The Genetic Epistemologist

Volume 26, Number 3
The Journal of the Jean Piaget Society

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Wednesday, June 10, 1998
Holiday Inn, Chicago City Center
Chicago, Illinois


Saba Aman-Nolley, Eric Amsel, Mark Bickard, Terry Brown, James Byrnes, Michael Chandler (presiding), Theo Dawson, Rolando Garcia, Susan Goldin-Meadow, William Gray, Patricia Greenfield, Monika Keller, Chris Lalonde, Cynthia Lightfoot (recording), David Moshman, Larry Nucci, Ellin Scholnick, Judith Smetana, Les Smith, Cecilia Wainryb, Jacques Voneche.

    1. The Board’s 1998-2001 Slate:

      • Robyn Fivush
      • Jonas Langer
      • Monika Keller
      • Les Smith
      • Elliot Turiel

    2. New and Continuing Officers & Ex-Officio members of the Board

      • Theo Dawson (Publications)
      • Connie Milbrath (V.P. & Symposium)
      • Bill Overton (Nominations)

    3. Student Members

      • Laura Taira
      • Melissa Singer


    1. The Minutes of the October 4, 1997 meeting were approved as recorded.


    1. Announcements & President’s Remarks (Chandler)

      1. Resignations. After several years of hard labor associated with the various jobs of Board Member, Program Organizer, and Vice President, Jim Byrnes has resigned his post. He was thanked for his extraordinary service to the Society and the generosity with which he shouldered some of the Society’s most difficult and time-consuming business.

      2. Decisions taken on suspect authority.

        1. Two Vice Presidents are better than one. Recognizing the arduous nature of the VP post under the best of circumstances, and realizing that the 1999 Symposium venue in Mexico City will pose unique organizational problems, it was decided that we are in desperate need of a second, Spanish-speaking Vice President. Connie Milbrath has gracioulsy agreed to be pressed into service. We will assess the possibility of permanently restructuring the position.

        2. An ad hoc "Publicity Committee". In order to respond more effectively to issues associated with publicizing the 1999 Symposium, an ad hoc has been composed and includes the following members:

          • the President & President Elect/Past President (Chandler & Nucci)
          • the VPs (Byrnes & Milbrath)
          • the Secretary, Treasurer & GE Editor (Lightfoot, Gray & Lalonde)
          • the upcoming Conference Organizers (Bidell, Brown, Garcia)
          • the LAC Chairs (Ayman-Nolley & Goldin-Meadow)
          • the Chair of the Symposium Committee (Saxe)

        3. Ad hoc subcommittee of Outreach on Latin America. Ackermann & Tryphon will initiate a campaign to encourage greater involvement of Latin American scholars in Society activities.

        4. ACT. There has been correspondence with Brenda Fyfe, current President of ACT, regarding the ongoing process of coordinating the symposium exchange program.

        5. APS Summit. Chandler reported on the APS Summit in Santa Barbara, CA, at which he represented the Society.

      3. Various gift horses.

        1. "Blue Book" updates. Lightfoot was thanked for updating the Blue Book to reflect recent changes to our Bylaws and Policies and Procedures.

        2. Refusing to let go of Retiring Board Members. Goldin-Meadow, Killen, and Moshman, whose terms of office end in October, will continue as ex-officio members of the board. Typically, for the sake of controlling expenses, members whose terms end in October do not attend the Fall board meeting.

      4. An overview of issues to come:

        1. Restructuring the role of the VP (Byrnes)

        2. Investment Strategy Report (Finance Committee)

        3. The Membership Brochure (Membership Committee)

        4. Outreach in Latin American (Ackermann)

        5. Journal Sponsorship (Brown/Scholnick)

        6. Choosing a new VP (Nucci)

        7. Promotion of 1999. (NB: For the first time ever, we know more than a year in advance where the next symposium will be.)


    1. The preparation and publication of the program. Program production went according to plan; the program hangs together nicely, and the online submission worked well, cutting down on paper traffic across the VP’s desk.

    2. Restructuring the role of the V.P. Byres circulated a proposal for restructuring the Vice Presidency. The document detailed a lengthy list of tasks and some of the common problems associated with completing them in a timely manner. Chandler asked that a calendar be constructed based on input from members of the LAC. There was discussion about how to off-load some of the correspondence, the secretarial work, and/or the production of the Program - the last of these to the GE editor, perhaps. It was agreed that we should no longer stand silent witness to the serial murders of our VPs, however swift the killings be. Chandler asked that a restructuring plan, devised in consultation with past VPs, be brought forward for discussion at the October meeting.


