Developmental (Isamu)

  1. In what way were theories of Jean Piaget revolutionary?
  2. How were Jean Piaget’s theories influential in schools and how does his legacy continue to the present day?
  3. What is the difference between “quantitative cognitive change” and “qualitative cognitive change”? Which was Jean Piaget more interested in? Where do you think Piaget stood on the question of nature vs. nurture and why do you think so? [Refer to the videos on Piaget.]
  4. What did Jean Piaget think of standardized tests and what was the basis of his criticism of them?
  5. What sort of methodology did Jean Piaget use to help him better understand how intelligence evolves in children (p. 265)? Where did Piaget find children to study?
  6. Describe the stages of the development of intelligence, as outlined by Jean Piaget. Do these stages make sense to you? Why do you think no one before Piaget was able to recognize that the thinking of children was fundamentally different from that of adults?
  7. Do you think that Jean Piaget’s ideas on education have any relevance to how adults are educated? If so, how? If you were to become a teacher, what aspects of Jean Piaget’s theories would you be most eager to put into practice? Why?
  8. Name two criticisms of Jean Piaget’s theories (p. 269) and cite an experiment that backed up one of those criticisms.
  9. What was Lev Vygotsky’s “Zone of Proximal Development” and how is it connected to learning? [Refer to the video on Vygotsky.]
  10. What did the psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim learn from studying children in Israel who are raised on a kibbutz? Can you imagine what it would be like to be raised in such a communal environment? What do you think some of the advantages and disadvantages might be?
  11. How did Harry Harlow’s famous experiment affect parenting in the Western world? [Refer to the video on Harry Harlow’s experiments.]
  12. Choose two of the following items, explain them in detail, and say why you feel attracted to them (p. 278).
  • Erik Erickson’s 8 stages of psychosocial development
  • John Bowlby’s attachment theory
  • Kenneth & Mamie Clark’s doll experiments and their influence on changing the
  • American laws that required white and black children to attend separate schools
  • Eleanor Maccoby’s work on gender stereotypes
  • Albert Bandura’s “Social Learning Theory”
  • Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development

It’s not necessary to watch these videos in their entirety, but I think you’ll find them highly interesting and some of them will help you answer the questions more fully.