Series Editor’s Preface

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In 1970, Jean Piaget participated in a workshop that instigated vigorous discussion in higher education circles about the importance of traversing the boundaries across the disciplines. The workshop, entitled “L'interdisciplinarité - Problèmes d'enseignement et de recherche dans les universities,” was held in Nice, France, in September, and the proceedings were published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1972 as a monograph entitled Interdisciplinarity: Problems of Teaching and Research in Universities. This workshop and the book that resulted from it set the stage for ongoing debates about how best to view work going on at the intersection of disciplinary boundaries. Piaget's remarks made clear that new conceptual frameworks were needed, frameworks that underscored the importance of augmenting disciplinary knowledge in order to address enduring challenges of our times. Whether to do so from multi-, trans-, or interdisciplinary bases and what precisely each of these constructs adds to disciplinary discussions has been hotly debated for the ensuing four decades. What Piaget was wrestling with in 1970 and many others have been pursuing since then are two enduring issues: the complexity of knowledge and the importance of viewing knowledge construction as a process embedded in real time. Piaget understood early on what has become more obvious now, namely the importance of going beyond disciplinary limitations both theoretically and methodologically. This insight has shaped modern thinking on knowledge and development in significant ways. Around the same time Piaget spoke at the OECD workshop, a new society was formed. In 1970, the Jean Piaget Society (JPS) was founded and has since provided an internationally recognized forum for inquiry and advances about significant problems in the developmental sciences. The Society has had a long-standing commitment to developmental perspectives and has been deeply concerned with theories and conceptualizations of development and the ways developmental perspectives connect to and influence research. Since renamed The Jean Piaget Society for Knowledge and Development, the Society has organized and sponsored a book series, an annual meeting of plenary addresses and scholarly presentations, a scholarly journal (Cognitive Development), and a website ( Across venues, participating scholars come from a range of disciplines, including departments of psychology, anthropology, linguistics, sociology, biology, philosophy, and education.

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Cultural and Contextual Perspectives on Developmental Risk and Well-Being

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