Jean Piaget (August 9, 1896 – September 16, 1980) was a Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children.
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called “genetic epistemology”.
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.”
Piaget created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 and directed it until his death in 1980. The number of collaborations that its founding made possible, and their impact, ultimately led to the Center being referred to in the scholarly literature as “Piaget’s factory.”
According to Ernst von Glasersfeld, Jean Piaget was “the great pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing.” However, his ideas did not become widely popularized until the 1960s. This then led to the emergence of the study of development as a major sub-discipline in psychology.