Archive for the ‘Piaget’ Category
Contrasting Piagetian versus Vygotskian Activity Theories of Learning and Development to Expand Constructivism within a Dialectical View of History
This paper contrasts the notions of learning, teaching and development as these are conceptualized in two versions of constructivism: the socio-interactional one (in which Piagetian and Vygotskian insights are often merged) versus the one founded by Vygotsky and expanded in activity theory (especially by Galperin and Davydov). We reveal a broad conceptual commonality that makes these frameworks compatible at one level, but draw profound contrasts in their premises concerning history (including cultural tools) and the concept of the social. Examples of educational practices (including results of our own year-long observation) are used to illustrate implications of these premises. We argue that the Vygotskian framework expanded by a dialectical view of history can be used to devise education that takes history to the fullest and yet does not fall into the traps of a conservative agenda with its two extremes of unidirectional authoritarianism or laissez-faire individualism. It is on this foundation that a coherent and uniﬁed constructivist approach committed to ideals of social justice can be construed in the future.
The concept of enactive representation was ﬁrst introduced in cognitive psychology by psychologists such as Jean Piaget and Jerome Bruner. Pasquinelli deﬁnes precisely the origins of the concept of Enactive knowledge: ‘In Bruner’s view, there are three systems or ways of organizing knowledge and three correspondent forms of representation of the interaction with the world: enactive, iconic and symbolic. Symbolic knowledge is the kind of abstract knowledge that is proper for cognitive functions as language and mathematics. Iconic knowledge is based on visual structures and recognition. Enactive knowledge is constructed on motor skills, such as manipulating objects, riding a bicycle, etc. Enactive representations are acquired by doing’. The term enaction was then adopted by Francisco Varela and his co-workers in order to describe a form of embodied cognition that is opposed to those of classical cognitive sciences. In Varela, Thompson, and Rosch, the authors declared: ‘We propose as a name the term enactive to emphasize the growing conviction that cognition is not the representation of a pregiven world by a pregiven mind but is rather the enactment of a world and a mind on the basis of a history of the variety of actions that a being in the world performs.’