Conceptual Development: Piaget's Legacy

By Ellin Kofsky Scholnick; Katherine Nelson et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Piaget's Legacy: Heirs to the House That Jean Built

Ellin Kofsky Scholnick
University of Maryland, College Park

The Jean Piaget Society periodically returns to examine its intellectual roots. Recently, the society celebrated its founding with a symposium: Piaget's Theory: Prospects and Possibilities (publication edited by Beilin & Pufall, 1992; for editors' remarks, see Beilin & Pufall, 1992, pp. 311-326). At the end of his life, Piaget and his colleagues were in the midst of modifying his theory. Contributors to the symposium suggested that this late work clarified the central aims of the theory, provided a more specific analysis of developmental change than did Piaget's earlier work, and modified ideas about logical structure. Many past criticisms of Piaget had been unwarranted because they were misreadings of the substance and aims of the theory or these criticisms could be handled by extrapolations from the latest version of the theory ( Beilin, 1992; see also Chapman, 1988; Lourenco & Machado, 1996). These modifications in Piaget's theory provided another example of the ongoing cycle of equilibration. These changes opened up new possibilities by widening the scope of the theory and by providing opportunities to increase its conceptual coherence. This assessment of Piaget was internal to the theory, and the source of the modification was partially internal to the theory, too. Piaget and his colleagues reorganized and modified the theory to close some gaps, and the product was evaluated by those working within the Genevan tradition.

In 1996, the 100th anniversary of Piaget's birth provided another occasion to celebrate. Another symposium, entitled Conceptual Development: Piaget's Legacy, explored Piaget's work from a different perspective, an

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Conceptual Development: Piaget's Legacy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter 1 1
  • Part 1 - How Should We Represent the Workings and Contents of the Mind? 21
  • Chapter 2 23
  • Chapter 3 53
  • Chapter 4 79
  • Chapter 5 103
  • Chapter 6 131
  • Part II - How Does the Child Construct a Mental Model during the Course of Development? What Is the Developmental Origin of This Model? 163
  • Chapter 7 165
  • Chapter 8 185
  • Chapter 9 209
  • Part III - What Accounts for the Novelties That Are the Products and Producers of Developmental Change? 241
  • Chapter 10 243
  • Chapter 11 253
  • Chapter 12 269
  • Chapter 13 293
  • Author Index 327
  • Subject Index 337
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