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Educational implications of Kohlberg's cognitive-developmental view

Abstract

Kohlberg's attempt to derive from cognitive-developmental theory the conclusion that specific instruction cannot contribute significantly to cognitive development is viewed as a “category error,” an attempt to set into opposition two concepts that are not of the same type. His distinctions of structural versus nonstructural, generalized versus situation-specific, and permanent versus impermanent behavior change are found to apply equally to changes resulting from instruction and “natural” behavior changes. It is suggested that a more educationally relevant distinction is one between developmental accomplishments that depend upon adult-child interaction and those that do not.

Résumé

La tentative de Kohlberg visant à conclure, à partir de la théorie du développement cognitif, que l'enseignement spécifique ne peut pas contribuer de façon importante au développement cognitif, est considérée comme une “erreur de catégorie” dans ce sens que sa thèse cherche à mettre en opposition deux concepts d'ordre différent. En effet, les distinctions que Kohlberg approte entre le changement structural et non structural au niveau du comportement, généralisé et limité à un cas particulier, permanent et transitoire s'avèrent également applicables aux changements attribuables à l'enseignement et aux changements “naturels” du comportement. L'article suggère qu'une distinction plus pertinente du point de vue éducationnel est celle qu'on établit entre les réalisations du développement qui dépendent de l'action réciproque de l'adulte et de l'enfant et celles qui n'en dépendent pas.

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Bereiter, C. Educational implications of Kohlberg's cognitive-developmental view. Interchange 1, 25–32 (1970). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02214308

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Keywords

  • Behavior Change
  • Specific Instruction
  • Cognitive Development
  • Category Error
  • Educational Implication