Publication 8077

Confrey J. (1991) Steering a course between Vygotsky and Piaget. Educational Researcher 20(8): 28–32. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/8077
Excerpt: Review of: Soviet Studies in Mathematics Education: Volume 2. Types of Generalization in Instruction. V. V. Davydov (Volume edited by Jeremy Kilpatrick; translated by Joan Teller). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1990. Originally written in 1972, the book remains useful to educational researchers, including those beyond the mathematics educational community, because its major theory of dialectical materialism offers a view of knowledge that has a significant role for “activity.” It connects activity to a reinterpretation of the relationship between empirical and theoretical knowledge. In doing so, the work addresses such classroom issues as how to avoid the separation between abstract theoretical presentations and practical activity, and between superficial learning via imitation and repetition and a deeper understanding of the structure of the concepts. Ultimately the success of the volume will be assessed in relation to the studies it spawns, because the book is primarily a theoretical exposition. There is a paucity of examples and references to specific classroom-based studies, an absence recognized and noted by the author. Nonetheless Davydov’s theoretical presentation merits careful analysis and critique.

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