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Record identifier : 569814
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Stevens, David Averell
Title and statement of responsibility : Piaget as a dynamic systems theorist [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Harvard University, 2000
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ed.D
Body granting the degree : , Harvard University
Summary or Abstract : In the last decade the field of cognitive development has witnessed the emergence of a 'new' vision of how intelligence develops. Dynamic systems theory is a radically different conception of how cognitive abilities become increasingly more powerful and flexible over time. In this dissertation I argue that Jean Piaget's theory of genetic epistemology is a dynamic systems theory and that it can most profitably be interpreted from the perspective of the dynamic systems paradigm. I demonstrate that much of the criticism that Piaget's theory has encountered in North America has been based on mechanistic readings of his dynamic systems theory. The field now recognizes that traditional theories that have their roots in the behaviorism that dominated 20 th century psychology are unable to explain the complexity of human development. There is some movement away from these traditional theories towards a dynamic systems perspective as a better means to understand and model the complexity of development. The field of education has much to gain from a re-exploration of Piagetian principles in the context of the dynamic systems paradigm. I review several Piaget-based educational programs, locate them as products of either the dynamic systems principles or mechanistic principles, and illustrate the dramatically different visions of educational practice that follow. I conclude that educational interventions based on a dynamic systems reading of Piaget's theory most coincide with his stated views on education. The second section of this dissertation is a longitudinal analysis of an educational intervention that was predicated on a reading of Piaget's theory consistent with the dynamic systems paradigm. I identify four main findings from the data analysis. First, statistically significant higher academic achievement and IQ scores are associated with this educational intervention. Second, these higher scores appear to indicate better performance in math and non-verbal types of abilities, although almost all outcome areas are associated with higher relative scores. Third, these higher scores diminish over time. Fourth, children of higher socio-economic status in the program appear to benefit to a larger degree and for a longer period of time than children of lower socio-economic status..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Developmental psychology
: Cognitive therapy
: Curricula
: Educational psychology
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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