Into the Minds of Babes

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Science  08 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5438, pp. 247
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5438.247

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The Myth of the First Three Years A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning. John T. Bruer. Free Press, New York, 1999. 256 pp. $25, C$37. ISBN 0-684-85184-9.

The Scientist in the Crib Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn. Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff, and Patricia K. Kuhl. Morrow, New York, 1999. 299 pp. $24, C$35. ISBN 0-688-15988-5.

Johnson reviews two recent books that offer different perspectives on what we understand about the development of infant minds. Bruer argues that the overstatement and distortion of research results has had undesired effects on educational policy. Gopnik and colleagues focus on young children learn from their normal and complex surroundings.