Intended as supplemental reading in courses on theories of development, this book augments traditional core texts by providing students with more depth on about two dozen recent and emerging theories that have appeared over the past 20 years. This period has seen a decline of the traditional "grand" theories that attempt to apply to all people all the time in favor of "micro theories" that focus more on individual differences, so a book like this actually points the way toward the future rather than dryly reviewing the past. In addition, the author inspects the changing ways in which the concept of "theory" itself has been interpreted during this period, and he concludes with a chapter suggesting future directions.
Chapter 5: Beyond Piaget
It's quite apparent that no one has ever provided final, definitive answers to questions about human development. The proposed answers are never good enough. They always leave issues unresolved. This fact is nicely illustrated in the case of Jean Piaget (1896–1980), the Swiss psychologist who became the 20th century's most prolific and inventive child-development theorist. The magnitude of his productivity is reflected in the quantity of his publications, which extended into the many hundreds. By the year 2000, the PsychINFO database listed more than 4,600 publications founded on, or alluding to, Piaget's contributions. But such an impressive body of work still failed to produce ultimate answers to human development questions. Consequently, a host of puzzles have awaited the attention of later scholars, ...