A Look Into the Past: Jean Piaget's Life and Work Essay

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This paper will present an over view of Jean Piaget’s life. It will focus on details of his personal life, his contributions to psychology, his historical development, and his present contributions to his career. Jean Piaget’s research in developmental psychology and genetic epistemology answered the question: How does knowledge grow? Piaget’s findings have been and continue to be an inspiration to fields like psychology, sociology, education, epistemology, economics and law.


Jean Piaget was born on August 9, 1896, in the town of Neuchatel which is part of the French-speaking region of Switzerland. He was the oldest child of Arthur Piaget who was a professor of medieval literature and wrote extensively on Neuchatel history at the
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194).
He was quite an independent child that took an early interest in biology and nature specially mollusks (shellfish). At the age of seven, Piaget wrote to the director of the Neuchatel natural history museum, Paul Godet, asking if he might study the museum's mollusks collection after hours. Godet not only agreed but undertook to tutor Piaget in techniques for collecting and classifying new specimens (Piaget, 1980, para. 2). Piaget seemed to submerge himself in his interest for mollusks during his late adolescence to the point that he became a well-known malacologist and he helped in classifying the Neuchâtel's natural-history museum collection by finishing school. “His work became well known among European students of mollusks, who assumed he was an adult!” (Flavell, 1996, p. 202). However, after discovering his age some journal editors would no longer publish his articles.
Hence, he published many papers in the field that remained of interest for him all along his life (Brainerd, 1996 p. 194).
His notes on a rare part-albino sparrow were published when he was ten. This short paper is generally considered as the start of a brilliant scientific career made of over sixty books and several hundred articles (Brainerd, 1996, p. 192). One article, written when he was fifteen, led to a job offer at Geneva's natural-history museum; Piaget declined in order to continue his education. Later in adolescence, he faced a bit of a crisis brought about by his…