This book and the symposium on which it was based were designed to cross the boundaries of subdiscipline and theoretical orientation to address four critical issues in understanding development: explanation of change and development; the nature and process of change; forms of variability in performance; and the promotion of change through application.
The chapters suggest that change and development in target systems from cells to selves, may not be explainable, assessable, or promotable without careful reference to the context (social and otherwise) of the system, and that the process of change and development may involve variability of the system in addition to periods of stability. Together the chapters harken back to the spirit of the grand theory.
Instead of proposing a grand theory, they provide an excellent foundation for considering the importance of an individual's (or particular group's) context and variability, and discussions to facilitate thinking about what still needs to be worked out.
"…the Amsel and Renninger book meets its goals admirably--every chapter is a good read that presents state-of-the-art material to the broad readership in the field. I learned something of value from every chapter."
"Taken as a whole, the book's chapters make a welcome case for the role of theory in developmental research."
—Child Development Abstracts & Bibliography
"…I would like to stress that [the] book implicitly and explicitly offer[s] teaching strategies that are appropriate for learners of all ages. I believe the strategies are useful because of the disciplined theoretical grounding found in the writings which explicate the coherence of the instructional interactions, with attention paid toward cultural and social contexts, explicit and implicit goals of the diverse learning activities, as well as the acute concern that the researchers have for the learning, change, and development of children."
—Mind, Culture, and Activity
Contents: K.A. Renninger, E. Amsel, Change and Development: An Introduction. Part I:Foundations of Change and Development. M. Chandler, Stumping for Progress in a Post-Modern World. J. Valsiner, Constructing the Personal Through The Cultural: Redundant Organization of Psychological Development. J. Meacham, Autobiograpyhy, Voice, and Development Theory. Part II:Nature and Process of Change and Development S.F. Gilbert, S. Borish, How Cells Learn, How Cells Teach: Education in the Body. R.S. Siegler, Concepts and Methods for Studying Cognitive Change. K. Nelson, Cognitive Change as Collaborative Construction. K.W. Fischer, B.P. Kennedy, Tools for Analyzing the Many Shapes of Development: The Case of Self-in-Relationships in Korea. Part III:Variability, Change, and Development. L.B. Smith, Metaphors and Methods: Variability and the Study of Word Learning. R. Bakeman, L.B. Adamson, M. Konner, R. Barr, Sequential Analyses of !Kung Infant Communication: Inducing and Recruiting. P. van Geert, Variability and Fluctuation: A Dynamic View. J.B. Willett, Measuring Change: What Individual Growth Modeling Buys You. Part IV:Learning, Changing, and Developing. M. Cole, Cultural Mechanisms of Cognitive Development. B. Rogoff, Evaluating Development in the Process of Participation: Theory, Methods, and Practice Building on Each Other. W. Damon, Learning and Resistance: When Developmental Theory Meets Educational Practice.
Each year, following their annual meeting, the Jean Piaget Society publishes an edited volume. This approximately 300-page volume covers the main themes of the symposium and is published by Psychology Press.
Members of the society receive the volume free of charge. Non-members can order copies from this website.
About the Jean Piaget Society
The Jean Piaget Society, established in 1970, has an international, interdisciplinary membership of scholars, teachers and researchers interested in exploring the nature of the developmental construction of human knowledge. The Society was named in honor of the Swiss developmentalist, Jean Piaget, who made major theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of the origins and evolution of knowledge.
The Society's aim is to provide an open forum, through symposia, books, our journal, and other publications, for the presentation and discussion of scholarly work on issues related to human knowledge and its development. The Society further encourages the application of advances in the understanding of development to education and other domains.
In 1989, the name of the Society was changed to Jean Piaget Society: Society for the Study of Knowledge and Development.
You can find out more on the Jean Piaget Society website at http://www.piaget.org/ .