Piaget's social theory
Current debate in education on the role of individual and social factors in development often presents Piaget as giving primacy to individual cognitive processes in contrast to Vygotsky's view of the primacy of social and cultural factors. It has even become popular to say that Piaget's child is a solitary scientist, constructing knowledge apart from the social context. This view is in error. To counter the often inaccurate assumptions, Piaget's social theory is summarized, including an account of his consideration of the relations between the individual and the social in sociomoral, affective, and intellectual development. His emphasis on the role of norms in development is discussed. Piaget's view of the identity of cognitive operations and social co-operations is explained with examples. Issues related to Piaget's social theory are raised. The co-operative context favoring operational development is discussed in terms of five general principles of teaching that apply to all levels of education.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
DeVries, Rheta, "Piaget's social theory" (1997). Faculty Publications. 3972.