Minutes of the 26th Fall Meeting of The Board of Directors
Saturday, October 12, 1996, Chicago, Illinois
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| GE Fall 1996 (Vol. 24, No. 4)
Present: David Bearison, Thomas Bidell, Terry Brown,
James Byrnes, Michael Chandler (presiding), Dante Cicchetti, William Gray,
Patricia Greenfield, Susan Goldin-Meadow, Melanie Killen, Cynthia Lightfoot
(recording), David Moshman, Gil Noam, Larry Nucci, Robert Selman, Elliot
- WELCOME TO NEW BOARD MEMBERS
- Michael Chandler expressed thanks and appreciation for the good
work of those members who will be cycling off the board - David
Bearison, Harry Beilin, Susan Gelman, and Robert Selman.
- Thomas Bidell, Dante Cicchetti, Patricia Greenfield, Geoffrey
Saxe, and Jacques Voneche were welcomed as new members.
- OLD BUSINESS
- The minutes of the June 6, 1996 meeting were approved as recorded.
- NEW BUSINESS
- Presidents Remarks (Chandler)
- The Society has been very well represented at the various
centennial celebrations of Piagets birth, and was able to respond
generously to requests for speakers and presentations.
- The new Standing Committee structure is working well, particularly
in the case of the Symposium and Nominations committees. Overall,
the work load is better distributed. There are, however, a few
rough edges that seem mostly associated with defining committee
goals, and orchestrating group efforts. Notwithstanding the
expectable rough spots, the transition appears to be well underway.
- Sundry initiatives
- Onloading a corporate logo. Chandler has been negotiating
with the Piaget watch company regarding a possible sponsorship
that would enable scholars from third-world countries to
participate in our annual Symposium. There was some discussion
about what we might provide in exchange for their sponsorship.
We could, for example, display their logo on some of our
publications, or provide a display table at our annual Symposium
- Updating the Blue Book. Chandler circulated revisions
to the Bylaws pertaining to the Presidents terms of office,
and revisions to the Policies and Procedures manual pertaining
to Scholnicks composition of the mission statement for the
Genetic Epistemologist. A working draft of the Symposium
Manual - the how to book developed by the Symposium Program
Committee - is also now included in the Blue Book.
- Past Presidents Report (Brown)
- Brown called attention to a number of our recent accomplishments,
including the restructuring of the Societys governance, the
direction and scope of next years Symposium, the financial good
health of the Society, the strength of the slate of Board candidates,
and the international visibility of JPS at the recent centenary
events. He congratulated all of those involved, and noted that
these accomplishments are both indices of growth, and promises
of continued success.
- Vice President's Report (Byrnes)
- The call for program proposals is out. As a time-saving device,
and in order to more easily assemble the final program, submitters
are being encouraged to send abstracts on diskette or by electronic
mail. Byrnes has circulated, via e-mail, guidelines for reviewing
the proposals. He also expressed concern about meeting deadlines,
and receiving information from program organizers in a timely
fashion. He will inform organizers of his time constraints.
There was discussion about how to further reduce the time and
expense involved in the program proposal process.
- In an effort of relieve the workload of Board members, Brynes
is attempting to recruit others into the roles of session chairs
- Greenfield advocated for sending out a second wave of the
Call for Program Proposals in order to reach a larger audience
of those interested in cultural issues - the ISSBD membership,
for example. Byrnes reminded us of the time constraints, and
the need to do a first class mailing. Gray noted that although
the call for proposals is available on the website, and presumably,
a very large audience, he would be willing to make copies of
the flyer if individuals were interested in launching their
own outreach efforts.
- STANDING COMMITTEES
- Finance Committee (Moshman, Gray)
- Finance Committee Report. Moshman circulated a proposal for
modestly enhancing the financial status of the Society by introducing
an optional higher dues rate. There was some discussion about
the need for more ambitious plans, for example, raising membership
fees, structuring dues according to level of income, and/or
initiating different levels of membership. Noam reminded us
of the memberships positive response to Browns letter of several
years ago that requested donations. Turiel noted that Grays
new Membership Renewal Form makes for a more efficient process,
and asked that some consideration be given to the timing of
the request for renewals. It was generally agreed that four
levels be used to structure membership dues: (1) student - $30;
(2) regular - $70; (3) $100; (4) $150.
- Treasurers Report. Gray reported that we number 431 members
as of 10/11/96, and have between $30- and $35-thousand in the
bank, with outstanding bills from the printer, as well as bills
associated with board meeting travel costs. Gray distributed
a document in which the history of JPS Symposium (attendance,
hotel registrations, book sale proceeds, expenses, income, etc.)
is traced from 1980 to the present. Remarking on both the thoroughness
of the report, and its potential utility for future Symposium
organizers, Chandler requested that the document be prepared
as a resource and included in the Symposium Manual. On the matter
of dues and fees, Gray recommended against increasing membership
fees, and in favor of a substantial increase in symposium registration
fees for non-members (the fee for members would be unchanged
- $85). Gray explained the importance of individuals renewing
their memberships on time. There was a discussion of possible
incentives, including a late fee, or multiple-year memberships.
The Membership Committee was called upon to consider the issue,
and to present a plan to the Board.
- Membership Committee (Berkowitz, Lightfoot)
- Membership Committee Report. A summary of committee activities
was distributed previously by Berkowitz. Much effort has been
put into contacting former members who failed to renew their
memberships. A letter writing campaign seems to have been reasonably
effective, and is recommended as standard procedure. The mock-up
of the new Membership Brochure was reviewed enthusiastically.
