From constructivism to neuroconstructivism: did we still fall into the foundationalism/encodingism trap? Commentary on “Stepping off the pendulum: Why only an action-based approach can transcend the nativist–empiricist debate” by J. Allen and M. Bickhard
Karmiloff-Smith, Annette (2013) From constructivism to neuroconstructivism: did we still fall into the foundationalism/encodingism trap? Commentary on “Stepping off the pendulum: Why only an action-based approach can transcend the nativist–empiricist debate” by J. Allen and M. Bickhard. Cognitive Development 28 (2), pp. 154-158. ISSN 0885-2014.
Allen and Bickhard's article (this issue) is one of the most thought-provoking essays that I have read since leaving Switzerland some 30 years ago when I went to a research position at the Medical Research Council's newly formed Cognitive Development Unit in London. At the time, I found myself amongst some truly amazing minds (Uta Frith, Alan Leslie, John Morton, and Mike Anderson), but whose epistemologicy (implicit or explicit) was fundamentally different from my Genevan roots of the “épistémologie génétique de Piaget”. For over a decade I tried to reconcile Piaget's emergent constructivism with the staunch nativist leanings and fascinating studies of infancy and autism of my main colleagues at the unit. Debates raged and, until Mark Johnson joined the unit, I was an epistemological loner! Gradually, my empirical interests shifted from typical to atypical development and, because of my insistence on examining the basic-level roots of subsequent cognitive-level deficits, I dabbled in infancy research for the first time, encouraging my students and postdocs to run cross-syndrome comparisons of infants with neurodevelopmental genetic disorders. But, reading Allen & Birkhart's excellent text, I fear that in the process I may at times have inadvertently committed the foundationalism crime! Nonetheless, taking developmental trajectories seriously has always been at the root of all these research endeavours.
|School:||Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences|
|Research Centre:||Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)|
|Date Deposited:||05 Feb 2013 13:36|
|Last Modified:||02 Dec 2016 11:50|
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