One of the final chapters summarizes the general principles of teaching:
According to Piaget's constructivisim, children acquire logico-mathematical knowledge as well as the morality of autonomy by constructing them from the inside, in interaction with the environment, rather than by internalizing them direclty from the outside. Educators who believe that children learn these by direct internalization from the environment try to facilitate this internalization. Those who understand that only surface bits of knowledge and behavior can be learned by absorption from outside try to foster the construction of knowledge and moral values in a deeper and broader sense from within.
Children's development of autonomy cannot be fostered only during the math hour or an hour set aside for moral development. Children who govern themselves all day long can also play math games without getting into fights. Those who are considerate of others all the time are likewise considerate when ways of solving word problems are discussed. This chapter will therefore begin with some general priniciples of teaching that flow from autonomy as the aim of education.
Jean Piaget and Constance Kamii's work brings new meaning for me for what Linda Darling-Hammond meant when she said:
“If we taught babies to talk as most skills are taught in school, they would memorize lists of sounds in a predetermined order and practice them alone in a closet.”It's hard enough for educators to get real learning and sound pedagogy right. That's why I get a cold chill when I think of how education "reformers" and policy makers, who are running the system, don't have the slightest clue what Piaget and Kamii are even talking about.