ERIC Number: EJ925122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Piaget and the Pendulum
Bond, Trevor G.
Science & Education, v13 n4-5 p389-399 Jul 2004
Piaget's investigations into children's understanding of the laws governing the movement of a simple pendulum were first reported in 1955 as part of a report into how children's knowledge of the physical world changes during development. Chapter 4 of Inhelder & Piaget (1955/1958) entitled "The Oscillation of a Pendulum and the Operations of Exclusion" demonstrated how adolescents could construct the experimental strategies necessary to isolate each of the variables, exclude the irrelevant factors and conclude concerning the causal role of length. This became one of the most easily replicable tasks from the Genevan school and was used in a number of important investigations to detect the onset of formal operational thinking. While it seems that the pendulum investigation fits nicely into Piaget's sequence of studies of concepts such as time, distance and speed suggested to him by Einstein, more recent research (Bond 2001) shows Inhelder to be directly responsible for the investigations into children's induction of physical laws. The inter-relationship between the pendulum problem, developing thought and scientific method is revealed in a number of Genevan and post-Piagetian investigations.
Descriptors: Scientific Methodology, Motion, Mechanics (Physics), Science Instruction, Scientific Principles, Scientific Concepts, Science Experiments
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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