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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Child Development and Economic Development in Liberia
Author:Erchak, Gerald M.
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal
Geographic term:Liberia
traditional education
Health and Nutrition
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
Education and Oral Traditions
Abstract:Guiding thesis in an earlier paper by this author was that child-training practices and other aspects of informal early education are in large part adaptations to ecological and economic realities ('the economics of early education'). Some brief examples illustrate the adaptation of the learning environment to material factors. The exigencies of Kpelle subsistence horticulture directed child training and behavior along certain lines. The author discerns four main factors at work in Kpelle society forming and maintaining the early learning environment and thereby shaping children's nonsocial bahavior as well as adult/ child and child/adult social interaction. The resultant learning environment is a survival mechanism in Kpelle cultural evolution, helping to produce the personalities and patterns of thinking needed to maintain Kpelle society. The Kpelle learning environment does not alter without change in the total environment. The nature and direction of that change is determined by the 'total involvement' of the Kpelle themselves. Notes.