Jean Piaget

Of Education Introduction by Silvia Parrat-Dayan and Anastasia Tryphon. Publication date : February 1, 1998

Jean Piaget is best known for his contributions to the fields of psychology, epistemology and philosophy. He is less known for his work on education. Of the more than sixty books he published, only two short collections of articles had until now been entirely devoted to education: Psychologie et Pédagogie (1969) and Où va l'éducation? (1972). But although the educational sciences as such may not be central to Piaget's work, a concern with education has always gone hand-in-hand with his work on epistemology. This is amply illustrated by the articles, written over a period of fifty years, which have been gathered together here for the first time. This book includes works that had hitherto remained largely unknown to the general public and which should be of special interest to psychologists and educators. What is the teacher's role and how important is it in a child's education? Should this role include the shaping in the child's mind of the tools with which to grasp and comprehend the world? Should educators reply to children's questions, or, on the contrary, should they impose knowledge on them in an authoritative manner? Should they withdraw as individuals in favour of the child's constructive thought processes? How should activities be presented so as to be easily understood by children? What are the difficulties that children encounter when resolving mathematical problems? Pedagogical methodology, the role of the educator, and the child's autonomy:these are some of the subjects that Piaget reflected on throughout his life and which remain central to educational concerns today.