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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.
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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
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