Where Is the Alternative?

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 203–205. Reviews the book, Alternatives to Piaget: Critical Essays on the Theory edited by Linda S. Siegel and Charles J. Brainerd (Eds.) (1978). The editors have created a volume of essays under the title of Alternatives to Piaget. The editors have selected isolated aspects of the theory, each of which varies in centrality to Piagetian theory. Brainerd's article examines the broader issue of learning and Piagetian theory. Brainerd also makes some critical comments regarding influences on Piaget. Siegel, on the other hand, while limiting her discussion to the preoperational period of development, does provide a critical but more judicious statement of the issues of stages and the relationship between learning process and cognitive operation. Only by a dialectical approach can any theory grow, and Piagetian theory is no exception. However, this volume is too replete with dogmatic comments to create an atmosphere of collegial dialogue to provide such an opportunity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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