31st Annual Meeting of The Jean Piaget Society|
Radisson Hotel Berkeley Marina, Berkeley, California
Updated: 14 May 2001
Program Reviewers for the 31st Annual Meeting:
Saba Ayman-Nolley, Lorraine Ball, Mark Bickhard, Trevor Bond, Therese Bouffard, James Byrnes, Brian Cox, Teddi Deka, Gustavo Faigenbaum, Michel Ferrari, Jeanette Gallagher, Charles Helwig, Carolyn Hildebrandt, Yasuji Kojima, David Kritt, Maria Lyra, Anne McKeough, David Moshman, Lou Moses, Gil Noam, Gerald Noelting, Diane Poulin-Dubois, Peter Pufall, Philippe Rochat, Jay Seitz, Mark Tappan, David Uttal, Vera Vasconcellos
Registration (all day)
Book Display (all day)
9:00-9:15 Islands Ballroom
Presidents Opening Remarks
Plenary Session 1:
Dan I. Slobin, University of California, Berkeley
Several apparent parallels between child language and the historical and evolutionary development of Language will be explored. The strong version of each of the following proposals will be rejected on the basis of evidence of crosslinguistic psycholinguistics: (1) It has been proposed that the course of language development in the child has parallels with the development of Language in the species. But the modern homo sapiens child is exposed to an already evolved, complex language, and has a brain that evolved to make use of such a language. (2) It has been proposed that diachronic change of existing human languages is due to the child. However, although imperfect learning may clean up some irregularities in a given language, the evidence suggests that most historical change is due to more mature speakers. (3) It has been proposed that the sequence of development of linguistic forms in the child mirrors the diachronic development of those forms in the language. It will be suggested that such apparent parallels are not relevant to the historical patterns. (4) It has been proposed that the recently-formed community of deaf signers in Nicaragua has created a natural sign language, drawing on innate human language capacities. It will be argued that this new language is due to patterns of natural gesture and communication, and that the linguistic forms emerge as a result of processes of interpersonal and group understanding, constrained by the manual-visual modality, rather than an innate bioprogram. In conclusion: Child language can't tell us very much about the emergence of Language in the species, or the diachronic shaping of existing languages. Nevertheless, these debates are exceptionally useful in helping us to focus the questions and in defining the functional and formal constraints on human Language.
Invited Symposium 1:
Organizer: Richard Senghas, Sonoma State
The emergence of a new sign language in Nicaragua provides a unique opportunity to explore connections between biology, knowledge, and language, especially with regard to how language changes over time as a result of social and developmental factors. This symposium addresses the case from anthropological, psycholinguistic, and cognitive perspectives in an approach that highlights the interrelatedness of social, biological, and psychological domains.
The first of the three papers introduces the case, describing socio-historical, cultural, and linguistic environments. The potentially isolated nature -- linguistically, socially, and culturally -- of this linguistic community is problematized. Non-linguistic factors that might influence structures in the emerging language are identified, including social interaction, social use of space, gestures, and the cultural environment. Though theoretical questions of language acquisition have dominated current research on this language, new avenues need to be explored, including how factors of language and identity develop on individual and group levels simultaneously, in a co-emergent process. The second paper examines the imprint of the language acquisition process on the grammatical structure of Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL) today. Current discrepancies between the earliest cohort of children (now adults) and later arrivals (now adolescents) reveal language creation in action. Grammatical comparisons point to recategorization and differentiation in the transition from the first to the second cohort of signers. These changes suggest a path of language emergence that echoes the trajectory of language development in the individual child. The third paper considers the grammatical development of NSL, and the effect of its increasing complexity on the conceptual development of its learners. We identify a series of stages in the development of false-belief understanding in this population. Children lacking rich linguistic input evidently relied on social experience, presumably gained over a more extensive period, that ultimately influenced the language they produced as adults. Consequently, they developed alternative means for expressing the circumstances of a false-belief situation. These expressions were the input provided to the second cohort; input evidently rich enough to enable these children to change the language in precisely those ways that may lead to the development of false belief in a more timely manner. In a rich and unusual way, the Nicaraguan case clearly demonstrates that language and knowledge are best understood as dynamic processes, inextricably linked to biological, social, and cultural factors.
Influence and confluence: Sociocultural factors in the development of a sign language in Nicaragua
The effect of stages of language acquisition on the development of NSL: How minds mold a language
Three stages in the understanding of false belief in Nicaraguan signers: The interaction of social experience, language emergence, and conceptual development
Symposium Session 1:
Organizer: Jonas Cox, George Fox University
This symposium reflects the commitment to advancing appropriate developmental practices by a group of Oregon educators. The presenters include classroom teachers, administrators, educational researchers and pre-service teacher candidates all committed to using developmental assessments to improve instruction. The presentations will address, developing staff and parental support for innovative programs, using developmental assessments to differentiate instruction, use of professional school relationships to encourage appropriate methods students and the findings of a developmental study designed to assess the schools remedial math program. The presentations interrelate to argue that educators at all levels need to understand and apply developmental theory if teacher-centered practice is to be replaced by childrens learning based on the construction of their own knowledge. The presenters challenge educational researchers to focus on the issues that influence development: not only the development of individual children and teachers, but also the development of schools and educational systems, which enhance that development.
A developmental assessment of the Remedial Math Program at Boeckman Creek School
The subject of this presentation is a study conducted at Beockman Creek School. The study focused on the development of number concepts among the 2nd through 5th graders. The school used the data to determine the patterns in the development of number concepts among students in advanced, average and low achieving groups. Based on the findings appropriate activities were designed by the school faculty and the student researchers to forward the development of these concepts. This presentation is an overview of the methods used, a summary of the data taken, and the findings of that study.
Using developmental assessment to differentiate instruction
Assessments can be used to successfully to differentiate instruction in math and science based on developmental differences among young children. A knowledgeable teacher can administer all these assessments in the regular classroom. Based on these assessments the child is encouraged to select activities that should help foster development of mental structures. The result is a whole class of individuals engaged in activity. Each student is expected to be working with appropriate objects while actively pursing appropriate questions as suggested by developmental theory. The end product of this method is a deeper understanding of math and science concepts because the environment has been structured to allow for individual developmental differences. This presentation outlines the methods used and the history of an accomplished early childhood educator as she has toiled to implement these practices.
Developing staff knowledge of learning
The goals for staff development can be set by school administrators but the methods used to attain those goals should reflect and enhance the knowledge of teaching and learning constructed by the practitioner. Though Piaget didnt focus his efforts on interviewing teachers about their understanding of pedagogy, much can be gained by using similar methods of questioning in staff development. Further, the intellectual freedom allowed learners in a developmentally appropriate environment is similar to the intellectual freedom we must allow professional educators as they construct an understanding of learning processes. Effective staff development at the school level incorporates: starting where the learner/ practitioner is, use of rigorous questioning and intellectual freedom. This presentation paints the history of the use of these ideas these within one highly successful elementary school in Oregon.
Parasites and professional school sites: A symbiotic relationship between k-12 and higher ed
Historically the university system has had a parasitic relationship with the public school system. That is to say that many public school systems have provided sites for research and placements for student teachers. Yet, the schools themselves have benefited little from the relationship. Much research done at the university level has not made its way into the hearts and minds of practicing teachers. Piagets work is a sterling example of a very promising theory that has been used successfully to organize the actions of professional educators and yet remains largely ignored by the rank and file teachers. This presentation explores how a professional school relationship between George Fox University and Beockman Creek Elementary school was used for many useful purposes. These include: deepening the knowledge of developmental theory for both pre-service and in-service teachers, providing support for a developmental research agenda, influencing the practices of teachers at the school site and providing much needed data for instructional reform.
Symposium Session 2:
Organizer: David Klahr, Carnegie Mellon University
This symposium will focus on four different approaches to understanding the cognitive processes of infants, preschoolers, elementary school children, adolescents, college sophomores, and world class scientists as they engage in the process of attempting to discover how their world works. The speakers will focus on both the striking differences as well as the remarkable similarities in scientific reasoning processes over different subsections of that age range.
Although a simple reading of the different positions might suggest deep disagreements in both the underlying conception of what scientific thinking really is and the evidence necessary to support one view or another, a more nuanced understanding of these approaches reveals an emerging consensus about the both the origins and development of the scientific discovery process. In addition to theoretical and empirical accounts of scientific thinking, some of the emphasis will be on the implications of this work for improving childrens (and adults) ability to engage in scientific reasoning in both formal and informal contexts.
Theories as causal maps: A cognitive and computational account of theory formation
I outline a more precise cognitive and computational account of the "theory theory." Theories and theory-formation processes are cognitive systems that allow us to recover an accurate "causal map" of the world: an abstract, coherent representation of the causal relations among events. This kind of knowledge can be perspicuously represented by the formalism of directed graphical causal models, or "Bayes nets". Human theory formation may involve more heuristic versions of similar computations. Preliminary experimental results suggest that 2-4 year old children spontaneously construct new causal maps and that they assume one of the fundamental axioms of Bayes net systems.
"What isand isntscientific thinking?"
Investigations of childrens discoveries about space, time, quantity, and other entities in the physical world, starting with Piaget and continuing up to the present, suggest that even infants are able to think "scientifically". In contrast, Piagets own theory, as well as many recent investigations, suggest that not until early adolescence can children think scientifically. This paradox will remain unresolved until "scientific thinking" itself becomes better defined. I will describe work from my own lab as well as others that is beginning to provide a comprehensive account of important commonalties and differences between emerging levels of childrens thinking and the processes that support scientific discovery.
Form and content in scientific reasoning: What develops and what doesnt?
Explanation is central to scientific reasoning, and explanations are evaluated in terms of congruence with collateral information (or what else we know about the world), including information about mechanism and plausible alternative explanations. Thus, formal methods for evaluating explanations are successful only when used in conjunction with collateral information. Even adolescents rely on information about mechanisms and alternative accounts to evaluate explanations, and use such information in conjunction with formal methods. However, age differences in collateral information lead adolescents to treat, as plausible, mechanisms that college students find dubious, and to be less able to generate a range of alternative hypotheses.
Is scientific thinking about science?
A definition of scientific thinking is clearly prerequisite to an account of its development. I regard scientific thinking as essential to science, but not specific to it. In this broader context, scientific thinking is more closely aligned with argument than experiment and needs to be distinguished from scientific understanding. Scientific thinking is something one does, not has. A model of scientific thinking as intentional knowledge seeking is proposed. Its developmental origins lie in recognition that ones existing knowledge may warrant revision in the face of evidence. Its development is characterized by increasing meta-level control of the coordination of theories and evidence.
Discussant: Patricia Miller, University of Florida
10:45-12:00, Angel Room
Symposium Session 3:
Organizer: Jeremy Carpendale, Simon Fraser University
Accounts of development range from focusing on the individual to emphasizing the influence of social factors, but there is a recognized need to integrate these two dimensions. One such integration is provided by Chapmans (1991) "epistemic triangle", according to which development involves subject-object interaction as well as communicative interaction. The epistemic triangle provides a common starting point for the presenters in this symposium, but each will explore different implications of this concept for aspects of development such as social understanding in infancy and childhood, and childrens antisocial behavior. The further development of this concept will also be suggested through critical analysis.
A Piagetian approach to social development in infancy
Recent empirical research has revealed a number of phenomena that point to important developmental changes in infants social understanding. For example, at the end of the first year of life, infants start to produce and comprehend communicative gestures and they begin to use another persons emotional expression to guide their own behavior toward novel and ambiguous stimuli. Using Chapmans (1991) concept of an epistemic triangle as a general framework, I will analyze these developmental changes in social understanding in terms of primary, secondary, and tertiary circular reactions.
Language and action in the development of childrens social understanding
Chapmans (1991) epistemic triangle provides a framework for thinking about the role of language in the development of childrens social understanding. Chapman connected action and language in childrens concrete operational reasoning in terms of Wittgensteins notion of criteria. Extending this to childrens reasoning about the social world requires explicating the interactional criteria for using mental state terms. From a Wittgensteinian perspective, the use of such terms is grafted onto earlier behavior. The ability to talk about the mental worldacquired interpersonallythen provides an intrapersonal resource for children to reflect on their experience and to reason about others action.
Understanding childrens antisocial behavior: A Piagetian hypothesis
This study examines some developmental aspects of childrens antisocial behavior in accordance with a perspective that integrates the two micromodels Piaget used to explain the childs transition from preoperational to operational thought. The perspective assumes that with increasing age children are more likely to consider antisocial acts in terms of cost-construction and Piagetian negation than in terms of gain-perception and Piagetian affirmation. Ninety-six children from three age levels were confronted with prototypical antisocial acts. Childrens responses showed that they are more likely with age to consider prototypical antisocial acts in terms of cost-construction and negation than gain-perception and affirmation.
Chapmans Epistemic Triangle: A Re-analysis
Chapmans (1991) epistemic triangle has been little used during the last decade. This is a catastrophic oversight on two counts. First, Chapmans construct contains ten major insights. Second, it merits and requires development. My argument is a constructive re-analysis of these ten insights, concerning: (1) cognitive processes and true judgment; (2) causal explanation and normative justification; (3) dialogical and operative interaction; (4) "clinical"/ "critical" methods; (5) linguistic/meaningful interaction; (6) intersubjectivity (S1-O1, S2-O2) of knowledge; (7) social and normative causality; (8) true and necessary knowledge; (9) decalages and universalisation of knowledge; (10) "true ages" and "true competencies".
Paper Session 1:
The almost inevitable consequences of natural selection: What are the viable foundations of evolutionary explanation in developmental psychology?
