47th Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society

Technologies & Human Development

San Francisco, 8-10 June 2017

Organizers: Carol D Lee & Colette Daiute

SFContemporary theories define human development as an interactive process. Some theories emphasize interpersonal interactions; others focus on individual-societal interactions; and others address interactions via flexible technologies. Drawing on all of those traditions, one of the most intriguing theoretical proposals is that symbolic systems—words, toys, digital devices—are technologies. Such technologies are created in culture, mediate human interactions, and transform culture and development. It is in this symbolic sense that social media, apps, interactive games, and other digital tools become meaningful—in process and in consequence.

With such a theoretical foundation to guide research and practice, the invited program for JPS 2017 focuses on the concept "technology", in particular digital media, their uses, and impacts in human culture and development. Offering an analytic lens that will not become obsolete with next new widget, this symposium examines symbol systems and their manifestations. As symbol systems, technologies are stable enough for shared understanding, yet amenable to use and transformation by children, adolescents, and adults across cultural contexts and for diverse purposes. Learning and development with games, social media, digital archives, word processors, and more can, thus, be studied as cultural tools in contexts of practice.

We present this generative understanding of technology and human development by scholars with a diverse range of histories, perspectives, and research projects. The conference is more than the invited program, which sets the scene for a wide range of topics, issues, and research questions relevant to cognitive, social, and emotional development.

The organizers enthusiastically invite submissions by established and emerging scholars, media developers, policy makers, and practitioners working on projects relevant to human development.

View the Conference Flyer (pdf)