Piaget was born in Switzerland in 1896, his studies of human cognitivedevelopment help us to understand how children percieve the world around them. Through his interest of children, he became one of this centuries mostinfluential observers of children. He worked for over fifty years observing andstudying children and their behaviors. Piaget realized that a child's mind wasnot a miniature version of the adult.
Originally, Piaget was trained as a biologist and graduated with adoctorate from Neuchatel University. Because of his mother's poor mentalhealth, Piaget became interested in psychopathology. In 1919, Piaget moved toParis and took courses in psychopathology, logic, epistemology, and thephilosophy of science. His studies led him to look for an area ofexperimentation, he was recommended to Dr. Theophile Simon, who with AlfredBinet developed the first intelligence test. Piaget became interested in whychildren repeatedly choose the same incorrect answers to the intelligence tests. This motivated him to begin his studies of cognitive development in children.
Piaget's research was extremely comprehensive, in fact, Piaget coined theterm "genetic epistemology" to describe his approach to the study ofknowledge. Piaget felt that psychology would provide the missing link betweenthe philosophical problem of epistemology and biological intelligence . Piagetis the author of at least fifty books, numerous articles, and has at least 30honorary doctorates.
Over the years, Piaget has taught courses in philosophy, psychology, andsociology at the universities of Geneva, Neuchatel, Lausanne, and Sorbonne. In1955 Piaget organized his own international center for genetic epistemology inGeneva. While in Geneva, Piaget became a familiar snowy haired, pipe in mouth,bike riding, intellectual figure commonly seen around the streets anduniversity. Piaget retired from teaching in 1979, but continued his researchand work at the center until his death in 1980.