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Learning Resources

Required Resources

Note: To open PDF documents, you will need the Adobe® Reader® software (available as a free download at: http://get.adobe.com/reader/).

  • Course Text: Parlakian, R., & Seibel, N. L. (2002). Building strong foundations: Practical guidance for promoting the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. Washington, DC: Zero to Three.
    • Pages 1–5 (“Introduction” and “What Is Infant Mental Health?”)
    • Pages 9–10 (“Thinking About Culture”)
  • Course Text: Lally, J. R., Mangione, P. L., & Greenwald, D. (Eds.). (2006). Concepts for care: 20 essays on infant/toddler development and learning. San Francisco: WestEd.
    • “Infant Mental Health” by Jeree Pawl (pp. 71–75)
    • “Teachers and Family Members: Talking Together” by Amy Laura Dombro (pp. 59–63)
    • “Metatheories of Childrearing” by J. Ronald Lally (pp. 7–1 3)

Optional Resources



Metatheories of Childrearing

Consider the following two quotes by infant/toddler expert Ronald Lally:

  • “Every single adult, whether conscious of it or not, has an overarching theory that drives his or her childrearing practices” (Lally, 2006, p. 7).
  • “Often differences of opinion about strategies for childrearing occur between a child development professional and a client, parent, or trainee. Many times this difference is caused not because of a lack of information but rather because information that does not fit one’s metatheory is rejected. To be effective in our work, we not only have to share the latest research theory about who children are and how they grow, but we also need to acknowledge and relate to the strong and sometimes unacknowledged theories that are held by those engaged in childrearing—including ourselves” (Lally, 2006, p. 8).


Based on what you have learned about how personal metatheories of childrearing impact how each of us relates to and cares for children, complete the following:

By Day 3:


  • An example of your own personal metatheory of childrearing
  • Whether and how your own personal metatheories of childrearing have changed over the course of your study
  • How you would learn about the metatheories families have for their young children
  • Why knowledge of metatheories is important




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