Explaining that no definitive pedagogy flows from the developmental theory of Jean Piaget, the author explores ways that classroom teachers can nevertheless make powerful use of that theory. For her, the essence of the child's intellectual development lies not in the progressive accomplishment of Piagetian tasks, but in the child's testing out the ideas that she or he finds significant. This process of testing out ideas, she argues, is critical for the child's cognitive growth. Teachers can assist this growth primarily by accepting the child's perpective as the legitimate framework for generating ideas—allowing the child to work out her or his own questions and answers. This approach—and the importance of providing varied settings and materials which suggest ideas to children—is discussed with particular reference to the author's classroom experience and her evaluation of an elementary science program.

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