Jean Piaget facts for kids

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Jean Piaget
Piaget at the University of Michigan, c. 1968
Born Jean William Fritz Piaget
(1896-08-09)9 August 1896
Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died 16 September 1980(1980-09-16) (aged 84)
Geneva, Switzerland
Fields Developmental psychology, epistemology
Alma mater University of Neuchâtel
Known for Constructivism, genetic epistemology, theory of cognitive development, object permanence, egocentrism

Jean Piaget (9 August 1896 - 16 September 1980) was a Swiss developmental psychologist. He is famous for his work with children and how they learn. Piaget placed great importance on the education of children. As the Director of the International Bureau of Education, he declared in 1934 that "only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual." His theory of child development is studied in pre-service education programs. Educators continue to use his idea's.

At first, Piaget was a biologist. He was especially interested in mollusks and he had published several articles on the subject by the age of 15. Before Piaget became a psychologist, he trained in natural history and philosophy. He received a doctorate in 1918 from the University of Neuchatel. He then undertook post-doctoral training.

He became more interested in psychology while listening to children talk. He wondered how they learned, and came up with a theory that they go through stages where they become ready for certain kinds of learning.

By using Piaget’s theory, educators focus on their students as learners, this allows teachers to view students as individual learners who add new concepts to prior knowledge to construct, or build, understanding for themselves. They nourish and support learners’ curiosity. They also involve learners’ emotions and create a learning environment in which students feel safe.

He was hired by Théodore Simon to standardize psychometric measures for use with French children in 1919.

Piaget is the most influential developmental psychologist to date, influencing not only the work of Lev Vygotsky and of Lawrence Kohlberg but whole generations of eminent academics.

In 1979 he was awarded the Balzan Prize for Social and Political Sciences. He died in 1980 and was buried with his family in an unmarked grave in the Cimetière des Rois (Cemetery of Kings) in Geneva. This was as per his request.

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