Jean Piaget

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Jean Piaget was born of August 9, 1896 in the town of Neuchatel, Switzerland. His father was a university history professor, and his mother was a staunch Calvinist housewife. Prior to 1930, many of his writings dealt with religious issues acquired from this background. From early childhood, however, Piaget was primarily interested in the fields of science. At age ten, Piaget published his first scientific paper on the subject of Zoology in Le Rameau de sapin, a Swiss magazine. The three paragraph article was based on an experience with an albino sparrow which young Jean had seen in the park. By age 16, Piaget's scientific research focused on mollusks, and had been published in both the Journal de la conchycologie, and Revue suisse de zoologie. His interests in natural science led him to the University of Neuchatel, where, in 1918, he obtained a doctorate degree.

However, Piaget's initial scientific interests were broader that strict science, encompassing philosophy, sociology, religion, and psychology. Piaget once said, 'For my part, I decided to devote myself to philosophy as soon as I discovered it.' (Cohen) His initial work with juvenile reasoning led to a position with J.J. Rousseau Institute in Geneva in 1921. Piaget also interned in Eugen Bleuler's psychiatric clinic in Zurich and Alfred Binet's laboratory school in Paris. In the latter, he was engaged in standardized mental testing. In 1923, the Language of Thought of The Child, his first book, was published.

Eventually, Piaget became a professor of both psychology and the philosophy of science. He taught in a wide range of colleges and universities throughout France and Switzerland. In 1941, Piaget became the co-director of the Institute of Educational Sciences for the University of Geneva, in Switzerland. While in Geneva, he also founded the International...