supports a dynamic Deaf culture. The behavioral peculiarities of people referred to as autistic are no longer consid- ered symptomatic of a single neurological abnormality and defi- ciency on a single path of development. But some things have not changed. The achievement gap re- mains. Poverty has become the lot of many more families, bringing with it substandard education, nutrition, and health care. Failure to speak standard middle class English continues to stigmatize vast numbers of children, who disproportionately fail to complete sec- ondary education and whose teachers may be in danger of losing their jobs if they resort to a child’s home language in the service of instruction. The notion of a culture of poverty has reemerged as a powerful force guiding the education of the poor and marginal- ized (Payne, 2005). If anything, the presumed consequences of growing up in poverty are assessed as more dire now, owing to the surge of interest in the role of nutrition in prenatal development and data that warn about the bad effects of poverty on the brain (Hackman, Farah, & Meaney, 2010). With so many important topics on developmentalists’ agenda, as reflected in the articles under discussion, it is difficult to commenton all the relevant issues. Of the many topics worth further reflection and stimulated by these articles, I will restrict myself to two which bear closely on each other: the insidious harm caused by using norms not derived from the group in question to arrive at judgments about their state of development, and the social chal- lenges that arise when it is discovered that presumably immutable deficits attributed to individuals can be ameliorated or obliterated by changes in social practice. Beware of Nonrepresentative Norms The issue of using appropriate norms is particularly prominent in the articles by Hoff (2013) and Pearson et al. (2013), on language development and schooling, as well as the article by Norbury and Sparks (2013) on the problem of assessing the prev- alence and presumed varieties of ASD in radically different cul- tural groups. I will focus on the language assessment issue because it is a topic with which I have more experience and for which there is currently more information. But the same issues arise with respect to any sort of psychodiagnosis based upon behavioral data that calls for socially organized interventions. The problem of using inappropriate norms for judging language and cognitive development is made explicit by Erika Hoff (2013). She quite correctly notes that the assessment of language devel- opment needs to done cautiously when norms derived from middle class children are used to assess language development among poor children because such norms “may not tap the skills of children from other backgrounds” (Hoff, 2013, p. 7). Yet virtually all of the examples of socioeconomic status (SES) differences she provides are subject to this limitation, and her caution does not preclude her from generalizations based on such data such as “Grammatical development is also affected by SES” (Hoff, 2013, p. 5). Other than underestimating a valued ability, what difference does the resulting measurement error make? Research by William Hall and his colleagues (Hall, Nagy, & Linn, 1984), using unobtrusive auditory recordings in homes and classrooms, suggests an answer. They found, as the empirical research reviewed by Hoff (2013) would lead us to expect, that poor, Black children experience a more restricted range of vocab- ulary than their middle class, European American peers in the home. However, they also found that the vocabulary of the poor Black children was not simply a subset of the vocabulary of their peers. To be sure, roughly two thirds of the vocabulary sampled was common to all groups, but one sixth was specific to poor Black homes while the remainder was specific to middle class homes. Hall et al. (1984) went on to examine the readability formulas derived from those vocabulary norms and used to design basal readers. What they found was that vocabulary unique to middle class homes was overrepresented and when used to calculate readability formulas for basal readers, theyunderestimate the difficulty of the texts for AAE speakerswho are in effect required to learn to read using vocabulary that they are not familiar with. The reverse never happens. Based upon this analysis of basal readers, Hall and his colleagues noted that existing reading for- mula designers “unintentionally but effectively build class and race bias into their lists” (Hall et al., 1984, p. 478). As a conse- quence of this bias poor/Black children are confronted with a more difficult task in learning to read because they are learning with 89 DIFFERENCES AND DEFICITS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH relatively unfamiliar vocabulary. They conclude, “If curricula are not changed, we must at least be aware that we are demanding much more of those children whose lives are not represented in the materials they use in school” (Hall et al., 1984, p. 479). The problem is not restricted to basal readers. Hall and Tirre (1979) showed that the same problem appeared in several of the standardized tests of intellectual/academic ability, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Stanford-Binet. Hall and Tirre did not pursue their findings, but more recently Fagan and Holland did (Fagan & Holland, 2002, 2007). They showed that when African American and White subjects were presented with materials that were either generally accessible to both groups, or that depended upon specific knowl- edge (specific vocabulary items, or proverbs of the sort used in IQ tests), group differences appeared only for the items that were not common across the two groups, leading them to the conclusion that “exposure to information, rather than intellectual ability, may account for racial differences in IQ” (Fagan & Holland, 2002, p. 385). In like manner, a wide variety of experimental studies have shown that when local norms are used in constructing materials for use in the study of memory development, widely reported social class and ethnic differences in performance presumably indicative of a failure to develop and deploy conceptual abilities simply disappear (Hall, Reder, & Cole, 1975; Orasanu, Lee, & Scribner, 1979). These findings point to one direction that developmental psy- chologists and education should take: Be certain that the methods you use to arrive at conclusions about difference and deficit do not inadvertently misdiagnose the problems that motivated your re- search in the first place. Misdiagnosis leads to ineffective treat- ment, treatment that may make the problem worse (Labov, 2003). Implementing Effective Policies: A Question of Social Values, Not Individual Responsibility Assuming that our research leads to clear evidence of the sources of psychological differences, and even that we can with some certainty specify changes in environmental circumstances to reduce those differences if they are considered harmful, we must still confront the fact that the conditions producing the problematic developmental trajectories are likely to be firmly embedded in social, economic, and legal practices that maintain the very con- ditions whose consequences we decry. It has long been known that if middle class parents are placed under even mild stress, they ignore conversational openings they might otherwise have at- tended to and begin to use the kind of controlling, directive language that is said to be the proximal cause of poor children’s inadequate language development (Zussman, 1980). In poor households, high levels of stress are endemic, so such language use should be expected. It has also long been known that when parents work in conditions that offer little autonomy or individual initia- tive, parents recreate such conditions for their children at home (Kohn, 1977). The solution— end poverty and exploitation—is clearly beyond the control of psychologists, or political leaders, to arrange. The United States has lost the War on Poverty. It seems natural, then, to focus on social institutions, such as the schools, to provide forms of instruction that, in effect, render children bicultural and bilingual. But to accomplish this feat re-quires not only teachers who are well educated in the issues and who are provided the required working conditions, but communi- ties that cease to stigmatize children’s home language and culture so that when teachers use methods shown to be successful, they are widely adopted. For example, if you are trying to teach children about sound (sign)–written symbol correspondences, it is almost certainly a good idea to use vocabulary with which the children are familiar and reading materials that motivate the children to learn more about matters of genuine interest to them. But this course of action is almost certain to bring you into conflict with parents who do not want their children attending schools with “those people.” Nor should we ignore the fact that many poor parents who insist on obedience and respect in adult– child interactions are likely to object to middle-class style instruction, that “hidden curriculum” that middle class teachers are likely to use, a point made repeatedly by scholars such as Lisa Delpit (1993). Analogous considerations apply in the cases involving some form of biological difference. The inclusion of Deaf people in a variety of social practices, even Deaf people who are highly educated, requires that social institutions make provisions for their full participation, such as the presence of translators in circum- stances where communication ordinarily takes place in spoken language. The inclusion of movement-impaired people who must use a wheelchair presupposes a variety of modifications of the physical environment to provide physical access, and a cultural environment that treats impaired movement as a challenge for the community to overcome, not a personal problem for the individual and her/his family to deal with. Creating social environments where people with neurological differences can enrich their own lives and the lives of others through their participation also re- quires not only the provision of tangible social resources, but a cultural understanding that removes the stigma associated with the given condition, a stigma that serves as an excuse not only for bad science but for the devaluing of human life. Differences among human beings are essential to human life in the same way that biodiversity is essential to life on earth more generally. In the long run, if differences are also deficits in any fundamental way then those differences will disappear, only to give rise to new differ- ences that in turn will create the social conditions for judgments about what is and is not a deficit. In Darwin’s world, no less than the New Testament, we can expect that in the fullness of time, “the last will be first and the first will be last.” In the meantime, as developmental psychologists, we should be as careful as possible to be a part of the solution to humanity’s problems and to avoid turning differences into deficits in the guise of promoting development. References Bereiter, C. (1968). A nonpsychological approach to early compensatory education. In M. Deutsch, I. Katz, & A. R. Jensen (Eds.),Social class, race, and psychological development(pp. 337–346). New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Bereiter, C., & Engelmann, S. (1966).Teaching disadvantaged children in the preschool.Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 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Serpell, R., & Marfo, K. (2014). Some long-standing and emerging research lines in Africa. In R. Serpell & K. Marfo (Eds.), Child development in Africa: Views from inside. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development ,146 , 1–22. 1 Some Long-Standing and Emerging Research Lines in Africa Robert Serpell, Kofi Marfo Abstract Early research on child development in Africa was dominated by expatriates and was primarily addressed to the topics of testing the cross-cultural validity of theories developed “in the West,” and the search for universals. After a brief review of the outcome of that research, we propose two additional types of mo- tivation that seem important to us as African researchers begin to take the lead in articulating research agendas for the study of child development in Africa: articulating the contextual relevance and practical usefulness of developmental psychology in Africa; and making developmental psychology intelligible to lo- cal audiences. We highlight two major challenges for African societies in this era that call for attention by the emerging field of African child development research: linguistic hegemony and its effects on research and schooling; and the process of indigenization. We end with a preview of chapters in the rest of the volume. