Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Piagetian Theory

  • Ulrich Mueller
  • Kayla Ten Eycke
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_127-2



It is ironic that Jean Piaget is widely known as a child psychologist, yet he himself did not identify with this label. Rather, he used the term genetic epistemology to describe his work. In this context, genetic does not refer to genes but to the origin and development of knowledge. Usually, epistemologyrefers to the study of the nature, sources, scope, and validity of knowledge, and it is considered to be a branch of philosophy. Piaget, however, did not believe that epistemological issues fall under the sole jurisdiction of philosophy. Instead, Piaget argued that empirical methods can contribute to the solution of epistemological problems, particularly because knowledge itself is in constant flux and always remains incomplete. Thus, rather than an end in itself, the study of cognitive development in children was for Piaget only one means to address epistemological issues. This...


Operative Aspect Logical Necessity High Cognitive Level Figurative Aspect Semiotic Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada