Philosophy of Education 8:2
Sku: 20600A0E050
Archival Number: CD/mp3 206
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English
Decade: 1950


CD/mp3 206, second part of eighth Cincinnati lecture on philosophy of education. Corresponds to CWL 10: 193-207. Sponsored by Gregory A. McCullough. Lonergan discusses Piaget and relates his work to the notion of a general education. For Piaget a development is a sum of adaptations, and an adaptation has two elements: assimilation and adjustment. An adaptation is an assimilation insofar as the activity proceeds from a preexisting scheme of operations; and it is an adjustment insofar as the preexisting scheme is modified. Generalization and differentiation of the scheme occur. Generalization: a developed scheme is used on new objects. Differentiation: new activities are added because of these differences in the object. Group theory appears when developed generalized schemes start combining with one another. With the insertion of language and symbols, there are operations of a different kind. Some knowledge of group theory is necessary to understand what Piaget is doing. When the group, the rounded whole, of operations is attained, there is a stage in development, an equilibrium. The notion of the group gives a theoretical structure for defining when development has been attained. Lonergan continues with a presentation of Piaget's ideas on language and symbolic play and imitation. In the period of symbolic play and imitation, assimilation and adjustment are developing apart: adjustment by imitation, assimilation by symbolic play. Also, with the development of operations, there occurs a concomitant development of world and of self-conscious subject. The subject becomes capable of seeing things from a different viewpoint. Objectivity is constructed through the coordination of operations or actions, and does not result simply from the play of perceptions and associations. Lonergan's evaluation of Piaget acknowledges a brilliant theoretical structure that leaves him open to recognizing differences among the organic, the sensitive, and the intellectual. Piaget is not to be criticized for speaking of the real world as something to be constructed; this does not make him an idealist or subjectivist. Piaget's idea of the gradual differentation between assimilation and adjustment provides a formulation for the idea of a general education. General education is development in assimilation, leaving adjustment to a later age and a different situation.

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Audio restoration by Greg Lauzon


No transcription available.