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT , no. 146, Winter 2014 ©2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). •DOI: 10.1002/cad.20070 1 2C HILD DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA :V IEWS FROM INSIDE T his volume is dedicated to showcasing research on child develop- ment in Africa by African scholars based on the continent. Re- searchers on child development in Africa have often originated from outside the continent, and previous commentaries have highlighted vari- ous ways in which this has colored their approach to the topic. Douglas Price-Williams (1975), Gustav Jahoda (1980), and Pierre Dasen (1977b), each of whom conducted pioneering research on aspects of child develop- ment in Africa, have all acknowledged two major types of motivation for cross-cultural research in the region: testing the cross-cultural validity of theories developed “in the West,” and searching for universals. These for- mulations have persisted in slightly modified form in more recent reviews of the field of cross-cultural psychology (e.g., Berry, Poortinga, Segall, & Dasen, 2002; Segall, Dasen, Berry, & Poortinga, 1999). On the other hand, the discipline of anthropology, which informed somewhat earlier studies of African childhood (e.g., Erny, 1972; Fortes, 1938), was often motivated by a search for cross-cultural contrasts, seeking through interpretation “to make the strange familiar,” and thus reflexively “to make the familiar strange” (Shweder, 1990). As Jahoda (1982) and Cole (1996) have shown, these dis- ciplines of the Western academy emerged from common roots in the 19th century, only gradually diverged, and have since begun to converge again in the fields of cultural psychology and psychological anthropology, as well as spawning the field of indigenous psychology (Kim, Yang, & Hwang, 2006; Sinha, 1994, 1997). Without contesting the relevance, nor indeed the legitimacy of any of those motivations, we propose here two additional types of motivation that seem to us important as African researchers begin to take the lead in artic- ulating research agendas for the study of child development in Africa: (a) contextual relevance and practical usefulness, and (b) intelligibility to local audiences. We shall argue that there is a strong connection between these two goals, in that a major factor influencing the usefulness of research find- ings in developmental psychology is whether their interpretation connects with preoccupations of the consumers to whom it is addressed (Serpell, 1990a, 2006). In the conclusion to his overview volume on Psychology in Africa , Wober (1975) urged the next generation of African social scientists to con- sider the possibility that they might become “more modern by not being just Western” (p. 215). The globalization of international communication has been interpreted in various ways. Some scholars see it as giving rise to increasingly egalitarian relations between nations and cultures in op- portunities to define the way forward in progressive social change, due to the relatively open access to world audiences afforded by the Internet. Others, however, construe it as intensifying inequalities between power- ful and less powerful sections of the world’s population under the guise of universal adoption of an agenda of modernization, whose goals have been NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad SOME LONG -STANDING AND EMERGING RESEARCH LINES IN AFRICA 3 hegemonically defined by cultures originating from the former imperial and colonial powers. Depending on one’s position on this continuum, respond- ing to Wober’s challenge may appear to have become more or less feasible in the four decades since it was published. Within the field of child development, Marfo, Pence, LeVine, and LeVine (2011) reflected on why the field of African child development has been so slow to emerge. African scholarship has been constrained by the relatively late establishment of universities in most countries, by the low priority attached by the newer African universities to research, and by the tendency of many scholars to rely for their teaching on literature published outside the continent. The Marfo et al. paper arose from a meeting con- vened in 2009 on the theme of strengthening Africa’s contributions to child development research. A broad range of issues received attention in five other papers. Pence (2011) undertook a provocative assessment of historical events (such as colonization) and epistemological traditions that have resulted in the privi- leging of Western ideas and practices over non-Western ones, cautioning the early childhood development movement in Africa against uncritical adoption of so-called “best practices” from the West. One group of authors highlighted some of the major contributions to contemporary global un- derstanding of child development generated by studies of children in Africa led and largely reported by scholars based outside the continent with the support of local, indigenous research assistants (Super, Harkness, Barry, & Zeitlin, 2011). Serpell (2011) described a sequence of systematic inquiries between 1971 and 2008, conducted within one African country, Zambia. He ob- served that “the process through which this took place resembles an evolving journey rather than implementation of a preconceived blueprint” (p. 127), and that, while as lead investigator he was a long-term, cultural vis- itor to African cultures, “at many junctures along the way, [he] was critically supported by the co-constructive participation in research design, imple- mentation, and interpretation by various [indigenous] African colleagues” (pp. 127–128). In a paper focusing on the application of knowledge on child development to the design and delivery of preschool programs in rural and resource-poor communities, Mwaura and Marfo (2011) traced the history of the Madrasa Preschool Resource Centers in East Africa. The paper high- lighted both the adaptive application of Western program models and the challenge of depending on foreign instruments with little or no local vali- dation to measure program outcomes. A concluding paper by Marfo (2011) envisioned a field of “African Child Development” that addresses the most important issues within Africa’s own context, particularly those dimensions of development, con- ceptions of development, and practices around development that are in- trinsically African. As part of a global field, the African Child Development NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad 4C HILD DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA :V IEWS FROM INSIDE field should contribute to and benefit from conceptions and knowledge of children in other societies. It should be pluralistic in terms of research paradigms and methodologies. And it should seek to avoid some of the pit- falls identified in Western science, recognizing sociocultural diversity both across the continent and within nations, and avoiding the ethnocentric and class biases for which many studies by Western psychologists have been criticized, such as the conflation of difference with deficit. In order to build such a field, Marfo advocates the promotion of interdisciplinarity from the base of education, rather than cultivating separate disciplinary strands of expertise and then facing the challenge of integrating them. He calls for es- tablishing African Child Development as a living, real-world field informed by a symbiotic relationship between academic researchers and professional practitioners in the community. Motivating Trends in African Developmental Psychology In the sections that follow, we discuss how each of the motives outlined in the previous section has influenced the character of research and dissemi- nation about child development in Africa: testing the cross-cultural validity of theories developed “in the West,” searching for universals, formulating an indigenous African psychology, attending to contextual relevance and practical usefulness, and intelligibility to local audiences. We conclude by highlighting two challenges for the field: the challenge of linguistic hege- mony and its effects on education and the challenge of indigenizing child development research on the continent. Testing the Cross-Cultural Validity of Theories Developed “in the West,” and the Search for Universals. One of the widely agreed func- tions of scientific theory is to provide an explanation for future events that were not available at the time the theory was proposed. Generalization be- yond the known is therefore an inherent feature of theories across all the disciplines. However, it is also normal to restrict the range of that gener- alizability when proposing a theory. The issue of what the proper limits of generalizability are for theories in developmental psychology has received considerable attention since the expansion of systematic cross-cultural re- search began in the 1970s. The goal of testing the universality of a Western theoretical model was explicitly articulated by Price-Williams (1961) in a landmark study of quantitative reasoning among young children growing up in a rural African community, among the Tiv people of Central Nigeria. He concluded from his investigation that “as regards Tiv children, in the particular fields ex- plored, there seems little difference to the sequence which has been found in European children” (p. 304). A burst of research along these lines was published by Western authors on many different African communities, as well as other “exotic” locations around the world, designed to establish whether the stages of cognitive development expounded in Piaget’s “genetic NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad SOME LONG -STANDING AND EMERGING RESEARCH LINES IN AFRICA 5 epistemology” are found in societies beyond the narrow sample of Swiss children studied by Piaget and his colleagues. An early summary of the findings concluded that they confirmed Piaget’s sequence of stages, from sensory-motor through egocentric/intuitive to concrete operational with no reversals of sequential order among stages; that the ages at which the transi- tions occur were variable across societies, and dependent on the pattern of experiences afforded by the child’s eco-cultural setting, with greater suscep- tibility to acceleration by direct training than envisaged in the original the- ory; and that some societies seemingly do not promote the emergence of the final (ultimate, culminating) stage of formal operational thought (Dasen, 1972). Thus, Piaget’s grand theory appeared to survive the test of relevance to African circumstances, but required the inclusion of some detailed ad- ditional parameters if it was to predict correctly the responses of African participants to the particular elicitation procedures designed by Piaget and his collaborators. In a later review, Dasen (1977b) acknowledged some more fundamen- tal challenges to Piagetian theory. Are there alternative developmental path- ways to the same eventual end-state of formal operational thought, some of which are more compatible with particular sociocultural circumstances than others? Or is the teleological character of Piaget’s sequence of stages a culturally specific feature of the theory that lacks cross-cultural validity? For instance, is the model of the child as a scientist exploring the world in search of a logically adequate explanation for its counterintuitive appear- ances a necessary and sufficient account of what arises as a consequence of the interaction between biological dispositions of an altricial species and the physical world in which we live and the evolutionary need to adapt in order to survive? Or is it informed by an ideological goal particular to West- ern society at a particular moment in history, that of achieving technological control over the physical environment? If the latter goal is related to specific sociocultural circumstances, maybe Piaget’s theory is biased toward a set of goals that are neither necessary nor sufficient for healthy human develop- ment (Buck-Morss, 1975). Within Western psychology, several features of Piaget’s theory came under critical examination, giving rise to a more be- havioral interpretation of developmental change (Bruner, Olver, & Green- field, 1966) than the epistemological perspective favored by Piaget. The presumption of naivete that informs Piaget’s account of egocentric/intuitive thinking has been questioned in the light of dramatic increases in logical explanations generated by changing the elicitation procedures (Donaldson, 1978), and his reliance on verbal questioning has been critiqued as system- atically misleading for young participants. Various neo-Piagetian models have been proposed that preserve some but not all features of the origi- nal theory. Pascual-Leone’s (1976) critique of Piagetian theory’s failure to take into account dynamic processes that occur within the individual dur- ing task performance and the information processing formulations of Case (1972) and Siegler (1983) brought the theory more in line with perspectives NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad 6C HILD DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA :V IEWS FROM INSIDE within contemporary cognitive science and also enhanced its relevance to instructional practice (e.g., Case, 1975). Cross-cultural data, including several studies in Africa, have been in- voked as significant influences on these challenges and modifications to Pi- aget’s theory (e.g., Dasen, 1977a). Moreover, indigenous African researchers have played an ostensible and significant role in the elaboration of how the theory is best applied to the interpretation of behavioral change in Africa, both over the course of individual development and over secular time as a reflection of sociocultural processes such as education and urbanization (Adjei, 1977; Fobih, 1979; Kiminyo, 1977; Ogbonna-Ohuche & Otaala, 1981; Okonji, 1971; Owoe, 1973). Thus, the appearance of hegemonic im- position of a foreign cultural interpretation that tended to misrepresent and even sometimes to demean African cultures and societies has given way to a more reciprocally informative account of the encounter between Piaget’s theory and the behavior of African children. Witkin’s theory of psychological differentiation (Witkin, Dyk, Fater- son, Goodenough, & Karp, 1962) emerged from an initial focus on Gestalt principles of perception, through the elaboration of a continuum of cog- nitive styles (field dependency) to a broadly integrative account of how gender, culture, and socialization practices interact to generate the emer- gence of different patterns of personality functioning. Like Piaget’s ge- netic epistemology, the underlying concept of psychological differentia- tion interprets human development from an organismic perspective. In that respect, just as the concept of stage holds together Piaget’s theory, a key feature of Witkin’s theory is its postulate of self-consistency across percep- tual, intellectual, and socioemotional domains of personality. But, as one of its strongest African advocates observed (Okonji, 1980), cross-cultural research conducted within the framework of the theory only seldom re- ported evidence of intercorrelations among behaviors across that wide range of psychological domains. Moreover, while many studies claimed to sup- port the theory “at a global level . . . attempts to relate particular socialisa- tion variables to particular modes of field approach have proved unsuccess- ful” (Okonji, 1980, p. 37). A sizable body of empirical research designed to test the theory’s applicability across cultures was conducted in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Berry, 1967; Dawson, 1967; Wober, 1967), and re- viewed in contrasting ways by Witkin and Berry (1975) and Serpell (1976). An ambitious collaborative study in the 1990s sought to provide an acid test by comparing two adjacent African cultural groups in the Cen- tral African Republic, one of which, the Bangandu, a subsistence agricul- tural community, was theoretically chosen as likely to promote the devel- opment of a field-dependent cognitive style, while the other, the