• 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.

The Piagetian Legacy
The piagetian legacy

Piaget's work has been heavily criticized in the decade or so since his death. This criticism is discussed in Chapters 49. However, before looking at the criticisms, what Piaget had to say should be considered first.


Jean Piaget was born in 1896 in French-speaking Switzerland, where he was to spend all his life except for a few years at the Sorbonne in Paris. His background was academic (his father was a professor) and so it is not surprising that high-level cognitive activity dominated his childhood. During his adolescence he developed a strong interest in biology, and his ontological studies of various creatures had a lasting influence on his thinking. He married one of his research students and, following the birth of ...

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