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Early Education: A Cognitive-Developmental View

Lawrence Kohlberg
Child Development
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Dec., 1968), pp. 1013-1062
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1127272
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1127272
Page Count: 50
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Early Education: A Cognitive-Developmental View
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Abstract

This paper reviews the implications of the cognitive-developmental theories of Baldwin, Dewey, Piaget, and Vygotsky for preschool education. The conception of cognitive stage basic to these theories is analyzed, and the connection of a stage conception to an interactional (as opposed to a maturationist or environmentalist-training) view of the origins of mental structure is analyzed. Empirical studies are reviewed supporting the validity of this conception of intellectual development. Preschool programs of academic and linguistic training or stimulation are examined from this point of view. The conception of the preschool period as a critical period for the environmental stimulation of general intelligence is examined, considering general intelligence in both psychometric and Piagetian terms. It is concluded that the theories reviewed do not so much imply an emphasis upon specific forms of preschool intellectual stimulation as they do imply a systematic formulation of the cognitive-developmental components of the play, constructive, aesthetic, and social activities which have traditionally been the heart of the preschool.

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