• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

‘At the end of the day, what is crucial is to enable educationalists to promote and apply their own metatheories and models of child development which they feel comfortable with and which enable children to develop. … Peter Sutherland should be credited with making a significant contribution towards achieving this fundamental goal’ - Educational Psychology in Practice

‘… this book deserves to become a classic in the field. Will appeal alike to academics and students in higher education, and to serving teachers- BPS: Educational Review Section

This book provides a general outline of the dominant schools of thought on cognitive development, with a focus on Piaget. His views are outlined and a range of critical responses and alternatives are detailed. The author examines the application of these schools of thought to teaching pre-school, primary and secondary children. Each chapter includes a summary and questions for discussion. The book concludes with a glossary of terms.

Moral Development
Moral development
Piaget's Original Ideas

A dimension of Piaget's work that evolved into a field of its own is his early study of moral thinking (1932). What stages do children go through in their understanding of moral behaviour? Piaget's empirical work was based on a study of the rules of a game as played by primary-age children. The game he chose was marbles, part of childhood folklore passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. He derived a stage theory to explain his findings, as he had done in the general field of cognitive development (outlined in Chapter 2). These corresponded in the two key stages.

A particular question Piaget also asked was: ‘Johnny by accident trips and breaks three cups; Billy on purpose ...

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