The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
10. On the Origins of Constructivism: The Kantian Ancestry of Jean Piaget’s Genetic Epistemology
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On the Origins of Constructivism
The Kantian Ancestry of Jean Piaget’s Genetic Epistemology
In a recent undergraduate seminar, I held three pieces of white chalk in my hand and asked student teachers to name properties of this object. Their answers came easily: white, dusty, brittle, round, solid, dry and so on. I wrote these on the board.
I then pointed to my open palm and asked, “How many pieces of chalk do I have in my hand?” “Three,” someone called out, and I added that to our list.
We used this simple, almost trivial exercise to help us understand and interpret a powerful and puzzling passage from David Elkind (1967, xii), one of Jean Piaget’s most articulate interpreters: “Once a concept is constructed, it is immediately experienced so that it appears to the subject as a perceptually given property of the object and independent of the subject’s own mental activity.”
PROPERTIES OF THE OBJECT
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