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Jean Piaget: The Man Behind the Lab Coat

analytical Essay
4548 words
4548 words
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Jean Piaget: The Man Behind the Lab Coat

Jean Piaget's legacy is one that has affected a wide disparity of disciplines. Commonly acknowledged as one of the foremost psychologists of the 20th century, certainly the premiere child developmental psychologist, Piaget preferred to be referred to as a genetic epistemologist. This is because he identified child psychology as being limited to merely the study of the child, whereas his main focus was the study of the origins, characteristics, and limitations of knowledge, usually as seen in the development in children. It has been said of him that "he approached questions up until then exclusively philosophical, in a resolutely empirical manner, and made epistemology (the study of knowledge), into a science separate from philosophy, but related to all of the human sciences." (Gruber and Voneche, 18)

Developmental psychology is what his renown is based upon, yet Piaget's interests were much more widespread. He is characterized as a "zoologist by training, an epistemologist by vocation, and a logician by method." (Munari, 311) This is in part due to the fact that before achieving prominence in the field of child psychology, Piaget immersed himself in various other fields, such as philosophy, logic, politics, and the sciences. He was very much an interdisciplinary thinker, utilizing what he learned in one arena, in the others. Unlike many of the other prototypes of Howard Gardener's (1993) model, Piaget was able to achieve a respectable level of success in these endeavors, publishing various novels and research papers. Although it is uncertain whether he would have been able to achieve "genius" level in any of these undertakings, it seems to demonstrate his multi-talented personality...

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...., & Rubadeau, D. O. (Eds.). (1970) Educational Implications of Piaget's Theory. Waltham: Gin-Blaisdell.

Brown, G., Modgil, C., & Modgil, S. (Eds.). (1983). Jean Piaget: An Interdisciplinary Critique. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Gardner, H. (1993). Creating Minds. New York, NY: Basics Books.

Gruber, H. E., & Voneche, J. J. (Eds.). (1977) The Essential Piaget. New York: Basic Book, Inc.

Isaacs, N. (1960) A Brief Introduction To Piaget. New York: Agathon Press, Inc.

Kitchener, R. F. (1986) Piaget's Theory of Knowledge. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Munari, A. (1994) "Jean Piaget (1896-1980)", Prospects (Paris, France), 24, 311-327

Neufeld, E. M., (1976) The Philosophy of Jean Piaget and Its Educational Implications. New Jersey: General Learning Press.

Vidal, F. (1994) Piaget Before Piaget. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that jean piaget was born august 9, 1896, in neuchatel, switzerland. he was influenced by the great thinkers of that period, especially their views on evolutionary development.
  • Explains that jean piaget was the oldest of three children, and the only boy. he grew up in an environment conducive to learning.
  • Explains that piaget was uncertain about where he wanted to go from there, and that his doctorate in zoology didn't satisfy him. he spent a few years in paris, which satisfied gardener's definition of marginality.
  • Analyzes how piaget was an inveterate writer of almost everything that he thought about, and in fact published nearly everything.
  • Explains piaget's interest in the build-up of a basic framework of thought about knowledge. his early work emphasized cognitive development in infancy and childhood.
  • Analyzes how piaget's theory of cognitive development was based on observations of his own children.
  • Explains that children believe that the lines under choice b are not the same length as those under option a.
  • Summarizes piaget's theory of cognitive development, and the way he went about developing this theory, demonstrate his high ability in three of gardner’s categories of multiple intelligence.
  • Explains that jean piaget accomplished a vast number of psychological investigations during his lifetime, demonstrating the childhood origins of human knowledge in areas such as logic, mathematics, perception, science, language, time, and much more.
  • Opines that piaget's work is admired by most developmental psychologists, and that his methods of collecting data about children stimulated other scientists into conducting new research.
  • Describes gruber, h. e., & voneche, j.
  • Explains kitchener, r. f., piaget's theory of knowledge. new haven and london: yale university press.
  • States that neufeld, e. m., the philosophy of jean piaget and its educational implications, new jersey: general learning press.
  • Explains that jean piaget's legacy has affected a wide disparity of disciplines. he was an interdisciplinary thinker, utilizing what he learned in one arena, in the other.
  • Explains that piaget was a member of the friends of nature and published his first scientific paper on the albino sparrow. he had difficulty separating religion from science.
  • Opines that piaget had strong inter-personal skills, as he was able to interact well with others and put them at ease.
  • Explains that piaget moved to geneva, where he studied children in a more "normal" school setting. he also worked briefly as an university teacher and co-director of the jean-jacques rousseau institute.
  • Analyzes how piaget characterized the sensorimotor stage of intellectual development, lasting from birth to two years old, as belonging to the period of preoperational thought.
  • Explains that piaget demonstrated a very high intrapersonal intelligence, and that he was able to utilize his knowledge of self and adapt it to explain the behavior of others.
  • Analyzes how piaget's theories have influenced many educators. he disagreed strongly with many of the education systems of his day, and suggested that teachers take into consideration the level of intellectual growth.
  • Argues that piaget's observations have revolutionized our thinking about children, and his intermixture of these abilities would have caused him to do well no matter what.
  • Explains that athey, i. j., and rubadeau, d. o. (1970) educational implications of piaget's theory.
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