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This entry is focused on the main intertwined philosophical and psychological underpinnings of the views of Jean Piaget (1896–1980) on education. It relates these to his theory of psychological development and also points to some misinterpretations of Piaget’s views.

Introduction

Education was not the central interest in Piaget’s research program. He refused to be considered an educationist, and what he wrote on education represents only a 300th part of his life’s work, which totals about 35,000 pages.

Piaget considered himself an epistemologist or a theorist of scientific knowledge. Going further than other epistemologists, who only reflect philosophically on scientific knowledge, Piaget appealed to developmental psychology to investigate and “test” what he called the two great mysteries of knowledge:

  • How do new forms of knowledge appear and develop in the ...
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