That the forces of natural selection have influenced and molded our psychology seems inevitable but how are we to conceptualize the relationship between these forces and a childs conceptual and cognitive development? This paper aims to explore a trend in developmental psychology placing core conceptual abilities in the domain of natural selection, it has four parts. First, a demonstration of this trend is provided (Mitchells, 1997; Gopnik et al., 1999). Second, these explanatory moves are placed in the broader context of Evolutionary Psychology. Third, some reservations are expressed about the plausibility of these explanatory moves. It is argued that such explanations must eventually arrive at a theoretical cul-de-sac from which Darwin ironically liberated us, the illusion of design. It is suggested that this problem may result from confusion such that the almost inevitable consequences of natural selection are misconstrued as a form of evolutionary determinism. Finally, a viable framework for evolutionary explanation in developmental psychology is entertained.
The nature in nurture: A comparative approach to constructivism
Piagets constructivist model emphasizes the self-transforming nature of feedback from the organisms actions on itself and other objects. The resulting epigenesis, based on assimilation to existing schemes and accommodation of those schemes to the qualities of the objects, pulls the child along predictable developmental trajectories. The species-specific nature of these schemes and trajectories is revealed by comparative studies of primate cognitive development. Also revealed are self-transforming algorithms that function as self-teaching and teaching-eliciting mechanisms generating species-specific socializing interactions. These features generate interacting phenotype fields that stimulate and canalize development. These species-specific phenotype fields constitute the nature in nurture.
Tracing back the relationship among Baldwins effect, Waddingtons genetic assimilation and Piagets phenocopy
This paper attempts to show the affiliation of Piagets concept of phenocopy and Waddingtons genetic assimilation to James Mark Baldwins theory of evolution. This forgotten theory occupied a place halfway between Lamarckism and Darwinism. It was repressed for 50 years. It returned with Waddingtons interactionist perspective on the genetic system as a system of strategies giving evolution a direction similar to Baldwins organic selection. On the basis of a synthesis between Baldwins organic selection, neo-Lamarckism and neo-Darwinism, Piaget formulated his highly theoretical concept of phenocopy in biology as a model of equilibration.Piagets view of evolution: Can we live without snails?
Jeanette McCarthy Gallagher, Lehigh University; D. Kim Reid, Columbia University; Sherrie Reynolds, Texas Christian University
Piaget's view of evolution as a tertium quid between neo-Lamarckian and neo-Darwinian theories of evolution has been criticized. Equilibration, the central concept of developmental epistemology, has no meaning apart from Piaget's view of evolution. Research on the activity of grasping reveals the meaning of equilibration and consequent necessity of retaining Piaget's view of evolution as a third way (development) between the interaction of the organism and the environment.
Discussant: Jean-Louis Gariépy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Plenary Session 2:
Kurt Fischer, Harvard University
Findings on brain development in neuroscience connect closely to evidence of levels or stages in cognitive and emotional development: Cognitive and brain development fit together in recurring growth patterns that move beyond concepts of stage to the rich biological concept of growth cycle. Both behavior and brain change in repeating patterns that involve two nested growth cycles, which recur several times between birth and 30 years of age. Each recurrence produces a new capacity for learning and thinking that seems to be grounded in an expanded, reorganized neural network. Growth functions for contextually supported skills and cortical activity show discontinuities in the same age zones. Brain characteristics producing these growth patterns include energy and coherence of electrical brain activity (EEG), blood flow changes, and anatomical properties such as synaptic density and myelin formation.
These complex, discontinuous growth curves provide powerful tools for analyzing relations between brain and cognitive development. The complex shapes of growth curves aid in the search for relations, and the powerful mathematical tools of nonlinear dynamic systems can be used to specify the processes of growth, making developmental theory explicit and "experimental" or testable. Some properties of cognitive and cortical growth, such as relative EEG power and hierarchical skill development, are already known to fit the same dynamic growth models, suggesting that they are closely linked.
The growth cycles of mind and brain are embodiments of Piaget's concept of reflective abstraction, in which people reflect on their own activities and build new parallel skills, creating a recurring growth cycle. The cycles help to explain the remarkable human capacity for cognitive plasticity and relate to important issues in educational and developmental practice and policy.
Paper Session 2: Moral development
How to study moral development
Piagets approach to moral development, which targeted social interactions within a group, is superior to Kohlbergs, which depends too much on individual solving of imaginary moral problems. However, both suffer from a monistic prejudice, viz. the idea that there is just ONE quality on which all different qualities involved in moral development (e.g. autonomy, cooperation, justice) actually converge. The paper suggests we should instead examine a whole set of nonconvergent moral qualities as they develop in children and young people within a peer group. The Ancient Greek model of four main virtues is proposed as a guideline for such research.
Is she doing a "good" thing or a "bad" thing?: Childrens evaluations of others actions
This research investigated preschoolers ability to evaluate identical actions differently depending on the actors motivations. Four- and five-year-olds heard stories in which two characters performed the same action (e.g., turning on a hose) yet had different desires (e.g., to tend a garden vs. to ruin a siblings sandcastle). Children were asked to (a) evaluate each characters action as "good," "bad," or "not good or bad," and (b) determine whether each character should "get in trouble." Age differences in childrens ability to differentiate the characters are considered, as are relations between childrens moral reasoning and measures of everyday social behavior.
Generosity: A moral value regulating moral judgements and actions
The aim of this study was to identify the role that the value of generosity plays on the regulation between judgment and representations of moral actions. Our initial hypothesis was that if we want to better understand the psychic functioning of the psychological subject, and the relations between moral judgment and actions, we must understand the dynamic role played by moral feelings and values. To evaluate this hypothesis, a written interview was carried out with 180 subjects aged 8, 12 and 16, belonging to two distinct socio-economic groups. The interviews presented a hypothetical problem-situation in which characters acted against the moral value of generosity. The results have shown that generosity, when central in peoples identity, influence their moral judgement and actions.
The development of deontic reasoning: Cheating detection, perspectives and emotions
Children between the ages of 3 and 10 years were asked about a contract between parent and child and between two friends. Children had to evaluate which situations presented as pictures violate the contract and to infer the feelings of violator and victim. Also, they had to infer contract violations from two different perspectives. The results reveal a developmental trend in understanding contracts and inferring violation from different perspectives. Children at all ages attributed negative feelings to the victim. Guilt feelings attributed to the violator were dependent on age and perspective. Context and method of presentation were important both for reasoning and emotions.
Moral education in the schools: A Piagetian dissent
This presentation takes issue with the current press for public schools to take major responsibility for implementation of moral education programs. Views about what constitutes character education are as diverse as the philosophies of those who design and implement them. To avoid faddism, moral education programs must be grounded in solid, research-validated theory. Piagets theory of the development of childrens moral judgments holds promise as a foundation for moral education in its emphasis on development of moral structures prior to the school years. The schools responsibility, then, would be to guide children to autonomy and mutual respect.
Symposium Session 5:
Organizer: K Ann Renninger, Swarthmore College
The present symposium address the significance of contextual influences on change and development in each of four domains (understanding mathematics, making judgments and decisions, experiencing emotions, and representing fiction). In each presentation, contextual variability in cognitive processes or behavior serves as basis for building theories explaining change and development, adapting and refining methods assessing change and development, and entertaining new possibilities for programs promoting change and development. In lieu of a discussant, we open the floor to discussion about contextual variation and its implications for understanding developmental change.
The sociocultural context of cognitive development
The aim of the presentation is to show how attention to sociocultural factors can productively complement more traditional investigations of developmental change. Attention is given to the levels of analysis and mechanisms of development proposed in a sociocultural approach to cognitive development, and particularly to socially constituted cognitive activity and the support and direction provided by the symbolic and representational tools of the cultural community. Research from several domains of cognitive development, including attention, memory, and problem solving, will be used to illustrate how social and cultural factors support and constrain development in the domain.
Autonomy, interaction, and knowledge-building: Contexts for changed participation
In this presentation, the roles of autonomy, interaction, and knowledge-building will be discussed as bases for changed participation in the Math Forum (www.mathforum.com), a virtual resource center for learning, teaching, and doing mathematics. Consistent with discussions of the interconnectedness of individual, interpersonal, and cultural process, changed usage of the site has been studied at three levels of analysis; subject characteristics (individual), mathematical and pedagogical thinking (dyadic), and cultural process (group). Findings from study of teacher and staff participants in the Math Forums Bridging Research and Practice (BRAP) project will be used as a particular case for this presentation. As participants in this project, they worked together to develop a video paper entitled, Encouraging Mathematical Thinking: Discourse Around a Rich Problem (www.mathforum.com/brap/wrap/). Their collaboration was studied over a three-year period using multiple methods (focus groups, in-depth interview, discourse analysis of email conversation, participant observation, and video-tapes of their teaching). In particular, changes in their understanding of mathematics, pedagogy, and technology were tracked. Triangulation of these findings is provided by findings from the study of participants in other services and projects on the Math Forum site. These data will be used to support the contention that: (a) participant autonomy, interaction, and knowledge-building enable changed imagination about possible selves and identity, and (b) these, in turn, lead to changed levels of interest, risk-taking, and resourcefulness.
The pretend, the possible, and the hypothetical: Childrens representation of and reasoning about imaginary worlds
The presentation addresses the theoretical, methodological, and applied significance of childrens performance variation in representing and reasoning about states of affairs known or believed to be false. It is proposed that false statements are embedded in different types of imaginary worlds (i.e., pretend, possible, hypothetical, etc.). In a series of studies it is shown that performance variation in how false states of affairs are represented and reasoned about depend on the nature of the imaginary world in which false statements are embedded. Finally, an intervention is described which is designed to promote childrens formation of distinct imaginary worlds.
Co-occurrence and affective biases in the dynamics of developmental transitions: Kindness, cooperation, jealousy, and violence
Children construct diverse developmental pathways through two adaptive processes: (a) co-occurrence (shift of focus) of skills during transitions and (b) affective biases that arise from and constrain activity in context. Research on family-role distortions and aggression-promoting biases show how these processes function together dynamically to shape development of skills, confusions, and conflicts. Co- occurring social roles and emotional biases such as positive-self/negative-others shape the pathways and are modulated by childrens temperaments, such as introversion. Research examples include Oedipal confusions in traditional families, victimization roles in abusive families, and negative biases and aggression in introverted or inhibited children. Sometimes children help peers and family members, and sometimes children harm and even kill people.
Symposium Session 6:
Organizer: Susan M. Rivera, Stanford University
The relationship between neural activity and cognitive function is an essential piece of the puzzle of human development. Recent advances in brain imaging technology provide new avenues of research for elucidating this relationship. This symposium consists of three papers, each investigating different aspects of the relationship between brain activation and development. The first examines the variable developmental plasticity of different components of the visual system. The second looks at the link between attention, inhibition, and Piagetian stage transitions. The last paper reveals patterns of brain activation that are associated with the development of the understanding of (liquid) conservation in children.
Investigating plasticity in the visual system: Developmental trajectories of the dorsal and ventral streams
The visual system involves two structural and functional subdivisions: the dorsal stream and the ventral stream. The development of these two streams is essentially unstudied in humans. The current study was designed to assess the development of the two streams using event-related potentials (ERPs) in a cross-sectional design. Participants aged six to adult observed spatial frequency gratings that either changed color or produced apparent motion. Analyses revealed greater developmental changes in ERPs to motion than to color. These results support the hypothesis that the dorsal stream undergoes a longer period of developmental plasticity than the ventral stream.
Linking brain activity and cognitive development
Recently, we showed that sudden changes in ERPs during childhood coincide closely with Piagetian transitions in cognitive development, and that the frontal cortex principally modulates these transitions. In this longitudinal study, we address the functional mechanisms that may underlie sudden shifts in cognitive development using a number of standard experimental tasks and multi-channel ERPs. Two findings favor a link between attention, inhibition, and Piagetian stage transitions in cognitive development. First, developmental spurts in these three factors coincide in at least two instances, around 6 years and around 10 years. Second, all three share an important implication of the frontal cortex.
Functional neuroanatomy of conservation reasoning: A developmental MRI study
Considerable information exists about the behavior of children while they are developing concepts of conservation; however, very little is known about the underlying neural changes involved in this process. Functional MRI was used to assess the brain activation of 4.5- to 8-year-old children as they viewed video segments depicting conservation of liquid problems, and gave equality/inequality judgments. A post-scan Piagetian assessment helped to determine stage of conservation reasoning. Preliminary data shows that while frontal executive and organizing systems are necessary for performing the task regardless of stage of reasoning, conserving subjects show additional activation in parietal association areas.
Symposium Session 7:
Organizer: Ulrich Müller, University of Toronto
Debates about the nature of consciousness and the relation between body and mind mostly ignore developmental considerations as well as the unique contributions to these topics made by developmental psychologists. This symposium examines the approaches to consciousness and the mind-body problem by Baldwin, Piaget, and Vygotsky. The presenters propose that the approaches by these giants of developmental psychology are highly relevant to contemporary debates on the topic of consciousness, and they suggest that a developmental perspective sheds new light on the mind-body problem.
Baldwin on consciousness of mind and body
The mind-body problem remains perennial for psychology. This paperexplores Baldwins (1903, 1905) explanation of how understandings of self, mind, and body evolve individually and culturally, one that illuminates contemporary debates about these issues. For Baldwin, this problem must be addressed through a genetic logic. Unlike Piaget, Baldwin integrated cultural history into his account of psychogenesis in an essentially hermeneutic way. Baldwins ideas resemble those of Pierre Bourdieu (1990, 1997)-particularly Bourdieus notion of habitus. I will discuss the links between the structuralism of Piaget and Bourdieu as one way to reconcile Baldwins ideas with contemporary views of child development.
Matter, form, and self-organization: Consciousness in Piagets theory
In this paper, I discuss Piagets views on consciousness and I explicate the close relations between consciousness, intentionality, assimilation, and self-organization that hold in Piagets theory. Piaget (1950) denies the possibility of reducing conscious experience to physiological processes. With respect to the mind-body problem, Piaget supports the position of psycho-physiological parallelism. I suggest that within Piagets theory consciousness must be considered within the context of a self-organizing, evolving organism, and I follow this suggestion up by pointing out similarities between Piagets theory of self-organization and Aristotles theory of hylemorphism.