nomadic, forest-dwelling Biaka, was expected to promote field independence. De- spite devoting great care to the documentation of the ecocultural niche of development afforded by each society, to the development of assessment tools, and to multivariate analysis, the study generated results so difficult to NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad SOME LONG -STANDING AND EMERGING RESEARCH LINES IN AFRICA 7 interpret that one major investigator concluded that “the hypotheses of this study were not confirmed” (van de Koppel, 1983, p. 157), while a second, multiauthored report interpreted the same data as broadly consistent with Witkin’s theory and Berry’s ecocultural model (Berry et al., 1988). Thus de- spite its meticulous attention to detail, the implications of the study are open to widely divergent interpretations (Cole, 1996; Serpell, 1990b). The application of the developmental theories of Piaget and Witkin to the interpretation of cross-cultural variations in child behavior (notably in- cluding studies in Africa) was sharply critiqued by Cole and Scribner (1977) as providing spurious legitimation for a research agenda that was at its roots hegemonic and liable to misconstrue cross-cultural differences in cogni- tion as manifestations of cognitive deficit and cultural deprivation in non- Western settings. The central thrust of their argument was that the focus of the theories on developmental change is intrinsically ill-suited to cross- cultural comparison, since cultural group differences are unlikely to lie along a value-laden continuum such as growth or progress. A robust defense was mounted by Dasen, Berry, and Witkin (1979) arguing, among other things, that Witkin’s typology of cognitive styles was bipolar rather than a value-laden continuum. Serpell (1976), however, pointed out that the vari- able of field dependency was in practice most often construed as value- laden, with field-independent modes of functioning represented as more adaptive. LCHC (1982) discussed additional anomalies in the way the lit- erature had linked field dependency to cultural variations in the African re- gion. Okonji’s (1980) profoundly reflective chapter seemed to hold out the promise of a further development of Witkin’s theory in ways that would free it from such biases and generate a research program to document distinctive strengths and affordances of indigenous African sociocultural conditions as well as processes of sociocultural change. Sadly, his premature death, at age 39, in 1975 prevented him from implementing that agenda, and it does not appear to have been taken up by other researchers on the continent. The cultural-historical perspective on human development, formu- lated by Vygotsky (1978) in the wake of the 1917 Russian revolution, gained widespread adoption in the field of child development since 1970, several decades after Vygotsky’s death in 1934. Several American scholars expounded the theory for Western audiences, and one of these, Michael Cole, drew inspiration from it for his extensive empirical research program in Liberia in the 1960s and 1970s. A major contribution of that program was the study entitled The Psychology of Literacy (Scribner & Cole, 1981). This study contextualized literacy as a historically situated cultural prac- tice and found that the cognitive outcomes of becoming literate can only be adequately explained by including a consideration of the particular char- acteristics of the cultural practice within which that individual literacy is deployed. Thus, rather than a general potentiating of cognition, each form of literacy per se conveys particular cognitive benefits, closely related to the contextual parameters of the particular practices that it mediates. NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad 8C HILD DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA :V IEWS FROM INSIDE The theme of testing the cross-cultural validity of theories developed “in the West” has been represented by both the genetic epistemology camp and the psychological differentiation camp as a test of generalizability with a goal of establishing universals (Berry et al., 2002; Kagitcibasi, 2000). But critics have argued that this was a disguise, and the main lessons learned were that: •psychological measurement is very context-dependent (Cole & Bruner, 1971; Serpell, 1979), and researchers should be wary of interpreting per- formance on particular tasks as evidence of broad, underlying competen- cies (e.g., intelligence or concrete operational reasoning) or dispositions (e.g., field-dependent cognitive style), since much of the variance in per- formance on those tasks is accounted for by situational variation rather than individual differences; •a major threat to the universality of Western theories of child develop- ment was that the research strategy giving rise to them was ethnocentric (or centri-cultural). As Wober (1969) put it, what was needed was less about how well “they” can do “our [Western cultural] tricks” and more about what tricks (behavioral routines) Africans do well, why they con- sider them important, and how they achieve competence in them. Serpell (1990a) argued that, in order to escape this centri-cultural con- straint, studies of child development needed to 1. extend the database (observing children growing up in diverse, natu- rally occurring environments); 2. engage scholars with a wider range of firsthand personal developmen- tal experiences; 3. address their interpretations to a wider range of stakeholders around the world. In the African context, these stipulations pose three challenges: contex- tual diversity, reflexivity, and intelligibility and relevance to local audiences. These challenges intersect within the concept of the developmental niche (Super & Harkness, 1986) as a mandate to investigate child development in a variety of settings/ecocultural contexts, examining a variety of cultural customs, practices, and traditions, and including as theoretical resources a variety of cultural meaning systems (including languages). Articulating the Contextual Relevance and Practical Usefulness of Developmental Psychology in Africa. Most of Africa’s universities were established in the 1950s and 1960s around the end of the colonial period. Embedded in the larger vision that governments of newly indepen- dent nations had for their emerging universities was the value of contex- tual relevance. Throughout the continent, parliamentary acts and leader- ship speeches inaugurating the new institutions conveyed the imperative NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad SOME LONG -STANDING AND EMERGING RESEARCH LINES IN AFRICA 9 for them to be contextually relevant. For instance, President Nyerere of Tan- zania in 1966 underscored the local development value of the university in these words quoted by Coleman and Court (1993): The university in a developing country must put the emphasis of its work on subjects of immediate moment to the nation in which it exists, and it must be committed to the people of that nation and their humanistic goals . . . We in poor societies can only justify expenditure on a University—of any type—if it promotes real development of our people. (p. 296) At its 1969 conference in Kinshasa, the newly formed Association of African Universities (AAU) characterized African universities as institu- tions “that are not only built, owned and sited in Africa, but are of Africa, drawing their inspiration from Africa, and intelligently dedicated to her ideas and aspirations”—institutions that will vigorously address through research “the challenges posed by the problems of poverty, and of the need for social rebirth, cultural rediscovery, and political identity, which confront African countries individually and collectively” (Yesufu, 1973, p. 5). The emergence of African universities was part of a broader political decolonization process that famously brought a “wind of change” to the continent, one manifestation of which was the progressive replacement of expatriate professionals by indigenous Africans. Their preparation for this role in society was often conceptualized as a process of training, some- times at a higher education institution (HEI) in a former colonial metropole, sometimes in a crash course at a newly established HEI within the conti- nent, where the curriculum came under scrutiny for its practical usefulness and contextual relevance for professional practice in Africa. A new genre of scholarship and resource development emerged in this context, reflecting critical misgivings about the pervasive tradition of unidirectional transfer of knowledge from the Euro-American World to Africa and other parts of the Majority World. The nurturing of children’s development is a cultural project, and as such those who seek to understand children’s development must un- derstand indigenous conceptions of development—including dispositions, abilities, and behaviors at the individual and social levels—as well as the societal presuppositions and aspirations within the local context that drive what is considered at any point as valued developmental outcomes. Re- search on indigenous conceptions of development and quintessentially African issues emanating from them contributes both to the building of a scientific knowledge base on the continent and to a global science that ben- efits from alternative worldviews and conceptions of developmental phe- nomena across multiple cultural contexts (Marfo, 2011). Advances in this direction are manifested in the works of an increas- ing number of African scholars. Since the 1970s, Serpell and his col- leagues have pursued programmatic theoretical and empirical research on NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad 10 C HILD DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA :V IEWS FROM INSIDE conceptions of intelligence in a rural Zambian community (e.g., Serpell, 1977, 1982, 1993, 2011; Serpell & Jere-Folotiya, 2008). This body of work has demonstrated that conceptions of intelligence in the rural Chewa com- munity studied converge around two key elements—cognitive alacrity and social responsibility—both of which are valued in the local context. Researchers in other African societies have reported congruent find- ings as well as additional complexities (e.g., Dasen et al., 1985; Grigorenko et al., 2001; Mpofu, 2002). This research has contributed to an appreciation of the cultural grounding of intelligence in developmental science, and in the African context, it highlights limitations of a tradition of school-driven assessment that rests exclusively on person-level cognitive and academic skills and, in so doing, short-changes education aimed at inculcating the range of competencies and dispositions necessary for children to function adaptively in school as well as community. Earlier research on the assessment of intelligence in Africa was primar- ily driven by the pragmatic agenda of selecting candidates for admission to secondary and tertiary levels of formal education necessitated by the lim- ited expansion of such provision near the end of the colonial era. Vernon (1967) justified basing selection in this context on assessment instruments originally validated in the West on the grounds that (a) “the developing countries of Africa . . . want to achieve civilisations comparable to those of the Western technological nations,” (b) they “are severely handicapped at present by lack of intelligent, well-educated manpower,” and (c) “Western- type tests . . . are known to be relevant to educational and vocational suc- cess” (p. 335). Inspired by this paternalistic rationale, the local standard- ization and refinement of educational selection tests became a thriving field of technical psychometric research and development in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Drenth, 1972; Durojaiye, 1984; Irvine, 1966), feed- ing the practice of importing from Western industrialized countries testing procedures that have little or no grounding in the everyday lives of most African children, outside of formal schooling (Serpell & Haynes, 2004). The divergence between the culture of schooling and that of children’s homes has given rise to “a credibility gap for public basic education with respect to the values and aspirations of parents in rural communities” (Serpell, 2011, p. 128). Some attempts to move the technology of cognitive assessment in a different direction are discussed in Chapter 5 of this volume. Making Developmental Psychology Intelligible to Local Audiences. Inquiry in the academy is often produced for consumption by fellow aca- demics and professionals. If inquiry is to have a meaningful impact on the lives of researched communities, however, researchers have to find ways to communicate their findings in language that is comprehensible to the lay public. Horowitz (2000), in her presidential address to the Society for Research on Child Development, lamented the de facto practice by many academic researchers in the United States of delegating to the media the NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad SOME LONG -STANDING AND EMERGING RESEARCH LINES IN AFRICA 11 very important task of communicating research to the general public, and called on developmental scientists to also communicate their findings to “the person in the street.” This responsibility takes on greater importance in the African context where communication of findings, whether to the professional or lay community, is severely constrained by a wide range of factors. Perhaps even more important, the nascence of the field in Africa makes it imperative to make communication of research to local communi- ties a signature feature of developmental research. The kind of orientation required to move in this direction is illustrated by Serpell’s successive attempts to share the findings of his research on the indigenous conceptualization of intelligence as a dimension of child devel- opment with the rural community in Zambia’s Eastern Province that hosted the research (Serpell, 1977). Over the succeeding years, following up the original child participants and their families in order to monitor develop- mental outcomes raised his sense of accountability to the community that had hosted more than a decade of research on the significance of school- ing (Serpell, 1993). Reflecting on how best to share with them the findings of the project, the research team initially adopted a seminar format based on prevailing academic practices. Two indigenous scions of the commu- nity, who had attained