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Cognitive Development as the Dance of Adaptive Transformation

Neo-Piagetian Perspective on Adult Cognitive Development

Authored by: Jan D. Sinnott

Handbook of Research on Adult Learning and Development

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  November  2008

Print ISBN: 9780805858198
eBook ISBN: 9780203887882
Adobe ISBN: 9781135597405

10.4324/9780203887882.ch4

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Abstract

Piaget was originally a biologist, and it shows. One of the most important emphases unique to the Piagetian approach to cognitive development and learning is that adaptation of the organism is a paramount goal that serves both organism and environment. Sometimes, reading life-span development research and theory, we get the feeling that the human is still the center of the psychological and biological universe. We get the impression that psychological processes just are, for their own sakes, without reference to their effectiveness at keeping us alive and thriving. The underpinning of Piagetian and neo-Piagetian theories is the adaptive nature of cognitive development.

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