Perspective-Taking and Object Construction
Two Keys to Learning
In recent years, an increasing number of psychologists and cognitive scientists have adopted the view that knowledge is essentially situated, and thus should not be divorced from the contexts in which it is constructed and actualized (e.g., Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Rogoff & Lave, 1984). Lave & Wenger, 1991). This growing interest in knowledge as it lives and grows in context has led many researchers in developmental psychology and other disciplines to focus on people's interactions with, and descriptions of, specific situations. They look at how these interactions and descriptions evolve over time. Such an emphasis on the richness and diversity of individual paths-in-context provides a far less coherent picture of cognitive growth than is suggested by most stage theories. It challenges the prevalent view among developmentalists (such as Piaget and Kohlberg) that removed, analytical modes of thought are necessarily more advanced forms of cognitive functioning, and that cognitive growth consists of a unidirectional progression from concrete to abstract, from fusion to separation ( Ackermann, 1991; Kegan, 1982; Turkle & Papert, 1991).
Several scholars further elaborate on the idea that divorcing knowledge from experience by adopting a "God's eye view"--an all-encompassing perspective that transcends any given viewpoint--is by no means a higher form of knowing, and that it certainly is not the most appropriate mode of functioning in all situations (e.g., Gilligan, 1987; Haraway, 1991; Harding, 1991; Keller, 1985). They argue that to know is to relate and that to know better, or gain deeper understanding, is to grow-in-connection ( Jordan, Kaplan, Miller, Silver, & Surrey