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the most influential theory of individual development this century is that of Swiss
biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget. Based on what must be the world's
smallest-ever research sample - his own three children - he claimed that children
everywhere in every culture grow through a fixed sequence of intellectual
growth-stages from infancy to adulthood. "Yet many of Piaget's claims have been
proven to be misleading, simplistic, and in some cases simply wrong." 15 That has not stopped their influence holding back
the potential of children in the vital early years when their minds are wide open to
flower into learning*.
The core of the scientific method is to test theories
in practice against every possible alternative. The mark of good research, we believe, is
also shown in the ability to clearly convey its results: and in not claiming, from one
aspect of research, all-embracing panaceas for all of education.
Education is still suffering from the twin ills of bad
practice based on invalid research and the inability to clearly communicate the
break-throughs that are disproving the old myths.
Most good learning methods are common sense. Every
infant learns naturally by many of these methods. Yet much educational theory is clothed
in so much jargon the parents and students who need that information "switched
This trend seems to be more rife in
"education" than in any other profession, except perhaps medicine and law.
Nearly every professional writer is taught the Fog
Index - to make his writing easy to read: to write using simple words, active verbs and
short, clear, concise sentences.
Every good public speaker grows up with former British
Prime Minister Winston Churchill as a model. He "hurled words into battle":
"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight in the seas and
oceans. We shall fight on the beaches, in the fields, in the streets, and in the hills. We
shall never surrender."
So we make a sincere plea to those who have made or
researched the changes that are needed in learning: please remember Churchill, and hurl
your words into action - simply and crisply - to rally a world for change.
* We hasten to agree that there ARE definite stages of brain growth, physical
growth and in the development of sensory-learning - which we will explore. Piaget's worst
legacy is in the education systems using his theories to justify not exposing young
children to experiences when their sense are ideally developed to benefit.
Contents Page Preface
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