ERIC Number: ED290615
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Piaget's Constructionist Epistemology. An Exploration and a Comparison with Several Alternative Theories.
The world presented to our senses is essentially continuous in space and time. The simplest observations of children have shown that we are not born with ways of "breaking up" the world. The structures of our knowledge must be developed, and the major issue this paper considers is how those structures develop. The discussion focuses on Jean Piaget's position and how it compares to several alternative positions. The alternative positions discussed hold in common that the structures of knowledge are copies of other structures. B. F. Skinner and Eleanor Gibson state that the structures of knowledge are copies of the structures of the world. Benjamin Whorf and the logical positivists believe the structures of knowledge to be taken from the structures of language. The Gestaltists tried to reduce the structures of knowledge to the structures of perception. It is concluded that Piaget provides a theory in which structures of knowledge grow from previous structures of knowledge through action, disequilibrium, and equilibration. It is argued that further research is needed, however, for "equilibration" to become an explanatory rather than just a descriptive term. (TW)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Sponsor: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Univ., Amherst. Dept. of Physics and Astronomy.
Note: Contains some light and broken type. A Cognitive Development Project prepared by the Heuristics Laboratory.