Faculty News

Rebecca New is co-editor of book on anthropology and child development

Rebecca S. New, associate professor of early childhood education, recently co-edited (with Robert A. LeVine, professor emeritus at Harvard University) Anthropology and Child Development: A Cross-Cultural Reader.  

Published by Blackwell Publishing, the book is divided into four parts that each focus on a separate stage of childhood ranging from early to late childhood.  Each section contains a collection of articles that discuss the cultural variations of childhood and offer ways to compare and analyze the differences. 

Studies of the role of child development in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, Europe and North America are carefully analyzed and presented with a cross-cultural examination of the topic.  Each culture is prefaced with a description of why a certain society operates the way it does based on its history.

The book captures the process of how children are raised based on their specific cultural identities.

“Of sweeping breadth across time and place and of unparalleled depth regarding the nature of children and childhood, Anthropology and Child Development challenges deeply held conventions while provoking invigorating ways of thinking and acting—an indispensable, intellectual compass for globalists, futurists, and all who care about children,” wrote Sharon Lynn Kagan of Teachers College, Columbia University.

In addition to her faculty role at the School of Education, New also serves as a research fellow at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG). She is providing leadership in linking FPG’s FirstSchool initiative with the School of Education’s re-visioning efforts in early childhood and elementary pre-service teacher education.