Now, I'm going to introduce our second domain in this course, we've called it Brain Developmentalism. And here, we're going to look at some psychologists who were interested in the role of biology in human development, and particularly, in the brain and stages of cognitive readiness. And this led to some concepts like the language instinct in humans, and also to the growth of neuroscientific studies of the working brain. The first person we're going to have a look at is Jean Piaget, who was a man from Switzerland. And he actually assisted in the marking up of Benet's intelligence tests. But in the process of doing that, he discovered that children's minds were different from adult minds. So he came up with a biological view of intellectual development. Secondly, we're going to look at now in Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker, both Americans. Both saw language as a biological human affordance. And they introduced us to the field of cognitive sciences, which rivaled behaviorism. And lastly, we're going to go back to have a look at Rene Descartes, a Frenchman, and John Locke, an Englishman. Both who were interested in the study of the relationship between the mind and body full learning development. Piaget is one of the most influential child psychologists who by virtue of that, has been tremendously influential in the field, in education generally. And he had a number of key ideas that he developed. One was that there were regardless of social and cultural context, a number of stages of development, which as stages of biological development, brain development if you like. And that although learners actively build their own knowledge, that any build up within the capacity of a brain, of one's brain at that particular stage of development. So he is one of the people who first points this term constructivism, but constructivism is not really inventing the world in this free form open kind of way, it's actually just simply building the world for oneself, building a mental image of the world really and understanding of the world building concepts within the frame of biological capacity at that particular stage of development of the brain. So, it's a complicated kind of relationship between the development of the brain and the social development of the brain via processes that he called assimilation and accommodation, that with the processes whereby the meanings of the world were brought into the brain at a point which was appropriate to that level of its biological development. That's a very rough outline of his ideas. Again, on a new learning online website, you'll find an extract where he talks to this, and also has some videos as well where he lives to be a very old man. So we get to both hear about him or know about him early in his career when he's forming these ideas, but he keeps talking about them to the age of cinema where we can actually hear him speak still. In this relationship then of the developing brain and the processes of the assimilation and accommodation, one of Piaget's key ideas is the idea of readiness. You can't learn something until you're at a stage of development where there's appropriate readiness for that learning. Noam Chomsky is not a psychologist, he's a theorist of language. But what's really interesting is that his work is really about the nature of the mind. That's the truth of it. And what his argument is that behind a sentence is a set of reasoning structures which are learned. So, Chomsky comes up with the idea that these are so phenomenally complex and learned so quickly that they can't simply have been acquired from the environment. Yes, you learn English very quickly, you learn German very quickly, you learn Chinese very quickly, but there's just so much to those languages which is so complicated that the surface form of the language must have underneath it a universal structure of the mind which must be already there in a language organ because it's so elaborate and it's so complex. That's the kind of argument. So it's a complicated argument that he runs about not the forms of language which are quite varied, but the common universal structures of language which underlie those, which must actually be structures of the mind. So in fact, by an argument about language, he's actually running an argument about the mind itself. Now, one of the things that Chomsky does, which is perhaps controversial is he says there's a universal grammar. That behind all languages of the world is a single universal grammar which is the structure of experience, if you like, where things fit in the structures of action where logical connections are made, and this is common to all human beings. Now, in a way, this is controversial in a problem because we know there are enormous cultural differences which reflect actually very different ways of thinking. So this question of the nature of what's common to all humans and what's the extent of our differences, he wants to ally that, but he's only interested in what's common in this thing which is the language organ, right? And the language organ is something which is unfindable, it's not in any particular area of the brain. Yes, that more language happens in some parts of the brain than others, but in fact, the whole brain is dealing with language all the time. And ultimately, neuroscience hasn't been able to find language happening in our brain yet. Yeah, obviously it does happen in the brain, but this language organ that Chomsky talks about is really something which is hypothetical, based on his inferences, which, as I say, they're controversial. Steven Pinker who popularizes a lot of these ideas wrote a celebrated book called "The Language Instinct" where he more or less agrees with Chomsky's fundamental premises. There's a connection between Chomsky and behaviourism, and that is that in 1959, Chomsky writes a review of Skinner's last major book, I mean, Skinner keeps publishing for the whole of his life, but produces a big book which he'd been working on for 20 years. And it wasn't called language, and it wasn't called speech, and it wasn't called writing, it was called verbal behavior. So what Skinner wanted to do is say that speaking and writing are forms of behavior, they're not things in themselves. Now of course, Chomsky took umbrage at this, and he wrote a review, a famous review in 1959 of Skinner's book which effectively demolishes behaviorism. Behaviorism was about to be demolished perhaps because of this idea of control, this was the 1950's, the 1960's, it was the Cold War, the idea that there was a big brother who could manipulate environments and position you in these kinds of ways was becoming apparent to people. So maybe the [inaudible] was changing, maybe Skinner was about to become unfashionable, but anyhow, this one article that Chomsky writes in 1959 demolishes behaviorism for once and for all. Now, what's interesting is that we find played out in this debate between Chomsky and Skinner, some very old philosophical debates. So back in the 18th century, Descartes, the Rene Descartes, the philosopher had coined this very famous phrase, "Cogito ergo sum" which in Latin, in the translation of Latin means, "I think therefore I am." So the world that we understand, the world that we know is a product of our thinking, right? In other words, we conceptualize the world. We have a word for a dog, and we see dogs which are very, very different. And we classify them all as dogs. So we know why dogs don't exist in the world per se, it's our classification and our naming of them which makes the world the way it is. I think therefore I am on the center of this perceiving universe. My thinking is the center of perceiving universe. We have, on the other hand, John Locke. And John Locke says that everybody in the world is a tabula rasa. Tabula rasa, another Latin phrase, is a blank slate. So what happens is we are nothing except we experienced dogs in the world, and everything that we are, and everything we know we learn from experience. Now, what's interesting is, Chomsky ends up explicitly saying, "I'm in the same camp as Descartes, that my thinking creates the world." But in a way, Skinner is really the Lockean camp which is that our environments frame our thinking. So this is actually, we're trying to here frame this debate as symptomatic of larger issues about the nature of learning and the sources of knowledge. What we've done is we've grouped together a number of things under this phrase that we've coined, Brian Developmentalism from Piaget, through to Chomsky where we're what we're doing is we're coming back to the idea that minds are very much shaped in the structure of what brains are. Today, more modern versions of this are in the world of neuroscience where we're trying to work out what the brain is and how it works in order to understand how learning happens. But one of the interesting things about this or one of the aspects of this tendency is that it's a focus on an individual. Our definition of brain is between my ears, that's where it is. It's an individual kind of thing. And also, these kinds of approaches perennially have all sorts of problems with linguistic and cultural diversity. They can't deal with a lot of diversity. They can't say that people have made the world and learned the world, experienced the world in dramatically different ways because they're trying to reduce all of humanity to these biological structures which surely we must all share. I'm going to add another point to what Bill just said. And that is, of course, the working of the body and brain remains a very complex area for research, and certainly stages of growth happen and they're observable. However, any biological determinism or centralism has serious problems for educators whose role it is, is to take individuals and transform them, to take learners and in math, or history, or whatever subject, and take them on a path where they're transformed as a consequence of that learning. So of course, the debate that rages still about nature and nurture remains pertinent to these debates, the broader debates within educational psychology. And of course, environment matters for the behaviors as well as the brain developmentalist. And it will matter, it matters for cognitive, social, and moral development. And we'll see how the environment now unfolds in our third part.