Early Childhood in Mexico: Historical and Cultural Psychology and Neuropsychology
According to conception of historical and cultural psychology, introduced by L.S. Vigotsky, early childhood should be understood as a specific period of development or specific psychological age. Appropriate ways of care, communication, developmental procedures and organization of life should be taken into account by parents, teachers and other specialists. In the reality of Mexican Institutions such aspects are not always considered as important guidelines for treatment of children with normal and abnormal development. Only medical and hygiene aspects are normally respected. The objective of the article is to describe general information about early childhood institutions in Mexico and to present original proposal for organization of specialized attention for early development. The authors present experience in attendance of newborns and young children during first two years of life in Hospitals and Institutions of the city of Puebla. Special attention is directed to original proposals for organization of emotional and personal communication between adult and child in specific kinds of joint actions. Results of concrete studies with normal newborns and newborns with neurologic risks are included. The authors discuss the importance of qualitative approach based on the theory of cultural activity for profound understanding of the significance of early age in the stream of cultural development and the possibility to creation of important recommendations for organization of care and life in broad social context. Finally, it is necessary to express that the present work tries to provide a new perspective into clinical and educative practices with the babies during the first two years of life. The concept of functional system becomes even more significant from the perspective of our research and findings. In other words, it might be the path for understanding of interaction of different levels of human activity at the early age: psychological level and the level of brain mechanisms. It is obvious that the present work shares the opinion that early stimulation might not be limited to isolated motor exercises. Early development is cultural from the very beginning and should involve complex cultural mechanisms from the very beginning. The family in particular and the adults in general should take the job into their hands with proper understanding of the essence of cultural development.
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