Piaget, Pedagogy, and Evolutionary Psychology 
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 Piaget, Pedagogy, and Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology 1: 127-137

Original Article

Piaget, Pedagogy, and Evolutionary Psychology

Jeremy E. C. Genovese, College of Education, Cleveland State University, 2121
Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, USA.

Abstract: Constructivist pedagogy draws on Piaget's developmental theory.
Because Piaget depicted the emergence of formal reasoning skills in adolescence
as part of the normal developmental pattern, many constructivists have assumed
that intrinsic motivation is possible for all academic tasks. This paper argues
that Piaget's concept of a formal operational stage has not been empirically
verified and that the cognitive skills associated with that stage are in fact
"biologically secondary abilities" (Geary and Bjorklund, 2000) culturally
determined abilities that are difficult to acquire. Thus, it is unreasonable to
expect that intrinsic motivation will suffice for most students for most higher
level academic tasks.

In addition, a case is made that educational psychology must incorporate the
insights of evolutionary psychology.

Keywords: Piaget, developmental theory, formal operational stage, evolutionary

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