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ERIC Number: ED224561
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Autonomy: The Aim of Education Envisioned by Piaget.
Kamii, Constance
The aim of education should be the development of morally and intellectually autonomous individuals. The opposite of heteronomy, which means being governed by someone else, autonomy means being governed by oneself. Moral autonomy results from the application of "sanctions by reciprocity" in the context of mutual respect between adults and children. Differing from reward and punishment, sanctions by reciprocity provide children the opportunity to consider other people's points of view and motivate children to construct rules of conduct by coordinating viewpoints with others. As Piaget believed, when adults use reward and punishment, they reinforce children's natural heteronomy; alternately, adults stimulate the development of autonomy when they exchange points of view with children. As Piaget additionally pointed out, children acquire moral values in the same way they acquire knowledge--by constructing beliefs internally through interaction with the environment. Current educational practice blocks children's development of autonomy in both moral and intellectual realms. Therefore, the time has come to plan a "Copernican revolution" in education, shifting the focus of education from what educators do to children to how children develop. Educators should stimulate children's thinking by bringing different points of view into confrontation, since the exchange of points of view contributes to children's intellectual, social, affective, moral, and political development. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A