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“A Wild Child” Nova – originally aired on March 4, 1997 The Socialization Unit.

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Presentation on theme: "“A Wild Child” Nova – originally aired on March 4, 1997 The Socialization Unit."— Presentation transcript:

1 “A Wild Child” Nova – originally aired on March 4, 1997 The Socialization Unit

2 Why was the girl featured called “Genie?” (not Jeanie, Geanie, Jeannie, Geannie, etc.) Not her birth name A genie is a creature that emerges into human society past childhood

3 When was she “discovered?” November 4, 1970 Born April 18, 1957

4 Where was she found? Locked in a room – tied to a potty chair Arcadia, California – suburb of LA

5 What were the conditions in which she lived/ was being raised? Tied to a potty chair Little to look at No one to talk to Had to be quiet / was beaten for making noise

6 What behaviors were observed at Children’s Hospital? Infantile sounds – Had learned NOT to vocalize – Was beaten for making noise Strange “bunny walk” Spat Sniffed Clawed

7 Was Genie’s brain damaged from social isolation OR was she mentally retarded? NOTE: Team members even disagreed on this! Sleep studies revealed deep spindles – an abnormal brain activity indicating brain deficiency / retardation Her biological father thought Genie was retarded and kept her isolated. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

8 What makes us human? Language seems to be the answer!!!! While some may say “walking upright” but orangutans walk upright

9 Who was Victor? A wild child from France “the forbidden experiment” – a six year shared awakening experience Learned simple words – never really learned how to talk. Died in his 40s in 1828 Was of keen interest to the Genie team

10 What was the critical period hypothesis? The belief that there exists a deadline for acquiring knowledge. IF language – a first language, is not learned by puberty, then it won’t be attained.

11 How does Genie’s story end? Caregivers wanted to Genie’s life to be better than Victor’s. Sign language was introduced and actively incorporated. 1974: Research funding stopped due to a failure to collect data in a scientific way. Riglers did their best and a year later ended their foster care of Genie. =>

12 1975: Genie’s mother, cleared of child abuse charges, took Genie back but couldn’t handle her resulting in multiple foster care placements. Genie’s mother gets a law suit against the team for excessive testing. 1 st foster home: severe punishment for vomiting – ended up back at Children’s Hosp. – regressed wouldn’t open her mouth

13 At least 6 placements – eventually ended up at an adult care home. Key questions remain… Do you think that the research team/ social science professionals had Genie’s best interests at heart or were they self-serving?

14 Things to consider… – Rigorous science / scientific approach = Genie comes 2 nd – Scientist and therapist roles cannot be mixed

15 Can a nurturing environment make up for a most nightmarish past? What do you think? – Why?

16 What now? Genie’s “discovery” was 1970. A book, Genie: An Abused Child’s Flight from Silence aka Genie: A Scientific Tragedy”, was published in 1993. NOVA documentary was aired in 1997. TIPS -Society for Teaching of Psychology postings in 2004 AND 2007 (teacher rdgs.)

17 Then comes 2008 and Josef Fritzl…

18 2008 May 1, 2008: British newspaper, The Sun, publishes: “Monster Fritzl’s ‘animal’ children” – The two boys plucked from monster Josef Fritzl’s dungeon talk to each other with animal like growls. – One walks like a Monkey, sometimes crawling on all fours.

19 Distribution of The Sun article How does this relate to Genie? Genie – a renewed curiosity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Class readings of ABC News Reports

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