The problem of mediated consciousness in Vygotsky
Vygotsky explains the history of cultural development of individuals introducing the historical-cultural perspective as a means to understand the genesis of the psychological processes and their semiotic regulation. His method of studying consciousness avoids atomism by exploring genetically and developmentally the interrelation of thinking and language, centering his analysis on the nature of words meaning - considered as "a microcosm of human consciousness". This paper examines the problem of semiotic mediation of consciousness through the following question: How is mental functioning related to the cultural, historical, and institutional settings in which it exists?
Discussants: Simone de Lima, Clark University; Sumedha Gupta
Paper Session 3: Clinical issues in language acquisition
Language acquisition in young German speaking-children with cochlear implants: an epigenetic construction
Language acquisition was studied longitudinally in a sample of 22 young hearing-impaired children with cochlear implants and 22 normally hearing children. Spontaneous speech samples were collected over 27 months starting at the one-word stage. Results indicate that grammatical progress as measured by mean length of utterance (MLU) was slower for cochlear-implanted children. They were particularly slow in acquiring articles, which lack perceptual salience, but did better on verb inflectional morphology. Individual differences were substantial. Pre-operative hearing was a better predictor of subsequent linguistic growth than age. Results are discussed in terms of multiple factors interacting epigenetically in constructing language.
The grammar of subjectivity: Language and cognition in autistic spectrum disorder
This research explores the language-thought issue from both theoretical and empirical perspectives via an investigation of the psychological and cognitive consequences of language deficits in Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Through an analysis of patterns of spared and impaired behaviour, focussing in particular on the bracketing or reflexive parts of speech - which it is argued are responsible for "linguistic self-management" (Frawley 1997:175) - the aim is to infer the long-term effects of any language deficits and to increase understanding of the linguistic, social and cognitive consequences of the particular disorder.
The development of the deaf child: Influences of the communicative method
The study explores the possible influence of the communicative method, oral and bilingual, in the cognitive development and in the oral language in the deaf child. A group of 72 children, between 7 and 14 years old, was selected. A test was used that had been especially drawn up for this study, allowing the evaluation of oral production. To explore cognitive development, a non verbal scale from the WISC test was used, along with three tests developed by Piaget. The results are discussed about the cognitive aspects related to each of the two languages and the significant relationship between the oral method and the acquisition of oral language.
Brain and Language in Down Syndrome and Williams Syndrome Children
This paper focus on a combination of empirical findings and theoretical analysis. The empirical findings come from a longitudinal research in the specificity of language development in children and adolescents with Down Syndrome (DS) and Williams Syndrome (WS), with a special emphasis in the morphological processing. It is critical to apply biobehavioral research paradigms to questions that are relevant to specific development problems. Our findings raise a theoretical problem: DS and WS children don't have an abnormal brain, but a different one that deals with the processing of language in a different way. Our argument then is that the processes are bidirectional-biobehavioral, and studies should be able to address not only how behavioral/environmental processes influence biological development, but also how biological factors influence behavioral/environmental interactions. DS and WS show systematic ways of processing that tell us about the evolution of human brain. It is also important to clarify the interaction of biological factors with environmental, social, and cultural influences and to examine how these mechanisms lead to differential outcomes. Particular attention needs to be paid to disparities in learning acquisition and outcomes as functions of biological as well as environmental factors. The conclusions aim to clarify the mechanisms and processes concerning the development of these syndromes and to improve efficacy of related therapeutics. A pressing need exists to develop effective interventions for children with developmental disabilities with a strong basis in the specific properties of their cognitive processes.
Symposium Session 8:
Organizer: Theo L. Dawson, University of California - Berkeley
In order to address several questions about conceptual development in the moral domain, we gathered 747 Heinz and Joe (Form A, Colby & Kohlberg, 1987) and Picnic interviews (Damon, 1980) from 8 different studies of moral judgement. Respondents were from 4 to 87 years of age and represent a range of socio-economic groups. Interviews were submitted to three types of analysis. First, they were scored for their hierarchical complexity (stage) employing Commons Hierarchical Complexity Scoring System (HCSS). Patterns of performance on this measure indicate that (1) stages of development are apparent in performance; (2) the sequence of acquisition is invariant; (3) there are seven stages from age 4 to middle age; (4) development proceeds in a series of spurts and plateaus; and (5) patterns of performance are similar for childhood and adulthood stages. A second set of analyses examines the conceptual content of the "Joe" interviews. We find clear trends in conceptual development along 3 thematic strands, contract, punishment, and authority. These loosely parallel Kohlbergs stage definitions, though we find some significant differences. The third set of analyses examines the language employed by respondents. We find that both lexical and syntactic features of performance are strongly associated with stage, in that (1) every stage appears to have a vocabulary that embodies its order of abstraction; and (2) several syntactic indicators change with development. Based upon these associations, we are developing a computer-based scoring system for moral reasoning performances.
The shape of development
Stage and meaning
Stage and language
Reading intentions in actions: Ethological, developmental, and neurological approaches
Organizer: Angeline Lillard, University of Virginia
This symposium explores how actions may give rise to intentional interpretations. The papers concern the play bow, used by canids apparently to signal that some fighting gestures should be interpreted as play; the ways human parents vary behaviors when pretending for toddlers as opposed to when performing those same acts for real, perhaps signaling to infants to interpret those acts as pretense; infants understanding of the psychological implications of pointing and its relation to their own production of points; and "mirror neurons" that fire in macaques monkeys both when observing and performing specific motoric acts. The papers are discussed in terms of their implications for developing theories of mind.
Social cognition, social play, and the evolution of morality: Cooperating by exchanging and sharing information on the run
I focus on an evolved, ritualized canid signal (the "bow") that is used to communicate such messages as "I want to play with you." The temporal placement of "bows" in on-going play sequences supports the claim that individuals use "bows" to communicate their intentions to engage in play, and that "bows" are also used to maintain the rules of game so that cooperative play can be maintained. I argue that such behavior patterns are best explained by appeals to intentionality and shared intentions, and that such explanations have an important place in the study of animal cognition.
How mothers pretend gestures differ from real ones
This paper addresses how mothers behaviors change when pretending in front of infants, possibly signaling to infants that their gestures should be interpreted as pretend not real. Mothers were asked to pretend to have a snack and really have a snack with their 18-month-olds, and resulting videotapes were coded for condition differences. Reliable and significant variations were found in timing and frequency of snack-related movements and smiles, as well as in looking behavior. Later work will examine infants sensitivity to such changes to determine which, if any, might signal to infants to make a pretense interpretation.
Infants developing understanding of gaze and pointing: Relations between acting and comprehending the actions of others
Adults read through the actions of others to infer their underlying psychological states. We investigated infants ability to do this for gaze and pointing. We found that although young infants orient to the correct object in response to gaze and pointing, it is not until 12 months that they understand these actions as involving an attentional relation between actor and object. We next explored one means by which infants may discover this attentional relation. Infants may seek to relate their own internal experiences and actions to the actions of others. Because infants begin to produce points expressing their own attentional state at about 9 months, during this time they may draw on this experience to gain an understanding of the attentional link between others and the objects of their points. Our findings supported this possibility.
Intersubjective relations: From mirror neurons to the "shared manifold" hypothesis
I will analyze from a neurobiological standpoint how actions are possibly represented and understood. The main aim of my thesis will be to show that the capacity to understand others as intentional agents is deeply grounded in the relational nature of action. According to this hypothesis, "understanding" is achieved by modeling the behavior of other individuals as an action on the basis of a motor equivalence between what the others do and what the observer does. I will propose that "mirror" neurons are the neural correlate of this mechanism. Whenever we are looking at someone performing an action, beside the activation of various visual areas, there is a concurrent activation of the motor circuits that are recruited when we ourselves perform that action. To spell it in different words, action observation implies action simulation.
Discussant: Alison Gopnik, University of California at Berkeley
Symposium Session 10:
Organizer: Luciano Meira, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
The role and power of social interactions has gained great status in explaining the developing subject since the rising influence of socio-historical and socio-constructivist approaches, mainly through the prestige of Vygotskian ideas. However, social interactions has been conceptualized in many different ways. One of the basic distinctions we make refers to the role and meaning of social interactions as a constitutive dimension of the developing subject. This point has been well illustrated through the mixed uses of the concept of dialogue when applied to such interactions. This symposium presents some of the conceptual underpinnings of a dialogical theoretical and methodological position which focuses on the nature of dialogical interactions as the bases for relational as well as individual constructions in diverse developmental contexts and in regard to different age ranges. Lyras presentation proposes a model of early mother-infant dialogical development that progressively changes and integrates several dimensions of communicative exchanges. Such dimensions are employed in the analysis of successive periods of dyadic communicative organization that exhibit the transformation from intersubjective towards the emergence of both inter and intrasubjective dialogical exchanges. Leitão focuses on argumentation as a dialogical arena for setting viewpoints. In argumentation justification of viewpoints and consideration of alternative perspectives are carried out aiming at changing someones perspective. Her presentation discusses audiences perspective as a dialogical mechanism and puts forth a dialogical unit of analysis designed to capture process of beliefs reviewing in face-to-face talk as well as within ones own discourse. Finally, Meira proposes an analysis of ZPDs which stresses the dynamics of dialogical communication in instructional settings. He views the ZPD as a time field emerging from dialogical interactions and proposes a process model based on how partners in instructional dialogues explicitly mark (linguistically or by means of other behavior) relations between past, current and future events.
Dialogicality and early communicative development
Argument as dialogue
ZPDs as dialogical time fields
Discussant: Ingrid E. Josephs, University of Nijmegen
Paper Session 4: Culture and diversity
Visions of Eden. Adult judgements of childrens drawings: A cross-cultural study
Gardner and Winner (1982) observed that 4-5 year-old childrens art production is marked by high aesthetic quality. However, child artwork declines with age, save for some adolescents who start to produce noteworthy artwork and some of whom go on to become artists. G.& D. call this the U-curve in aesthetic development. We asked, does this U-curve exist in non-Western settings? Is it a developmental phenomenon? We used Davis (1991) approach and requested adults and children to make drawings on assigned topics. These drawings were ranked for aesthetic quality by North American and Taiwanese judges. The judges rankings do not agree. We relate our findings to the effects of Modernism on art instruction, and to Kindler and Darras (2000) model of multiple-terminus graphic development.
Ethnic identification & counter-cultural forms of self understanding
This study focuses on the distinctive ways that Native and non-Native adolescents reason about their own self-continuity in the face of inevitable change. 120 Native and non-Native youth were administered 5 questionnaires indicative of the degree to which they identify with the beliefs and practices of their culture of origin, along with procedures meant to codify how they ordinarily resolve the problem of personal sameness within change. Available evidence makes it clear that those Native and non-Native youth whose approaches to the problem of personal persistence are counter-cultural are precisely the same young persons who disclaim any strong identification with the beliefs and values and practices or their culture of origin.
Adolescents and young adults perceptions of gender inequality
While a number of studies have explored adolescents and young adults attitudes towards gender inequality, we know very little about the extent to which todays youths perceive status and power inequalities to exist in the first place. This study examined the degree of gender inequality that youths perceive to exist in various spheres of life - politics, business and the home. In addition, this study examined beliefs about the origins of gender differences in power-related personality traits - whether they are due to biological, social, or "God-given" factors - and the association of these beliefs with attitudes towards gender inequality.
Using a constructivist paradigm for understanding cultural diversity
Diversity awareness, intercultural sensitivity, and multicultural education are all forms of programs that have a range of goals and objectives for a group of learners to achieve. However, the achievement of these goals has overlooked the role of the individual in the construction of ones reality. In a constructivist paradigm, knowledge or reality is founded on the construction of the human mind which is subjective and undergoes constant revision and reconstruction. An individual creates a unique understanding of the world. This ever changing world view will be explored using a Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), developed by Milton Bennett. The DMIS provides a framework of world views that are independent of one another and sensitive to the social construction of the individual. Conclusions will be discussed in terms of working within a constructivist paradigm to prepare teachers and other professionals for working with diversity
Discussant: Peter Pufall, Smith College
Registration (all day)
Book Display (all day)
Poster Session A: Posters will be on display all day
Paper Session 5: School as a context for development
The hidden curriculum of educational technology: The construction of thought and self
This paper will examine design and semiotic features of educational technology from a constructivist perspective. These features both constrain and promote particular attentional, sensory, and cognitive activities. Computer programs and the Internet tend to divert children from direct exploration of the physical world and channel communicative interactions in a way that limits cognitive improvisation. Cybernetic metaphors for mind, the emphasis on acquisition of information, and the emerging dominance of visual culture have important implications for the development of thought and understanding of the world, ones own abilities, and possibilities for being.
Adult-child interactional styles, the facilitation of childrens peer interactions, and the development of social understanding
This study examined how styles of adult-child interactions influenced patterns of child-child interactions, which in turn impacted childrens social understanding and "theory of mind" development. Longitudinal analyses of teacher-child interactions in two preschool classrooms identified each teachers characteristic style: A reflective style promoted childrens agency in peer interactions, while a directive style promoted teachers agency in facilitating childrens interactions. Results showed that children in the Reflective Style Classroom participated in more sophisticated interactions with both teachers and peers, and made greater gains on expressive language, theory of mind, and emotions tasks, as compared to children in the Directive Style Classroom.
Developing creativity and autonomy in 8- 9-year-old children in a traditional private school
Problem: Can teachers develop creativity and autonomy in 8- 9-year-old children in a traditional private school?
