Look outside the box of ‘Human development’

Again, this is for sure from a Diti Hill lecture, though I haven’t recorded it in the most logical fashion (and I’ve no more detail than that). Don’t hold her accountable for confusion arising from my notes :

She encourages us to consider the theories we are influenced by – and what, in turn, those theories grow out of (a kind of genealogy of theories). All the names influencing pedagogical decisions and curricula today (Freud, Eriksen, Bronfenbrenner, Froebel, Foucault, Derrida, Vygotsky, Piaget, Paulo Freire, John Dewie, Howard Gardner, Henry Giroux, etc.) have a history of their own – the history of their ideas reveals important links and interests and restrictions… and it is important to look at the boundary crossings, and the boundaries themselves, when studying different theories.

What is ‘in’ the box? :

Lots of theories have been circumscribed by time and space, Hill pointed out… (UK/Europe/USA… the Age of Enlightenment, 1700s; the 1930s when psychology was born in the USA and behaviorism developed (‘knowledge is received’) and at that time developed as a learning theory.)

e.g., compare Vygotsky (b.1896, revealed by Jerome Bruner some time after his work had come out in native Russia) and Piaget (who was quickly translated from the French)…

unlike the behaviorist approach that saw knowledge as received, Vygotsky saw knowledge as created (he was influenced by Kant etc.)… in turn, Howard Gardner (i.e., multiple intelligences) moved on from Vygotsky’s ‘scaffolding’, though the theory is still applied in schools…

the discipline of psychology (simple equation between development and learning, leading us to believe that we know how children learn and therefore know how to teach)



About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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