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Developmental needs and early childhood education: evolutionary, my dear Watson

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Examining the processes of natural selection, described by Darwin in The Origin of Species, casts light on our own species' fundamental needs and on the far greater role that early childhood educators can play in their fulfillment. The second section of this paper analyzes how our fundamental needs emerge in a sequence underpinned by the processes of natural selection (goodness-of-fit, variation and replication), are thus developmental in a new sense and are fulfilled only as organisms interact with their immediate environment. The subsequent section presents a model of how, in accordance with natural selection, adults can practise collaborative behaviors that facilitate this developmental sequence throughout life. The fourth section shows how early childhood educators who practise this model in interaction with their immediate environment (which includes parents) help to fulfill the fundamental needs and increase the internal resources of all participants--themselves, parents and children. Substantiating evidence comes from the author's studies.

Keywords: Developmental needs; Internal resources; Natural selection

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Queensland University of Technology Australia

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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