ERIC Number: ED330710
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The "Chaos" Pattern in Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development.
Lindsay, Jean S.
Piaget's theory of the cognitive development of the child is related to the recently developed non-linear "chaos" model. The term "chaos" refers to the tendency of dynamical, non-linear systems toward irregular, sometimes unpredictable, deterministic behavior. Piaget identified this same pattern in his model of cognitive development in children. Piaget hypothesized that development is not a linear accumulation of discrete units of knowledge. Rather, he believed that periods of relative stability exist, which are necessarily followed by change, with a return to stability at a higher level of equilibrium. Piaget's notion of self-regulatory assimilation-accommodation is explicated. Attraction to the strange in the equilibrium process and iterative processes of cognition, both forwarded by Piaget, also fall into line with the chaos theory. Recent advances in computer technology have made it possible to simulate the behavior of complex systems, and as a result, the chaos model returned the physical sciences to the ideas of information theory. Using these tools, it may be possible to make sense of the aspects of Piaget's model that can not be supported using linear research models. A 27-item list of references is included. (TJH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Iterative Methods; Nonlinear Models
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association (14th, Boston, MA, February 18-22, 1991).