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Re: [xmca] Reading Piaget again...

Artin and Huw,

I have students read the following as part of my Piaget offerings in a
theories class:
 Piaget, J. (1973). *The child and reality: Problems of genetic psychology*.
New York: Grossman. Chapter 1: “Time and the intellectual development of
the child” (original work published in 1962).

It's quite clear in this chapter that Piaget was more than willing to
acknowledge the influence of both social class and culture, not in changing
the order through which children would pass through stages of development
but in speeding up or slowing down the age at which they'd be likely to
show evidence of being in one or other stage.

He wrote "stages are precisely characterized by their set order of
succession. They are not stages which can be given a constant chronological
date. On the contrary, the ages can vary from one society to another..."
(p. 10).  (As this chapter was initially presented as a lecture he
somewhere or other, tongue-in-cheek no doubt, mentions that the children of
his listeners undoubtedly go through the stages faster.)  Towards the end
of the chapter he wrote as follows:
"Moreover, we will find collective accelerations in certain social classes
and in certain milieux" (pp. 25-26), and went on to discuss differences in
children's responses in Geneva, Montreal,  Martinique (a delay of
approximately four years), Tehran (similar to Geneva), and rural Iran (a
delay of approximately 2.5 years).

We can, of course, argue about the manner in which non-schooled children
were tested (as Mike and others have done very effectively), but it's
really hard to say that Piaget held that culture or class were irrelevant
to children's cognitive development.

In the book that Artin mentioned you can also find lots of evidence of the
ways in which parents and children influence children's social and moral
development--yet still we're confronted with the image of Piaget's child
being the little scientist working alone on the mysteries of the world.

All the best,



Jonathan Tudge
Office: 155 Stone
***Important*** Please note that I have a new office phone line***

Mailing address:
248 Stone Building
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
PO Box 26170
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

phone (336) 223-6181. [However, given the amount I travel, it's best to
communicate with me by email.]
fax   (336) 334-5076


On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 7:16 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>wrote:

> On 13 February 2013 21:19, Goncu, Artin <goncu@uic.edu> wrote:
> >
> > In re-reading Piaget for a class I teach, I saw the following sentences
> in
> > "The Moral Judgement of the Child" that I had underlined many years ago,
> > noticed them again, and felt that he may not have been given sufficient
> > credit for his observations about the role of culture and class in his
> > discussions.  On p. 209-10 referring to the findings he has just
> reported,
> > he says "To begin with, they relate only to the children belonging to a
> > certain ethnical (sic) group and a certain social stratum (the poorer
> > parts of Geneva and a few children from an elementary school at
> > Neuchatel.)  I wish he had theorized about the role of culture and class,
> > going beyond these observations but that is another story...
> >
> >
> My reading recollection is that he is forever hedging his bets and
> encumbered by an audience expecting a "rational" account of genetic
> phenomena.  On one occasion I was hunting about for some Piagetian ideas
> that, I was confident, were laid out with clarity only to discover that is
> was Vygotsky writing about Piaget.
> No doubt there's much more to it -- the influence of idioms such as French
> sociologists and psychologists, translations etc.
> Huw
> > Artin Goncu, Ph.D
> > Professor,
> > Educational Psychology
> > College of Education M/C 147
> > 1040 W. Harrison St.
> > Chicago, IL 60607
> > http://education.uic.edu/epsy/browseour%20faculty.cfm
> > (312) 996-5259
> >
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