Child Development and Education: A Piagetian Perspective by David Elkind

By David Elkind

A set of essays protecting a extensive variety of themes, together with day care, the roots of homosexuality, generational clash, and kid's suggestions of existence and loss of life. "Richly suggestive." --Contemporary Psychology

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ROUSSEAU An influential forerunner of contemporary education and Piaget was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In his classic description of the rearing of a young aristocrat, Emile (1956), Rousseau put forth a theory of knowledge and learning that continues to be advocated in some sectors of society today. Rousseau was an exponent of the "noble savage" theory in regard to the primitive peoples who were being discovered by European explorers in the New World and in Africa. " Emile was as much a critique of educational methods of the time as it was a prescription for education.

The speaker who gave Piaget the award assured him that, while his fantasy was most amusing, it had no basis in fact and that Piaget had been the first person nominated and was unanimously chosen by the selection committee. There was not much chance to talk to Piaget after the dinner, but It was probably just as well. He does not really like to engage in small talk," and at close quarters it is often difficult to find things to say to him other than about research. And yet such discussions seem rather inappropriate at dinner parties.

What living and nonliving things have in common is that they obey rational laws. Not surprisingly, Piaget came to regard human intelligence, man's rational function, as providing the unifying principle of all the sciences, including the social, biological, and natural disciplines. It was a point of view that was to guide him during his entire career. In 1914 Piaget had intended to go to England for a year to learn English as many young Europeans did, but the war intervened. Consequently, despite many rumors to the contrary, Piaget does not speak or understand spoken English very well, although he has a fair command of written English.

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