Discussant: Vera Maria Ramos de Vasconcellos
Paper Session 6: Bilingualism
Relations between metaphonological and syntactic awareness in L2 and reading in L2 (French) for Spanish-speaking learners
Research in L1 indicates that metalinguistic capacities (phonological and syntactic awareness) have a major influence on L1 reading acquisition. Within the research field that studies transfer of reading abilities from L1 to L2, little attention has been paid to cross-language transfer of metalinguistic capacities and its effect on L2 reading. Conducted with 38 Spanish-speaking children, studying French as a second language, this research investigates, through correlation and regression analyses, the relationship between metaphonological and metasyntactic tasks in L2 and L2 reading tasks (decoding, sentence and text comprehension).
Emergent literacy in French as a second language: A study about the relation between invented spelling and multiple languages in kindergarten
What happens in terms of invented spelling to children in Kindergarten for whom French is a second language? 115 children from 7 kindergarten classes in 2 multi-ethnic French schools of Montreal participated in this study. We conducted an individual interview, asked to write 6 words and a sentence and determined a phonogrammic score, which was then statistically analyzed in relation to the proximity of the language and to the multilingual context at home In conclusion, to speak at home a language different from school isnt bad for emergent literacy if the language of schooling is also spoken at home.
The effects of gestural instruction on bilingual children
This study examined whether instruction that is accompanied by gesture improves learning in bilingual students. Fifty-one, first grade monolingual and bilingual class students were tested. Half of the monolingual and half of bilingual students viewed a "speech only" instructional tape (i.e., instruction was not accompanied by gesture), while the other half of the monolingual and the bilingual students viewed a "speech and gesture" instructional tape. We found that significantly more learning occurred overall when instruction was accompanied by gesture. In addition, the monolingual children who received instruction accompanied by gesture showed the greatest improvement.
Paper Session 7: Theories of Mind
Pattern Differences in the Development of Conceptual Knowledge of Theory of Mind and Inhibitory Control
The development of theory of mind has been attributed to changes in conceptual knowledge and inhibitory control, though how these processes emerge and develop has not been clear. The present study examined the developmental patterns of these abilities, using Carlson and colleagues (1998) deception paradigm. Seventy-six 3- and 4-year-olds were assigned to either a "low inhibitory control" or a "high inhibitory control" condition. Scatterplots showed more variability in the "low inhibitory control" condition, in contrast to all-or-none performance in the "high inhibitory control" condition. These patterns suggest that conceptual knowledge may develop gradually between 3 and 5 years of age, whereas inhibitory control may be an all-or-none skill that develops suddenly around 4 years of age.
Precocious and delayed theory-of-mind development: What is the role of emotion understanding?
What happens when the sample doesnt fit our expectations? In most theory-of-mind research, age is a significant predictor of childrens understanding of mind. For the 24 three- to six-year olds studied thus far, there was no relationship between theory of mind and age. Ability to label basic emotions and identify them in others, however, was positively correlated with performance on a battery of theory-of-mind tasks, but understanding the causes of emotion was not. Discussion will center around whether understanding of emotion and mind are distinct abilities that develop in tandem, or whether a single ability manifests itself in two different domains.
The epistemic development of institutional and other facts
In order to address confusion about when epistemic development actually occurs, the EDQ was administered to 242 high school students and 1st to 4th year undergraduates. Results indicate that epistemic development is not uniform across knowledge of differing epistemic content. Teenage subjects show a somewhat relativistic understanding of matters of social or institutional facts, but they did not demonstrate the same level of development when considering hard or brute facts. In contrast, university students demonstrate more sophisticated epistemic understanding for both "institutional" and brute facts. These results suggest that, contrary to previous findings, young persons treat knowledge of differing epistemic content differently.
Paper Session 8: Piagetian models
A computer model of interactivism and Piagetian assimilation applied to visual perception
The goal of this research is to show, in a visible way, how interactivism and Piagetian assimilation can be operationally modelled, and how this paradigm can solve real and hard problems. The system described here is applied to a visual perception task, and implements the core ideas of active cognition: patterns of actual or potential actions with an absolute timing, topological structure of the space of interactions, unsupervised continuous learning. It exhibits a practical discrimination of moving patterns, even in a noisy background. It is argued that active perception is the only way to deal with the complexity of the real world.
Kuhn and Piaget: Paradigm change vs. equilibration. A study about change in scientific knowledge
The main objective in this paper is to present a critical confrontation between the theories of Piaget and Kuhn about the mechanisms that guide change in scientific theories. The principal question is which of these theories can better explain the development of the scientific knowledge. Taking the ideas that come from these two great researchers about the use of the history of science as epistemological laboratory, I use a particular example: the change in economic theory, from classical to keynesian models. In this way we can prove the explanatory power of Kuhn and Piaget theories.
The importance of being autonomous: Agent-based models of sensorimotor development
Autonomous or agent-based models of development emphasize the construction of knowledge through organism-environment interaction. These models investigate real or artificial organisms that explore their world, and learn by experiencing the consequences of their actions. In this talk, I illustrate how an agent-based model of sensorimotor learning in young infants is designed and implemented. This model is then used to examine the implications of an agent-based approach for the recent debate on cognitive development in young infants.Discussant: Jeanette McCarthy Gallagher, Lehigh University
Special Seminar Session:
Seminar on Piagets Biology and Knowledge led by several Piagetian scholars
This seminar inaugurates a discussion seminar by the membership at each annual meeting of the book(s) by Piaget central to that year's theme. Accordingly, this year's book is Biology and Knowledge. As currently envisioned, the participant attendees will raise and discuss issues and questions stemming from this book with a panel of scholars that includes Terrance W. Deacon and Annette Karmiloff-Smith chaired by Jonas Langer. The seminar will begin with brief comments by the panel on central aspects of the book followed by open discussion with the participant attendees.
Paper Session 9: Emergent literacy and narrative
Narrative symbol systems: Viewing narratives from a systems perspective
I would like to draw parallels between, on the one hand, the systems approach adopted by Jean Piaget in Biology and Knowledge (1971) and Gregory Bateson in Mind and Nature (1979), and, on the other hand, Narrative Symbol Systems, a construct which I have created, based on Fischers Skill Theory. I hope to show that developing a Narrative Symbol System for a story, in this case Perraults version of Cinderella, enables us to take a fresh look at it from a systems perspective.
Contributions to a theoretical reference for childrens books: Emergent phase
Jean Piaget's formal conceptions regarding children's play, thought, and language provide a valuable psychological model which can be utilized by creators of books for children in order to more accurately address the cognitive and affective demands of the young reader. This position will be demonstrated through the representative historical examples of Lucy Sprague Mitchell's "Here and Now Curriculum" of the 1920's, Margaret Wise Brown's classic books for children including Goodnight Moon (1947), and the conclusions of selected emergent literacy research.
Exemplification: The Basis of Mimetic Representation
Elgins (1983) theory of exemplification is applied to the analysis of the behaviors toddlers use to initiate shared meaning play. Because adult subjects were able to distinguish toddler behaviors that signal play themes from other social behaviors, and identified the themes that sustained toddler peer interaction, it is argued that signals of shared meaning play can be considered symbols that reference domains important to toddlers.
The role of maternal input in facilitating development of childrens personal narratives
Early mother-child conversational interactions are considered important contributing factors to childrens acquisition of oral language skills in socioculturally appropriate ways. This study examines narrative discourse structure, by looking at how language shapes and is shaped by culture-specific experiences. Conversations between four- and five-year-old Japanese children and their mothers were analyzed to study differences in narrative elicitation from each of those ages. Mothers of children of different ages were found to use different techniques to elicit childrens participation in narrative discourse. The link between maternal narrative elicitation strategies and childrens developing narrative skill is also described.
Discussant: Yasuji Kojima, Hokkai-gakuen University
Symposium Session 11:
Chair: K. Ann Renninger, Swarthmore College
Recent advances in meaning equivalence theory construction, based on distancing developmental theory and the nature of multiple representations (Sigel, 1993; Ivanov, 1965/1977) suggest that representational competence plays a fundamental role in deep comprehension. In this symposium, meaning equivalence theory and its applications will be outlined and experimental evidence of the role of multiple-representations in learning and development will be presented. Discussion will focus on the extent to which these findings derive from and underscore the importance of novel instructional methodologies in math and science teaching that emphasize representational aspects of problem solving, rather than rule learning.
Meaning equivalence: Theory and applications
The roots of Meaning Equivalence Theory can be traced to two main sources: The research program of Irving Sigel and his associates on the distancing developmental hypothesis (Cocking & Renninger, 1993; Sigel, 1954, 1999; Sigel & Cocking, 1977); and Vyacheslav Ivanovs work (1965/1977) on the fundamental role played by multiple representations in evaluating a human potential. These foundations led us to explore the relationship between multiple representations and teaching for understanding, and consequently to develop a methodology for the assessment of deep comprehension.
Meaning equivalence refers to a commonality of meaning preserved across several representations. Operationally, we definite meaning equivalence as the ability of a learner to transcode equivalence-of-meaning through multiple representations within and across sign systems.
This ability has long been recognized by philosophers, linguists, semioticians, psycholosists and educators as playing an enabling role in human and cultural development.
Meaning Equivalence Theory identifies the decomposition of statements into the two orthogonal components of surface similarity and meaning equivalence as a critical stage in the learning sequence. The theory generates explicit expectations regarding learners ability to recognize equivalence-of-meaning by overcoming misleading cues due to the interaction between the surface similarity and meaning-equivalence dimensions in content-bearing statements.
In this presentation we will (i) briefly describe the theoretical foundations of the meaning equivalence construct; and (ii) demonstrate some of its practical applications as a novel instructional and assessment methodology for deep comprehension in any content area and in any sign system.
Meaning equivalence: Results from 3 pilot studies
In this presentation we will describe 3 pilot studies where a decomposition of statements into surface similarity versus meaning equivalence was used to guide the construction of assessments for deep comprehension in 3 content areas: English text (at the sentence level); arithmetic; and algebra. One hundred and sixteen university students participated in these pilots taking all three of these tests as well as other tests of academic achievement and intellectual functioning. As expected, we found that scores on all 3 tests were sensitive to mismatch between surface similarity and meaning-equivalence. In addition:
1. Score on a test for deep comprehension of English text at the sentence level did not correlate with IQ, and did not discriminate between reading disabled and normally achieving university students; in other words, this type of test was transpartent to the modular deficit which is widely recognized as the core of reading disability, and allows reading disabled students to demonstrate deep meaning comprehension of a text.
2. Score on a test for deep comprehension of arithmetic contributed unique variance to written and oral computational arithmetic tests.
3. Score on a test for deep comprehension of algebra was sensitive to the use of text and degree of elaboration, but not to rule application of solution algorithms; contributions of unique variance to the score on this test came from use of text and degree of elaboration, but not from IQ.
Finally, we will discuss these results in light of our theoretical expectations.
Representational competence in learning the mathematics of change
For the past seven years, our SimCalc team (based principally at SRI, UMass-Dartmouth, and TERC) has been developing techniques to enable urban middle school students in challenging districts (such as Newark, NJ) to learn calculus concepts. Our mission has been to democratize access to critically important mathematical ideas such as rate, accumulation, graphing, and problem solving with simulations. And we have been succeeding: students who complete a SimCalc curriculum show marked articulateness in discussing and using concepts that would ordinarily never be accessible to them.
The foundations of our approach build upon some radical conjectures about the representational underpinnings of mathematics learning, and the role technology plays in selecting representations for instruction. In particular, we deliberately build upon representational competencies students already have (ability to count, understand areas, and comprehend motion) and delay introducing representational competencies that are well known stumbling blocks (we introduce calculus without the dreaded algebra prerequisite). Our theory of instruction, moreover, emphasizes how the curriculum and its representations are historically dependent upon the available technologies, and how new technologies enable different choices. Further, we show how particular choices (favoring graphs over equations, emphasizing connection to phenomena rather than detachment from phenomena, utilizing linked dynamic multiple representations) are both enabled by technology, and more successful with students. In this presentation, we will present a high level overview of our approach, and then focus on its underlying representational
principles, and how they leverage students competencies.
The nature of meta-representational competence
Over the last few years, project MaRC at the University of California, Berkeley has investigated the meta-representational competence of children. Specifically we have studied their abilities to design and critique new, "nearly-scientific" representations. In this paper, I will review our most central results, and provide examples from different classes of student-designed representations.
Above all, we find an opulent basis of untrained competence. Students (age 11 - 16) have a very wide range of representational design strategies, and a rich "vocabulary" of criteria by which to judge representations. We will classify and describe strengths and limitations of these resources. We will also describe some general trends in extended learning, such as gradual shift in function (and corresponding structural patterns) from "telling stories" to scientific display of data. Along this path, we view many classes of "inadequacies" merely as "functional residue," where representational competence is aligned to prior, not present purposes.
Finally, we briefly sketch implications for science and mathematics instruction.
Discussants: Irving E. Sigel, Educational Testing Service and Vyacheslav Ivanov, UCLA
Paper Session 10: Cognitive Development I
Categorical flexibility in young children: The role of verbal and visual interference
This experiment was designed to understand the impact of visual and verbal information on categorical flexibility in 4- and 6-year-old children. Flexibility was assessed in a match to sample task requiring successive matching (thematic and taxonomic) for each target. Visual interference was manipulated by hiding or not the first chosen picture, and verbal interference by requiring or not a verbal explanation of the first match before asking for a second one. Whereas the visual factor had no effect, verbal explanations strongly lowered categorical flexibility, thus interfering with the accessibility of a second relation.
Age differences in visual search for hierarchical geometric patterns: coordinating attention between global and local levels
Visual search for hierarchical geometric patterns was examined among observers aged 6, 8, 10, and 24 years. The main question was whether age-related changes in the ability to coordinate attention between the local and global level of a hierarchical pattern were different for local or global target search. Conditions varied with target type (global or local), number of distractors (0, 1,or 8), target level probability (70% or 30% global or local, and 50 % global or local), and type of attention directing cue (implicit or explicit). The results indicated that at approximately 6 to 8 years of age children used markedly different attentional strategies to search for local or global targets.
