The Piagetian Approach to the Scientific Method

Implications for Teaching
  • Alberto Munari


One cannot really understand the importance of Piagetian psychology, and thus the pedagogical implications of it, if one does not understand its epistemological foundations. Piaget himself said on many occasions that his psychological work was the consequence of epistemological questions that he raised at the beginning of his scientific career. For instance, in 1961 he wrote:

I decided that for building a biological epistemology it would have been necessary—in the absence of any information on the philogenesis of knowledge and on the prehistorical sociogenesis of men’s knowledges—to devote myself to an equivalent of the embriogenetic analysis, and thus to study the growth of the intelligence in the child and the development of the principal intellectual operations. I proposed spending some five years in these preliminary studies, and then returning to general questions. But these preliminary studies occupied me for forty years, and it is from a period of less than ten years that I can approach epistemology from the genetic point of view that I decided to assume. (Beth & Piaget, 1961)


Conceptual Domain Scientific Career Formal Hypothesis Epistemological Problem Genetic Psychology 
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  1. Furth, H., & Wachs, H. Thinking goes to school. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  2. Munari, A. Probability of scholastic models: An attempt at verification of a probability model of perceptive mechanisms proposed by Piaget. Geneva: Delachaux et Niestlé, 1968.Google Scholar
  3. Beth, E. W., & Piaget, J. Épistémologie mathématique et psychologie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1961.Google Scholar
  4. Piaget, J. Logique et connaissance scientifique. Paris: Gallimard, 1967.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Munari
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and the Educational SciencesUniversity of GenevaGeneva 4Switzerland

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