ADAPT Program -- Accent on Developing Abstract Processes of Thought


Date of this Version



When I joined the faculty of the UNL Educational Psychology department in August 1977, I replaced Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, who had been among the founders of the ADAPT program. Although no one ever mistook me for Carol, we were in many ways quite similar. Both of us had interests at the intersection of developmental, cognitive, and educational psychology, both of us were Piagetian in our general theoretical perspective, and both of us had done research on the development of formal operational reasoning. It was thus natural that I replaced Carol not only within my department but as what Bob Fuller often called the "guru" of the ADAPT program.

Coming to UNL, I was delighted to find myself on a campus where faculty in a
variety of departments and disciplines were knowledgeable about Piaget's theory of
formal operations and devoted to fostering formal operational reasoning. I was even
more surprised and delighted to find that the educational efforts of the ADAPT faculty
were firmly rooted in the constructivist epistemology that lies at the heart of Piaget's
theory. Let me explain why a constructivist approach to education is, in my view, the
main legacy of the ADAPT program.