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ERIC Number: ED108862
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Perspective on Formal Thought Development.
Chiappetta, Eugene L.
The research of Jean Piaget and his Genevan co-workers might lead one to believe that all adolescents are formal thinkers by the time they are 15 or 16 years of age. The studies reviewed by the author on formal thinking in the United States seem to support the contention that the majority of late adolescents and adults function at the concrete operational level and not at the formal operational level. The data collected and the conclusions arrived at by the researchers indicate that over 50 percent of the American population at age 16 and older function at the concrete operational level, thus contradicting Piaget's findings resulting from research with Genevan subjects. The discrepancy here is probably due to the subjects studied by Piaget. He appears to have chosen the more able students in his studies on formal thought development, hence finding greater cognitive development than he possibly would have found had he studied a truly random sample. If the cognitive development of late adolescents and adults has been accurately inferred from the studies cited, then it appears that many of our high school and college science courses are inappropriate. Since a great deal of the subject matter taught in high school and college science courses is geared toward formal thinking, these courses are not suited for concrete operational thinkers who probably represent the majority of students. It seems that curriculum developers need to develop science programs that are more geared toward concrete operational thinking than are the existing programs. (Author/BR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A