Cardinality learning and development
Based upon our-6-level model of cardinality understanding (Bermejo, 1996), we show how children in the fourth level can reach the last level in a few days, whereas normally children need many months to shift to the last level. Two groups of participants (experimental and control groups) took part in this research. Only the experimental group participated in cognitive conflict condition. The results show significant differences between the two groups in the posttests and a high percentage of children from the experimental group attained cardinality understanding (last level).
Symposium Session 12:
Organizers: Micheline de Souza Silva, Seth Surgan, and Simone Gonçalves de Lima, Clark University
Social-historical traditions consider symbolic functioning an essential acquisition within phylogenetic and ontogenetic development (Vygotsky, 1978; 1986). Special attention has been given to communicational settings as arenas in which symbolic functioning emerges and develops. However, understanding how symbolic functioning emerges within communicational settings phylo- and ontogenetically is still challenging.
In this symposium, we draw together different approaches to the development of symbolic functioning and critically analyze how and if they can complement each other in the construction of an account which spans different timescales. More specifically, the presenters attempt to build links between (1) a proposed phylogenetic process that theorizes continuity between non-symbolic calls of non-human primates and words of human beings, drawing from the organismic tradition of Werner and Kaplan, and classical and contemporary sociogenetic approaches; and (2) a dialogical and systemic approach to the emergence of symbolic functioning over ontogenetic time within mother-infant communicative settings.
The presentations include discussions of: (a) the concept of "double indexical", which extends from the Peircean index and provides a semiotic intermediate between indexical and symbolic functions, as double-indexicals and symbols include the same basic "raw materials" but are structurally and functionally different; (b) an examination of non-human primates and infants pre-linguistic communication efforts, suggesting that both are double-indexical in nature, and investigating processes of hyper-attribution of meaning which transform the structure of the communicative act; and (c) studies which span the micro and ontogenetic levels of the emergence of symbolic functioning in human infants within mother-object-infant pre-linguistic exchanges. In the latter point, the authors explore the emotional and agentive aspects involved in the co-construction of abbreviated "give-and-take" exchanges, which occur during the first year of the infants life, and the possibility that these abbreviated exchanges reflect further movement towards symbolic functioning.
How to build a symbol: The double indexical roots of human communication
Mother-object-infant pre-linguistic communication: A scenario for the emergence of symbolic functioning
Processes of relational change in early emotional development: Seeds of symbolic functioning?
Discussant: Katherine Nelson, City University of New York Graduate Center
Plenary Session 3:
Language development in an embodied brain
Elizabeth Bates, University of California, San Diego
Two central constructs from Piaget's genetic epistemology are supported by new research on brain and language in children and adults. First, Piaget maintained that higher cognitive structures and processes grow out of a basic stock of sensorimotor schemata, which are differentiated, transformed and reorganized through the infant's interactions with a structured world. Second, he claimed that language is part of a broader symbolic capacity that derives from this same sensorimotor base. Hence representations (including linguistic symbols) are literally 're-presentations,' a reactivation or re-living of our original interactions with this structured world, even in the absence of the original objects and events to which they refer. In this presentation, I will argue that these two premises are compatible with current findings in developmental neurobiology and neural imaging. The first premise bears a systematic relationship to a new movement called "embodiment", which emphasizes the grounding of all symbolic processes (including language) in a brain that evolved to deal with sensory, motor and emotional demands. Cortical organization is largely determined by input to the cortex during the early stages of development, starting with input from the animal's own body, prior to birth. By the time a human infant is born, the cortex has been colonized by the body, defined throughout its extent by sensorimotor coordinates that constrain all subsequent learning. The activity-dependent mechanisms used to create this initial structure (which we have always called "maturation") are the same processes that are used later on (for what we traditionally called "learning"). Hence maturation and learning are inseparable at the level of neural mechanisms, and subject to the same sensorimotor constraints. The second premise receives support from (a) new findings from adult aphasia, suggesting that linguistic knowledge is broadly distributed in the brain and resistant to focal damage, (b) new findings demonstrating normal language outcomes in infants with injuries to putative "language zones", indicating that the brain can be configured for language in a variety of ways during the learning process, and (c) neural imaging studies of normal adults, which show that many different areas of the brain participate in language, in patterns that are determined by the sensorimotor demands of the task at hand. Language is laid out on a sensorimotor brain that originally evolved to do other things.
Annual JPS Members Meeting (12:00-12:30) Islands Ballroom
The notion of autonomy and the beliefs of educators of young children in Brazil and Germany.
Organizer: Vera Maria Ramos de Vasconcellos, Universidade federal Fluminense
The aim of this symposium is to focus on the notion of autonomy in two different cultural contexts. The emphasis on autonomy derives from its presence in education today. In Brazil, the promotion of autonomy has been explicitly incorporated into recent educational legislation, thus turning the subject into a major focus among educational and psychological researchers. When one comes to think about education and the values promoted by its practice, autonomy invariably comes to mind as a goal to be pursued from the very beginning of the process, as early as infant education.
Autonomy has specific uses as a theoretical construct according to different theories. Here, autonomy is understood, from a Piagetian perspective, as a process of construction, related to morality and carried out by the child as she/he interacts with the social world. If we understand pre-school as part of the life of a significant number of children, it is important to investigate how the different types of experiences offered by these institutions may influence the process of construction of autonomy. The papers presented in the symposium will deal with issues around the theme of autonomy and its place within educators beliefs.
The results that will be presented are part of a cross-cultural study about subjective developmental and child-rearing theories between Germany and Brazil organized as a cooperative project by Friedlmeier and Vasconcellos. Preschool teachers (n = 100) and mothers (n = 100) from Germany and Brazil participated in the project. Due to differences in institutional organizations, the whole German sample was studied in public kindergartens, whereas half of the Brazilian sample was also investigated in private pre-schools. Semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and the observation of classroom behaviour were the methods used to get the information.
The first paper focus the teachers concepts of the "ideal child" and how much the notion of autonomy is encompassed in their understanding of this ideal. The second paper articulates the perspective of teaching values within infant educational settings, taking into consideration teachers perceptions of autonomy and how such perceptions influence pedagogical practices. The third paper deals with the questions whether German and Brazilian caregivers differ in regard to the understanding of autonomy as a child-rearing goal or whether they differ in the importance. The caregivers self-construal and general value orientation are tested as explanations for cultural differences.
The ideal child and the notion of autonomy: The teachers perspective
Autonomy as the foundation of moral education in the pre-school context
Implication of caregivers self-construal and value orientation on autonomy as a child-rearing goal
Using systemic accounts to close the gap between biology and psychology
Organizer: Darek Dawda, Simon Fraser University
The symposium focuses on how systemic theoretical accounts (e.g., recursion, complexity, emergence, self-organization) can be utilized to overcome the still so pervasive split between the physical and the psychological. The presentations stress the need for embodied, dialectical, intentional, temporal, and dynamic as opposed to isolationistic, mentalistic, dualistic, divisionary approaches to development. Theoretical conceptualizations of the role of action, communication, the body, and the brain will be presented.
The Promise of Embodied Cognition
Embodied theorists argue that new insights into previously unanswered questions concerning cognitive development will be attained if we re-orient our approach and conduct research in a manner that acknowledges the crucial links existing among an organisms cognitive abilities, sensorimotor capacities, and environment. This presentation offers a rough approximation of what this new research program entails, and argues that an embodied approach to cognition will provide more explanatory power than traditional cognitivist approaches that are isolationist in nature.
Mind-Body dualism as a legacy of phonetic literacy: The medium and self-organization
Mind-body dualism is a conceptual problem, and the way to find solution to it is to understand its genesis. All meaning is medium-contingent. Mind-body dualism has been enabled, both historically and developmentally, by the medium of phonetic writing that allowed for the removal of temporality from the conceptual space and the corresponding epistemological adoption of the "either-or" logical ideology of contradiction (Overton, 1998). I will discuss the place of medium theory within contemporary systemic accounts of development, focussing of the problem of hierarchical mapping or symbol grounding (Freeman, 2000).
The emergence of mind in the emotional brain
Developmental approaches to cognition-emotion interaction point toward a solution to the mind-body problem. In this paper, the emotional basis of neural synchronization is presented as a template for reexamining the mind-body problem from a complex systems perspective. Emotional processes subserved by the most primitive motivational response systems (those we would hardly call mind) fan up in a progression of self-organizing neural coherence to yield our highest mental functions (e.g., thought, learning, memory). The origin of executive monitoring from emotion regulation in infancy (Posner & Rothbart) provides an example of the developmental emergence of this process of neural self-organization.
Bridging the gaps between neuron, brain and behavior with neurodynamics
Perception is an intentional action by which the finite brain explores the infinite world. By acting, the brain thrusts its body into the future spacetime of the world while predicting the sensory consequences. By perceiving its actions and their results, it remembers its predictions. To perform these operations the brain, through chaotic dynamics, constructs and uses finite perceptual matrices of space, time and causation. Perceived time differs from world time in ways that are determined by the neural mechanisms of intentionality. Perception of the self in action gives content to the concepts of contiguity, duration, temporal order, cause, and effect.
Discussant: Willis F. Overton, Temple University
Developmental diversity through narrative
Organizer: Colette Daiute, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Narrative discourse is theorized as a site for examining universality and particularity in socio-cognitive development (Bruner, 1986; Nelson, 1993). This symposium focuses on developmental functions of narrative, in particular, as narrative knowing relates to theories about differentiation and integration in the capacity to view ones self in broader social contexts (Selman, 1980). The context-rich social nature of narrative reveals processes in social relational understanding that, to some extent, challenge structuralist progressions. Our papers examine narrative knowing across community and institutional contexts where children of different socio-cultural backgrounds narrate their lives. Each paper also discusses a mechanism, method of narrative knowing, and explanation of how the study extends developmental theory.
Going deep versus going long: Longitudinal comparisons of narratives about the self from Aboriginal and non-Native youth
In coming to form a coherent understanding of themselves as persons, young people must grapple with a paradox: they must persist at being the self-same person while simultaneously changing in what they take to be important ways. Aboriginal and non-Native youth tend to adopt different strategies for resolving this paradox. We first present longitudinal data to support the claim that these differences are stable over time and can be predicted by measures of identification with ones cultural group. Data gathered from young adults are then used to explore the developmental fate of these cultural differences in narratives about the self.
Wisdom of ages: Social relations in conflict narratives written by children from African-American, Latino, and European-American backgrounds
Research has focused on perspective-coordination as a central mechanism and achievement of social development. Sociocultural theory raises questions about whether and how experience affects such patterns. For example, children from discriminated backgrounds have reasons to be especially knowledgeable about the perspectives of others, in particular those who are potential sources of discrimination (Cross, 1991). This paper presents an analysis of social relations in 200 autobiographical and fictional narratives of social conflict by 50 African-American, Latino, and White children in urban schools. Childrens differential uses of narrating to represent complex perspective orientations like others intentions are discussed as they extend developmental theory.
Constructing the self through narratives of illegality and citizenship by Mexican American children and youth
This paper discusses how Mexican-origin children identify themselves in narrations of illegality and citizenship. The research posits that the circumstances of children who face dramatically conflicting narratives of group membership use cultural and personal experience to manipulate those notions, creating complex narratives of identity. In the context of a community organization defending the rights of Mexican immigrants in New York City, five through 14 year-old children participated in a workshop to create a guidebook for Mexican families considering migrating to the United States. Analyses indicate that childrens narratives are sites where illegality and citizenship are explored, understood, and transformed.
Discussant: Cynthia Lightfoot, Pennsylvania State Delaware County
The development of means-end understanding and implications for intentional understanding and intentional action
Organizer: Jessica A. Sommerville, The University of Chicago
The talks in this symposium focus on the development of means-end understanding in infants, children and non-human primates and explore the implications of this understanding for developments in the ability to perform intentional actions and to interpret intentional actions performed by others. In particular, the presentations address the ability to intentionally perform both simple and complex means-end problems, the ability to infer the goal behind familiar and novel means-end actions performed by others, and the role that causal reasoning plays in both the production of and interpretation of intentional action, as considered from developmental, clinical, comparative and evolutionary perspectives.
It aint what you do, its the way that you do it: Development of means-end behavior in the first year of life
Piaget claimed that accidental and intentional solutions may be distinguished by examining the methods infants use to solve means-end problems. In this talk, I investigate Piagets claim by comparing infants rate of means-end behavior in tasks in which there was either a goal or no goal to be achieved, across a number of studies. My findings suggest rapid developmental changes in the methods that infants use to solve simple means-end problems and more complex multi-step problems. These findings show that measures of intentionality can provide important information about the development of problem-solving skills and the nature of representations that regulate infant search.
Means-end reasoning in infancy: Interpreting intentional action and performing planful solutions
The ability to recognize that a particular behavioral "means" can be performed in service of a desired "end" forms a critical piece of intentional understanding. In this talk, we present an account of the development of "means-end" understanding of others behavior in infancy. Specifically, we discuss two potential factors that may contribute to infants ability to infer the goal of means-end action sequences: infants own developing ability to perform means-end action sequences, and infants ability to reason about the physical/causal constraints of action sequences more generally.
Understanding of others intentions: Developmental, clinical, and comparative perspectives
We present a series of studies that investigated understanding of others intentions in three populations: typically-developing infants, young children with autism, and chimpanzees. We discuss different levels of understanding of intentions, including understanding of goals versus intentions and understanding of intentions-in-action versus prior intentions. We present a developmental and evolutionary perspective that incorporates the different levels of understanding of intentions and we discuss the implications of this perspective for developmental, clinical, and comparative approaches.
Constraints on means-ends understanding in tool-use in chimpanzees
A variety of data suggest that non-human animals perform goal-directed activity. In this talk, I re-analyze data from a extensive series of studies conducted in our laboratory which examined chimpanzees understanding of the causal mechanisms underlying various mean-ends relationships in simple tool-using situations. This re-analysis addresses the following questions: (1) to what extent do cognitive factors related to causal understanding set limits on the range of means-ends understandings that will be present in a given species? and (2) to what extent does the representation of the self as a kinesthetic agent open up new possibilities for appreciating mean-ends understanding?
