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Common-Core Curriculum: A Piagetian Conceptualisation

Leslie Smith
British Educational Research Journal
Vol. 12, No. 1 (1986), pp. 55-71
Published by: Wiley on behalf of BERA
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1500883
Page Count: 17
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Common-Core Curriculum: A Piagetian Conceptualisation
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Abstract

Piaget's account of formal operational thinking and Further Education Unit proposals for a common-core curriculum share twin assumptions: there are general abilities and such abilities are transferable. Piaget's account is reviewed and the commitment to both assumptions is shown. The family of six general abilities which underlie formal operational thinking is reviewed as well as six types of cognitive constraint which restrict the actual transfer of general ability. Criticisms of Piaget's account are evaluated and it is argued that Piaget's competence account is not primarily an account of cognitive performance. The implications of this interpretation for pre-vocational education are considered, including the cognitive development of young people, instructional objectives, learning-methods and assessment. The central conclusion is that Piaget's account is one intellectual resource which may be used in the context of pre-vocational education.

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