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based on the discussion of the social and cultural aspects of learning, I would question to what extent it would assist coverage of these aspects of learning. One noteworthy criticism of Piaget’s theory is that the stages underrate children’s abilities. Pollard (1997) cites research which shows this. In my base school I have witnessed children engaged in the type of abstract thinking which Piaget thought only to be possible from children above the age of 12, raising the question of whether it was Piaget’s method of minimum adult involvement which informed his stage theory. It is possible that his stage theory is completely accurate if children are left to their own devices. However with greater adult intervention it may be possible for children to achieve and develop at a greater pace. It is also possible to question how particular aspects of learning could be facilitated through the environment without very exact instruction. This is not to say that the idea of creating facilitative learning environments are without value. As educationalists trying to educate the whole child, this is one aspect of our practice which can provide a concrete foundation on which to promote other learning opportunities. The design of the classroom is a cornerstone of one’s approach to teaching being reflected in the standard “establish a purposeful and safe learning environment conducive to learning and identify opportunities for learners to learn in out of school contexts.


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