Discussant: Susan Johnson, Stanford University
Organizer: Moreno Marimon, Universitat de Barcelona
Is it possible through thought to make a boat fly or to save ones own life? There are those who have not ever seen a boat fly because they do not believe that it is possible. Thousands of years ago there were people who believed that a different sun appeared every day, and when they no longer believed this their lives changed. We have analysed different forms of thought and sought common elements among them. We shall describe these common mechanisms through a consideration of the history of thought. We analyse the different organising models in use at different periods of history and at different stages of psychogenesis.
The creation of realities
Through an examination of various accounts of observable phenomena in the history of science, we aim to highlight a number of constants in the different models constructed by thinkers and scientists. A organising model is an organised set of representations which have a number of functional characteristics in common, irrespective of the field to which they pertain. We shall analyse various examples from the history of science. This functional perspective permits us to consider, in addition to the forms of operatory organisation described by Piaget, other less rigidly structured forms of organisation and the content of the models
How come heavy things float?
In this communication, we present the organising models used by subjects of 6 and 14 years of age to account for the phenomena of flotation and sinking of two solids (a ball and a bag), each made from an equal amount of plasticine. The sample was formed by 10 boys and 10 girls within each age group. An organising model is a system of representations which the subject develops and organises to account for reality. It is not, therefore, an objective copy of reality, but a subjective one. We carried out a developmental analysis of the sequence of models applied by the subjects in our sample.
The water is not alive. Metaphors in language
The verbal expressions used by the children in the individual interviews to account for the phenomenon of flotation, that is, their organising model, shows us how each individual selects a given set of vocabulary and expressions as opposed to others. The verbal accounts given by the group of children in our study, also frequently included less conventional, less typical expressions, which were on occasion metaphorical or analogical, very often subjective, ambiguous or imprecise in nature. Study of the nature and meaning of these less conventional expressions allows us to approach the links between the language used and the various childrens representations of the phenomenon.
The construction of what is known
This research investigates the physical notions of flotation and of density in a variety of experimental conditions within a population of well-educated adults. The behaviour observed in this research shows that adult subjects ideas about the phenomenon of flotation are vague and poorly organised. Knowledge acquired at school is not operational. But, by mentally exploring the factors they consider relevant, subjects are able to develop explanatory theories, although these tend to be fragmentary, and not sufficiently relevant. Instead of looking for an overall explanatory model, the adults behave as if the phenomenon can be explained in a variety of ways depending on the context.
Discussant: Eleanor Duckworth, Harvard University
Poster Session A
Note: Posters are available for viewing all day. Authors will attend from 1:30-2:45.
Plenary Session 4:
Terrance Deacon, Boston University
Jean Piaget's analyses of symbolic cognitive development and his thinking about the interrelationships between evolutionary processes and epigenetic developmental processes has shown to be surprisingly prescient.
In contrast to the psychology of his time, Piaget conceived of the development of cognitive abilities in childhood as occurring in punctuated stages in which transitions involving systemic reorganization of knowledge takes place. He described such transitions not as the acquisition of new information but as the reorganization and restructuring of prior systems of knowledge. An analysis of the semiotic structure of symbolic interpretive competence suggests that any transition from an indexical to a symbolic mode of interpreting signs inevitably involves a similar restructuring process to what Piaget described. Not coincidentally, Piaget was almost exclusively interested in symbolic knowledge, and so seems to have anticipated in form this implicit semiotic logic. In general there is still little attention paid to the differences between the learning processes involved when comparing sensorimotor associative learning to symbolically based learning. The correlation of this cognitive transition process with prefrontal cortex function and development may help give neurobiological content to some of his cognitive developmental claims.
Piaget was also occupied in the later years of his life with a problem he struggled with as a young biology student: the interrelationships between ontogenetic / learning processes and phylogenetic evolutionary processes. He viewed his notions of "accommodation" and "assimilation" as general principles of biological adaptation and regulation, and felt that a more comprehensive evolutionary theory necessarily required paying attention to how these organismic responses might influence the course of evolution. He was influenced in his thinking by the concept of genetic assimilation articulated by Conrad Waddington. Recently, investigations of variants of this effect, and also of the wider range of "top-down" influences in evolution referred to as "organic selection" by James Mark Baldwin, can be seen to realize many of Piaget's hypotheses in this area.
Piaget's systems level perspective, his emphasis on circular causality, and his attention to the complex "middle level" mechanisms intervening between genes and learning are coming to be recognized independently as the central issues awaiting investigation in biology.
Invited Symposium 2:
Organizer: Constance Milbraith, University of California, San Francisco
Arealization of the Neocortex: Genetic and Epigentic Contributions to the Phenotype
The neocortex is composed of areas that are functionally, anatomically and histochemically distinct. Neurons in these areas are involved in generating complex sensory, perceptual and motor behaviors. In humans, the expansion of the neocortex and increase in the number of cortical areas is pronounced, and underlies all of the complex behaviors associated with the human condition including perception, cognition, language and volitional motor responses. However, the mechanisms involved in the development and evolution of cortical areas is still contentious. We consider data from comparative studies as well as developmental studies to gain some insight into the developmental mechanisms involved in arealization, and how these mechanisms have been modified in different lineages over time to produce the remarkable degree of neocortex organizational variability observed in mammals. Because any phenotype is a result of complex interactions between genotypic influences and environmental factors, we also consider environmental, or epigenetic, contributions to the organization of the adult neocortex. Thus, studies of both developmental and adult plasticity provide some insight, not only into how the neocortex of an individual can vary within the life span of that individual, but how the neocortex can vary over time across species.
Principles in the evolution of brains. Possibilities in the evolution of the isocortex
I will review work that shows strong constraints in the way the mammalian brain enlarges in evolution. These patterns relate to a highly conserved sequence of neurogenesis, that produces preferential enlargement of the structures generated last in the conserved order. If structures like the isocortex and cerebellum get larger, consume more energy, assume more functions, and apparently do so efficiently, how can we attribute their enlargement to their simple position in order of neurogenesis and not to their adaptive value? The answer lies in what has evolved, which I will argue is not a collection of specific structure-function relationships in the isocortex, but a way of mapping new functions into available neural space. Features of cortex development, such as input specification of cortical information processing, and promiscuous early intracortical connectivity will be related to this principle.
The earliest development of the brain and autism
Neuroteratologists have long concentrated on injuries to the fetus, suspecting that earlier injuries would either kill the embryo or allow full recovery. However, the minor physical anomalies associated with many congenital disorders of the nervous system suggest that they are initiated much earlier. For example, schizophrenia is associated with velo-cardio-facial syndrome and midfacial hypoplasia; autism is associated with hypertelorism, strabismus, and various ear anomalies. A study of the thalidomide-exposed population of Sweden pinpointed the critical period when autism results from exposure to the drug: days 20-24 of gestation. Observations in human and animal brains suggested a candidate gene for susceptibility to autism -- HOXA1. Gene transmission studies show highly significant deviation from expectation for HOXA1 inheritance in autism. Further, the same gene appears to play a role in teratologic induction of the disorder. How do such early injuries come to affect higher level functions? There are many possibilities. Tract tracing demonstrates that one of the sequelae of such injuries is that later-formed neurons project to the wrong targets.
Talk and the development of social understanding
Organizer: William Turnbull, Simon Fraser University
The symposium examines the reflexive relationship between talk and social understanding. Turnbull and Carpendale describe the theoretical perspective that underlies the symposium. Atwood examines classroom talk for the structures of talk by which novice and expert identities are displayed. Teacher-first year student interactions are characterized by one-side constraint, whereas teacher-fourth year student interactions are characterized by two-sided cooperation. Goldbeck examines 5 to 12 year old childrens production and understanding of making and refusing requests. Older children only produced polite, adult-like forms of these actions, but their understanding of the need for politeness was not adult-like.
Talk and the development of social understanding
Social understanding develops through participation in social interaction, and vice-versa. Much of what is relevant to social interaction is talk about mind. Wittgenstein made evident the need for public criteria for the appropriate ways to talk about mind. On this view, understanding a concept is inseparable from being able to talk appropriately about the concept. It follows that developing social understanding requires learning the publicly observable criteria for the appropriate ways to talk about mind. Those criteria are evident in the manifest details of social interaction/talk, where they are available for both participants in talk and for analysts of talk.
The co-construction of novice and expert in talk
The present research analyzed the co-construction in talk of expert and novice identities. The corpus consisted of tape recordings of first and fourth year classes in English and Psychology. Analysis revealed that novice and expert identities are observable in the manifest ways that teachers engage in one-sided constraint or cooperation. First year students were offered far less opportunity to assert and defend their own ideas than were fourth year students. Overall, fourth year students were encouraged by teachers to be participants in the construction of knowledge, whereas first year students were placed in the role of passive recipients of knowledge.
Childrens production and understanding of the difficult interpersonal actions of making and refusing requests
An action such as refusing a request can threaten participants identities. Adults typically act to delay and mitigate the negative impact of such actions; they do facework. Childrens (5 to 12 years old) requests and refusals, obtained via role-play, were examined for facework, as was their understanding of the need for facework. Facework increased with age. Older children used adult-like facework structures, but their understanding of the reasons for doing so was not adult-like. In sum, children exhibit age-related differences
Paper Session 11: Play and games
Individual structuring and sociocultural theory: An analysis of forms-functions shifts in the cultural game of dominoes
While accounts of learning and development increasingly draw on sociocultrual frameworks to examine how individual psychological processes are fundamentally influenced by socio-cultural processes, some scholars have cautioned theorists not to lose sight of the critical role of individuals active structuring activity in learning and development (Damon, 1993; Engestrom, 1999; Wertsch, 1998). This paper takes that concern to heart, using the Form-Function shifts model (Saxe, 1991) to analyze videotaped game play of the cultural game of dominoes among African-American players in three age groups with a focus on the bi-directional relation between individual structuring activity and social and cultural processes in game play.
The development of mathematical knowledge in a recreational practice
While the interplay between practices of economic subsistence and the development of mathematical knowledge has been widely reported, fewer studies have investigated the relationship between cultural participation and mathematical knowledge in the context of historically situated recreational practices. Villagers from a small town in Northeastern Brazil were observed and interviewed as regular players of a dominoes game based on building multiples of a specific number. Results showed that unschooled subjects were highly sophisticated in doing arithmetics, examining hypotheses, and coordinating game rules. Implications for the study of recreational practices and their relationship with school knowledge are discussed.
Why do dolphins and killer whales make their play more difficult?
Play may serve important roles in cognitive development. Providing a context within which to experience and benefit from moderately discrepant events may be one such role. This possibility is explored by considering the play behavior of young dolphins and killer whales. These animals consistently modify their play behavior in order to make the goal more difficult to achieve. This suggests that the animals are purposely producing their own moderately discrepant events, and that one of the functions of play is to provide cognitive stimulation. Thus, play may have evolved to facilitate cognitive development.
Varieties of reciprocity in childrens barter practices
4 to 12 year-old children have been observed in a school courtyard, while engaging in barter of material (mainly trading cards) and immaterial (e.g., turns in a game) goods, arguing about the values at stake. 200 episodes have been recorded and analyzed. Three kinds of reciprocity have been distinguished, namely: symbolic, associative, and strict reciprocity. These varieties seem to show up differentially according to the sub-culture within which exchanges take place. Whereas associative bonds prevail in 4-7 year-old childrens exchange episodes, 8 year-old and older children appeal to rules of strict reciprocity and to quantitative values while trading goods with their peers.
Discussant: David W. Kritt, CUNY
Paper Session 12: Cognitive Development II
The origins of young childrens understanding of simple transformations: A dynamic theory of encoding
This study examined a hypothesis made by Piaget (1974a) about the origins of the early rules that children construct about situations involving transformations. 65 children, 4 to 5 years old, were given videotaped sequences of fantasy context and showing the filling up of containers shown either as vertically or horizontally. Following each sequence, children were presented with a series of dyadic comparisons. These involved liquid in two containers varying in either height, length or both. Children were asked to judge in which there was the most liquid. The results show that the rules that children employ to make these predictions are affected by the dynamics of the observed transformations, consistent with the predictions made.
Cognitive strategies and latent classes in the Water Level task and the Balance Scale task
Water Level Task and Balance Scale Task data (2612 children) were analyzed to discover categorical latent strategies. For the WLT a continuous measure on 17 items was used in a Finite Mixture Decomposition. For the BST 20 dichotomous items were entered in an exploratory Latent Class Analysis. As expected, a limited number of categorical latent classes was found with appropriate age trends. However, not all of the classes reflected clear cognitive strategies! I therefore propose a distinction between classes as empirically based probabilistically defined collections of responses (bottom up), and strategies as responses that are consistent in view of being interpretable as rational.
the case against domain-specific inductive processes: Evidence from childrens word learning
Findings that preschoolers learn many words rapidly have created interest in domain-specific word learning mechanisms. Evidence of domain-specific learning, however, is scant. Many patterns of word learning can be attributed to general learning processes that are sensitive to covariance, repetition, memory load, and cue validity. For example, evidence shows that "fast mapping" is not specific to words but is sensitive to cognitive load, and "constraints" on word learning are best described as branches on complex decision trees. I will suggest aspects of language likely to pose unique learning problems, and raise questions of the co-evolution of language and learning skills.
Psychological understanding of conditional rules by young children
This paper presents evidence from three sources to argue for an interconnection between psychological and deontic reasoning, namely: (1) Early understanding of the intentions attached to violations of conditional rules (2) Young childrens understanding of the emotions involved in violations and completions of conditional agreements and (3) Autistic childrens difficulties with arbitrary conditionals. In this series of studies, children are presented with an Evaluation Task (as in Harris & Nunez, 1996). Findings show that childrens reasoning on conditional agreements is assisted by their psychological understanding at least at two points in its process.
