Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Understanding: the ability to give reasons for a distinction or to justify a selection of options. For the understanding of signs and words plays a role, whether one can connect an object with the word or sign, as well as whether one can replace the sign or word with another sign or word. In order to understand full sentences, the context must be grasped as well. A point of contention is whether knowing the truth conditions gives the sentence its meaning. In other words Whether there is the knowledge about what should be if the sentence were true. If that is correct, there is no need to know whether the sentence is true (cf. M. Dummett, Ursprünge der analytischen Philosophie Frankfurt 1992, p. 20). See also substitution, truth conditions, knowledge.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
Upton I 106
Understanding/science/Piaget/Upton: Piaget (1923)(1) argued that children cannot understand scientific reasoning until they have reached the formal operational stage of development, which usually happens in adolescence.
VsPiaget: However, many educators and psychologists now agree that children begin to understand about the natural world and how it works from an early age (Duschl et al.. 2007)(2).
It must be remembered that these naive theories are often imperfect and may include misconceptions. Piaget (1923)(1) argues that this is because young children do not have the cognitive structures to enable them to understand the scientific theory. According to Piaget, early misconceptions must be replaced by more accurate understanding as the child’s cognitive abilities mature.
However, contemporary evidence suggests that, rather than dismissing children’s early theories, this knowledge should be used as a building block for scientific thinking.

1. Piaget. J. (1923) and Thought of the Child. London: Routledge.
2. Duschl. R. Schweingruber, H and Shouse, A (eds) (2007) Taking Science to School: Learning and teaching science in grades K - 8. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Piag I
J. Piaget
The Psychology Of The Child 2nd Edition 1969

Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011

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