### Abstract

This article discusses Brainerd's rule-sampling theory of conservation learning and outlines an alternative structuralist model. It is argued that Brainerd's theory does not account for the growth and changing structure of competence underlying the ontogenesis of conservation, because of (1) the lack of any model of the origin of the set of rules, (2) the lack of any model of recognition of applicability of rules in transfer tasks, and (3) the inability to account for interdependencies of response. An alternative structuralist model that would explain the growth and changing structure of competence is outlined. The latter model is based on the mathematical analysis of systems undergoing stagewise transitions and allows for the derivation of robust statistics in order to investigate discontinuous development. It is shown that Brainerd's model is unsuited for such an investigation.

Original language | English (US) |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 137-144 |

Number of pages | 8 |

Journal | Human Development |

Volume | 29 |

Issue number | 3 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jan 1 1986 |

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### All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Developmental and Educational Psychology

### Cite this

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*Human Development*, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 137-144. https://doi.org/10.1159/000273037

**Issues with a rule-sampling theory of conservation learning from a structuralist point of view.** / Molenaar, Peter.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Issues with a rule-sampling theory of conservation learning from a structuralist point of view

AU - Molenaar, Peter

PY - 1986/1/1

Y1 - 1986/1/1

N2 - This article discusses Brainerd's rule-sampling theory of conservation learning and outlines an alternative structuralist model. It is argued that Brainerd's theory does not account for the growth and changing structure of competence underlying the ontogenesis of conservation, because of (1) the lack of any model of the origin of the set of rules, (2) the lack of any model of recognition of applicability of rules in transfer tasks, and (3) the inability to account for interdependencies of response. An alternative structuralist model that would explain the growth and changing structure of competence is outlined. The latter model is based on the mathematical analysis of systems undergoing stagewise transitions and allows for the derivation of robust statistics in order to investigate discontinuous development. It is shown that Brainerd's model is unsuited for such an investigation.

AB - This article discusses Brainerd's rule-sampling theory of conservation learning and outlines an alternative structuralist model. It is argued that Brainerd's theory does not account for the growth and changing structure of competence underlying the ontogenesis of conservation, because of (1) the lack of any model of the origin of the set of rules, (2) the lack of any model of recognition of applicability of rules in transfer tasks, and (3) the inability to account for interdependencies of response. An alternative structuralist model that would explain the growth and changing structure of competence is outlined. The latter model is based on the mathematical analysis of systems undergoing stagewise transitions and allows for the derivation of robust statistics in order to investigate discontinuous development. It is shown that Brainerd's model is unsuited for such an investigation.

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UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0011451921&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1159/000273037

DO - 10.1159/000273037

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0011451921

VL - 29

SP - 137

EP - 144

JO - Human Development

JF - Human Development

SN - 0018-716X

IS - 3

ER -