New Directions in Piagetian Theory and Practice

New Directions in Piagetian Theory and Practice

New Directions in Piagetian Theory and Practice

New Directions in Piagetian Theory and Practice

Excerpt

Ever since the late 1950's and early 1960's Piaget's writings have been the source of two strands of activity: (1) testing Piagetian ideas through laboratory and other types of research, and (2) inspiring practitioners, especially educators, to shape their programmatic efforts in directions derived from Piaget's work. These two trends have had a variety of consequences, for research and for application. A burgeoning research literature has resulted, testing various positions espoused by Piaget, as well as providing data which confirmed or disconfirmed Piaget's theory and research. Concurrently, practitioners, often educators, were more concerned with the perceived value of Piaget's ideas for formulating educational programs virtually at every academic level up to and including college age individuals.

The interesting phenomenon is that in spite of the fact that some empirical research casts doubts about various Piagetian notions, e.g., stages of cognitive development, etc., practitioners often continue to accept the validity of Piaget's empirical research. Essentially, the researcher and the practitioner were operating independently with little mutual influence. How often do researchers address problems brought to them by practitioners and vice versa? Each professional group comes out of different professional orientations with different reference groups and different perspectives resulting in minimal reciprocal influence.

The papers in this volume reflect the Piaget Society's interest in helping bridge the gap and increase communication between research workers and practitioners in education and allied fields by providing the context for an active dialogue. I feel this volume represents just such an effort since the papers in this book provide extensions of Piagetian theory as well as demonstrations of its applicability. The papers were presented in two symposia sponsored by the Piaget Society.

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