tertiary level education at the national university, culled from the transcripts of interviews a collection of statements by lo- cal stakeholders about the relevance of schooling to two topics of great lo- cal salience: agriculture and health. Opposing viewpoints were selected for juxtaposition on a one-page printed document in the local language, and distributed within the village communities for perusal and reflection. Then a series of meetings were held within each village environment, and two lo- cal paraprofessionals were invited to participate: an agricultural extension officer and a clinical officer. The design of this encounter between villagers responsible for child socialization and service providers representing the national government was intended to accord legitimacy to local parents, many of whom were women, by holding the discussions in their local lan- guage and on their home territory, using their own words as the authorita- tive texts for discussion. Yet despite those efforts, women attending these gatherings hardly ever spoke up, leaving the floor to the menfolk, espe- cially the government workers, who dominated the discussions and not in- frequently resorted to English (the language of national power) to make their points. Judging this first bid at generating an authentic, egalitarian discussion of the research findings to have been a failure, the research team attempted a very different strategy, inspired by a Tanzanian expert exponent of the “edu- tainment” form of popular theatre, Dr. Penina Mlama (1991). This time, the “text” was a drama composed collaboratively among a team of actor- musician-dramatists led by the distinguished Zambian popular theatre ex- pert, Professor Mapopa Mtonga (2012), and a number of key informants NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad 12 C HILD DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA :V IEWS FROM INSIDE recruited informally from among the parents, teachers, and youth who had participated in the research. Analysis of the informal reflections by members of the audience during and immediately following the drama showed that it had successfully engaged a wide range of local stakeholders, including women, who are a crucially important constituency both for understanding child socialization practices and for participating in the design and implementation of progressive social change. Formulating an effective dramatization of research results is at least as challenging as writing a technical paper for publication and calls for in- terdisciplinary collaboration. For certain important audiences, it may be the most viable way of engaging them with substantive issues identified by sys- tematic research on African child development. (Serpell, 2011, p. 131) The contrast between the outcomes of these two approaches to dis- semination of research findings illustrates the complexity of cross-cultural communication in social science even within a single African society and among fellow citizens living in close proximity to one another. It also sug- gests the possibility that the most effective forms of communication may differ depending on cultural characteristics of the audience to whom they are addressed. Challenges for Society and Field In this final section, we identify two challenges facing African societies and, by implication, an African Child Development field. First, we explore philo- sophically the challenge of linguistic hegemony in post-colonial Africa and examine the practical challenge it presents for children’s socialization and learning in and out of school. Second, we present perspectives on ways to think of and build an African Child Development field. Linguistic Hegemony and Its Effects on Research and Schooling. One of the earliest explicit formulations of an indigenous psychology was by Virgilio Enriquez, who pioneered the Sikologia Pilipino movement in the 1970s that achieved remarkable prominence in the Philippines academy (Lagmay, 1984). Declaring that use of the English language had been one of the major constraints on conceptualizing psychological phenomena in ways that resonate with the indigenous culture, the movement prioritized publication of its research findings in Tagalog (also known as Pilipino). In a rare English-medium publication, Enriquez (1982) contended that sig- nificant progress had been made in articulating the interpretive power of indigenous concepts such as saling-pusa for an understanding of social be- havior distinctive to Philippines society. In a like manner, Azuma (1984) has advanced an influential analysis of the distinctive characteristics of the Japanese concept of amae , which has been widely invoked to interpret distinctive features of human relationships in Japanese society (e.g., Lebra, 1994; Tobin, Wu, & Davidson, 1989). NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad SOME LONG -STANDING AND EMERGING RESEARCH LINES IN AFRICA 13 The issue of language has yet to be systematically addressed within dis- cussions of indigenization of psychology in Africa. The strategy of turning inward adopted by Enriquez in the Philippines has deprived the mainstream of Western psychology of the opportunity to learn from it, a concern that has also been voiced by some commentators on the decision by the distin- guished African novelist and literary critic, Ngugi wa Thiongo (1986) to write exclusively in his native language, Gikuyu, after achieving fame for his earlier novels in English (e.g., Ngugi, 1964). Schooling and the Marginalization of Indigenous Languages. At the opposite end of the pole is the marginalization of indigenous languages not only within formerly colonized societies, but also within contempo- rary industrialized societies increasingly characterized by rapid cultural change and linguistic diversity. In the United States, for example, theoret- ical conceptualization of how language influences child development has been constrained until quite recently by a convergence of two factors: the overwhelming dominance of the English language and an attitude toward individual bilingualism as an atypical and somewhat hazardous condition. The marginalization of other languages in the development of assessment instruments thus derived spurious justification from the political judgment that mastery of the dominant language of the state was an essential pre- condition for developmental success. However, the growing importance of Spanish as a language of wider communication in the United States has generated significant changes in the ways in which applied developmental science conceptualizes language as a dimension of cognition. The empowering effects of bilingualism have been systematically docu- mented (Bialystok, Craik, Green, & Gollan, 2009), and the rights of families to enroll their children in schools where the family’s heritage language is the medium of initial literacy learning have been recognized (Cummins, 2000). The broader implications of these contextual changes have also begun to receive recognition (SRCD, 2013). Despite these important advances, the dominant perspective of educational researchers in the United States and Western Europe remains grounded in an assimilationist premise: mastery of the language of the majority is posited as an essential survival goal for all children. In formerly colonized societies, a characteristic of most contempo- rary African states, this premise does not have the same axiomatic status. The majority of citizens of these countries do not speak English or French as their mother tongue, nor indeed as their principal medium of every- day communication. The dominance of those formerly metropolitan lan- guages in public affairs arises from relations of power that are undergo- ing a process of gradual transformation, and the emphasis on their mastery as a goal of secondary education reflects complex political and economic processes of class formation and international dependency whose sociocul- tural repercussions tend to outlast the structural arrangements that gave rise to them. NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad 14 C HILD DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA :V IEWS FROM INSIDE In post-apartheid South Africa, educational policy has boldly desig- nated nine of the indigenous African languages as the medium of initial literacy instruction in government schools with equal status to English and Afrikaans. But the implementation of this policy faces significant chal- lenges from the education profession and from the general public, especially with respect to the normalization of bilingualism (Banda, 2009; Heugh, 2000). Meanwhile, all across the continent, the dominance of the former metropolitan languages as media of instruction has served to constrain the publication of texts for adults and for children in the indigenous African languages (Edwards & Ngwaru, 2011). This has in turn tended to stunt the literary development of those languages. Most African languages were first committed to writing in the 19th or 20th century by Christian missionaries, whose choice of orthographic con- ventions was strongly influenced by the spelling system of their original mother tongue and/or of the European language of colonial administration, giving rise in the post-colonial era to many anomalies with respect to stan- dardization, and to gratuitous impediments to mutual intelligibility among cognate local languages and dialects within the region (Banda, 2008). In Zambia, recent moves by the national government (GRZ, 2013) to intensify implementation of its 1996 decision to provide initial literacy instruction to all children in a familiar language point to the likelihood of a resurgence of writing and publication for children in the African languages, and with that a more effective mobilization of the widely acknowledged African cultural resource of narratives (Cancel, 2013). An African field of child development can contribute significant insights on (a) the manner in which imposed for- eign languages affect children’s development and learning and (b) the de- gree to which policies advancing the use of local languages in school might rectify challenges currently attributed to schooling in a predominantly for- eign language learning context. The Challenge of Indigenizing the Field. The genre of scholarship as- sociated with the indigenous psychology movement (Sinha, 1997) sheds light on some of the challenges that an emerging African field faces. Kagitcibasi (2000) drew a distinction between two conceptual models: (a) an indigenous orientation to psychology that embraces one psychology benefiting from in- digenous knowledge and (b) indigenized psychology , which, she contended, could result in a multiplicity of culture-specific psychologies with incom- patible bodies of knowledge and, thus, preclude the search for universals. Marfo (2011), however, proposed a bridging epistemological perspective, arguing that an African field of human development should contribute to a global or unified science “in which pursuit of uniquely culture-specific understandings is not antithetical to pursuit of understandings with cross- cultural generality” (p. 143). Such a field should be “conceived not as a culturally insulated enterprise cocooned in its own traditions and designed exclusively to address questions of local relevance, but as a field that is mindful enough of the interconnectedness of the human condition across NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad SOME LONG -STANDING AND EMERGING RESEARCH LINES IN AFRICA 15 cultures to be able to benefit from and contribute to other understandings” (Marfo, 2011, p. 143). A leading advocate of Africa-centered developmental psychology has been Bame Nsamenang, whose contributions include theoretical analysis of cultural constructs and expectations regarding human development in an African context. As backdrop to his work he invokes Mazrui’s (1986) historiographical positioning of Africa’s developmental landscape at the confluence of three strands of cultural heritage: one with social and cos- mological traditions that are endogenous to Africa, one with origins in Is- lamic religion and law, and one originating from European Christian her- itage, legal-administrative traditions, and scientific-technological advances. Drawing insights from the African philosophical writings of Mbiti (1969) and Moumouni (1968)—and extrapolating from child-rearing practices of the Nso of Cameroon and from parallel practices in other West African ethnic communities—Nsamenang has proposed a life-span model of “so- cial ontogeny” that contrasts significantly with Western conceptions of so- cial development (Nsamenang, 1992, 2006). The model delineates seven phases in the development of social selfhood (newborn, presocial, social novice, social entr ´ ee, social intern, adulthood, and old age), each char- acterized by a distinctive set of developmental tasks defined within the culture’s primarily socioaffective developmental agenda. This and other contributions by Nsamenang “set the stage for normative and idiographic inquiry regarding the mechanisms of developmental change” (Marfo, 2011, p. 144). Although many advocates of indigenous psychology appear to favor a qualitative approach, we question the presumption that pursuit of culture- specific understandings of human development requires, ipso facto , “holis- tic, qualitative, and phenomenological” methods that are more compati- ble with, and therefore more appropriate for, non-Western cultures (see Adair, 1999). As Marfo points out, the emergence of cultural psychology has refreshingly produced interpretive-qualitative frameworks that place understandings of psychological phenomena within the context of cul- tural meanings (e.g., Ratner, 2008; Ratner & Hui, 2003; Shweder, 1991). However, a good amount of research conducted within a cultural psychol- ogy framework employs quantitative methods as well (e.g., Cole, 1996; Greenfield, 1997). Seen in the context of mounting critiques of varying forms of hegemony (cultural, epistemological, and methodological) within Euro-American inquiry (Paul & Marfo, 2001), the emerging African field of African child development would do well to embrace methodological pluralism. Preview of Chapters in the Rest of This Volume In this final section, we present a brief foretaste of each of the four chapters written by cultural insiders of African societies. NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad 16 C HILD DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA :V IEWS FROM