Sunday, July 2, 2017

Do stages belong at the center of developmental theory?

Good 2004 article with the above name by Dawson, Fischer and Stein. Some excerpts:

"We argue that placing stages at the center of Piaget’s developmental theory undermines its coherence by displacing the central theoretical constructs that give rise to a concept of stages. Stages should be a vehicle for analysis, not a core process at the heart of the theory of development" (256).

"[W]e certainly value Piaget’s stage theory. However, we strongly question whether his stages can justifiably be placed at the center of his theory. In fact, Feldman himself briefly acknowledges that some Piagetian scholars consider stages of cognitive development to be ancillary to Piaget’s central theoretical claims. However, he fails to adequately consider their justifications for taking this position, neglecting even Piaget’s own claim that his stages were a heuristic device rather than a central component of his theory" (258).

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