Young childrens sensitivity to causally relevant contrasts
Recent evidence suggests that when making causal judgments both children and adults may weigh counterfactual alternatives ñ judgments about the effect of hypothetical antecedents (if not A) on the observed outcome (then not B). In this study, we examined preschool childrens (ages 3; 6 to 6; 6 years) ability to contrast the actual outcome of a protagonists action with a hypothetical outcome that might have occurred given a different set of antecedent conditions. Results of this contrastive method revealed that counterfactual thinking was prevalent throughout the tested age range. Implications for a revised conceptualization of childrens causal thinking are considered.
Paper Session 13: Evolutionary perspectives
Early Interpretation of Jean Piaget into Industrial Psychology
In the 1920s and 1930s, few psychologists of any strands were mindful of the implications that Piagets research program had for peoples mental health in changing society. Fewer examined Piagets early five books as a whole to link them to practical needs in daily life settings. Among the few was Elton Mayo, "the father of organizational psychology" who made an intellectual leap to introduce Piagets method into the Hawthorne interview program. This presentation explores how Mayo interpreted Piaget as a way to identify problems in the developmental trajectory from childhood to adulthood in changing society. In particular, this presentation will discuss Mayos interpretation in the context of child guidance and parent education.
Autism from the perspective of evolutionary psychology
Core to autistic spectrum disorders is a lack of social relatedness. This may be evident in earliest failures in numerous areas of social signaling as well as in key linguistic and paralinguistic failures. Each areas of failed function can be argued to be expressed in a way that is maladaptive from the viewpoint of competitive advantage. Each will be discussed in terms of teaching affected individuals new strategies designed to overcome adaptive disadvantages by working within a matrix of able and disabled functions that can be combined to produce relative higher levels of adaptive advantage.
Piaget, evolutionary psychology, and the property right: A narrative and a descriptive theory
Why are property rights necessary? Locke claimed that persons put parts of themselves into objects by laboring on them. This paper rethinks Locke in terms of subsequent knowledge: Darwin, Piaget, and evolutionary psychology. It begins with Piagets aphorism: "Thought is internalized action." The normative claim follows that humans have rights to property because they act on objects in order to build their brains and enrich their thinking, in children and their hominid ancestors. The descriptive claim (hypothesis) is that property rights intuitions evolved because object sharing in hunter-gatherer fostered the aggregate cognitive fitness of the groups.
Book Display (all day)
Poster Session B: Posters will be on display all day
Invited Symposium 3:
Evolutionary perspectives on human brain expansion: Implications for the emergence of human mental abilities
Organizer: Kathleen R. Gibson
Throughout most of the Twentieth Century, neuroanatomists derived comparative data only from preserved brains of deceased animals and humans. The scarcity of preserved great ape brains meant that most theory and speculation about human brain evolution proceeded in the absence of solid information about the brains of our closest phylogenetic relatives. New techniques permit neural imaging in live animals and are now resulting in the rapid accumulation of additional data that are overturning previous views about the evolution of primate and human brains.
In the first paper, "Advances in the Study of Hominoid Brain Evolution", Katerina Semendeferi addresses issues of absolute versus relative size of diverse neural structures in humans and various great ape species. Contrary to previous claims, the human frontal lobe, although absolutely large than the frontal lobes of any great ape species, are not disproportionately large in comparison to overall brain size. Hence, the relative of size of this neural region, known to play a major role in human cognition, may have already been established in the common ancestor of great apes and humans.
Patrick Gannon provides the second contribution, "Evolutionary and modality depth of brain "language" areas in primates: did polymodal communication move from gestural-visual to vocal-auditory primacy during recent human evolution and, if so, why?" Gannons findings indicate that human-like hemispheric asymmetries in an area known process language functions in humans, the planum temporale, can also be found in the brains of great apes and Old World monkeys. This suggests that the fundamental bauplan in primate brains comprises a polyspecific, lateralized communicative neural mosaic that processes complementary vocalizations and gestures and, hence, served as the evolutionary foundation of modern vocal and gestural language abilities.
In the final contribution, "Not such a "Little Brain": the Cerebellum in Hominoid Evolution," Carol MacLeod summarizes new studies indicating that the cerebellum mediates cognitive and social behaviors in addition to its better known motor functions. Her data indicate that the cerebellar hemispheres are differentially expanded relative to the rest of the brain in apes and humans as compared to monkeys. This evolutionary grade shift provides these taxa with a greater capacity for information processing in all modalities and implies significant advances over monkeys in visuo-spatial reasoning, procedural learning, and planning of complex movements.
Advances in the Study of Hominoid Brain Evolution
Evolutionary and modality depth of brain "language" areas in primates: Did polymodal communication move from gestural-visual to vocal-auditory primacy during recent human evolution and, if so, why?"
Not such a "Little Brain": The Cerebellum in Hominoid Evolution
Adaptive and maladaptive forms of embodied cognition
Organizer: Jay A. Seitz, City University of New York
The symposium addresses various aspects of adaptive and maladaptive forms of embodied cognition from four vantage points: The role of touch in the in the construction of substage 4 of Piagets sensorimotor phase; the role of bodily action in the microgenesis of violence; the role of the embodied self in story comprehension in Japanese 4th graders; and the use of cross-domain analogies and metaphor, and bodily self-monitoring, in the microgenesis of jazz improvisation. All four papers highlight the importance of the role of the body in cognition and intelligent action.
Touching and object memory in 8-10 month olds
I (Dawda, 2000, JPS Symposium) proposed a novel hypothesis that Piagets (1954) stage 4 of sensorimotor development constitutes a transition from the dominance of touching to the dominance of seeing with regards to object permanence. Tactile contact with the object remains crucial in constructing objects memory in 6 to 12 month old infants. I retested this prediction by modifying the A-not-B task and examining the relative contribution of (a) reaching, (b) touching, and (c) seeing in the creation of object memory and the control of action.
Interpersonal violence as embodied cognition: Mind as practiced body in the microgenesis of violence
Research on violence in the moment, i.e., in its microgenesis, is still very much lacking. How do all the different predisposing factors coalesce at the point when violence between two individuals erupts? What propels an interacting dyad to that moment and determines the subsequent sequence of events? This paper will demonstrate that violence can be viewed fruitfully as a natural extension of problem-solving strategies that incorporate bodily action as an integral part of the mind, i.e., an embodied cognition perspective. Factors feeding into such a denouement will be found in the historico-cultural background of the perpetrator of violence.
The role of the embodied self in story comprehension: A case study
This paper presents case descriptions of how Japanese 4th grade children comprehend the dynamic character of stories in terms of surface and deep levels of understanding. While the former level reflects the subjects propositional level of understanding (i.e., lexical knowledge, syntactic parsing, and interpretative elements), the latter reflects the subjects understanding that is informed by and an embodied self and personal identity (i.e., world knowledge, pragmatics, and inferential processes). Indeed, story comprehension is best viewed as an amalgamation of both propositional and embodied understanding.
Mind, musical improvisation, and the body: The microgenesis of jazz improvisation
Whereas infants and young children naturally coordinate music with expressive characteristics, by middle childhood formal characteristics of music become divorced from expressive ones. Using case study material, I will lay bare the microgenesis of beginning jazz improvisation demonstrating how beginning improvisers learn to bootstrap expressive characteristics using cross-domain analogies and metaphorical relations, bodily self-monitoring, as well as retention of central musical features.
Discussant: Eleanor Rosch, University of California at Berkeley
Paper Session 14: Violence and pathology
Childrens understanding of emotional determinants for peer bullying - the particular case of self-conscious emotions
This study examines the childrens understanding of emotional experience attached to victimization by peers. Nine, eleven, and thirteen year-olds were interviewed and asked to describe the emotional or affective states of victims and bullies, infer causal relationships and relate to autobiographical experiences using a script-cartoon narrative. Results indicate that the childs understanding of emotional experience is based on the integration of the person-in-context (i.e., the role of the protagonists), his personal involvement, degree of personal responsibility, and control over the outcomes. Particularly interesting is the attribution of self-conscious emotions, such as, guilt, shame, pride and indifference to victims and bullies.
Adolescence and Violence: The societal neglect of care and limit adolescent violence - a western phenomenon?
The increasing literature on adolescent delinquency denotes its relevance in western societies. Scientific research and media propagate events involving adolescents in violent situations. Current family structure and social ties are marked by the complexity of global organization. This study focuses on social and developmental aspects in context as closely linked to adolescents' violence. Issues related to disruptive behavior in Brazilian adolescents are: the weaken of "parental function"concerning interdiction and care, and the mischaracterization of social values as disposable with fashionable objects. We discuss these concepts in relation to current meaning of parental control and adolescents quest for autonomy.
Gender differences in the relation of social cognition to psychopathology during adolescence
Research has demonstrated that social cognition may modify risk for psychopathology. In the present investigation three dimensions of social cognition were investigated: understanding of self (i.e., introspectiveness), understanding of others cognitions and emotions (i.e., empathy and perspective-taking), and understanding of self in social relationships (i.e., social self-efficacy). The overarching purpose of the study was to extend our understanding of these social cognitive dimensions by examining their interrelations, relations to psychopathology, and gender differences. Results revealed several significant findings that have implications for designing interventions for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders.
Self-metamorphosis following the death of a parent: An examination of the relationship between insight and affect in psychotherapy
A constructive-developmental view of insight (Kegan, 1982) provides a framework for understanding the process of self-metamorphosis (Schachtel, 1959) in the case of an adult client in therapy for complicated bereavement. The evolution of meaning that emerged in this therapy resulted in a reconstruction of the self and a more stable identity for this client. The combination of daily measures of affect and qualitative analyses of levels of insight in the therapy sessions enabled us to document this process. These findings support the constructive-developmental view of insight that argues that the process of self-metamorphosis is not solely cognitive, but profoundly emotional.
Paper Session 15: History and systems
The dynamic between the relations of thought to thought and the relations of thought to relatively empirical objects
Piagetian epistemology involves a dialectic between two dimensions, the relations of thought to empirical objects and the relations of thought to thought. Despite the emphasis that is sometime put on accommodation of schemes to relatively empirical objects-of-knowledge, it is in the coordination of schemes with each other that the construction of knowledge proceeds most radically. The paper explores the relation of empirical work done in other traditions to the dynamic between these two epistemological dimensions. In so doing it explores the possibility that this dynamic provides common ground on which to nurture cross-fertilization of various traditions of cognitive research.
Piaget, Vygotsky and Geertz: Explorations on signs, consciousness, and culture
Although Piaget never denied the role of cultural factors on cognitive development, there have been misunderstandings that have precluded an integration to cultural approaches. In this paper, we consider that both authors can be considered complementary in many respects although some differences are mentioned in relation to semiotic functions. This idea is addressed within an integrative perspective of the developmental concepts of Piaget, the cultural psychology of Vygotsky and Bruner, and the symbolic anthropology of Geertz. The contributions of Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner and Geertz are by themselves sufficient, but exploring relationships among them is worth mentioning and may suggest new paths for research.
Baldwin, Piaget, and Case: Three accounts of psychogenesis and the history of psychology
Psychogenesis and the history of science are important topics for Piaget and Baldwin. But, unlike Baldwin, Piaget never wrote about the history of psychology and psychogenesis. However, Case wrote a modern history of psychology and the psychogenesis of "central conceptual structures." This paper aims to coordinate three accounts of the relations between the history of psychology as science and psychogenesis; by considering the psychologies of Baldwin and of Case in light of Piagets own writings on psychogenesis and the history of science, I suggest Piagets probable position on the relations between the history of psychology and childrens psychogenetic development.
Jean Piaget and Karl Popper: A rationale for constructivism
The current faddish use of the term "constructivism" lacks theoretical underpinnings and has taken on as many different definitions as people attempting to define it. Accordingly, the term has been emptied of meaning. This problem is particularly epidemic in the field of education. We hold, however, that there is a legitimate and theoretical basis for the idea of constructivism, which can be found in Piagets theory of how children construct their understandings of the world. This presentation provides a rationale for the legitimacy of Piagets constructivist theory within the paradigm of Karl Poppers three worlds and his criterion for open and closed theories.
Discussant: Brian Cox, Hofstra University
Making sense of space: Language and culture in the development of spatial cognition
Organizers: Ashley E. Maynard and Patricia M. Greenfield, UCLA
In this symposium, we use cross-cultural data to examine the ways various languages and cultural tools carve up the spatial domain. We examine the relative patterns of production and comprehension children demonstrate in acquiring the use of particular languages, spatial categories, and cultural tools. Melissa Bowerman and Penny Brown examine the development of the spatial lexicon in several languages, including English, Korean, Dutch, Tzotzil Maya, and Tzeltal Maya. They discuss the different ways that the spatial lexicon is used to understand and reason about space. Bowerman discusses the interaction between spatial cognition and the input language in shaping early lexical development. Brown describes the development of the mental compass that Tzeltal speakers use in spatial reckoning. Soonja Choi explores the spatial distinctions made in Korean and English. Comparing spatial categorization in infants and adults, Choi finds that the input language shapes attention to linguistically relevant spatial features over the course of development. Ashley Maynard and Patricia Greenfield present experimental data illustrating the development of mental transformations in Zinacantec Maya weaving. Taken together, these papers provide important clues into the mechanisms of learning about and reckoning the spatial domain.
Acquiring language-specific spatial categories with a universal cognitive system
Lexical development has been viewed as a process in which children match words to concepts they have already worked out nonlinguistically -- for example in to a concept of containment. But recent crosslinguistic work casts doubt on this model. Drawing on production and comprehension data from children learning English, Korean, Dutch, and Tzotzil Mayan, I argue that toddlers practical understanding of space does not supply the meanings of early spatial words directly. Close analysis of patterns of errors and correct usage in different languages shows that there is a complex interaction in early lexical development between nonlinguistic spatial cognition and the semantic structures of the input language.