    1. Program update: "We're set."


    1. Finance Com. Report (Gray & Bidell)

      1. Treasurer’s Report. Gray circulated a report on our end-of-year balances. He noted that last year's meeting was expensive, and drew 201 people, i.e., not as many as we would like given the amount of money spent. Greenfield suggested that this may be a publicity problem, and that we may consider distributing "invitations to attend" in addition to the Call for Papers. Chandler highlighted our financial goal for symposia - that they be self-supporting - and noted that approximately 25% of plenary speakers pay as members the following year. Gray noted that we have 378 members thus far this year.

      2. Investment Strategy Report (Bidell). Deferred to 6/13.

    2. Membership Com. Report (Goldin-Meadow & Lightfoot).

      1. Membership brochure. The brochure is being updated to reflect changes in our fee structure and website address. Work is ongoing regarding the production of a bilingual/multilingual version. Chandler asked that we continue to revisit the issue. Arrangements were made to distribute the Brochure at the meetings of ISCRAT (Denmark) and ISSBD (Bern).

      2. Non-renewals. The Berkowitz letter writing campaign went forward as usual.

      3. Advertising in journals. Procedures and costs of advertising the JPS have been compiled from a number of journals. The material has been transfered to the Publicity Committee for developing plans to advertise Symposium 1999.

      4. Miscellany. Moshman addressed the need to keep in better touch with the membership. The procedure for nominating board members was discussed. Chandler noted that our new practice of including ex-officio members is one mechanism of drawing membership into Society governance. Greenfield suggested that the nomination procedures be published in the GE, along with a rationale for the composition of the Board slate (e.g., importance of retaining expertise, balancing with respect to gender, geography, and so forth). Byrnes suggested polling the membership via email on the issues of 1) the composition of the board slate, 2) the venue for the next Symposium and, 3) the topic of the next Symposium. Greenfield suggested an open competition for organizing a symposium, much as is done by APA every third year or so. Chandler asked that the Membership, Nominations, and Symposium committees come forward with a concrete list of things to undertake for the October meeting.

    3. Outreach Com. Report (Ackerman)

    4. Publications Com. Report (Scholnick/Lalonde)

      1. The LEA Volume Series (Scholnick): It was a good year for royalties. The current volumes remain on course: Killen/Langer is to appear at any moment; Scholnick, et. al., is in press.

      2. The GE/Web Site (Lalonde). We have returned, finally, to our regular quarterly publication schedule. In the wake of the previous talk about restructuring the VP’s role, there will be some discussion about coordinating the program issue of the GE. The website has move to a more permanent position, and offers more services to users, including answers to commonly asked questions about Piaget’s life and works. It has received approximately 60,000 hits to date. For correspondence on many of the JPS lists, and more often than he would like, Lalonde is needing to redirect messages because of discrepancies between the address of origin and the subscriber’s address. We are urged to check our addresses for accuracy. In a similar vein, Lalonde reports that he is often needing to respond to users’ requests for additional information about Piaget. We are urged to contact him with ideas for creating mailing lists, summaries, and so forth, that might reduce the volume of requests he receives.

      3. Ad Hoc Committee on Archives de Psychologie/ Journal of Cognitive Development. Both are willing to open disucssions with us regarding some sort of sponsorship.

      4. Translations Advisory (Brown). Two projects are underway, one with the assistance of Ackerman, the other an edited volume, "De la Pedagogie", with Tryphon. A review of "De la Pedagogie", by Les Smith, is to appear in the GE. Another translator is needed for the job. It was considered that Smith might be willing to volunteer for this "labor of love" which has already peaked the interest of a few publishers.

    5. Symposium committee report. Deferred until 6/13.

    6. Nominations Com. Report (Nucci)

      1. The Vice Presidency. After some deliberation, the committee moved to appoint David Moshman. The motion was discussed, and passed with all due confidence and enthusiasm.

  7. OTHER BUSINESS (Chandler)

    1. Promoting Symposium 1999. It was agreed that the luncheon scheduled for tomorrow would provide a convenient opportunity to share information and field questions about the Mexico City Sympoisum. Several members and potential conference-goers have expressed concerns about the expenses and security involved in travel outside the US. It is important to communicate to the membership that hotel costs will be much less than they usually are at US conference sites, that airfare is very reasonable (about $300 RT from Chicago), and that the area surrounding the conference site is as safe as it is in any major US city, and requires only the usual precautions.



