Conceptual Change In Childhood





Are children fundamentally different kinds of thinkers than adults? Or are the cognitive differences between young children and adults merely a matter of accumulation of knowledge? In this book, Susan Carey develops an alternative to these two ways of thinking about childhood cognition, putting forth the idea of conceptual change and its relation to the development of knowledge systems. Conceptual Change in Childhood is a case study of children's acquisition of biological knowledge between ages 4-10. Drawing on evidence from a variety of sources, Carey analyzes the ways that knowledge is restructured during this development, comparing them to the ways that knowledge is restructured by an adult learner, and to the ways that conceptual frameworks have shifted in the history of science.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262031103 240 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262530736 240 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • Susan Carey has done some of the most elegant and careful work anywhere on the nature of conceptual change, not only in children but also across history. Her work on children's understanding of biological concepts is the first coherent and consistent account of this complicated area. It finally enables us to understand the classical Piagetian work on animism and how it fits with the later work on children's concepts of living things.

    Frank Keil

    Cornell University