Cultural factors in learning an absolute spatial system: Uphill/downhill vs. left/right in Tenejapa Tzeltal
Longterm linguistic and cognitive research in a Tzeltal Maya community has established that speakers rely on an absolute system of spatial reckoning to assess spatial relations between objects that are not spatially contiguous. In the domain of spatial reckoning there is a cognitive style distinctive to this community, with downplaying of left/right asymmetries more than compensated for by an accurate mental compass constantly updated and carried into new environments. This paper considers the nature of the cognitive task children must accomplish to achieve mastery of this mental compass, and assesses the cultural factors which provide the scaffolding that enables them to achieve it relatively early.
The relation between semantics and cognition: A crosslinguistic study of spatial categorization from the preverbal stage to adulthood
Languages differ significantly in the way they categorize spatial relations. For example, English makes a distinction between containment (IN) and support (ON), while Korean makes a distinction between tight-fit (KKITA) and loose-fit relations regardless of containment or support. Our recent work has shown that children are sensitive to language-specific semantic categories of space by 18-23 months. The present study investigates the relation between language and spatial cognition by examining nonlinguistic spatial categorization of preverbal infants (9-14 months) and adults. Experiments suggest that preverbal infants can categorize a more extensive set of spatial categories than those needed for the ambient language, and that over time, the language that is learned selectively channels attention to linguistics relevant features.
The role of cultural tasks in the transition to concrete operations: Mental transformation in Zinacantec Maya weaving
Prior fieldwork indicates that Zinacantec (Tzotzil Maya) weaving tools are adapted to the developmental stages of learners. Parents give younger girls pre-operational tools for winding the warp of the loom: what you see is what you get. No mental transformation is required to understand what the final woven pattern will look like. Starting at about age six or seven, girls are given a tool for winding the warp that requires mental transformation. In this paper we discuss our experimental data, tracing the developmental progression of mental transformations and the role played by experience with cultural tools.
10:45-12:00, Islands Ballroom
Plenary Session 5:
Organismic self-regulation and neural plasticity
V. S. Ramachadran, University of California, San Diego
Board of Directors Meeting (Amador)
Invited Symposium 4:
Organizer: Willis F. Overton, Temple University
This symposium will explore several theoretical and empirical developmental issues emerging from considering mind and consciousness as embodied.
Decartes understanding of body and mind as two separate entities, with the mind being exclusively mental and the body exclusively physical, has influenced our thinking about the person and psychological functioning for centuries. Traditionally, attempts to overcome the Cartesian split between mind and body have often taken the form either of reducing the mental to the physical (monistic physicalism) or of reducing the physical to the mental (spiritualism). Both alternatives to Cartesian dualisms are equally unsatisfactory, and, still adhere to the idea that body and mind are qualitatively different entities.
In the history of psychology and philosophy, there have been several attempts to overcome the Cartesian split by introducing a different view of mind and body. A key figure in introducing such an alternative view was the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty who distinguished between the body as a physical structure (objective body) and the body as a form of lived experienced, actively engaged with the socio-cultural and physical world (lived body). The latter meaning is specifically referred to as "embodiment". As Merleau-Ponty states with respect to the lived body as the form of life or life form: "One cannot speak of the body and of life in general, but only of the animal body and animal life, of the human body and of human life; the body of the normal subject is not distinct from the psychological" (Merleau-Ponty, 1942/1963, p. 181). It is within this understanding of embodiment that the development of mind and consciousness will be explored.
The body in action: Perspectives on development and embodiment
Embodiment, consciousness and emotional development
The role the hand plays in thinking
Discussant: Willis F. Overton, Temple University
Values and processes in the construction of social justice
Organizer: Julio Rique, Northern Illinois University
This symposium presents four empirical studies on education for moral growth, values and social justice. Researchers from Brazil, Spain and the United States will present and discuss empirical work, done primarily in schools, with children, adolescents and young adults. In general, the studies aim to verify models and quality of education in contexts involving morality, social justice, affect and values. Specifically, Dr. Rique asks whether teachers promote or impede the development of morality based on co existing justice and mercy. Dr. Sastre examines children and young adults' attribution of moral principles to resolve conflicts in which affective consequences are salient features. Dr. Camino investigates the quality of Brazilian adolescents thinking about abortion, which is illegal in the culture, nevertheless, practiced. Still, she asks what is effective education for moral development and social justice. Are interventions based on the domains of social knowledge effective to educate on the issue of abortion? Finally, studies done in American schools have shown that democratic participation in schools is effective to raise institutional valuing. Dr. Araujo investigates how effective is democratic education in a Brazilian public elementary school, in the context of an economically deprived neighborhood of a large urban city. He asks whether students and teachers have learned and assimilated new values related to sexual orientation, environmental education, information technology and multiculturalism?
Defining terms for the resolution of conflicts between justice and mercy
This study investigates teachers decision-making strategies to resolve conflicts in schools in which justice and forgiveness are salient features. Teachers will answer real-life dilemmas where students violate the norms. Teachers can apply justice, forgiveness, or a co existence of the two values in order to resolve the conflict. Decisions for justice will exclude one student, impede interpersonal forgiveness and break friendships. Decisions for forgiveness will force teachers to violate school policies. A co existing strategy may be possible but how likely teachers will construe co existing strategies? I will analyze teachers justification for decision making on justice, forgiveness or both justice and forgiveness using models from Oser and Althof (1993), Colby and Kohlberg (1987) and Turiel (1989, 1983).
Abortion: A study on decision making and educational implications for brazilian adolescents
We investigate the quality of Brazilian adolescents' thinking about abortion. We consider that abortion relates to demographics and different kinds of social cognition, that is, moral, conventional, prudential concerns and personal issues. A sample of 148 adolescents, males and females, answered a survey composed of dilemma-interviews and objective scales. Findings showed significant gender differences related to negotiation and agreement for sexual intercourse during adolescence and who should decide for or against abortion. Findings also indicated age differences; early adolescents are against abortion when compared with older adolescents. No significant difference was found between domain-specific categories. Abortion was perceived as wrong and should not be legalized in Brazil. We will discuss implications from this finding and inform that we are currently assessing an educational intervention based on the domains of social knowledge perspective.
Democracy in the school context: An experience of constructing values
We report an education program towards the construction of democratic school environment. We reformed the curriculum of a public elementary school to contextually best represent their needs. We introduced issues of sexual orientation, environmental education, information technology, multiculturalism and the practice of discussion meetings for all members of the school. We aimed at strengthening self-esteem, and make participants more conscious of theirs emotions. We systematically moved the community towards the construction of virtues and values such as justice, respect for themselves and others, solidarity, generosity and democracy. Analysis of data collection from the program will be presented.
Social values and individual behavior
This research explores children and young adults' attribution of moral principles when asked to anticipate how they would act in conflict situations. We examine models organized by the person to assess and resolve a sociomoral event in which affective consequences are a salient feature. Organizing model is a system composed of representations of the elements which the person abstracts from her representation of the conflict, the meaning she gives to them, implications they have, and the relations established between them. 350 participants, from 6 to 21 years of age participated in this study. The models detected indicate the necessity to distinguish clearly between the aspects involved in a conflict.
Discussant: Orlando M. Lourenço, Universidade de Lisboa
Paper Session 16: Science and mathematics
Knowing and erring in mathematics and science as epistemological processes
Paralleling Piagets idea of the developmental processes of reasoning in children, this paper proposes to discuss how individuals and civilizations too undergo an evolutionary or developmental process in their understanding of mathematics and science. Involved in and basic to this evolutionary process is the function of erring. Erring is intrinsically involved in reasoning and in cognitive evolution. Erring plays an ongoing and dynamic role in cognition. Viewed as such, we come to understand erring as a creative process and are liberated from a static concept of "knowing," which paralyzes the epistemological adventure.
Transcoding between fractional and decimal writings of simple rational numbers
Fractions and decimals may be viewed as two symbolic codes currently used to indicate the same "rational" quantities, even if they are also related through division. 72 early adolescents were presented to transcoding problems (fractions to decimals and the reverse), in retrieval and recognition tasks (including wrong but plausible solutions). Results suggest that early connections between fractions and decimals are first mastered for isolated quantities without any valid general rule. Understanding of the true relation through division is slowly constructed, letting the possibility of an operatorial generalization. At this level, transcoding aspects may be assimilated to arithmetical facts.
Multiplication and multiplicative associativity in an interdisciplinary context
Twenty children - (19 aged from 8 to 10, and one of 11 years and 8 months) of middle socio-economic backgrounds and attending the second grade of the Elementary Public School in Brasilia, DF- had been submitted to an experimental treatment in the learning of the multiplication operation (10 sessions of one hour each, arithmetic table times of number 2 and 3), in an interdisciplinary context with structured activities according to the principles of the group: direct, inverse, associative, commutative and identical order. It was tried to evaluate the relations between the continent and the contained of subgroups in a bi-univocal and reciprocal correspondence, with pre-test and post-test under the parameters of the evolution of the necessary in the child, according to Piaget. From 90% of the subjects in level I (IB) and 10% in level II (IIA) in the pre-test, the results had reached 70% in level II (IIA and IIB), 25% in level III (IIIA, IIIB) and only 5% in level I (IB).
A developmental model of argumentive discourse
The skills of argument as a social discourse activity presumably develop during childhood and adolescence, but little is known about the course of that development. Two studies are presented to construct a developmental model of argumentive discourse. The first study identifies developmental differences between adults and adolescents in the use of argumentive discourse strategies (directing, blocking and rebutting arguments). The second study presents data that demonstrate within individual change in adolescents in the direction of adult strategy use. The study also confirms that changes in argumentive strategy use cannot be attributed to changes in content knowledge alone.
Childrens Understanding of Two Types of Algorithms for Multidigit Subtraction
Children often have difficulty with conceptual understanding of the standard U.S. algorithm for multidigit subtraction. This study demonstrates that an alternate subtraction algorithm may be more developmentally appropriate, facilitating childrens conceptual understanding while also allowing them to calculate with reliable accuracy. Fourth grade children were randomly assigned to either an experimental condition, in which they were taught the alternate algorithm, or a control condition, in which they reviewed the standard algorithm. In standardized clinical interviews, the experimental group showed higher conceptual understanding of the alternate algorithm than the control groups understanding of the standard algorithm.
Paper Session 17: Early language and communication
The development of indicative pointing: Details from an infant case study
Dedicated to the memory of Mme. Professeur H.Sinclair 
Pointing with the index finger ("the pure point") is recognized as a precursor of references made in language. How does indicative pointing develop as a form of reference ? The "pure point" does not emerge suddenly. There is a gradual evolution of indicative pointing from non-gestural indications of wanting an object through variations of pointing where the digit configuration is influenced by preceding activities and other related uses of digits. The development of the pure point is also plausibly influenced by the infants interpretation of the gestural activities of other people in her world.
 Professor Hermine Sinclair DeZwaart, "Mimi" to her friends, was an adviser and guide in the case corpus construction on which this analysis is based. I felt privileged to enjoy the friendship, generosity, and good humour which graced her many professional virtues.
How well does the Macarthur Communicative Development Inventory predict performance on preferential looking tests of argument structure?
Two problems in early child language acquisition are examined: 1) the relation between grammar and the lexicon and 2) the relation between production and comprehension. 2 _ year-old childrens comprehension of argument structure was measured by intermodal preferential looking (IPL) and their production by caregiver report on the MCDI. Childrens reported vocabulary was positively correlated with correct comprehension of novel verbs in different syntactic frames and their MCDI lexicon and grammar sections were intercorrelated; however, MCDI grammatical production was not correlated with IPL comprehension. We conclude that it is essential to use a variety of instruments to measure childrens developing language knowledge.
Is there a verb spurt in English verb acquisition? Evidence from a verb diary study
Many accounts of lexical development describe a word spurt, that children acquire at least 10 new words in a given 1-3 week period. The spurt has been attributed to an increase of nouns; only one study (Gopnick & Choi, 1995) has investigated a possible verb spurt. We asked mothers to keep a diary of their child's first uses of common verbs. Preliminary findings based on 6 children indicate that a verb spurt occurred for 3 children; moreover, the spurt coincided with an increase in the number of verb uses. Thus a word spurt may be characteristic of initial acquisition in any lexical domain.
Training in phoneme segmentation: A developmental perspective
Training in phoneme segmentation has been proposed as an essential activity in the reading curriculum at the kindergarten level. Research reveals, however, that this task may be too difficult for many children. Activities related to Piaget and Inhelder's symbolic function (language, imitation, pretend play, mental imagery and drawing) may provide a richer foundation for reading and writing.
Poster Session B
Note: Posters are available for viewing all day. Authors will attend from 1:30-3:00
Plenary Session 6:
Genotype/phenotype relations: A neuroconstructivist approach to studying atypical development
Annette Karmiloff Smith, Psychology, MRC, London
Many studies of developmental disorders are used to motivate strong nativist theoretical claims. However, such theories tend to ignore development and are based on static interpretations of snapshots of phenotypic outcomes in middle childhood and adulthood. In this presentation, I will discuss why it is essential to take a neuroconstructivist approach to understanding the relationship between genotype and phenotype in developmental disorders, by focusing on the earliest possible investigations of infancy. A tiny impairment very early in development can have a huge impact on the outcome of a developing system. If we are to understand developmental disorders (and normal development), it is crucial to explore phenotypes in infancy, at the cognitive rather than behavioral level. The infant brain is not like a Swiss army knife simply handed down by evolution with preformed, specialized components that may be individually impaired at birth. Rather, ontogenetic development itself is the clue to understanding developmental disorders and their relation to the structure of the adult cognitive system.
4:45-5:00, Islands Ballroom
Presidents Closing Remarks
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