Conceptual Development: Piaget's Legacy

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This book examines a key issue in current cognitive theories - the nature of representation. Each chapter is characterized by attempts to frame hot topics in cognitive development within the landscape of current developmental theorizing and the past legacy of genetic epistemology. The chapters address four questions that are fundamental to any developmental line of inquiry:

  • How should we represent the workings and contents of the mind?
  • How does the child construct mental models during the course of development?
  • What are the origins of these models? and
  • What accounts for the novelties that are the products and producers of developmental change?

These questions are situated in a historical context, Piagetian theory, and contemporary researchers attempt to trace how they draw upon, depart from, and transform the Piagetian legacy to revisit classic issues such as the child's awareness of the workings of mental life, the child's ability to represent the world, and the child's growing ability to process and learn from experience. The theoretical perspectives covered include constructivism, connectionism, theory-theory, information processing, dynamical systems, and social constructivist approaches. The research areas span imitation, mathematical reasoning, biological knowledge, language development, and theory of mind.

Written by major contributors to the field, this work will be of interest to students and researchers wanting a brief but in-depth overview of the contemporary field of cognitive development.

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Editorial Reviews

Unlike the previous 28 annual symposia of the Jean Piaget Society, the 1996 meeting took a rather narrow focus to commemorate the centenary of his birth: conceptual development as the centerpiece of his life and work. The 13 papers address how to represent the workings and contents of the mind, how the child constructs a mental model during the course of development and the developmental origin of the model, and what accounts for the novelties that are products and producers of developmental change. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805825008
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Jean Piaget Symposia Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Lexile: 1370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents: M. Chandler, Foreword. E.K. Scholnick, Piaget's Legacy: Heirs to the House That Jean Built. Part I:How Should We Represent the Workings and Contents of the Mind? R. Case, Conceptual Development in the Child and in the Field: A Personal View of the Piagetian Legacy. A.N. Meltzoff, M.K. Moore, A New Foundation for Cognitive Development in Infancy: The Birth of the Representational Infant. S.A. Gelman, G. Diesendruck, A Reconsideration of Concepts: On the Compatibility of Psychological Essentialism and Context Sensitivity. F.C. Keil, K.L. Lockhart, Explanatory Understanding in Conceptual Development. D. Klahr, The Conceptual Habitat: In What Kind of System Can Concepts Develop? Part II:How Does the Child Construct a Mental Model During the Course of Development? What Is the Developmental Origin of This Model? R. Garcia, A Systemic Interpretation of Piaget's Theory of Knowledge. S. Oyama, Locating Development: Locating Developmental Systems. P.H. Miller, T.R. Coyle, Developmental Change: Lessons From Microgenesis. Part III:What Accounts for the Novelties That Are the Products and Producers of Developmental Change? J. Voneche, The Origin of Piaget's Ideas About Genesis and Development. G.B. Saxe, Sources of Concepts: A Cultural-Developmental Perspective. K. Nelson, Levels and Modes of Representation: Issues for the Theory of Conceptual Change and Development. S. Carey, Sources of Conceptual Change.
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