The shortcomings of Piaget's theory of intellectual development are well-known. Less clear is what sort of theory should be devised to replace it. This volume describes the current "main contenders," including neo-Piagetian, neo-connectionist, neo-innatist and sociocultural models. Its contributors conclude that none of these models are adequate because each one implies a view of the human mind which is either too general, too particular, or too modular. A collaborative program of research -- seven years in the making -- is then described, which gives support to a newly emerging synthesis of these various positions.
"Robbie Case and his colleagues have devised a powerful alternative that promises to be much more effective in dealing with understanding in real children….In this book Case and his colleagues provide a powerful beginning for building this kind of exciting new framework."
"…an extensive review of contemporary views of intellectual development….Each research project is detailed in a scholarly manner."
"The Mind's Staircase is a remarkable book presenting Case's attempt to take into account a thoroughly alien set of perspectives and results and generate a new model that could integrate and account for results across the entire span of consideration -- in particular, both domain-general and domain-specific aspects of development. Case ends up with a model that seems to have just the right integrations and differentiations to be able to handle both specificity and generality of development."
—American Journal of Psychology
Contents: Part I:Introduction. R. Case, General and Specific Views of the Mind, its Structure, and its Development. R. Case, A Neo-Piagetian Approach to the Issue of Cognitive Generality and Specificity. R. Case, Advantages and Limitations of the Neo-Piagetian Position. Part II:The Role of Central Conceptual Structures in the Development of Children's Logico-Mathematical Thought. Z. Marini, Synchrony and Asynchrony in the Development of Children's Scientific Reasoning. S. Griffin, R. Case, R. Sandieson, Synchrony and Asynchrony in the Acquisition of Children's Everyday Mathematical Knowledge. A.M. Capodilupo, A Neo-Structural Analysis of Children's Response to Instruction in the Sight-Reading of Musical Notation. R. Case, R. Sandieson, Testing for the Presence of a Central Quantative Structure: Use of the Transfer Paradigm. Part III:The Role of Central Conceptual Structures in the Development of Children's Social and Emotional Thought. J. Goldberg-Reitman, Young Girls' Conception of Their Mothers' Role: A Neo- Structural Analysis. M. Bruchkowsky, The Development of Empathic Cognition in Middle and Early Childhood. A. McKeough, A Neo-Structural Analysis of Children's Narrative and its Development. S. Griffin, Young Children's Awareness of Their Inner World: A Neo-Structural Analysis of the Development of Intrapersonal Intelligence. A. McKeough, Testing for the Presence of a Central Social Structure: Use of the Transfer Paradigm. Part IV:The Role of Central Conceptual Structures in the Development of Children's Spatial Thought. S. Dennis, Stage and Structure in the Development of Children's Spatial Representations. D.T. Reid, Horizontal and Vertical Structure: Stages and Substages in Children's Motor Development. Part V:Cross-Domain Synchrony and Asynchrony in the Acquisition of Different Central Conceptual Structures. R. Case, S. Griffin, A. McKeough, Y. Okamoto, Parallels in the Development of Children's Social, Numerical, and Spatial Thought. J. Crammond, Analyzing the Basic Cognitive-Developmental Processes of Children with Specific Types of Learning Disability. M. Porath, Stage and Structure in the Development of Children with Various Types of "Giftedness." T.A. Fiati, Cross-Cultural Variation in the Structure of Children's Thought. Part VI:Conclusion. R. Case, The Mind and its Modules: Toward a Multi-Level View of the Development of Human Intelligence.