Our views of early development are largely impacted by how this period is portrayed in the popular media – TV, radio, the internet, newspapers, and magazines. Many ads make us believe that infants and young children need all kinds of ‘educational toys’ for optimal development. They often claim that the advertised benefits of these products are supported by research. While it will be impossible for you to know all the potentially relevant research on infant and early childhood learning, you should be able to analyze some of these claims using the textbook and at least one original, peer-reviewed research article.
For this blog post, take the following steps: Find an advertisement for a toy or educational product marketed toward fetuses (pregnant women), infants, or young children until about 3 years old. Examples are: toys, educational DVDs, classes, apps, etc. (Hint: if you don't know where to start looking, you can go to a website like amazon.com or target.com and click toy choices for children of certain ages). Include a link of the ad or product page in your blog post. Describe what the product looks like, what it does, what age it is marketed towards. Use enough detail so that someone who does not know the product can understand what it does. Describe what it claims to be beneficial for (e.g., "to stimulate brain development"). Describe why this product/program is interesting for you to write about, or why it is relevant for your readers to learn more about this. Read the relevant sections in the Fogel text (e.g., about cognitive development and learning in the age period that the toy/product is marketed for). Summarize this in your blog post. In other words: describe how infants/toddlers of the targeted age usually learn (according to Fogel and possibly the article you read). Find a research article that relates either to: 1) specific claims that the advertisement is making (e.g., that the product can teach a child to read, or that it stimulates early math skills, etc.); or 2) general learning during this age period (how do infants/children of that age learn best?). Then describe this article in your blog post, and link the findings and conclusions of this research to the product that you chose. Include the goals of the study, how the study was done (sample, methods used, and other important information), and what the study found. In case of doubt, include more details, rather than fewer. (If your peer-reviewed article did not describe a study, but reviews existing studies on the topic, describe that it was a review study and describe its methods and findings/conclusions). Critically analyze the claims made by the advertisement that you found: Which claims (by the commercial company) are supported by the research information you read and which ones are not? What are possible benefits of this toy/product that are supported by research? Is there any possible harm that could be done by this product? End your blog post with a conclusion about the product: would you recommend it and why (not)? Don't forget a title that captures attention & accurately reflects the contents!
General requirements Since it's a blog post: find your own voice, your own style. It is okay to use the first person ("I") Do write clearly, accurately, fluently, and on topic, so it is easy to know what you mean to say. Integrate knowledge from class and relevant readings End with a conclusion to wrap up your ideas Include references to the textbook and other sources you have used (including the ad!) Length: about 750-1000 words total Visuals: include at least one picture and at least one link Include references for the advertisement, journal article, and any other materials you cited in your post (including the textbook), in APA-style. Mention authors (last names first, followed by the initials of their first names), year of publication, title of the publication, and source of publication (if it is a book, include the publisher; if it is a journal article, include the journal title and page numbers). Examples: Gelfand, D.M., & Drew, C.J. (2003). Understanding Child Behavior Disorders(4th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Thompson Learning. Barth, J.M., & Parke, R.D. (1993). Parent-child relationship influences on children's transition to school. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 39, 173-195. Baxter, L.A. (1988). A dialectical perspective on communication strategies in relationship development. In S.W. Duck (Ed.), A Handbook of Personal Relationships (pp. 257-273). NY: Wiley and sons.
Example of a blog post that is similar to this assignment: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/201004/whats-the-size-the-mozart-effect-the-jury-is-in (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. – great example of how to write about a product or program marketed toward babies, using research to back up your arguments.
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