The Environment of the Child.Report as inadecuate

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This paper offers a framework for the analysis and evaluation of intervention on children's behalf against which to analyze actions upon their environment. The first section looks at the complex issue of defining suitable child development outcomes for intervention programs, noting that because the concept of childhood varies across cultures and classes, definitions of developmental outcomes need to take into account cultural and class variables. The second section examines two examples of environmental conditions that threaten children's development, poverty and prejudice, and explains how both situations involve complex systems of adverse circumstances that tend to be chronic and that interact in a multiplicative fashion with respect to negative effects on children's development. The third section summarizes briefly the characteristics of a general model for planning and analyzing the results of interventions on children's behalf, recommending that interventions be: (1) child-entered; (2) culturally sensitive; (3) multi-faceted to combat multiple afflictions; (4) support families, improve health care and schools, and enhance neighborhood conditions; and (5) demolish societal barriers to child development, such as ethnic prejudice. An afterword examines the implications of the findings for future program development. Contains 87 references. (MDM)

Descriptors: Child Development, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Foreign Countries, Intervention, Outcomes of Education, Outcomes of Treatment, Poverty, Program Evaluation, Social Bias, Socioeconomic Influences

Author: Nunes, Terezinha


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