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Re: Concrete vs Abstract (was Middle School PS Texts~)

Hi all-
People switch back and forth among Piaget's stages. This fact
was demonstrated experimentally by Case in "The New Structuralism in
Cognitive Development" (Karger 1993). But we also know that adolescents
are still undergoing brain development. Teachers are beyond that stage.
So it is highly inaccurate to characterize teachers as being at the
same level as middle-school students.

While we're on the suggestion of Piagetian stages, a notion Piaget himself
had apparently largely discarded by the time English speakers were picking
it up in the late 70's, the stages are not about concrete vs abstract.
Piaget's own descriptions of the evidence of thinking of babies are
evidence of abstractions.

Case and others including Piaget have demonstrated that the "stages" are
not what they have been made out to be by "interpreters" of Piaget's work.
Hence, to label others as concrete thinkers and equate them with their
students for that reason alluding to Piaget does the teachers, the students
and Piaget a disservice.

If we're all going to get prickly over the meaning of the word "heat," then
we should get square about the work of people in other fields.

Just my opinion...


Dewey I. Dykstra, Jr. Phone: (208)426-3105
Professor of Physics Dept: (208)426-3775
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"As a result of modern research in physics, the ambition and hope,
still cherished by most authorities of the last century, that physical
science could offer a photographic picture and true image of reality
had to be abandoned." --M. Jammer in Concepts of Force, 1957.

"If what we regard as real depends on our theory, how can we make
reality the basis of our philosophy? ...But we cannot distinguish
what is real about the universe without a makes no sense
to ask if it corresponds to reality, because we do not know what
reality is independent of a theory."--S. Hawking in Black Holes
and Baby Universes, 1993.