INSIDE Children with (or exposed to) HIV/AIDS constitute a significant pro- portion of children growing up in conditions of high risk in Africa. The health needs of these children and the challenges of meeting them are bet- ter known than either their developmental challenges or the prospects they have, with appropriate interventions, for optimal well-being in the cogni- tive, socioemotional, and academic competency domains. Scholarship on this subject makes a crucially important contribution not only to the emerg- ing child development field on the continent but also to the knowledge base of the global field of developmental science. In Chapter 2, Amina Abubakar draws on her years of tool development and field research experience in Kenya to present a comprehensive portrait of some of the innovative re- search being done on the continent. In particular, she reviews and integrates empirical research findings from disparate realms of inquiry and method- ological genres, and addresses a broad range of issues with significant implications for developmental interventions, conceptual analysis, and the advancement of empirical tools within the emerging field of pediatric de- velopmental science. The significance of early childhood development/education continues to gain global attention, with significant increases in investments by in- ternational donor agencies to encourage national governments in low- and middle-income countries to develop and implement policies to give all chil- dren a strong start in life. Accompanying the widespread appeal of these global investments, however, are deep concerns, within the Majority World, about the service delivery models and program content being promoted globally. In Chapter 3, John T. Ng’asike goes beyond these program-level con- cerns to explore fundamental issues of profound epistemological and onto- logical importance for the African child development field. Using his native Turkana pastoralist cultural heritage as a case study, Ng’asike presents a penetrating critique of the content and methods of official early childhood developmental and educational programs in Kenya. The chapter provides insights into the daily lives of children in pastoralist communities, under- scores how developmental and learning processes in the community con- text are at variance with the content and pedagogy of official Early Child- hood Education, and presents a reconceptualist case for rethinking Early Childhood Education in the African context. The home setting is the earliest context for children’s acquisition of the competencies and dispositions that will define their readiness to en- ter and do well in school. The home is itself nested in the larger commu- nity and cultural context with values, resources, and knowledge traditions that shape socialization practices. A challenge in children’s literacy devel- opment is that parents and significant other agents of socialization may not bring significant schooling experiences of their own to their roles as children’s foundational educators. This does not mean, however, that par- ents and other caregivers in the lives of children do not possess valuable NEWDIRECTIONS FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT • DOI: 10.1002/cad SOME LONG -STANDING AND EMERGING RESEARCH LINES IN AFRICA 17 knowledge with direct relevance to literacy development. Marriote Ngwaru brings to the analysis of contextual issues in literacy development the ben- efit of his research in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Ngwaru foregrounds issues of parental involvement and empowerment in his dis- cussion, placing them in juxtaposition to parents’ own conceptions of what they bring to their children’s literacy development and to a tradition of schooling in which the sociocultural funds of knowledge within local com- munities are often discounted, if not disregarded outright. Assessment, whether for diagnostic and intervention purposes or for research designed to gain basic understandings about psychological and ed- ucational phenomena, remains one of the most vexing problems in the field of human development globally. In the North American context, the persis- tent use of assessment tools outside populations for which they were vali- dated has been criticized (e.g., Betancourt & Lopez, 1993) and blamed in part on the culture gap in the developmental science knowledge base (Marfo & Boothby, 1997). In the African context, the preponderant dependence on assessment tools developed and validated outside the continent is even more profoundly problematic. In Chapter 5, Beatrice Matafwali and Robert Serpell address multiple dimensions of this problem. Beyond critique of the status quo , the authors highlight and offer perspectives on issues pertinent to the development of instruments appropriate for the African context. 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The development of adaptive competence: Why cultural psychology is necessary and not just nice Robert J. Sternberg Cornell University, Department of Human Development, B44 MVR, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA article info Article history: Received 16 April 2014 Revised 21 May 2014 Available online 13 June 2014 Keywords: Augmented theory of successful intelligence Intelligence Cultural psychology Adaptation Shaping Selection abstract I argue that developmental psychologists need to view cultural approaches to cognitive development as necessary and not just nice. Cultural psychology enables one to study problems one other- wise might not be able to study and also to identify solutions to problems that might be obscured or even distorted if one looked only at results within a single culture (usually, one’s own). I describe work my colleagues and I have done around the world addressing speciﬁc problems such as what does it mean to be adaptively intelligent in various cultures, how does illness affect intellectual functioning, and what do people even mean by ‘‘intel- ligence’’ in different cultures. The results show that cognitive development can be fully understood only if one looks beyond one’s own cultural boundaries and preconceptions. The article fur- ther argues that a theory of successful intelligence can be a useful way of studying phenomena of intellectual development within a cultural framework. 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Introduction Cultural psychology is often viewed in psychology as a peripheral ﬁeld. Indeed, the American Psychological Association, with 54 divisions, does not have a division for cultural or cross-cultural psy- chology. The closest it comes is ‘‘international psychology,’’ which really is quite different. But there are many questions that cannot be answered fully, or even at all well, unless one takes a cultural approach. Put another way, studying certain phenomena only within one’s own culture, for example, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2014.05.004 0273-2297/ 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. E-mail addresses:[email protected],[email protected] Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 Contents lists available atScienceDirect Developmental Review journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/dr the dominant version of the Anglo-Saxon culture in the United States, leaves on unable adequately to address important psychological questions and issues. One such issue is that of adaptive competence. In order to understand people, regardless of their age, one needs to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and to help them capitalize on strengths at the same time that one helps them correct or compensate for weaknesses. The argument of this article is that psychologists, and especially develop- mental psychologists, can do a better job of understanding and leveraging the strengths of people from diverse environmental contexts if those strengths are viewed in a cultural framework (Miller, 2005; Nisbett, 2004; Wang, 2009). To understand development, one needs to look beyond one’s own cultural boundaries and preconceptions (Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, 1982; Matsumoto & Juang, 2012; Serpell, 2002; Shweder, 2003). Cultural approaches are especially important in studies of everyday cognition (Greenﬁeld, 2014; Nuñes, 1994; Rogoff, 2003; Schliemann, Carraher, & Ceci, 1997). McClelland (1973)suggested that adaptive competencies go well beyond traditional notions of intelligence (e.g.,Carroll, 1993). Others, such asGardner (2006)andSternberg (2003), have made a similar argument.Sternberg (2004), moreover, has suggested that in diverse cultural settings, adaptive competencies may differ but that teachers may not recognize them because they are within the teach- ers’ repertoires, either actively (in terms of knowledge or skills the teachers may themselves utilize) or passively (in terms of knowledge or skills the teachers may recognize in others). The result is that students might be able to succeed at higher levels but do not because the teachers falsely label the students as lacking the ingredients for success. As a result, the teachers construct self-fulﬁlling proph- ecies (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 2003). This article summarizes studies purporting to show the importance of a cultural framework when studying intellectual development, in particular, and developmental psychology, in general. The stud- ies cover a range of intellectual functions as well as cultural settings. Theoretical backdrop: The augmented theory of successful intelligence The theoretical basis of the studies to be reported is the augmented theory of successful intelli- gence (Sternberg, 2003, 2005). According to this theory, successful intelligence is one’s ability to choose and successfully work toward the attainment of one’s goals in life, within one’s cultural con- text or contexts. People succeed in selecting and attaining goals by recognizing and capitalizing on strengths and by recognizing and then compensating for or correcting weaknesses. They do so in order to adapt to, shape, and select environments that ﬁt their skills, interests, and values. The theory suggests that the tasks that might be relevant for measuring successful intelligence in one cultural context may be less relevant or even not at all relevant in another cultural context. As a result, assessments of intelligence need to take into account the cultural context of the people who are being assessed. Intelligence is viewed as not merely within the person, but as an interaction between the person, the tasks the person confronts, and the cultural context in which the tasks are confronted. As an example, a kind of sorting behavior that may be viewed as ‘‘intelligent’’ in one cultural context (e.g., taxonomic sorting) may be viewed as not very intelligence in another cultural context, where another kind of sorting (e.g., functional sorting) may be viewed as superior (Cole, Gay, Glick, & Sharp, 1971). To be clear, the theory does not propose that intelligence is a different entity in each culture. The basic information-processing components are the same, regardless of culture (Sternberg, 1985). For example, in any culture, one needs to identify the existence of problems, deﬁne the nature of the prob- lems identiﬁed, mentally represent the problems as deﬁned, devise a strategy for solving the prob- lems, and so on. What differs is the nature of the problems encountered in various ecological contexts (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). For example, one child may focus during the day on how to solve an algebra problem, another on how to get past drug dealers on the way to school, another on how to ice-ﬁsh so that his family has something to eat for dinner. The mental processes may be similar or identical—what differs is the kinds of knowledge and skills to which they give rise as a result of cul- tural contexts. What may be a relatively novel problem in one culture (e.g., a textbook algebra prob- lem or effective ice ﬁshing) may be a familiar one in another culture. In the theory of successful R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 209 intelligence, the basic underlying competencies are the same everywhere (so-called ‘‘componential subtheory’’), but a given task or situation requiring them may be differentially familiar (so-called ‘‘experiential subtheory’’) across cultural contexts, and practical applications can differ radically from one cultural context to another (so-called ‘‘contextual subtheory’’—Sternberg, 1985). The theory does not suggest that typical tests of intelligence, suitably adapted, are useless in cul- tures other than the one in which they were created. Rather, the theory argues that such assessments inevitably will be incomplete and that their interpretation must take into account the cultural context in which the tests are administered. Properly to assess intelligence, one would want to use supple- mental assessments that more accurately reﬂect the adaptive demands of the cultural context in which the individuals live. These supplemental assessments may tell the investigator more about the intelligence of the individual being tested than do the more typical assessments. Motivation for research enterprise The research to be described was motivated, in general, by the theory of successful intelligence. But speciﬁcally, it was intended to answer a question that has been asked many times in many forms: Why do people from certain cultural settings perform worse, on average, on tests of intelligence than people from other cultural settings?Herrnstein and Murray (1994)and especiallyLynn (2008)have suggested that much or even all of the explanation may be genetic. Others have preferred an environ- mental explanation (Nisbett, 2010). The ﬁnal word is probably not in but the research program described here identiﬁes a number of environmental/contextual factors that may lead to differences in intelligence-test performance. In particular, what constitute adaptive competencies, the bases of human intelligence, differ across cultures and subcultures, as do implicit theories of intelligence. Thus, differential enculturation as well as socialization, in addition to different environmental stressors, can account for much of the difference. It is argued here that what constitutes an appropriate test of intel- ligence may vary across cultures, such that cultural groups that do well on typical intelligence tests might perform rather poorly if the tests were instead invented and geared toward