Nativist and constructivist approaches to the study of development share a common emphasis on characterizing beginning and end states in development. This focus has highlighted the question of preservation and transformation-whether core aspects of the adult end state are present in the earliest manifestations during infancy. In contrast, a developmental systems approach emphasizes the process of developmental change. This perspective eschews the notions of objective starting and ending points in a developmental progression and rejects the idea that any particular factor should enjoy a privileged status in explaining developmental change. Using examples from motor development and animal behavior, we show how a developmental systems framework can avoid the pitfalls of the long and contentious debate about continuity versus qualitative change.