chapter  8
21 Pages

Towards maturity: the developmental context and implications for education

Students of educational or developmental psychology soon become aware of two recurring phenomena in their studies: first and foremost that one must recognize the debt owed by psychologists and philosophers to the work of Jean Piaget. The second is that care must be taken to avoid the over-enthusiastic use of chronological age as an infallible index of characteristics in children. It is probably true to say that the better understanding of child development in England, which really owes a great deal to the work of Susan Isaacs in the 1930, has gradually helped to change the whole atmosphere of primary education. The secular trend towards earlier maturity is not exclusive to the girls of Britain. One of the problems inherent in a technico-industrial society is its demands upon mass education and the necessary prolongation of an adolescent 'in-between status', especially for the middle-class or aspiring middle-class youth.