the adaptive demands of other cultures. Recognizing adaptive competencies One issue that psychologists need to deal with is how we even can recognize what constitute adap- tive competencies. In the United States and even in much of the world, we rely heavily on tests that measure general intelligence, org, sometimes supplemented by tests of competencies hierarchically nested underg(Carroll, 1993). But what about skills that are not measured by conventional tests of general intelligence, or even not very conventional tests? Hidden adaptive competencies A study in rural Kenya The extent to which adaptive competencies can be hidden from us as psychologists is demon- strated in research my colleagues and I did among Luo children in rural Kenya (Sternberg et al., 2001). Consider a child in a small rural Kenyan village. We ﬁrst learned something of these children in a discussion with a parasitologist, then at Oxford. The parasitologist, Kate Nokes, mentioned that chil- dren in rural villages in Kenya would know the names of 80, 90, or even 100 natural herbal medicines that could be used to combat parasitic illnesses. Such knowledge is extremely relevant for adaptation by these children because parasitic illnesses are endemic in the regions in which they live and inter- fere greatly with the children’s ability to function, to the point that children may have to stay home from school or work because they are too ill to be effective in school or on the job. If knowledge of natural herbal medicines was just a proxy for general ability (g) or academic knowledge, then a teacher might predict the children’s knowledge from conventional tests, standard- ized or otherwise. But suppose that such knowledge was not predictable from conventional tests. Then knowing something of children’s’ ability to learn, as evidenced by their knowledge of natural herbal 210R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 medicines, might be useful information for a teacher to have in assessing which children could be more successful in learning tasks than perhaps they appeared to be on the basis of their school work. The child’s prospects in some of these rural Kenyan villages are rather limited. Schooling beyond the early years is considered largely a waste of time because there is little need for academic skills in the village. But there is a need for a knowledge of natural herbal medicines that can be used to treat that various parasitic illnesses prevalent in the region, such as malaria, schistosomiasis, hookworm, whipworm, and the like. ‘‘A small child in your family has homa. She has a sore throat, headache, and fever. She has been sick for 3 days. Which of the following ﬁve Yadh nyaluo (Luo herbal medicines) can treat homa? i. Chamama. Take the leaf and ﬁto (sniff medicine up the nose to sneeze out illness). ⁄ ii. Kaladali. Take the leaves, drink, and ﬁto. ⁄ iii. Obuo. Take the leaves and ﬁto. ⁄ iv. Ogaka. Take the roots, pound, and drink. v. Ahundo. Take the leaves and ﬁto.’’ There are multiple correct answers, which are asterisked. Once again, no one would expect a typical US college professor or student to be able to answer such questions at better than a chance level. Why should they? The knowledge probably has no real adaptive value for them (unless they are studying cultural psychology or anthropology). But for children growing up in an environment where a major threat to adaptive success is parasitic illness, such knowledge is extremely important. We in the United States may tend to assume that the knowledge and skills we often value—such as are measured by standardized tests, are important anywhere. Perhaps they are. Our purpose is not to address the ongoing argument as to how important standardized tests are here or there. Rather, our purpose is to show that there may be additional knowledge and skills that are important elsewhere that would be hidden if one were to rely exclusively on conventional standardized tests. Teachers would do well to know of the practical knowledge and adaptive competencies students from diverse environments have acquired because, for them, such knowledge and skills may tell us more about their learning abilities than do scores on conventional tests, and because, as I will show below, such practical knowledge and skills may be leveraged to teach these children more effectively. We also tested the children for their vocabulary levels in Dholuo, their home language, and in Eng- lish. Such measures assess so-called ‘‘crystallized intelligence.’’ We also used geometric matrix prob- lems to measure their so-called ‘‘ﬂuid intelligence.’’ Our expectation, based on work we had done on what we have called ‘‘practical intelligence’’ (Sternberg et al., 2000), was that the knowledge of the natural herbal medicines would show at most a weak positive correlation with scores on the standard- ized ability tests. To our surprise, there were signiﬁcant correlations, but they were negative (seeTable 1). This left us, at ﬁrst, puzzled, and might leave other psychologists puzzled as well because tests of ﬂuid and crystallized abilities typically show a positive manifold, that is, a pattern of positive correlations Table 1 Correlations of scores on a test of practical knowledge with scores on tests of crystallized and ﬂuid abilities. SCORE PK DV EV TV Practical Knowledge Score (PK) Dholuo Vocabulary (DV) .20 ^ English Vocabulary (EV) .29 ** .31** Total Vocabulary (TV) .31 ** .66*** .92*** Raven Matrices (RM) .16 ^ .22* .30** .33** Note:PK refers to the test of knowledge of natural herbal medicines. DV, EV, and TV are measures of crystallized abilities; RM is a test of ﬂuid abilities. ^p< .10.*p< .05.**p< .01.*** p< .001.R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224211 throughout that yields a general factor (g) when the tests are factor-analyzed. But we came to see a logic to the negative pattern of correlations. What the correlations showed is the extent to which pat- terns of relationships among assessments may be inﬂuenced not only by characteristics internal to individuals but also to the environmental contexts in which they live. In particular, in these villages, students who were viewed as adaptively competent by the adults in the villages would be selected by certain adults to do apprenticeships with them. Such apprentice- ships would take them out of formal schooling. Whereas many of us greatly value formal schooling, such schooling is less valued among the Luo because, in the village, it does not ultimately lead to gain- ful employment, except perhaps as a teacher. But because most children will leave formal schooling in elementary school, there is a not a great need for teachers in the Western sense. Rather, there is a need for mentors who will apprentice children to learn the skills that can lead the children to earn a living. So, perhaps oddly by our way of thinking, the children viewed as adaptively competent are whisked out of school whereas the children not viewed as being quite so competent are left in school, where they continue to acquire the knowledge and skills measured by conventional standardized tests but not the knowledge and skills that will earn them a living. As a result, children who acquire more for- mal knowledge in turn acquire less of what might be called ‘‘practical knowledge,’’ and hence fewer adaptive competencies. One might be inclined to think that the phenomenon we observed in Kenya is limited to cultures remote from ours, but that really is not the case. In our culture as well, gaining more education can lead to reduced societally valued outcomes, such as money. For example, students with a two-year MBA generally will earn substantially more money than students with a PhD earned over four, ﬁve, six, or more years. In Silicon Valley, the entrepreneurs who run start-up companies often are individ- uals who have nothing more than a bachelor’s degree, if that; they hire PhDs to work for them, at sal- aries considerably lower than their own. The grade level at which additional formal schooling leads to certain reduced societally valued outcomes is different but the principle is the same: At some point, additional schooling and acquisition of associated academic knowledge and skills may lead to a reduc- tion rather than an increase in certain societally valued outcomes. This is even more the case in most other countries of the world, where college and university professors are paid far less than they are in the United States. German universities, for example, generally pay less than American universities, and the national pay scale for professors recently was reduced. Observations in Zanzibar While doing our work in Kenya and Tanzania, my colleagues and I wondered whether adults in other locales might believe that bright children should be out of school rather than in school, leading us to a study in Zanzibar. Our motivation was informal pilot data in Zanzibar suggesting that parents might keep children perceived to be brighter home from school because the children would be more useful for chores and other work around the home, because the parents believe the knowledge chil- dren acquire outside of school is more important than the knowledge they acquire in school, and because the adults view school as a placeholder for the children until the children can be placed into a position of acquiring knowledge and skills of greater value. We found, in Zanzibar, that parents generally preferred to keep the ‘‘most helpful’’ children (i.e., the children perceived to be the brightest) at home. There were no signiﬁcant differences between in-school and out-of-school children on measures of ﬂuid and crystallized intelligence, whereas, in the US, we might expect the in-school children to do better on such tests because schools develop these skills (Ceci & Williams, 1997). (Perhaps if the out-of-school children had remained in school, they would have excelled above the in-school children on these tests.) Most importantly, however, the out-of-school children did better on tests of community-valued skills for the Zanzibarian environ- ment in which they lived than did the children in school. An article inThe Economist, a general news magazine, reported a similar phenomenon among the Masai of Kenya: Parents kept the brightest children at home (The Economist, 2002). A study among Yup’ik children In my colleagues’ and my work with Alaskan Yup’ik schoolchildren (Grigorenko et al., 2004), for example, we discovered that the Native American children were able to navigate on a dog sled from 212R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 one distant village to another across what to us (and probably you) would have seemed to be a perceptually uniform ﬁeld of vision. If you or we or the children’s non-Native American schoolteachers attempted to go from one village to another on such a dog sled, we probably would get lost in the wilderness and die. Signals for navigation are there; we just would not see them. Similarly, the Puluwat can navigate across long distances in the sea under circumstances in which meaningful signals also would elude us (Gladwin, 1995). The importance of context is shown by the kinds of practical knowledge that children develop in order to adapt to their environments. Consider two examples. Imagine living in a hunting–gathering society. Many Yup’ik Eskimos in Alaska live in such a society, where hunting and gathering are joined by ﬁshing as means of putting food on the table. The knowl- edge and skills you need to survive in such an environmental context are rather different from those of, say, an individual who has spent his life as a professor. The professor (or college student, for that matter) might do well on an SAT question or on a question about what or how to order in a restaurant. He or she might not fare as well on a question we developed for assessing Yup’ik children. ‘‘When Eddie runs to collect the ptarmigan that he’s just shot, he notices that its front pouch (bal- loon) is full of ptarmigan food. This is a sign that: there’s a storm on the way. ⁄ winter is almost over. it’s hard to ﬁnd food this season. it hasn’t snowed in a long time.’’ The correct answer is asterisked. Of course, there is no reason why the typical college student or professor would need to know the answer to the question about the ptarmigan. But similarly, it is unclear that the Alaskan Yup’ik student would need to do well on the SAT or restaurant question if he or she plans to remain in a coastal Yup’ik village with no restaurants and no need to read complicated texts or perform complex mathematical operations. The knowledge that is useful depends on the context. We found that urban students (from Dillingham, a city in Alaska that, although small by the stan- dards of most states would count as fairly large in Alaska) outperformed rural students on conven- tional tests of ﬂuid and crystallized abilities, but that the Yup’ik Eskimo children outperformed the urban children on tests of knowledge of adaptive competencies relevant to the Yup’ik environment (seeFig. 1). Moreover, tests of practical knowledge predicted hunting skills whereas conventional standardized tests did not. A further study among Yup’ik Eskimo children At this point, we wondered whether the practical knowledge and adaptive competencies that Yup’ik and other children have for knowledge not learned in school might be leveraged to help them perform better in school. In other words, might the children do better in the acquisition of academic knowledge and skills if teachers enabled the children to utilize their practical knowledge in the con- text of the classroom? In a further study (Sternberg, Lipka, Newman, Wildfeuer, & Grigorenko, 2007), we taught Yup’ik children the plane-geometry concepts of perimeter and area using either textbook presentation or a novel presentation prominently featuring ﬁsh racks, which are an integral part of the environment of children in rural ﬁshing villages. We found that the Yup’ik children who were taught via the ﬁsh racks outperformed the children who were taught using conventional textbook presentation. Perhaps the ﬁnding is not altogether surprising. Many of us who are parents ﬁnd that our children learn better when they are taught in ways that capitalize on interests or even passions they may have, whether for handheld phones, computers, art, music, or whatever. In this respect, the Yup’ik children are no different from our own: They learn better when they can relate in a meaningful way to what they are learning. The Russia study One might think that ﬁndings such as the ones described here apply only with limited kinds of cri- teria (e.g., hunting or ﬁshing skills) or only with limited age range (e.g., children). However, they apply more broadly. In a study conducted in Russia (Grigorenko & Sternberg, 2001), Elena Grigorenko and I R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 213 were interested in whether we could create a test of practical knowledge that would predict health-related outcomes. We constructed such a test with items that would be relevant to adaptation in post-Soviet Russia. We found that both academic measures (assessing ﬂuid and crystallized abili- ties) and practical-knowledge measures correlated signiﬁcantly with various measures of physical and mental health. These data suggest that practical knowledge, like typical academic abilities, can predict health-related outcomes (seeTable 2). 