ERIC Number: ED290857
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Oct
To Think Well, Be Aware and Not Beware of Contradictions. Draft.
In one of his latest works, Piaget (1980) describes the course of development as alternating between periods of relative equilibrium, in which thinking is deductive and discursive, and periods of equilibration, in which thinking is dialectical and constructive. Progressive change depends on these dialectical periods, during which the construction of negations and the awareness of contradiction become vital for development. It is contended that this dialectic is formed in social intercourse. This inner dialogue is an internalization of what was originally an external dialogue, started in infancy and early childhood, between children and their caretakers and peers. Where dialectic demands have not been part of childhood and adolescence, the adult student will have to be confronted systematically with contradictions, in the higher education setting, if formal operations are to be elicited. Formal thinking and a manageable appetite for discrepancy can be elicited through the structuring of classroom activities, specifically through classroom exercises in which each student can find his or her own optimal mismatch. The problem presented by the selection, adaptation, and invention of exercises includes making tasks complex enough in form, so that solution would require formal operations, yet circumscribed enough in content, so that their informational aspect could be either assumed or imparted without overtaxing the memory. (YLB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Illinois Association for Personalized Learning Programs (Monticello, IL, October 1986).