Brown emphasized the importance of the Brochure for advertising
the Society and recruiting new members, and urged that we do
more to ensure its availability at relevant conferences. Other
ideas generated include advertising the Symposium in journals
(Selman), and giving students a greater voice by, for example,
creating an association of graduate students (Noam), and organizing
opportunities - conversation hours, receptions, lunches - for
student-faculty interaction (Killen, Chandler).
- Outreach Committee (Noam, Selman)
- Outreach Committee Report. A report was distributed that detailed
the chief functions of the committee vis a vis (1) expanding
international connections, and (2) further developing relationships
with individuals and organizations that are concerned with linking
theory and practice. In light of the theme of the upcoming Symposium,
Greenfield suggested that we obtain the mailing lists for The
Growing Mind and the Sociocultural groups. Brown suggested that
we have Symposium sessions in French or Spanish. Selman proposed
that some Symposium time be slotted for Outreach contact and
organization. Noam emphasized the importance of continuing our
efforts to subsidize travel for international, especially third-world,
- Publications Committee (Scholnick, Reed, Lalonde, Chandler)
- Symposium Volume Report. The Renninger/Amsel volume is ready
to be copyedited, and the Killen/Langer volume is near completion.
Authors are currently submitting manuscripts to the Scholnick/Nelson/Miller/Gelman
- G.E. Report. Due to substantial delays associated with the
printer, both the Spring and Summer issues of the GE (vol. 24
#2 and vol. 24 #3) are ready concurrently for mailing. The process
of identifying a qualified printer was discussed.
- G. E. on the Web. Scholnick and Reed recommended against an
electronic version of the GE on the grounds that such public
access reduces membership benefits. It was suggested that previews,
or "teasers", be made available on the Web, along with directions
on how to join the Society. It was also suggested that archival
issues be made available electronically.
- The Web Site. Lalonde's report notes that the Web Site has
logged in excess of 11,000 visits. It includes the Membership
Directory, minutes of Board meetings, past issues of the GE,
a listing of events and conferences, and the Call for Program
Proposals. Lalonde hopes also to include the text from the Membership
Brochure, when it becomes available, as well as accounts of
Piaget's theory and works.
- Translations Advisory Committee (Brown)
- Translations Advisory Committee Report. Remarking on the difficulty
of identifying translators, and his own desire to be done with
it, Brown raised the question of who might carry on the task
of translating Piaget's works. Les Smith was mentioned as someone
who might be interested. Chandler asked Brown to consider future
of the Committee.
- Nominations Committee (Brown)
- Officers and Board Nominees for the 1997/98 - 2000 term. Brown
distributed an impressive list of nominees ordered by rankings
provided previously by Board members. There was a candidate
by candidate discussion of the first four on the list, as well
as some discussion about travel expenses for international members.
Five candidates were approved: Ackerman, Garcia, Lourenco, Parker,
and Smetana. Larry Nucci was unanimously and enthusiastically
approved as President Elect.
- Symposium Committee.
- Symposium Committee Report. Turiel reported that efforts are
ongoing to identify a new Committee chair and new members. Much
work has gone towards developing the Symposium Manual. We are
again urged to review the draft and provide feedback to Milbrath,
Turiel, and/or Greenfield. As the current chair of Local Arrangements,
Greenfield praised the usefulness of the manual.
- Symposium 1997: Organizers' Report (Nucci, Turiel). The Committee
is in the process of contacting plenary speakers. Moving the
date of the conference further into June has created problems
for some potential speakers who have made prior travel or vacation
plans. The Committee is working to recruit speakers for seven
plenary sessions and four invited symposia. In order to more
quickly assemble a mock-up of the Program, Brynes requested
information regarding numbers of slots for plenaries, symposia
and so forth, as soon as it becomes available.
- Local Arrangements 1997 Report (Greenfield). Greenfields diligent
efforts have paid off. We will stay at the Holiday Inn, each
with a view of the ocean (and for a reasonable rate). She is
currently finalizing the contract, and settling the details
of room requirements, catering, easels for posters, and so forth.
There will be a free shuttle from the airport and to the beach.
- Symposium 1998 (Bearison/Selman). A list of possible speakers
on the topic of theory and practice was distributed. There was
some discussion about increasing the scope of the topic by expanding
into the area of aesthetics, or experience generally defined.
Killen suggested inviting speakers from outside developmental
psychology who may be engaged already in their own sort of theory-practice
dialogues. Noam observed that such speakers could be readily
found among the ranks of psychoanalysts. The issue of how knowledge
of psychopathology might inform knowledge of normative development,
i.e., the importance of comparative analysis, was raised by
Cichetti. There was also some interest in inviting speakers
from outside the social sciences - art and literary criticism,
for example. Speaking for the majority, Bidell praised the potential
of the general plan.
- PROPOSALS FOR 1999 AND BEYOND
- Folk Theory and Science. Chandler expressed interest in formulating
a Symposium proposal built around the topic of folk or commonsense
psychologies and their relations to the specialist theories generated
by the scientific community. Anyone interested in helping to devise
a more coherent proposal by June is encouraged to do so.
- Reductionism. Prompted in part by the recent ground swell of work
in neuropsychology and connectionism, Brown distributed a proposal
on the topic of the role of reductionism in science in general,
and the epistemology of psychology in particular, especially as
it bears on the concepts of mechanism, explanation, and cause. We
are urged to review the proposal, and provide feedback.
- Miscellaneous themes or topics.
- Greenfield - the relation between culture and biology
- Killen - social interaction and social knowledge
- Lightfoot - time
- Cichetti - early experience and developmental plasticity:
Insights from developmental neurology, psychology, and psychopathology.
- Bidell - cognitive development and education
Noam sounded a cautionary note about symposia themes that may be
too esoterically theoretical.
- OTHER BUSINESS
- The Winter Executive Committee meeting will be February 22, 1997.
A listing of other meeting minutes
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