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Rural Boys Urban Boys 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40Cattell Mill-Hill YSPI Cattell Mill-Hill YSPI Academic Practical Academic Practical Rural Girls Urban Girls Fig. 1.Scores on a test of ﬂuid abilities (Cattell) and crystallized abilities (Mill Hill) as well as on a test of practical knowledge (YSPI) for rural and urban boys and girls. Table 2 Correlations of physical health, anxiety, and depression with ﬂuid/crystallized (academic) ability measures and practical knowledge. Measure Academic Practical Physical Health .01 .12 ** Anxiety .07 * .17*** Depression .09 * .23*** Higher scores indicate poorer health.*p< .05.**p< .01.*** p< .001. 214R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 Health is important not only with respect to its relationship to practical knowledge, but also for its relationship to school success. In particular, some children may fail to thrive, or perform below their optimal level, because they are ill, but in ways that elude the observation of their teachers and school. We therefore have been interested in how health conditions, and especially parasitic illnesses, may compromise school performance in children around the world. The bottom line of these various studies is that absent a cultural approach to knowledge, skills, and abilities, typical mono-cultural assessment will give psychologists (or anyone else) only a weak idea of what kinds of competencies an individual has. Individuals who are talented need to be recognized for their talents, even if those talents are not ones measured by traditional tests of general intelligence and its elements. In this section, I have dealt with the issue of differences in the adaptive competencies across cultures that serve as the bases for differences in measured human intelligence. But there are other factors that affect differences in measured intelligence. One of those is health, and in particular, health-related obstacles to academic and life success. Health-related obstacles to academic and life success Good health is perhaps the most important thing one can have in life. But what do we mean by ‘‘good health’’? Among children in our mainstream US culture, the unfortunate ones suffer from ill- nesses such as asthma or Type 1 diabetes, and the very unfortunate ones suffer from cancer or cystic ﬁbrosis. Studies within our culture therefore will look at the effects of such illnesses on a child’s devel- opment. But in other cultures, totally different health challenges emerge. For example, it is estimated that in 2012 alone there were about 207 million cases of malaria. Malaria caused about 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/, retrieved 4/7/14). If one combines all parasites, over two billion people are estimated to be infected. Many of these infections—malaria, but also schistosomiasis, trichuriasis, cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, toxocariasis, strongyloidiaysis, onchocerciasis, and lymphatic ﬁlariasis, are far more common outside the United States than within it. For children in many parts of the world, these are the diseases that most present a threat to their health and well-being, as well as their ability to succeed in school. In order to understand these challenges, we need to study them in cultures other than our own: They just are too rare in our own environment. The Jamaica parasitic-illnesses study In a study conducted in Jamaica, my colleagues and I investigated the extent to which parasitic ill- nesses might compromise school-related outcomes (Sternberg, Powell, McGrane, & McGregor, 1997). In particular, we studied children with whipworm infections. Whipworms are small parasitic worms whose eggs are found in dirt. Children, usually inadvertently, eat the dirt with the result that the eggs gain ingress into their bodies. The worms then hatch in the bodies of the children. Symptoms of whip- worm infection include diarrhea, retardation in growth, lethargy and difﬁculties in attention span, and in extreme cases, rectal prolapse. Fig. 2shows the results of the study. Children infected with whipworm did worse on all three cog- nitive tests we investigated: visual search, memory, and reasoning. Unexpectedly and for reasons we have never been able to ﬁgure out, infected children did better on a ﬁne motor task. It is possible that infected children spent more time at home and engaged in more ﬁne-motor tasks than did the unin- fected children, but we really do not know for sure. The bottom line, however, is that whipworm infec- tion decreased cognitive functioning. The question that arises from a study like this is whether prophylaxis against or treatment of par- asitic illnesses will increase cognitive functioning and, potentially, school performance? Perhaps other kinds of health-related interventions also will improve cognitive test performance. We investigated these questions in a series of studies. R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 215 The Lucknow, India, study In an unpublished study my colleagues and I did in Lucknow, India, we speciﬁcally asked whether anti-parasitic prophylaxis with a drug (Albendazole) combined with vitamin A supplementation might increase cognitive performance. After collecting the data, we found no signiﬁcant differences in tradi- tional cognitive-test performance between treated and control (untreated) participants, but we did ﬁnd a signiﬁcant difference favoring children who took supplements between scores on practical daily skills indicators, as provided by parents and children alike. A study in Tanzania In a further study in Tanzania (Sternberg et al., 2002), we investigated whether a form of testing called ‘‘dynamic testing’’ (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2002) might better capture the strengths of chil- dren in developing countries, especially those with parasitic or other illnesses. When we think of testing, we typically think in terms of conventional ‘‘static’’ testing. Basically, someone administers a test; students or others respond to the questions on the test; then the exam- inees get scores indicating how well they performed. The test is ‘‘static’’ in that it is a snapshot at one period of time—it is essentially frozen in time. Dynamic testing is different in that it examines perfor- mance over a period of time. That is, it looks at how test performance evolves from one time period to another. There are two common kinds of dynamic testing, what we have referred to as ‘‘sandwich’’ and ‘‘layer cake’’ models of testing. In sandwich testing, the examinee takes a pretest. Then he or she learns something. Then the exam- inee is tested again. One is thereby able to assess learning that occurred at time of test. In layer-cake test- ing, the child is given testing items, usually difﬁcult ones, that she typically cannot initially solve. Then she is given a series of prearranged clues that will help her solve the problem. The dependent variable of greatest interest is the number of cues she needs in order to solve each problem. Thus, there is not just one overall learning experience, but layers of learning experiences that culminate either in solution to the problem or failure to solve it, despite the cues. Both kinds of dynamic testing are based on the work ofVygotsky (1980), who proposed that individuals have a zone of proximal development in which they readily can learn new knowledge and skills. Knowledge and skills outside this zone is learned only with great difﬁculty, if at all. Feuerstein (Feuerstein, 1979) capitalized on this concept to create a dynamic test of learning potential, the Learning Potential Assessment Device (LPAD). The reason such testing can be important for children in the developing world is that the knowl- edge base with which they come into a test may be very different from the knowledge base with Visual Search Memory Reasoning Fine Motor -0.3 -0.2 -0.10 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 Infected Control Fig. 2.Performance on cognitive and motor tasks by children either infected or not infected (control) with whipworm parasites. 216R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 which a child in the developed world, and especially those living in middle- or upper middle class socioeconomic contexts, enter the testing situation. The result can be that the children from the devel- oping world never seem to have, on average, quite the knowledge and academic skills of children from the developed world. The advantage of a dynamic test is that it can capture learning at time of test, so that the tester better (although not completely) controls for the background knowledge and skills with which the children approached the test. In the Tanzania study, children were given either a static or dynamic version of three different tasks: syllogisms, sorting, and twenty questions. In the static test, they simply received a pretest and a posttest that was essentially an alternate form of the pretest. In the treatment group, children received instruction sandwiched in between the pretest and posttest. We found that, on all three tasks, 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pre-Test Post-Test 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.81 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.82 2.2 Pre-Test Post-Test 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Dynamic Control Dynamic Control Dynamic Control Pre-Test Post-Test Fig. 3.Performance of Tanzanian children on syllogisms, sorting, and twenty-question tasks. Results are shown for dynamic- testing and control groups, both on a pretest and a posttest. R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224217 children improved signiﬁcantly more on the pretest than on the posttest (seeFig. 3). In other words, the dynamic test did enable the children to learn from experience. More important, the correlation between pretest and posttest was about .8 in the control group but .3 in the experimental group. In other words, the instructional treatment changed the rank orders of the students on the posttest relative to the pretest. In the experimental group, posttest scores correlated signiﬁcantly more highly with other cognitive tests than did the pretest measures. In other words, the posttest—the test Sorting Task TIME 3 2 1 Estimated Marginal Means 1.2 1.1 1.0 .9 .8 .7 .6 .5 GROUP Treated Placebo Control Syllogisms TIME 3 2 1 Estimated Marginal Means 6.0 5.8 5.6 5.4 5.2 5.0 4.8 4.6 GROUP Treated Placebo Control Twenty Questions Task TIME 3 2 1 Estimated Marginal Means .11 .10 .09 .08 .07 .06 .05 GROUP Treated Placebo Control Fig. 4.Performance on sorting, syllogisms, and twenty-questions tasks. Results are shown for participants medically treated for parasitic illnesses, participants treated with a placebo, and control participants who did not suffer from parasitic illnesses. 218R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 administered after dynamic instruction—proved to be the better predictor of how well children would succeed in a variety of cognitive-testing situations. This may be because when these children go into a testing situation, they just do not have the prior familiarity with it that many children in the devel- oped world would have. The instruction enables them to have an orientation to the kind of test that they will take so that they are more prepared on the posttest to show what they really can do. The Tanzania repeated-measures dynamic-testing study In the previous study, dynamic testing was done in a single session. The question might arise of what would happen if the children were tested over multiple sessions, giving them even more time to familiarize themselves with the kinds of questions on which they will be tested. Although this may sound like a kind of testing we would never use in the West, it actually is similar to the situation of students in the West who take a standardized test but previously have taken a course or used a book to help prepare them for the standardized test. They take a practice pretest, then get instruction, then take a practice test, then get instruction, then take a practice test, and onward until they believe they are ready for the actual test (Grigorenko et al., 2006). As shown inFig. 4, children in a control group (uninfected) improved more over time in their cog- nitive skills than did infected (experimental-group) children in either a medically-treated or placebo- treated condition. But the medically treated children improved more than did the placebo-treated ones. In other words, anti-parasitic medicines, such as albendazole, not only improve children’s health—they also help improve their cognitive performance. The Zambia study of effects of treatment for parasitic illnesses on following directions Children in school and outside of it continually need to follow directions. Indeed, to do well on standardized tests, following directions is essential. But for children, following directions is important in all aspects of life, not just on standardized tests. An effect of many parasitic illnesses is malaise and wandering of attention. As a result, children sometimes do more poorly in school and in life outside the school because their wandering attention takes away from their ability to follow directions. Fig. 5.Performance of four groups on tests of following directions over time. Longer intervention is associated with higher scores. R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224219 In Zambia, my colleagues and I looked at the effects of treatment of parasitic illnesses over time with respect to improvement of children’s performance in following directions (Stemler et al., 2009). We found that the longer the children underwent treatment, the better their ability to follow directions, relative to an untreated control group, presumably because of the possibility of chronic infection or reinfection (seeFig. 