Psyc 21o

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Jean Piaget
(August 9, 1896-September 16, 1980)
Swiss Biologist and Child Psychologist

Influences
* Student of: Simon
* Influenced by:
* Students: Inhelder
* Influenced: Sternberg, Gardner
* Time Period: The Great Schools' Influence
Education
* Ph.D. in the Natural Sciences, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (1918)
* Postdoctoral studies inpsychoanalysis, University of Zurich (Winter, 1918-1919)
Career
* Publishes his first biology paper (on the albino sparrow) at age 10 (1907)
* Théodore Simon asks him to standardize Cyril Burt's intelligence tests with Parisian children (1920)
* Publishes his first article on the psychology of intelligence (1921)
* Research Director, Institut Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Geneva (1921-1925)* Professor of psychology, sociology and history of science, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (1925-1929)
* Professor of the History of Scientific Thought, University of Geneva (1929-1939)
* Director of the International Bureau of Education, Geneva (1929-1967)
* Director, Institute of Educational Sciences, University of Geneva (1932-1971)
* Professor of Psychology andSociology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland (1938-1951)
* Professor of Sociology, University of Geneva (1939-1952)
* Chair of Experimental Psychology, University of Geneva (1940-1971)
* Professor of Genetic Psychology, the Sorbonne, Paris (1952-1963)
* Founder/Director of the International Center for Genetic Epistemology, Geneva (1955-1980)
* Founder, School of Sciences,University of Geneva (1956)
* Emeritus Professor, University of Geneva (1971-1980)
* Ph.D. in the Natural Sciences, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (1918)
* Postdoctoral studies in psychoanalysis, University of Zurich (Winter, 1918-1919)
Definition of Intelligence
"Intelligence is an adaptation…To say that intelligence is a particular instance of biological adaptation is thusto suppose that it is essentially an organization and that its function is to structure the universe just as the organism structures its immediate environment" (Piaget, 1963, pp. 3-4).
"Intelligence is assimilation to the extent that it incorporates all the given data of experience within its framework…There can be no doubt either, that mental life is also accommodation to the environment.Assimilation can never be pure because by incorporating new elements into its earlier schemata the intelligence constantly modifies the latter in order to adjust them to new elements" (Piaget, 1963, p. 6-7).
Major Contributions
* The theory of Genetic Epistemology*
Ideas and Interests
Jean Piaget was a precocious child who demonstrated a keen interest in animal life and an encyclopedic knowledgeof biology and taxonomy. When he was ten years old, he began volunteering at the Neuchâtel Museum of Natural History. The museum's director, the seventy year-old naturalist Paul Godet, took him on as his assistant and apprentice, and paid him for his work by giving him rare specimens for his personal collection (Vidal, 1994). Piaget continued to work at the museum for four years, and his interestin the natural sciences continued to grow. His professional accomplishments in this area were numerous, beginning at age ten when he published a paper on the albino sparrow, and culminating with a doctoral thesis on the classification of mollusks when he was twenty-one.
After completing his Ph.D., Piaget spent several months studying psychoanalysis at the University of Zurich. He was apromising student, and his contemporaries believed that he would eventually make important contributions to this field (Vidal, 1994). However, a serendipitous opportunity presented itself, and Piaget soon found himself working for Théodore Simon, co-author of the Binet-Simon intelligence scale. Simon placed him in Binet's laboratory, and set him to work standardizing Cyril Burt's reasoning tests on...
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