Saturday, June 13, 1998
Holiday Inn, Chicago City Center
Chicago, Illinois


Edith Ackerman, Saba Ayman-Nolley,Tom Bidell, Michael Chandler (presiding), Rolando Garcia, Bill Gray, Monika Keller, Cynthia Lightfoot (recording), Orlando Lorenço, Connie Milbraith, David Moshman, Armando Machado, Larry Nucci, Bill Overton, Sue Taylor Parker, Ellin Scholnick, Les Smith, Jacques Voneche, Cecilia Wainryb.


    1. Monika Keller and Les Smith were welcomed as new members of the Board.


    1. Publications. Voneche provided an historical summary of the Archives de Psycholgie, and spoke in favor of Society sponsorship. As a multilingual publication, it florished with both Claparede and Piaget at the helm. There has been a recent decline in subscriptions, consistent with those suffered by other French publications, although submissions remain high. Chandler noted that we need to consider how much labor would be involved and whether or not we would be able to meet staffing demands. Our membership would add 450 subscribers to the current 300 or so, which may be grounds for reducing the subscription rate. The decision point for the Journal is the end of the year. A full proposal is needed for the October meeting.

    2. Symposium Com. Report. Saxe previously circulated a much revised and edited draft of the Symposium Handbook. Chandler asked Ayman-Nolley, Byrnes, and Amsel to pore over the document and make further modifications.


    1. JPS-1999 In Mexico City. (Brown & Garcia)

      1. Publicity and Outreach. A publicity calendar was circulated, as was a mock up of the announcement for the GE and the Call for Papers. An announcement has been posted on the website - both Spanish and English versions will be available. Machado has agreed to help disseminate material in Brazil. The Outreach Committee, including Ackerman and Tryphon, and Smith and Keller will work to generate mailing lists. Milbrath will coordinate and oversee the compilation of the lists from the JPS membership, and Mexican and Argentinian professional and scholarly groups. A poster will be designed and printed in Mexico at no cost to the Society. Board members are to take initiative for distributing 10 or so each.

      2. The Program. The plan to organize plenary symposia as opposed to individual plenary speakers is new for us. It allows for a greater number of contributions, especially from Latin and South America, which will enable a wider range of contact with eminent scholars. There is a need to identify a few more plenary speakers to fill out the program, and we are asked to forward suggestions to Brown. Possibilities for having longer symposia presentations and round table discussions were discussed.

      3. Miscellany. A travel agency will be enlisted to handle hotel and transportation arrangements. The LAC needs to know as soon as possible about the number of conference attendees who will be accompanied by families, and how many will be interested in special tours outside the city. They are currently anticipating 100 registrants from the US, 300 from Mexico, and 25 "others", although these figures may be adjusted upwards. The hotel requires a 50% deposit one year in advance. Negotiations with the conference site for rooms are going very well and Garcia has substantially cut anticipated costs.

    2. JPS-2000 (Chandler).

      1. Of the original group of 8 interested individuals, 5 are working actively to launch a proposal focused on "Changing Conceptions of Psychological Life". They include Chandler, Ackerman, Wainryb, Lightfoot, and Killen. The intention is to link issues in folk psychology and theories of mind research with constructions of self as active, agentic, and involved in the process of knowledge construction. Flowing from this are issues relating to morality and belief. A more polished proposal is promised for October, along with a list of potential speakers and themes. Chandler invites suggestions.

    3. JPS-2001 (Langer, Milbrath, & Parker)

      1. Parker circulated a rough draft of the proposal, "Constructive Models of Brain and Behavior: Rethinking Brain Development and Evolution". It will be put on the JPS website, along with a request for suggestions and feedback. Langer, Milbrath, and Parker are particularly interested in recruiting additional organizers. An expanded version of the proposal will be available at the October meeting.


    1. An open list of issues and unresolved matters facing the Board:

      • Rationalizing the Outreach Committee’s mixed agenda (Internationalism, Risk & Prevention, Education)
      • The Ad Hoc Publicity and Symposium Committees
      • Journal sponsorship
      • Constructing a JPS calendar
      • Continuing Education Credit


    1. Investment Fund. Bidell circulated a well developed draft of investment fund strategies on which he is prepared to take definate action if it is deemed appropriate. A concrete action plan will be prepared for the October meeting.

    2. CD ROMs. Lorenço suggesed that we work to produce CDRoms of some of Piaget’s work. Perhaps this can be organized through the Publications Commitee, or the Translations Advisory.

    3. Directory. In our ongoing efforts to keep the Board directory current, and members advised of their committee assignments, Chandler asked that we review the Directory and Assignment list included in the June Board Meeting package of handouts.

    4. The Fall Board Meeting. The Fall meeting will convene in Chicago, October 3, 1998.

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