5). Thus, medical intervention to ward off parasitic illnesses can improve school performance by enabling students to recover the attention spans that will put them in a position where they better can follow directions. The Gambia study In a study in Gambia (Jukes et al., 2006), my colleagues and I extended our observations to address the question of whether long-term treatment of one particular parasitic illness, malaria, would improve not only cognitive function, but also school performance and social functioning. We found that girls who were treated over time with anti-malarials were more likely to enter primary school than were girls who were administered placebos. Moreover, boys and girls who received long-term malaria prophylaxis stayed in school for just over one grade longer than did children who received placebo treatment. Students in the prophylaxis group also performed better than the controls on a test of memory, although not on a test of general intelligence. The medically treated children also showed more community-valued skills, such as being able to take visitors on a comprehensive tour of the vil- lage in which they lived. In this section, I have argued that health-related challenges can impact performance on typical intelligence tests. People who have serious health challenges may not be in a position to score as well on typical tests as those who are generally healthy. But there is yet another factor that can account for differences in intelligence-test performance, and that is what people mean byintelligencein various cultures. Parents socialize their children to be intelligent, but only some of them may be aiming at the types of skills measured by typical intelligence tests. Other parents may socialize important skills that just happen not to be measured by the tests so many Westerners view as ‘‘intelligence tests.’’ Implicit theories of intelligence vary across cultures Range of implicit theories When we in the United States create tests of intelligence, we inadvertently rely on culturally bound implicit theories, or folk conceptions, of what intelligence is. We may think we know what intelligence is—for example, general ability or ﬂuid/crystallized abilities—but we nevertheless rely on implicit the- ories that are not widely shared across cultures around the world. To understand what people around the world mean by ‘‘smart,’’ we need to study implicit theories of intelligence across cultures, not just in our own culture. Implicit theories do not tell us what intelligence is, to the extent that question even is answerable; rather, they inform us about folk conceptions of what people believe intelligence is. Folk theories drive many psychological phenomena, including even what we know and remember about ourselves (Kulkofsky, Wang, & Hou, 2010; Ross & Wang, 2010). One might ask why implicit theories are important. After all, why should we care what laypeople think intelligence is? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about the opinions of experts? The main reason folk theories matter so much is that 99+% of the judgments that are made about people’s intelligence are based on people’s implicit theories, not on IQ tests or related tests. These judgments are made on dates, in job interviews, after listening to someone talk at a party, during a business negotiation, or when we read an article about someone in the newspaper. Implicit theories, not explicit theories of experts, are what makes the ‘‘world go ‘round.’’ Dweck (e.g. 2007)has also studied implicit theories of intelligence, but for one particular aspect of intelligence—whether people believe intelligence to be largely ﬁxed or largely malleable. The studies of implicit theories described here are somewhat broader in focus, looking at all aspects of people’s folk conceptions of intelligence. 220R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 My colleagues and I have studied implicit theories across cultures, as have others (Cole et al., 1971), and found that, indeed, our implicit theories are not all that widely shared. In a set of studies we did in the United States (Sternberg, Conway, Ketron, & Bernstein, 1981), we found that people’s implicit the- ories were well characterized by three factors: practical problem solving, verbal ability, and social competence. Note that only one of these factors—verbal ability—really is seriously measured by con- ventional tests of intelligence. In a study Shi Ying-Yang and I did in Taiwan (Yang & Sternberg, 1997), four factors emerged from people’s implicit theories of intelligence—traditional cognitive abilities, but also interpersonal compe- tence (understanding others), intrapersonal competence (understanding oneself), knowing when to show you are smart, and knowing when not to show you are smart (i.e., have a ‘‘poker face’’). Again, only one of these factors is measured by conventional tests of intelligence, namely, traditional cogni- tive abilities. In studies in a very different part of the world—rural Kenya—we found that cultural conceptions of the nature of intelligence were quite different from those in either Taiwan or the United States. Four qualities seemed to underlie people’s implicit theories of intelligence—rieko (knowledge, abilities, skills), luoro (respect), paro (initiative), and winjo (comprehension of the complexities of a social prob- lem-solving situation (Grigorenko et al., 2001). One view of all this would be that these implicit theories cannot all be right. According to this view, the results show the futility of relying on implicit theories, since they vary so widely. But an alterna- tive view is that the results show precisely the opposite—namely, the need to take implicit theories seriously. If implicit theories differ so widely, it is clear how attributes that are valued highly in one culture might not be so highly valued, or might even be devalued, in another culture. Note also that unless one does implicit-theory studies in a variety of cultures, one is likely to make the mistake of thinking that the implicit theories of one’s own culture typify other cultures as well. But even the small sampling of cultures described here reveals large differences in implicit theories across cultures. How implicit theories affect teacher behavior It was claimed above that implicit theories affect people’s behavior. An important example is that of teachers. Teachers, like everyone else, have implicit theories of intelligence. They use these implicit theories to evaluate their students. If the students look smart according to the teachers’ implicit the- ories, the teachers are likely to treat the children differently from, and perhaps better than, if the stu- dents do not look so smart. In one set of studies Lynn Okagaki and I conducted in San Jose, California, we looked at how the match between teachers’ and parents’ implicit theories of intelligence would affect the teachers’ views of children from different ethnic groups (Okagaki & Sternberg, 1993). We queried parents of Anglo-American, Latino-American, and Asian–American children regarding their implicit theories of intelligence. We also queried the children’s teachers. We found that parents of Anglo-American and Asian–American children emphasized cognitive skills more than social skills in their conceptions of intelligence, whereas Latino-American parents placed more emphasis on social skills. The children’s teachers, however, like the Anglo-American and Asian–American parents, emphasized cognitive skills. Perhaps partially as a result, the teachers viewed the Anglo-American and Asian–American students as generally more academically able. Conclusions Our cultural-psychological work has implications for a broad range of phenomena. Most important, none of these phenomena could be studied adequately without the study of a broad range of cultures. To put it one way, the study of cultural psychology is necessary, not just nice. Parents may value practical knowledge, skills, and working in the home and local environ- ment more than they value traditional education. R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 221 Our work in Kenya and in Zanzibar showed that parents may not value what is taught in school as highly as what children can learn from and contribute to the home and community. As we have seen, in Zanzibar, among other locales, parents actually keep at home their brightest children because they are seen as most useful to the family. Children with less ‘‘traditional education’’ may actually gain more parentally and locally val- ued skills than children with more such education. In the United States, most of us are glued to the notion that schooling unlocks the doors to success. But in some other cultures, it not only does not unlock the doors, but after a certain point is seen as a repository for those who cannot ﬁnd a trade. Even in the United States, there are businesses that are reluctant to hire PhDs, whom they view as over-educated and not possessing the kind of commercial orientation needed for business success. Students may have critical knowledge that is important for their adaptation that teachers do not have and vice versa. In our studies in Alaska, we found that children could navigate long distances via dogsled, during the winter, in the frozen tundra. Their teachers would risk their lives to attempt the same feat. The children also have knowledge about hunting and gathering, ice ﬁshing, and other environmentally rel- evant tasks that their teachers would not have. Teachers may nevertheless view these students as slow or even stupid. Teachers may view the Yup’ik children as not very bright because they do not perform well on con- ventional standardized tests and do not do well in school when material is taught in an abstract way that does not make contact with the children’s backgrounds. Yet the teachers would not be able adequately to adapt to the students’ environments. Conventional standardized tests of abilities and achievements measure the kinds of achievements schools value. But they do not measure various adaptive skills needed for local community environ- ments. Teachers (and we who are readers of this essay) might fare poorly on the kinds of tests we used to measure children’s adaptive skills. For example, most of us would be familiar with none of the nat- ural herbal medicines used to combat parasitic illnesses in Kenya. Tests are predicatively valid as an interaction among persons, tasks, and situations. Our studies suggest that test scores are not meaningful in themselves without an understanding of the context in which the testing takes place. Who is the individual being tested and in what environ- ment has he or she been enculturated and socialized? It may be that the individual has skills that are good or even remarkable but that would not show up on a conventional standardized test. Practical knowledge may be important for good health practices. Our study in Russia suggests that assessments of practical knowledge and skills may be better pre- dictors of health and health practices than conventional tests of abilities. At the very least, one should take practical knowledge into account, independent of IQ or other measures correlated with levels of formal schooling. We should not assume that conventional schooling is necessary in all locales for good health practices. 222R.J. Sternberg / Developmental Review 34 (2014) 208–224 Our studies suggest that people can learn what they need to know about good health practices outside of formal school environments. Practical knowledge enters into diverseimplicittheories of intelligence. When we examine implicit theories of intelligence across a range of cultures, we ﬁnd that, even in the United States, they go well beyond the kinds of skills measured by conventional tests of intelli- gence. In the US and other cultures we have studied, practical knowledge such as about how to get along with others, how to navigate and solve problems in everyday environments, and even self-understanding ﬁgure into people’s implicit theories of intelligence. Indigenous tests can help to assess people according to their own standards and adaptive needs. Tests of intelligence need to reﬂect the real demands of the environments in which people live, not the environments in which the testers or test creators live. Yet tests are often designed etically, impos- ing the standards of the culture in which the tests are created on people who live in other cultures. People’s, including teachers’, judgments about others’ intelligence may correspond only mod- estly to what would be the judgments of ‘‘experts’’ in the ﬁeld. Our study in San Jose, California, showed that parents and teachers alike adopt notions of intelli- gence that ﬁt their environmental milieu. Parents of different ethnicities may tend, on average, to have somewhat different conceptions of what it means for their children to be smart. It is worth remem- bering that even teachers differ in what they mean by smart. For example, a philosophy professor, a mathematics professor, an engineering professor, and a professor of Latin may have different ideas about what makes a student smart in the context of what he or she teaches. Parents socialize their students to be intelligent according to their own implicit theories. In the end, parents will socialize their children to be ‘‘smart’’ according to their own folk concep- tions of intelligence, not in terms of some fairly arbitrary standard imposed by a standardized test. Teachers should recognize the importance of practical/social competencies/knowledge to par- ents’ implicit theories of their children’s intelligence. If teachers recognize knowledge and skills that are not necessarily measured by standardized tests, they may be able to capitalize on these in order more effectively to teach their students. In our Alaska study, for example, we found that teachers who taught plane geometry using ﬁsh racks produced stu- dents with better outcomes than those who taught the same concepts abstractly. In sum, cultural approaches to understanding human development are not just nice; they are nec- essary. The augmented theory of successful intelligence can be useful in understanding intellectual development, in particular. 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