Advertisement

Early Education and Piagetian Theory

Applications Versus Implications
  • Rheta DeVries

Abstract

Preschool educators have struggled for a number of years with the question of the educational significance of Piaget’s research and his theory of knowledge. This question is difficult for at least two reasons. First, the theory is not a theory of teaching, and its educational significance is thus not obvious. Second, the theory is a dynamic one, and the significance of any part must be understood in relation to its role in Piaget’s continuing epistemological search for answers to the question of how knowledge develops. In preschool education, the first efforts to use Piaget’s work have been direct applications of a few isolated parts taken out of their epistemological context. Unfortunately, these applications have had the effect, in practice, of reducing Piaget’s theory to something less, and even to something different, than it is. Later efforts are only just beginning to shift the emphasis away from direct applications of isolated parts to broader implications of the theory as a whole. At this point in the history of early education, it seems useful to review the assimilations of Piaget’s theory in preschool education. The purpose of this chapter is to consider the applications in light of the theory as a whole, to outline aspects crucial to education that are unrecognized in these applications, and to consider the direction of future efforts.

Keywords

Early Education Preschool Education Pretend Play Constructive Process Concrete Operation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Denis-Prinzhorn, M., Kamii, C., and Mounoud, P., 1972. Pedagogical applications of Piaget’s theory. People Watching, 1(2), 68–71.Google Scholar
  2. DeVries, R., 1974. Theory in educational practice. In R. Colvin and E. Zaffiro (Eds.), Preschool education: A handbook for the training of early childhood educators. New York: Springer Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. DeVries, R., and Kamii, C., 1975. Why group games: A Piagetian perspective. Publication 132, Educational Resources Information Center/Eearly Childhood Education, Urbana, 111.Google Scholar
  4. Inhelder, B., Sinclair, H., and Bovet, M., 1974. Learning and the development of cognition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Inhelder, B., Ackermann-Valladao, E., Blanchet, A., Karmiloff-Smith, A., Kilcher-Hagedorn, H., Montangero, J., and Robert, M., 1976. Des structures cognitives aux procédures de découverte: Esquisse de recherches en cours. Archives de Psychologie, 44(171), 57–72.Google Scholar
  6. Kamii, C., 1975. One intelligence indivisible. Young Children, 30, 228–238.Google Scholar
  7. Kamii, C., and DeVries, R., 1977. Piaget for early education. In M. C. Day and R. K. Parker (Eds.), Preschool in action (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  8. Kamii, C., and DeVries, R., 1978. Physical knowledge in preschool education: Implications of Piaget’s theory. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  9. Karmiloff-Smith, A., and Inhelder, B., 1975. If you want to get ahead, get a theory. Cognition, 3(3), 195–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lavatelli, C., 1970. Piaget’s theory applied to an early childhood curriculum. Boston: American Science and Engineering.Google Scholar
  11. Lavatelli, C., 1973. Teacher’s guide to accompany early childhood curriculum: A Piaget program. Boston: American Science and Engineering.Google Scholar
  12. Piaget, J., 1952 The child’s conception of number. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd. (First published in 1941.)Google Scholar
  13. Piaget, J., 1970a. Genetic epistemology. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Piaget, J., 1965. The moral judgment of the child. New York: The Free Press. (First published in 1932).Google Scholar
  15. Piaget, J., 1971. Science of education and the psychology of the child. New York: Viking Press. (First published in part in 1935; in its entirety in 1965).Google Scholar
  16. Piaget, J., 1972a. The principles of genetic epistemology, New York: Basic Books. (First published in 1970b).Google Scholar
  17. Piaget, J., 1972b. Psychology and epistemology. New York: Viking Press. (First published in 1970c).Google Scholar
  18. Piaget, J., 1974. Understanding causality. New York: Norton. (First published in 1971.)Google Scholar
  19. Piaget, J., and Garcia, R., 1974. Physico-geometric explanations and analysis. In J. Piaget, Understanding causality. New York: Norton. (First published in 1971.)Google Scholar
  20. Sinclair, H., 1971. Piaget’s theory of development: The main stages. In M. Rosskopf, L. Steffe, and S. Taback (Eds.), Piagetian cognitive-development research and mathematical education, Washington, D.C.: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar
  21. Weikart, D., Rogers, L., Adcock, C., and McClelland, D., 1971. The cognitively oriented Curriculum. Educational Resources Information Center-National Association for the Education of Young Children, Urbana, Illinois.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rheta DeVries
    • 1
  1. 1.College of EducationUniversity of Illinois at Chicago CircleChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations