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Granville Stanley Hall
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



G. Stanley Hall
Granville Stanley Hall by Frederick Gutekunst, circa 1910
Born Granville Stanley Hall
February 1, 1846
Ashfield, Massachusetts
Died April 24, 1924 (aged 78)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Alma mater
Williams College
Harvard University
Clark University
Scientific career
Fields Psychologist
Antioch College
Johns Hopkins University
Doctoral advisor William James
Doctoral students William Lowe Bryan

Granville Stanley Hall (February 1, 1846 – April 24, 1924[1]) was a pioneering American psychologist and educator. His interests focused on childhood development and evolutionary theory. Hall was the first president of the American Psychological Association and the first president of Clark University. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Hall as the 72nd most cited psychologist of the 20th century, in a tie with Lewis Terman.[2]



Born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, Hall grew up on a farm with his parents, Granville Bascom Hall, who served on the Massachusetts legislature, and Abigail Beals, who attended school at Albany Female Seminary and went on to become a teacher herself. During his time as a child he spent much of his time reading and taking advantage of the educational advantages he could gain from his parents and the local schools. At a young age he was interested in animals and bodily skills.[3] At the age of 16 he began to teach other students, most of whom were older than he was.


Hall attended Williston Seminary and graduated from Williams College in 1867, then studied at the Union Theological Seminary. Inspired by Wilhelm Wundt's Principles of Physiological Psychology, Hall pursued doctoral studies at Harvard University where he met William James, an adjunct professor who had just taught the nation's first psychology class. In 1878, Hall earned the first psychology doctorate awarded in America.[4] After Hall graduated with his doctorate, there were no academic jobs available in psychology, so he went to Europe to study at the University of Berlin, and spent a brief time in Wundt's Leipzig laboratory in 1879.

He began his career by teaching English and philosophy at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and then teaching history of philosophy at Williams College in Massachusetts. Following successful lecture series at Harvard and Johns Hopkins University, Hall secured a position in the philosophy department at Johns Hopkins, teaching psychology and pedagogy. He remained at Johns Hopkins from 1882 to 1888 and, in 1883, began what is considered by some to be the first formal American psychology laboratory.[5] There, Hall objected vehemently to the emphasis on teaching traditional subjects, e.g., Latin, mathematics, science and history, in high school, arguing instead that high school should focus more on the education of adolescents than on preparing students for college.

Hall was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1888.[6]

New discipline of psychology

In 1887, Hall founded the American Journal of Psychology, and in 1892 was appointed as the first president of the American Psychological Association.[5] In 1889 he was named the first president of Clark University, a post he filled until 1920. During his 31 years as president, Hall remained intellectually active. He was instrumental in the development of educational psychology, and attempted to determine the effect adolescence has on education. He was also responsible for inviting Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to visit and deliver a lecture series in 1909 at the Clark Conference. Hall and Freud shared the same beliefs on sex and adolescence. Hall promised Freud an Honorary Degree from Clark University. This was Freud's first and only visit to America. It was the biggest conference held at Clark University. It was the most controversial conference because Freud's research was based on theories that Hall's colleagues criticized as non-scientific.[7]

In 1888, when he was tapped for the Clark presidency from the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, the 44 year-old Hall was already well on his way to eminence in the then emerging field of psychology. His establishment of experimental laboratories at Johns Hopkins, the first in the discipline, quickly became the measure of the fully modern psychology department. Over his 32 years as a scholar/teacher president at Clark, he had an influence over the future shape of the field of psychology.[8]

What attracted some to Hall and his ideas, and alienated others, were his "music man" propensities. He was the promoter, the impresario par excellence. Hall could "put on a party," as he did with the extraordinary celebrations in 1899 and 1909, on the occasions of the 10th and 20th anniversaries of the opening of Clark University. He did so with an incomparable sense of daring—inviting major figures with unconventional, unpopular, or even scandalous ideas, and then promoting them with the press. He seemed always to be founding new journals or scholarly associations to disseminate his ideas and those of scholars whose perspectives were consistent with his own. Among his creations were the widely respected American Journal of Psychology and the American Psychological Association. He also helped found the Association of American Universities. Ross described this side of Hall as journalist, entrepreneur, and preacher.[8]

In 1917, Hall published a book on religious psychology, "Jesus the Christ in the Light of Psychology." The book was written in two volumes to define Jesus Christ in psychological terms. Hall thoroughly discussed all that is written about Christ, and the probable mental mechanisms of Christ and all of those who believed in him and wrote about him. He analyzes the myths, the magic, etc., built up about the name and life of Christ. He dissects the parables and discusses the miracles, the death and the resurrection of Jesus. He endeavors to reduce all possible expressions or trends which he finds in Jesus and his followers to their genetic origins, and with that aid in comparative psychology, especially the knowledge of anthropology and childhood tendencies, he points out here and there certain universal trends which are at the bottom of it all.[9] This was his least successful work. In 1922, at the age of 78, he published the book "Senescence," a book on aging.[7]

Group photo 1909 in front of Clark University. Front row: Sigmund Freud, Granville Stanley Hall, C. G. Jung; back row: Abraham A. Brill, Ernest Jones, Sándor Ferenczi.

Darwin's theory of evolution and Ernst Haeckel's recapitulation theory were large influences on Hall's career. These ideas prompted Hall to examine aspects of childhood development in order to learn about the inheritance of behavior. The subjective character of these studies made their validation impossible. He believed that as children develop, their mental capabilities resemble those of their ancestors and so they develop over a lifetime the same way that species develop over eons.[10] Hall believed that the process of recapitulation could be sped up through education and force children to reach modern standards of mental capabilities in a shorter amount of time.[11] His work also delved into controversial portrayals of the differences between women and men, as well as the concept of racial eugenics.[5] While Hall was a proponent of racial eugenics, his views were less severe in terms of creating and keeping distinct separations between races. Hall believed in giving “lower races” a chance to accept and adapt to the “superior white civilization”.[11] Hall even commended high ranking African Americans in society as being “exception to the Negro’s diminished evolutionary inheritance”.[12] Hall viewed civilization in a similar fashion he viewed biological development. Humans must allow civilization to “run its natural evolution”.[12] Hall saw those that did not accept the superior civilization as being primitive and consisting of savages. Hall viewed these civilizations in a similar fashion that he viewed children stating that “their faults and their virtues are those of childhood and youth”.[11] Hall believed that men and women should be separated into their own schools during puberty because it allowed them to be able to grow within their own gender. Women could be educated with motherhood in mind and the men could be educated in more hands-on projects, helping them to become leaders of their homes. Hall believed that schools with both sexes limited the way they could learn and softened the boys earlier than they should be.[11] "It is a period of equilibrium, but with the onset of puberty the equilibrium is disturbed and new tendencies arise. Modifications in the reproductive organs take place and bring about secondary sexual characteristics. Extroversion gives way slowly to introversion, and more definitely social instincts begin to play an increasing role."

Hall was also influenced by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and his theory of evolution. Hall found the idea of passing on memories from parent to offspring was a plausible mode of inheritance.[13]

Anomalistic psychology

Hall was one of the founding members and a vice President of the American Society for Psychical Research.[14] The early members of the society were skeptical of paranormal phenomena.[15] Hall took a psychological approach to psychical phenomena. By 1890 he had resigned from the society.[16] He became an outspoken critic of parapsychology.[17]

Hall was an early psychologist in the field of anomalistic psychology.[18] Hall and his assistant Amy Tanner from Clark University were notable debunkers of spiritualism and carried out psychological and physiological tests on mediums. Tanner published Studies in Spiritism (1910) with an introduction by Hall.[19] The book documented the tests carried out by Hall and Tanner in the séance sittings held with the medium Leonora Piper.[20] Hall and Tanner had proven by tests that the personalities of Piper were fictitious creations and not discarnate spirits.[21]

Social views

Hall was deeply wedded to the German concept of Volk, an anti-individualist and authoritarian romanticism in which the individual is dissolved into a transcendental collective. Hall believed that humans are by nature non-reasoning and instinct driven, requiring a charismatic leader to manipulate their herd instincts for the well-being of society. He predicted that the American emphasis on individual human right and dignity would lead to a fall that he analogized to the sinking of Atlantis.

Hall was one of the founders of the child-study movement in the 1880s. A national network of study groups called Hall Clubs existed to spread his teaching. He is popularly known today for supervising the 1896 study Of Peculiar and Exceptional Children, which described a series of only child eccentrics as permanent misfits. For decades, academics and advice columnists alike disseminated his conclusion that an only child could not be expected to go through life with the same capacity for adjustment that siblings possessed. "Being an only child is a disease in itself," he claimed.[22]

Hall argued that child development recapitulates his highly racialized conception of the history of human evolutionary development. He characterized pre-adolescent children as savages and therefore rationalized that reasoning was a waste of time with children. He believed that children must simply be led to fear God, love country, and develop a strong body. As the child burns out the vestiges of evil in his nature, he needs a good dose of authoritarian discipline, including corporal punishment.[7] He believed that adolescents are characterized by more altruistic natures than pre-adolescents and that high schools should indoctrinate students into selfless ideals of service, patriotism, body culture, military discipline, love of authority, awe of nature, and devotion to the state and the well being of others.[23] Hall consistently argued against intellectual attainment at all levels of public education. Open discussion and critical opinions were not to be tolerated. Students needed indoctrination to save them from the individualism that was so damaging to the progress of American culture.

Hall popularised the phrase "storm and stress" with reference to adolescence, taken from the German Sturm und Drang movement. His colleague William Burnham had published this phrase in relation to adolescence in an 1889 article titled 'Economy in Intellectual Work'.[24] The concept's three key aspects are conflict with parents, mood disruptions, and risky behavior. As was later the case with the work of Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget, public interest in this phrase, as well as with Hall's role, faded. Recent research has led to some reconsideration of the phrase and its denotation. In its three aspects, recent evidence supports storm and stress, but only when modified to take into account individual differences and cultural variations. Currently, psychologists do not accept storm and stress as universal, but do acknowledge the possibility in brief passing. Not all adolescents experience storm and stress, but storm and stress is more likely during adolescence than at other ages.

Hall had no sympathy for the poor, the sick, or those with developmental differences or disabilities. A firm believer in selective breeding and forced sterilization, he believed that any respect or charity toward those he viewed as physically, emotionally, or intellectually weak or "defective" simply interfered with the movement of natural selection toward the development of a super-race.[11]

Hall's major books were Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime and Religion (1904) and Aspects of Child Life and Education (1921). In his book Adolescence, which was based on the results of the child-study movement, Hall described his system of psychology (which he called "genetic psychology") and the evolutionary benefits of development from the womb to adolescence. The book comprises six sections: biological and anthropological standpoint, medical standpoint, health and its tests, nubility of educated women, fecundity of educated women, and education. Hall hoped that this book would become a guide for teachers and social workers in the education system. His most direct influence in shaping our view of humankind came from his theories about adolescence.[8]

In 1904, Hall published Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relation to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education. In this 2-volume study, based on the idea that child development recapitulates human evolution,Hall took on a variety of issues and synthesized scholarship from a wide range of disciplines.[25] After his retirement in 1920, Hall wrote a companion volume on aging. This important account has been labeled “prophetic” in its recognition of an emerging “crisis of aging” in the 20th century, in which longer lifespan, narrowing family roles, and expulsion from the workforce combined to dramatically isolate the elderly and restrict their active participation in public life.[26] Hall railed against this process, arguing that the wisdom conferred by old age meant that the elderly had valuable and creative contributions to make to society. Yet, the stigma of aging meant that, instead, many were engaged in the foolish pursuit of youth, trying to avoid being excluded from full participation in their communities. In the conclusion of the book, Hall expressed a tangible sense of personal anger against this form of discrimination.[27] His stirring call for a better understanding of the aging process anticipated the development of gerontology, and his critique of the marginalization of the elderly still resonates today.[25]

Hall was a transitional figure between Victorian conservatism and early 20th Century modernism—reflecting major intellectual characteristics of each. As might be expected, that combination was not always well received by advocates from either camp. His controversial Adolescence was banned from some libraries because of its lengthy and sometimes lyrical treatment of sex. Yet, the book was also characterized by urgent religious strictures on behavior. A contemporary of Hall, E.L. Thorndike, described him as a man "whose doctrines I often attack, but whose genius I always admire." When commenting on Adolescence to another noted psychologist, Thorndike said that Hall's magnum opus was "chock full of errors, masturbation, and Jesus. He is a mad man." [8]

Hall viewed masturbation as an immoral act and a blemish of the human race that interfered with moral and intellectual growth. Hall discussed masturbation in reference to men and did not discuss it in terms of women. It is not known whether he knew this act occurred in women or that Hall believed adolescent boys must go through what he described as “conversion”. This conversion releases the boys from biological sins that were passed onto them by their ancestors. This passing on of sins through generations is guided by Lamarckian evolution.[13] He claimed that conversion occurred as naturally as a “blossoming flower”.[11] Instead of masturbation, Hall viewed spontaneous emissions as a natural and acceptable alternative to forced ejaculation.[13] Hall believed that he went through conversion during his freshman year at Williams College.[12]

Hall also coined the technical words describing types of tickling: knismesis, or feather-like tickling; and gargalesis, for the harder, laughter inducing type.

Hall's voracious appetite for learning and prodigious work habits, his insistence on building theory from experience, and his penchant for bringing different fields of study together, would themselves have made him a formidable figure. But the force of his personality, his taste for controversy, and his untiring will added to the mix. Dorothy Ross, his biographer, wrote that from his extraordinary efforts came the "formative impulses of progressive education, child development, educational psychology, clinical psychology, school hygiene, and mental testing." Among his many students who made significant future contributions in fields he stimulated were the philosopher John Dewey (when Hall was at Johns Hopkins) and the famous psychologists Lewis Terman, Henry Goddard, and Arnold Gesell (when Hall was at Clark). By his very prominence and productivity, Hall created a demand for the scientific study of children and the field of child psychology.[8] Hall is best remembered for his contributions to psychology, for his support of applied psychology, and for his success in advising many doctoral students who have made great contributions to psychology. Hall also mentored the first African American to get a Ph.D. in psychology, Francis Cecil Sumner in 1920.[7]

Hall is listed in the Cambridge Companion to Atheism as having been an atheist.[28]

Eugenic Views

Hall expressed openly eugenic views in many of his writings. He was listed in numerous American eugenic organizations as its leader. The Eugenical News (1916-1922) celebrated the development of new American eugenic scholarly organization by highlighting that it roster included such as in the following announcement about "new active members of Eugenics Research Association… C. C. Brigham, Psychological Laboratory, Princeton, N. J., G. Stanley Hall, Clark University, C. E. Seashore, State University of Iowa, Lewis, M. Terman, Stanford University, Calif., John B. Watson, Johns Hopkins Hospital" (p. 53). Although Hall is credited with bringing notable psychoanalytic scholars to the U.S., including S. Freud and C. Jung, Hall expressed openly anti-psychoanalytic views in his writings that emphasized his eugenic commitments. For example, in the first issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, of which Stanley G. Hall (1917) was an editor, his opening article proclaimed that the U.S. psychology had to “draw any lesson… from the present war, in which the great Nordic race which embraces the dominant elements of all the belligerent nations is committing suicide” (p. 9) The most significant of these lessons, according to Hall, was for American psychology to fight against the “revisionary conceptions of Freud…that it is… normal for man at times to plunge back and down the evolutionary ladder” (p. 12). Hall included openly anti-Semitic statements in his writings such as in his book "On the Aspects of German Culture" in which he discussed the supposed destruction of Western civilization by "rapacious Jews." Consistent with typical anti-Semitic stereotypes promoted by eugenicists such as Charles Davenport Hall remarked that the psychoanalytic focus on “sex” in addition to this approach’s “rapid growth… found outside the circle of specialists [academic experimental psychologists]” made psychoanalysis and “the number of out-and-out disciples” to be a form of a “cult” (p. 412). Moreover, Hall stated that the “Freudian theory of therapy… is mistaken” (p. 12), giving a warning example of how an individual’s culturally unacceptable sexual desires and behaviors could be justified through psychoanalytic interpretations rather than “cured by the very modesty” based on cultural or religious norms (p. 13). As noted in this article, Hall promoted heteronormative Christian moral views in regard to sexuality which vilified all divergent sexual experiences as amoral, including masturbation, same sex sexuality, sex outside of marriage, and so forth. Hall claimed that psychoanalytic treatment would “destroy” this religious “morality” during the process of analysis (p. 13). In his book "Jesus, the Christ, In the Light of Psychology" Hall openly praised eugenics and discussed that the presence of supposedly evolutionary unfit people (i.e., the poor, racial minorities, immigrants) served the purpose of teaching the evolutionary fit people (i.e., Nordic wealthy Whites) virtues of caring for the lower classes. Other openly eugenic writings by Hall include his 1903 article entitled "The White Man's Burden versus Indigenous Development of the Lower Races" in The Journal of Education. Majority of American eugenic organizations listed Hall as its leader (e.g., American Eugenic Society, American Eugenic Research Organization). His students included many notable eugenicists, including H. H. Goddard, Robert Yerkes, Lewis Terman, and many others.

Literary activities

An important contributor to educational literature, and a leading authority in that field, he founded and was editor of the American Journal of Psychology. In addition, he edited the Pedagogical Seminary (after 1892),[29][30] the American Journal of Religious Psychology and Education (after 1904), and the Journal of Race Development (after 1910). Hall was, from his student days to his death, interested in philosophy, psychology, education and religion in every one of their aspects which did not involve detailed experimentation, intricate quantitative treatment of results, or rigor and subtlety of analysis. There was, however, an order of emphasis, the years from '80 to '90 being devoted to problems of general psychology and education, those from 1890 to 1905 being especially devoted to the concrete details of human life, particularly the life of children and adolescents, and those from 1905 on being more devoted to wide-reaching problems of man's emotional, ethical and religious life.[31]

Hall's work applied today

Hall contributed a large amount of work in understand adolescent development, some of which still holds true today. Hall observed that males tend to have an increase in sensation seeking and aggression during adolescence.[13] Hall also observed an increase in crime rates during the adolescent years.[11] This increase in crime rates have been observed in adolescents today as well. The United States Justice Department released crime statistics on a number of crimes between 1990 and 2010. The statistics show an increase in crimes such as drug sales, murder, theft, assault, burglary, etc., for those aged 10 to 18, particularly in males.[32] Hall noted that in terms of aggression there are two types; relational aggression and physical aggression. Relational aggression relates to gossiping, rumor spreading, and exclusions of others. Hall noted that relational aggression occurs more frequently in females while physical aggression occurs more often in males.[11]

Much of the mark that Hall left behind was from his expansion of psychology as a field in the United States. He did a lot of work to bring psychology to the United States as a legitimate form of study and science. He began the first journal dedicated only to psychology in the United States of America, called the American Journal of Psychology. He was also the first president of the American Psychological Association. All of the work that Hall did in the field of psychology and for psychology in the United States of America allowed for all the other psychologists to follow in his foot steps and to become psychologists in the United States. Without the effort from Hall it could have taken many more years for psychology to become a field in the United States.[33]


• Aspects of German Culture (1881)
• Hints toward a Select and Descriptive Bibliography of Education (1886), with John M. Mansfield
• The Contents of Children's Minds on Entering School (1893)
• Supervised the study Of Peculiar and Exceptional Children by E. W. Bohannon, Fellow in Pedagogy at Clark University (1896)
• A Study of Dolls (1897)
• Confessions of a Psychologist (1900)
• Hall, G. S. (1903). The white man's burden versus indigenous development of the lower races. The Journal of Education, 58(4,1438), 83-83.
• Adolescence (Volume 1, Volume 2 1907)
• Spooks and Telepathy (1908)
• Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene (1909)
• Introduction to Studies in Spiritism by Amy Tanner (1910)
• Educational Problems (Volume 1, Volume 2 1911)
• Hall, G. S. (1917b). Practical relations between psychology and the war. Journal of Applied Psychology, 1(1), 9-16.
• Jesus, the Christ, in the Light of Psychology (Volume 1, Volume 2 1917)
• Founders of Modern Psychology (1912)
• Morale, The Supreme Standard of Life and Conduct (1920)
• Aspects of Child Life and Education (1921)
• Senescence, The Last Half of Life (1922)

See also

• Developmental psychology
• Recapitulation theory
• Theory of evolution
• Eugenics


1. Thorndike, Edward L. (1925). National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir of Granville Stanley Hall (PDF). National Academy of Sciences.
2. Haggbloom, Steven J.; Powell, John L., III; Warnick, Jason E.; Jones, Vinessa K.; Yarbrough, Gary L.; Russell, Tenea M.; Borecky, Chris M.; McGahhey, Reagan; et al. (2002). "The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century". Review of General Psychology. 6 (2): 139–152. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.6.2.139.
3. Thorndike, Edward (1925). Biographical Memoir of Granville Stanley Hall. National Academy of Sciences. pp. 135–136.
4. Thorne, B. Michael & Henley, Tracy B. (2001). Connections in the History and Systems of Psychology. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-04535-X.
5. "A Brief Biographical Sketch of G. Stanley Hall". December 19, 2003. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
6. American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
7. Benjamin, Ludy (2007). A Brief History of Modern Psychology. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 63–68. ISBN 978-1-4051-3205-3.
8. "About Clark | Clark University". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
9. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Old Corner Bookstore, Incorporated. January 1, 1919.
10. Wegner, Daniel L. Schacter, Daniel T. Gilbert, Daniel M. (2010). Psychology (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4-292-3719-2.
11. Hall, G. Stanley (1904). "Adolescence: ITS PSYCHOLOGY AND ITS RELATIONS TO PHYSIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY, SEX, CRIME, RELIGION AND EDUCATION". Classics in the History of Psychology. 2. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
12. Youniss, James (2006). "G. Stanley Hall and his times: Too much so, yet not enough". History of Psychology. 9 (3): 224–235. doi:10.1037/1093-4510.9.3.224. PMID 17153145.
13. Arnett, Jeffrey Jensen (2006). "G. Stanley Hall's Adolescence: Brilliance and nonsense". History of Psychology. 9 (3): 186–197. doi:10.1037/1093-4510.9.3.186. PMID 17153143.
14. Eugene Taylor. (2009). The Mystery of Personality: A History of Psychodynamic Theories. Springer. p. 30. ISBN 978-0387981031
15. John Melton. (1996). Psychical Research in Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Gale Group. ISBN 978-0810394865
16. Wade Pickren, Alexandra Rutherford. (2010). A History of Modern Psychology in Context. Wiley. ISBN 978-0470276099
17. Paul Kurtz. A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. p. 551. ISBN 978-0879753009
18. Leonard Zusne, Warren H. Jones. (1989). Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking. Psychology Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0805805086
19. Amy Tanner with an introduction by G. Stanley Hall. (1910). Studies in Spiritism. New York and London: D. Appleton and Company
20. David J. Hess. (1993). Science in the New Age: The Paranormal, Its Defenders and Debunkers, and American Culture. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0299138240
21. Rodger Anderson. (2006). Psychics, Sensitives And Somnambules: A Biographical Dictionary With Bibliographies. McFarland & Company. p. 238. ISBN 978-0786427703
22. One and Done by Lauren Sandler, TIME July 19, 2010, pp. 35-41.
23. Hall, G. Stanley (1904). "Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion and Education". Classics in the History of Psychology. 2. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
24. Burnham, William. "Economy in Intellectual Work". Scribner's Magazine.
25. Parry, Manon (July 1, 2006). "G. Stanley Hall: Psychologist and Early Gerontologist". American Journal of Public Health. 96 (7): 1161. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.090647. ISSN 0090-0036. PMC 1483855. PMID 16735608.
26. Cole, TR (1984). "The prophecy of Senescence: G. Stanley Hall and the reconstruction of old age in America". American Journal of Public Health. 96 (7): 1161. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.090647. PMC 1483855. PMID 16735608.
27. Woodward, K (2003). "Against wisdom: the social politics of anger and aging". American Journal of Public Health. 96 (7): 1161. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.090647. PMC 1483855. PMID 16735608.
28. Martin, Michael, ed. (2006). The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 310. ISBN 978-1-1398-2739-3.
29. "The Pedagogical Seminary archives". Retrieved February 9, 2017.
30. The Pedagogical seminary. Worcester, Mass. : J.H. Orpha. January 1, 1891.
31. Thorndike, Edward (1925). Biographical Memoir of Granville Stanley Hall. National Academy of Sciences.
32. Snyder, Howard (October 2012). "Arrest in the United States, 1990-2010"(PDF). U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
33. Parry, Manon (July 2006). "G. Stanley Hall: Psychologist and Early Gerontologist". American Journal of Public Health. 96 (7): 1161. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.090647. ISSN 0090-0036. PMC 1483855. PMID 16735608.
• Clarence Karier, 1986, The Individual Society and Education, 2nd edition. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
• Biography and bibliography in the Virtual Laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
• Eugenical News. (1916-1922). Monthly publication of the Eugenics Record Office, Cold Springs, NY. Retrieved on February 22, 2018 at cgi/pt?id=coo.31924063788834

Further reading

• G. E. Partridge, Genetic Philosophy of Education: An Epitome of the Published Writings of G. Stanley Hall (New York, 1912) New International Encyclopedia
• Gail Bederman, Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917 (Chicago, 1995)
• Jill Lepore (March 11, 2011). "American Chronicles: Twilight". The New Yorker. 87 (4): 30–35.
• Lorine Pruette, G. Stanley Hall: A Biography of a Mind. (D. Appleton, 1926)

External links

• Media from Wikimedia Commons
• Quotations from Wikiquote
• Texts from Wikisource
• National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir
• Works by G. Stanley Hall at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about G. Stanley Hall at Internet Archive
• Works by G. Stanley Hall at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• G. Stanley Hall at Find a Grave
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:07 am

Theosophical Educational Trust
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 10/19/19

Under Construction

The Theosophical Educational Trust was organized by Annie Besant during her presidency of the Theosophical Society based in Adyar, Chennai, India.

The Fourth Annual Report of the Theosophical Educational Trust in Great Britain and Ireland was issued in 1921:

The account shows a decided growth and a splendid outlook for this educational work along theosophic lines. One of the marked accomplishments of the past year was the formal opening, by C. Jinarajadasa, of the St. Christopher School, at Letchworth, for which, in 1919, Mrs. Besant had laid the corner stone. In addition, Mrs. Douglas-Hamilton has established a little Home School near by for a number of children whom she has adopted and whom she intends to educate at St. Christopher School.

The report proclaims again the two main objects of the trust, and its policies. The illustrations in the booklet show five delightfully situated schools in England; and two in Scotland, the latter under the Scottish Educational trust.

A review is also given of the growth of the International Theosophical Fraternity in Education. During the past year Belgium, France, Mexico and Sweden have organized Fraternities; and the American and Holland sections have each their established schools, the School of the Open Gate and the Pythagoras School respectively.

School of the Open Gate

Announcement in August, 1937 issue of The American Theosophist
An unsectarian school under Theosophical auspices in the Ojai Valley, California, dedicated to the building of character, the international viewpoint, and the will to peace.
The day school has been running two years. On September 15, 1937, the boarding department will open for boys and girls over five and under twelve years of age.
For further information apply to

Julia K. Sommer and schoolchildren on Mt. Wilson in 1922

The School of the Open Gate was a Theosophical school near Krotona in Hollywood, California, founded in 1918 by Mary Gray of Boston.[1] In the General Report of the T. S. of that year it was introduced:

The School of the Open Gate is a new T. S. venture within a charming little hill-side glen almost adjoining Krotona. Here the Theosophical principles of education will be employed by a corps of teachers trained in the best modern methods. The faces of the children who have come from far and wide show a quality which makes any effort worth while on their behalf. The organization known as the Theosophical Fraternity in Education is growing throughout the Section and is engaged in spreading the ideals of Theosophical education where they will do the most good in American public educational systems.[2]

The Handbook of Private Schools described it as "a modern open air school of the Theosophical cult for children from kindergarten to high school."[3]

In 1919 the responsibility for the school was transferred to the Theosophical Fraternity in Education, based in Chicago. Bonds were offered for $25 at 7% interest to finance school land and buildings, and donations were requested for a scholarship fund.[4]

Julia K. Sommer served as principal of the school from 1920-1925. She wrote:

Eight o'clock in the morning and a merry crowd of children dressed as for a hike were waiting expectantly in front of the main building of the School of the Open Gate one sunny day. Why so early? Soon the school bus drove up and all piled in and were driven off toward the boulevard. "We're going to Mt. Wilson" they shouted to a passerby who looked questioningly at the past disappearing bus. Their answer explains the early start. And a tired but happy lot of children and teachers came back just before bedtime that night. Some of them had that day seen snow for the first time in this life. A few of the more hardy ones had climbed to the very top of the mountain and had seen the observatory. They had gained first hand information of much that hitherto had been mere book knowledge to them.

This is the educational theory according to which the work of the School of the Open Gate is carried on - to get the children into intimate touch with that which they are studying, to make the world and life a real and living experience to them. Later the students of Shakespeare in the more advanced grades formed a theatre party with several members of the faculty and attended Robert Mantell's presentation of "As You Like It."

The geography of nearby fields, canyons and hills; the arithmetic required to keep score in games, to carry on a store, to sell the vegetables raised by them in the school gardens; and that necessary in the school shops all help to make lessons vivid and lasting in their effect upon young minds.[5]

Among the children who attended the school were Grayson and Stanley Rogers, the sons of L. W. Rogers, and the sons of Col. Bustillo of the Cuban army.[6] On April 7, 1922, students demonstrated their Theosophical attitudes with a generous project:

On Friday, April 7th, some of the pupils of the School of the Open Gate, gave an original entertainment for the benefit of the Panchama Free Schools of India. None of the faculty had been asked for either suggestions or help, and it was a great surprise to all who attended, both for the beauty of the entertainment and the fine spirit of helpfulness that prompted it...

The following children took part: Robert White, Genevieve Doolittle, Hari Cruz, Bernard Sacks, Etheleon Stanton, Dorothy White, Margaret Ann Veeck, and Dana Cruz. Miss irene Doolittle helped the children by giving a very beautiful dance.[7]


• "Coeducational Schools," The Handbook of Private Schools Volume 7 (Boston: Porter Sargent, 1922), 272. Available at Google Books.
• A. P. Warrington, "Report of the T.S. in America: Education," General Report of the T. S., 1918 (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1919), 40.
• "Coeducational Schools," The Handbook of Private Schools Volume 7 (Boston: Porter Sargent, 1922), 272. Available at Google Books.
• Julia K. Sommer, "The School of the Open Gate" The Messenger 9.4 (September 1921), 83.
• "The School of the Open Gate," The Messenger 8.10 (March 1921), 632.
• Anonymous, "The Cuban Section and the Next Congress" The Messenger 9.10 (March 1922), 224.
• Anonymous, "For the Panchama Fund" The Messenger 9.12 (May, 1922), 266.

-- School of the Open Gate, by Theosophy Wiki

Mrs. Robert [Beatrice] Ensor is Director-Secretary and Organizer of the Theosophical Education Trust in Great Britain and Ireland, and Capt. Ensor is the Business Manager."[1]

Additional resources

SEE ALSO Mary K. Neff, George S. Arundale


1. "The Theosophical Educational Trust," The Messenger 8.10 (March, 1921), 632.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:33 am

G. R. S. Mead
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



G. R. S. Mead.

George Robert Stowe Mead (22 March 1863 in Peckham, Surrey[1] (Nuneaton, Warwickshire?)[2] – 28 September 1933 in London)[3]) was an English historian, writer, editor, translator, and an influential member of the Theosophical Society, as well as the founder of the Quest Society. His scholarly works dealt mainly with the Hermetic and Gnostic religions of Late Antiquity, and were exhaustive for the time period.

Birth and family

Mead was born in Peckham, Surrey, England to British Army Colonel Robert Mead and his wife Mary (née Stowe), who had received a traditional education at Rochester Cathedral School.

Mead, a highly intuitive and insightful scholar, whose literary activities fall into the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century must be regarded as a pioneer of the first order in the field of Gnostic and Hermetic studies[citation needed]. As the late poet and esoteric student Kenneth Rexroth accurately stated In his introduction to the late 1950s University Books edition of Mead’s Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, the only reason for Mead’s continued neglect on the part of many academicians is the fact that he was a Theosophist. When in 1887 the redoubtable Madame Blavatsky settled in London, the young Mead joined the company of her close associates. In her circle he learned of the profound mysteries of the Gnostics and of the votaries of Hermes, soon becoming an indefatigable worker in his capacity of translator of Gnostic and Hermetic writings. [1] Admittedly, many of his translations were from other modern languages as he was not trained in Coptic.[4]

Education at Cambridge University

Having shown academic potential, Mead began studying mathematics at St John's College, Cambridge.[5] Eventually shifting his education towards the study of Classics, he gained much knowledge of Greek and Latin. In 1884 he completed a BA degree; in the same year he became a public school master.

Activity with the Theosophical Society

While still at Cambridge University Mead read Esoteric Buddhism (1883) by Alfred Percy Sinnett. This comprehensive theosophical account of the Eastern religion prompted Mead to contact two theosophists in London named Bertam Keightly and Mohini Chatterji, which eventually led him to join Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's Theosophical Society in 1884.

In 1889 he abandoned his teaching profession to become Blavatsky's private secretary, and also became a joint-secretary of the Esoteric Section (E.S.) of the Theosophical Society, reserved for those deemed more advanced.

Mead received Blavatsky's Six Esoteric Instructions and other teachings at 22 meetings headed by Blavatsky which were only attended by the Inner Group of the Theosophical Society. It was because of the intimacy Mead felt with the Inner Group that he married Laura Cooper in 1899.

Contributing intellectually to the Theosophical Society, at first most interested in Eastern religions, he quickly became more and more attracted to Western esotericism in religion and philosophy, particularly Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, and Hermeticism, although his scholarship and publications continued to engage with Eastern religion. Making many contributions to the Theosophical Society's Lucifer as joint editor, he eventually became the sole editor of The Theosophical Review in 1907 (as Lucifer was renamed in 1897).

As of February 1909 Mead and some 700 members of the Theosophical Society's British Section resigned in protest at Annie Besant's reinstatement of Charles Webster Leadbeater to membership in the society. Leadbeater had been a prominent member of the Theosophical Society until he was accused in 1906 of teaching masturbation to the sons of some American Theosophists under the guise of occult training. While this prompted Mead's resignation, his frustration at the dogmatism of the Theosophical Society may also have been a major contributor to his break after 25 years.

The Quest Society

In March 1909 Mead founded the Quest Society, composed of 150 defectors of the Theosophical Society and 100 other new members. Very intentionally this new society was planned to be an undogmatic approach to the comparative study and investigation of religion, philosophy, and science. The Quest Society had lectures at Kensington Town Hall in central London but its most focused effort was in its publishing of The Quest: A Quarterly Review which ran from 1909-1931 with many contributors.


Notable persons influenced by Mead include Ezra Pound, W.B. Yeats, Hermann Hesse, Kenneth Rexroth, and Robert Duncan. The seminal influence of G.R.S. Mead on Carl Gustav Jung, confirmed by the scholar of Gnosticism Gilles Quispel, a friend of Jung's, has been documented by several scholars. [6] [7] The popularity of a 20th-century Theosophical or esoteric interpretation of "gnosis" and the "Gnostics" led to an influential conception among scholars of an essential doctrinal and practicing commonality among the various groups deemed "Gnostic," which has been criticized by scholars such as Michael Allen Williams in his book Rethinking Gnosticism[8] and by Karen L. King[9] in recent decades.


• Address read at H.P. Blavatsky's cremation (1891)
• Simon Magus (1892)
• Orpheus (1895/6)
• Pistis Sophia (1896; 2nd ed. 1921)
• Fragments of a Faith Forgotten (1900)
• Apollonius of Tyana (1901)
• Did Jesus Live 100 BC? (1903)
• Concerning H.P.B. (1904)
• Thrice Greatest Hermes, vol. 1 (London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906)
• Thrice Greatest Hermes, vol. 2 (London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906)
• Thrice Greatest Hermes, vol. 3 (London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906)
• Echoes from The Gnosis (1906-1907). A collection of 11 volumes, which includes:
• The Hymns of Hermes
• The Gnosis of the Mind (1906)
• The Gnostic Crucifixion (1907)
• Some Mystical Adventures (1910)
• Quests Old and New (1913)
• The Vision Of Aridæus
• The Hymn Of Jesus
• The Mysteries Of Mithra
• A Mithraic Ritual
• The Chaldæan Oracles Vol. 1
• The Chaldæan Oracles Vol. 2
• The Hymn of the Robe Of Glory
• The Wedding Song Of Wisdom
• Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandæan John-Book (1924)
• Commentary on "Pœmandres"
• Introduction to Pistis Sophia
• Introduction to Marcion
• Doctrine of the Subtle Body in Western Tradition

See also

• Poemandres
• Gospel of Marcion
• Pistis Sophia
• Thomas Taylor
• Hermetica
• Acts of John
• Mandaeanism
• Marcionism
• Mohini Mohun Chatterji
• Hymn of the Pearl


1. GRO index of births 1863 Q2 vol 1d page 525 Camberwell
2. G.R.S. Mead and the Gnostic Quest by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke and Clare Goodrick-Clarke
3. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Clare Goodrick-Clarke (eds), G. R. S. Mead and the Gnostic Quest, North Atlantic Books, 2005, p. 32.
4. See the Bibliographical Note in the Dover edition of his Pistis Sophia, which states "Mead's English Translation does not derive from the original Coptic, but from the 1851 Latin translation by M. G. Scwartze, the 1895 French translation by E. Amelineau, and the 1905 German translation by Carl Schmidt."
5. "Mead, George Robert Stow (MT881GR)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
6. Tilton, Hereward (2017). "Gnosis of the Eternal Æon: Jung, G. R. S. Mead and the Serpentine Path of the Soul" (PDF). Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei. 10: 243–261.
7. Goodrick-Clarke, Clare and Nicholas (2005). G.R.S. Mead and the Gnostic Quest. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic books. pp. 27–31, 176. ISBN 1-55643-572-X.
8. Williams, Michael Allen (1996). Rethinking "Gnosticism:" An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
9. King, Karen L. (2003). What is Gnosticism?. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

External links

• Works by G. R. S. Mead at Project Gutenberg
• Extensive on-line collection of the writings of GRS Mead (at the Gnosis Archive)
• Brief bio with poor picture
• Same picture, but much larger and clearer
• Later Picture with no text
• Long biography
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:41 am

Mary Esther Harding
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Mary Esther Harding (1888–1971) was a British-American Jungian analyst who was the first significant Jungian psychoanalyst in the United States.

Personal life

Mary Esther Harding was born in Shropshire, England as the fourth of six daughters of a dental surgeon. She was an avid reader and was home schooled until the age of eleven. Pursuing her goal of becoming a missionary doctor, she attended the London School of Medicine for Women, where she graduated in 1914 in a class of nine students. She was then an intern at the Royal Infirmary in London, the first hospital in London to accept women interns. At that time she wrote her first book, The Circulatory Failure of Diphtheria and later herself contracted the disease. After her recovery a friend named Constance Long gave her Beatrice Hinkle's translation of Psychology of the Unconscious by Carl Gustav Jung, which led her to move to Switzerland and enter analysis with him, along with a small group of other students attending Jung's Küsnacht home near Zurich.


In 1919, Eleanor Bertine and Kristine Mann traveled to Zurich following an International Conference of Medical Women. Eleanor Bertine and Esther Harding developed a close relationship there and, in 1924, decided to relocate to New York City. Each year they would travel to Zurich for two months of analysis and spend summers at Bailey Island, Maine, the ancestral summer home of Kristine Mann. There they saw analysands from the United States and Canada in a quiet, comfortable setting away from the distractions of daily life and conducive to profound experiences of the unconscious.

Jungian Community

Mary Esther Harding became influential in the New York City Jungian Analytical psychology community. She was a prodigious writer and a frequent lecturer in the United States and Canada. Her first book on analytical psychology, entitled The Way of All Women, was an instant-best seller and has been translated into many languages and introduced many people to Jung's psychology. Harding wrote many other well-known books, including: Psychic Energy, Women's Mysteries, The Parental Image, and The I and not I, along with numerous papers on a variety of subjects from depression to religion.

Harding helped to found many Jungian organizations, such as the Analytical Psychology Club of New York in 1936, the Medical Society for Analytical Psychology - Eastern Division in 1946, and the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology in 1963. She died in 1971.

Books by Mary Esther Harding

• M. Esther Harding, The Circulatory Failure of Diphtheria: A thesis for the degree of Doctor of Medicine in the University of London, University of London Press, 1920, ASIN B00087EDZI
• M. Esther Harding, Woman's Mysteries. Ancient and modern: A psychological interpretation of the feminine principle as portrayed in myth, story, and dreams(London: Longmans, Green 1936; rev'd ed., New York: Pantheon 1955), ASIN B0006AU8SI
• M. Esther Harding, The Way of All Women, Putnam Publishing, (New York: 1970 ISBN 1-57062-627-8
• M. Esther Harding, Psychic Energy, its source and goal, New York, Pantheon, 1947, Bollingen Series No. 10, ASIN B00005XR4E
• M. Esther Harding, Psychic Energy: Its Source and Its Transformation, foreword by C.G. Jung, 1963, Paper 0-691-01790-5
• M. Esther Harding, The Parental Image;: Its injury and reconstruction; a study in analytical psychology, Published by Putnam for the C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology (1965), ASIN B0006BMVIM
• Mary Esther Harding, The I and the Not-I, Bollingen: 1 January 1974, ISBN 0-691-01796-4
• Esther M. Harding, The Value and Meaning of Depression, Analytical Psychology Club, June, 1985, ISBN 0-318-04660-1
• M. Esther Harding, A short review of Dr. Jung's article Redemption ideas in alchemy, ASIN B0008C5SP2
• M. Esther Harding, The mother archetype and its functioning in life, Analytical Psychology Club of New York City, 1939, ASIN B00089E47S
• M. Esther Harding, Afterthoughts on The Pilgrim, Analytical Psychology Club of New York, 1957, ASIN B0006RJAD0
• M. Esther Harding, Inward Journey, Sigo; 2nd edition, October, 1991, ISBN 0-938434-61-6
• M. Esther Harding, Way of All Women: a Psychological Interpretation, HarperCollins, 1 January 1975, ISBN 0-609-03996-2
• M. Esther Harding, Journey Into Self, Longman Green & Co., 1956
• M. Esther Harding, Woman's Mysteries: Ancient & Modern, Longmans Green & Co., 1935
• M. Esther Harding, The Way of All Women, Longman Green & Co., 1933


• Thomas B Kirsch, The Jungians, Routledge 1 Jan 2000, ISBN 0-415-15861-3
• Ronald Hayman, A Life of Jung, W. W. Norton & Company, 1 June 2002, ISBN 0-393-32322-6

Further reading

Anthony, M. (1990). The Valkyries: The Women around Jung. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:52 am

Edward L. Gardner
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 8/16/19



E. L. Gardner in 1927

E. L. Gardner as member of Exec Committee of TS in England

N. Sri Ram and E. L. Gardner at Tekels Park. © Theosophical Society in England Archives.

Edward Lewis Gardner (1869-1969) was a noted writer and lecturer from the English Section of the Theosophical Society based in Adyar, India.

Personal life

Gardner was born at Coggeshall, Essex, England in 1869. He was first married to Clara Beard in 1892. She died in 1920, and he later, in 1922, married Eliza Adelaide Draper, a respected Theosophical writer and lecturer who was born in the United States.

Theosophical Society involvement

Gardner joined the TS on April 17, 1907. He served as General Secretary of the English Section from 1924-28. According to Theosopedia,

Gardner traveled widely as an International Lecturer for the Theosophical Society. In 1926 he founded the theosophical community at Stamford House, Wimbledon, London, and presided over it until 1940. Gardner was one of a group that bought Tekels Park, now vested in the English section of the TS. [1]

In 1918 Gardner had the honor of delivering the inaugural Blavatsky Lecture on the subject of "Matter is the Shadow of Spirit," followed by "The Nature and Function of the Soul" in 1946, and "Whence Come the Gods? and Related Studies" in 1959.

Later years

Bookmark featuring Gardner, issued by TS in England

Book cover, 1962.


Gardner was much known for his writings. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 74 articles under the name EL Gardner, 3 under E L Gardner, and 14 under Edward L Gardner.

In 1940 he was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his contributions to Theosophical literature. These are books and pamphlets that he wrote:

• The Fourth Creative Hierarchy, Matter is the Shadow of Spirits, and The Web of the Universe. Madras, India: F.E. Philp & Sons, 1913. Reprinted 1936, rev. Ed. 1938.
• The Web of the Universe. 1936.
• The Play of Consciousness. 1939.
• Fairies; A book of Real Fairies. 1945.
• Fairies: The Cottingley Photographs and Their Sequel. 1945.
• The Mysteries. 1945.
• The Nature and the Function of the Soul. 1946.
• The Imperishable Body. 1949.
• The Heavenly Man. 1952.
• The Wider View & Studies in the Secret Doctrine. 1962. Håkan Blomqvist describes this as "a collection of articles published between 1944-1959. In several of these articles Gardner tries to understand the UFO enigma from a Theosophical viewpoint. His theory is that they represent either etheric Venusians or deva materializations."[2]
• There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth. 1964. Booklet.
• A Mind to Embrace the Universe. 1965.
• Thyself Both Heaven and Hell. 1966.


1. "Gardner, Edward Lewis" in Theosopedia.
2. Håkan Blomqvist at at UFOArchives.blogspot.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:01 am

Adolphe Ferrière
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Adolphe Emmanuel Ferrière
Born 30 August 1879
Geneva, Switzerland
Died 16 June 1960 (aged 80)
Geneva, Switzerland
Nationality Swiss
Education University of Geneva
Occupation Educator, Author
Known for pedagogy

Adolphe Ferrière (Geneva, 1879 - Geneva, 1960) was one of the founders of the movement of the progressive education. He shortly worked in a school in Glarisegg (TG,CH) and later founded an experimental school ('La Forge') in Lausanne, Switzerland, but Adolphe Ferrière had to quickly abandon teaching due to his deafness. In 1921, he founded the New Education Fellowship, in which he wrote the charter. The congress of this league until the Second World War included a number of other teachers: Maria Montessori, Célestin Freinet, Gisèle de Failly and Roger Cousinet. He worked as a humanist and an editor from 1919 to 1922 on the pacifist journal 'l'Essor' (The Rise). [1] He was one of the founding members of the International Bureau of Education (IBE) in 1925, and served as its first Deputy Director alongside Elisabeth Rotten.[2] He was also a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).[1] · [3] Throughout his life, he has published a substantial number of books, some of which were done with Karl-Ernst Krafft.[1] · [4]

He is listed as one of the 100 most famous educators, by the International Bureau of Education (IBE).[5]


• Science and faith, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1912
• The law of progress in biology and sociology, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1915
• Transforming schools, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1920 (reprint 1948)
• The autonomy of students, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1921 (reprint 1950)
• The spontaneous activity in children, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1922
• Education in the family, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1920
• The practice of active school, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1922 (reprint 1929)
• The active school, 1920 (reprint 1953)
• The coééducation gender, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1926. (included in "Transforming Schools", 1948)
• Spiritual progress, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1926
• Bakula and his work educator, 1926
• The maternal heart Pestalozzi, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1928
• The psychological types in children, in adults and in the course of education, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1922
• The future of genetic psychology, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1931
• The school measure, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1931
• Characterological typocosmique, Geneva and Paris, 1932.
• In collaboration with Karl-Ernst Krafft
• Our children and the future of the country, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1942
• Human liberation, Éditions du Mont Blanc, Geneva, 1943
• Towards a natural classification of psychological types, Nice, 1943
• Children's Home after the war, Delachaux and Niestlé, Neuchâtel, 1945
• The school workforce across Europe, Michon, Paris, 1948
• Brief introduction to the new education, Bourrelier, Paris, 1951
• The mystery of the person, Rigois, Turin, 1955

See also

• Pedagogy


1. ... rriere.pdf
2. IBE (2015). IBE In Focus: 90 years of excellence in education (PDF). UNESCO. p. 22.
3. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
4. ... 5PPzheEKIw[permanent dead link]
5. ... ation.html
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:12 am

Karl Ernst Krafft
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Karl Ernst Krafft (10 May 1900 – 8 January 1945) was a Swiss astrologer, born in Basel. He worked on the fields of astrology and graphology.[1]

Astrology career

After graduating from university in mathematics, for the best part of ten years he worked on a massive book entitled Traits of Astro-Biology. This expounded his own theory of "Typocosmy": the prediction of the future based on the study of an individual's personality, or type.[1] By the early 1930s, when Hitler had come to power, Krafft enjoyed a unique status among occultists and prophets in Germany. The National Socialists, later to become his patrons, at first posed a threat to him. Occultists, like Freemasons, were among those harassed and vilified by most National Socialists.

While the Nazi state persecuted astrologers, Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler consulted them. Krafft moved into the orbit of the National Socialist elite in November 1939 when he made a remarkable prediction. He predicted that the Führer's life would be in danger between 7 and 10 November.[1] He wrote, on 2 November to a friend, Dr Heinrich Fesel, who worked for Himmler, warning him of an attempt on Hitler's life.[2] Fesel filed the letter away, unwillingly to become enmeshed in something dangerous.[citation needed]

On 8 November, a bomb exploded at the Munich beer hall. There were many injuries but the target, Adolf Hitler, was unscathed because he left the assembly in the hall a few minutes before the explosion. When newspapers reported the near-catastrophe Fesel dispatched a telegram to Hess, drawing attention to Krafft's prediction. Krafft was arrested and brought to Gestapo Headquarters in Berlin. Krafft's proclamation of exacting astrological rules managed to convince the Gestapo that astrology enabled its practitioners to make accurate forecasts of future events resulting in now being employed by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, the SS and even the Foreign Office to carry out astrological studies of a political nature.[2] After his release he was summoned to the Reich Propaganda ministry, run by Dr Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels had recently taken to poring over Nostradamus, trying to squeeze propaganda from the prophecies. Krafft, he felt, should work on deciphering the cryptic quatrains. In January 1940, Krafft began work on a pro-German evaluation of Nostradamus.[citation needed]

Krafft was convinced that the prophecies of Nostradamus boded well for the Third Reich. Tens of thousands of pamphlets based upon his interpretations of the quatrains were translated and circulated in six languages: French (translated by Krafft himself), Danish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish[3] and he soon came to the attention of the Führer. In the spring of 1940 he gave a private horoscope reading for Hitler to an aide. but he never met his leader.[4]

British intelligence became so concerned at the thought that their opponent's war was being conducted by a mystic that they, for a time, hired the services of astrologer Louis De Wohl. De Wohl was quietly dropped after several months, having failed to procure any hard evidence about Krafft's work.

Krafft warned the Reich leaders that for victory to be certain, the war must end for Germany in 1943. Krafft's star was still in the ascendancy when Rudolf Hess made his astonishing flight to Scotland in 1941. Hitler was outraged. Hess was the biggest occult supporter of them all. Hitler ordered a purge of astrologers, occultists and other sages. Krafft was caught up in this.[2] He worked on horoscopes of Allied generals and admirals, having informal contacts with Kurd Kisshauer and Amt Rosenberg. One of his predictions when seeing the charts of both Rommel and Bernard Montgomery, adversaries in the desert war, was: "Well this man Montgomery's chart is certainly stronger than Rommel's."[4]

Later life

Krafft was arrested in June 12, 1941 as part of a crackdown on astrologers, faith healers and occultists following Rudolf Hess's flight to England. While imprisoned, Krafft's health began to fail and he developed a persecution complex. He wrote to a senior official predicting that British bombs would very soon destroy the Propaganda ministry in Berlin (another true statement). He contracted typhus, and eventually died on 8 January 1945 en route to the Buchenwald concentration camp.{Howe, Ellic,1967, "Astrology and Psychological Warfare During World War II" Rider & Co 191}[2]

See also

• Nazi mysticism


1. T.W.M. van Berkel. "Information on Karl Ernst Krafft". Nostradamus Research., Retrieved 2013-5-30.
2. Wing, Richard (30 April 2012). "Hitler and the secret astrologers". Unexplained Mysteries., Retrieved 2013-5-30.
3. T.W.M. van Berkel. "World War II Krafft". Nostradamus Research., Retrieved 2013-5-30.
4. Currey, Robert (March 1, 2008). "Strange Role of Astrology in World War II"., Retrieved 2013-5-30.
• Zodiac and Swastika by Wilhelm Wulff.
• Mysteries of the Unexplained Section 2 (Karl Ernst Krafft and the Hitler Horoscopes) by Reuben Stone.
• Astrology and Psychological Warfare during World War II by Ellic Howe.

External links

• Karl E.Krafft -photo, bio from Russia
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:19 am

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Eranos is an intellectual discussion group dedicated to humanistic and religious studies, as well as to the natural sciences which has met annually in Moscia (Lago Maggiore), the Collegio Papio and on the Monte Verità in Ascona Switzerland since 1933.

It has also been the name for a circle of scholars at Heidelberg (Germany) in the early 20th century. Among others, Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch were members of the "Heidelberg Eranos".

The name is derived from the Ancient Greek word ἔρανος meaning "a banquet to which the guests bring contributions of food, a no-host dinner." The circle at Moscia was founded by Olga Froebe-Kapteyn[1] in 1933, and these conferences have been held annually on the grounds of her estate (on the shores of Lago Maggiore near Ascona in Switzerland) ever since. For over seventy years this event has served as a point of contact for thinkers from disparate fields of knowledge ranging from depth psychology and comparative religion to history, literary criticism and folklore, and provides a setting and a congenial group within which to discuss all things spiritual. Each conference takes place over eight days, during which time all participants eat, sleep and live together, thereby promoting a camaraderie which fosters an atmosphere of free and open discussion. Each year a new theme is addressed, and each participant scholar delivers a two-hour lecture on a topic of his choice relating to the theme — his/her contribution to the ‘banquet’ of ideas — thereby attempting to draw these multifarious thinkers into productive intellectual discourse.

Eranos’ beginnings

Froebe-Kapteyn established this group at the suggestion of the eminent German religious historian, Rudolf Otto. Froebe-Kapteyn was the Dutch foundress of the literary salon "Table Ronde" (Round Table), which is indicative of the Eranos’ ‘spiritualist’ bent. Indeed Eranos was from its very outset interested in these issues and its first theme, ‘Yoga and Meditation in East and West’, was a truly pioneering subject in the early 1930s. Past themes include Ancient Sun Cults and the Symbolism of Light in the Gnosis and in Early Christianity (1943), Man and Peace (1958), Creation and Organization (1966) and The Truth of Dreams (1995). Participants over the years have included Heinrich Zimmer (Indian religious art), Karl Kerényi (Greek mythology), Mircea Eliade (history of religions), Carl Gustav Jung and Erich Neumann (analytical psychology), Alfons Rosenberg (symbolism), Gilles Quispel (gnostic studies), Gershom Scholem (Jewish mysticism), Henry Corbin (Islamic religion), Gilbert Durand (symbolic anthropology), Adolf Portmann (biology), Herbert Read (art history), Max Knoll (physics), and Joseph Campbell (comparative mythology).[2] The Eranos conferences have resulted in the publication of a number of books.[3] Anyone may attend the lectures upon payment of a small fee.


1. Eranos Foundation (History) Archived 2009-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
2. Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism Archived 2006-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
3. List of published Eranos Lectures

Further reading

• ERANOS, Neue Folge (New series), 1993ff. Königshausen & Neumann, Wuerzburg, 17 volumes published in 2016.
• HAKL, Hans Thomas, Der verborgene Geist von Eranos – Unbekannte Begegnungen von Wissenschaft und Esoterik – Eine alternative Geistesgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, Scientia nova-Verlag Neue Wissenschaft, Bretten 2001.
• BERNARDINI, Riccardo, Jung a Eranos. Il progetto della psicologia complessa. FrancoAngeli, Milano 2011, ISBN 978-88-568-3449-9.
• QUAGLINO, Gian Piero, ROMANO, Augusto, & BERNARDINI, Riccardo (Eds.), Carl Gustav Jung a Eranos 1933-1952, Antigone Edizioni, Torino 2007, ISBN 978-88-95283-13-5.
• REIBNITZ, Barbara von, “Der Eranos-Kreis – Religionswissenschaft und Weltanschauung oder der Gelehrte als Laien-Priester", in: FABER, Richard, & HOLSTE, Christine (Ed.), Kreise, Gruppen, Bünde – Zur Soziologie moderner Intellektuellerassoziation, Könighausen + Neumann, Würzburg 2000, pp. 425–440.
• BARONE, Elisabetta, et al., Pioniere, Poeten, Professoren - Eranos und Monte Verità in der Zivilisationsgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2004 [articles in English, German, Italian].
• SCHABERT, Tilo, "Une herméneutique intercivilisatrice: L`École d`Eranos", in: WEILL, Nicolas (Ed.), Existe-il une Europe philosophique?, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Rennes 2005, pp. 297–302.
• SCHABERT, Tilo, "The Eranos Experience",in: Barone, Elisabetta et al., Pioniere, Poeten, Professoren, 9-19; online:
• SCHABERT, Tilo, "In the Fading of Divine Voices: The Song of Eranos", in: Tilo Schabert, Matthias Riedl (Eds.), "Gott oder Götter? - God or Gods?", Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2009, 181-188; online:
• SCHABERT, Tilo, "On the recent history of the Eranos-Tagungen. From Olga Froebe-Kapteyn to the Amici di Eranos", in: Matthias Riedl, Tilo Schabert, (Eds.), "Die Stadt: Achse und Zentrum der Welt - The City: Axis and Centre of the World", Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2011, 133-142; online: ... gungen.pdf
• SCHABERT, Tilo (Ed.) "The Eranos Movement. A Story of Hermeneutics", Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg, 2016, 202 p., ISBN 978-3-8260-5855-4.
• WASSERSTROM, Steven M., Religion after religion. Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1999, ISBN 0-691-00539-7.
• GASSEAU, Maurizio, & BERNARDINI, Riccardo, "Il sogno: prospettive di Eranos", in: GASSEAU, Maurizio, & BERNARDINI, Riccardo (Eds.), Il sogno. Dalla psicologia analitica allo psicodramma junghiano, FrancoAngeli, Milano 2009, pp. 15–55, ISBN 978-88-568-0679-3.
See also: "Selected Bibliography",

External links

• Eranos Foundation official website
• Eranos Unofficial Site
• Who is who in Analytical Psychology?: Eranos Circle
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:23 am

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Historically, the term 'Kosmobiologie' was used by the German medical astrologer Friedrich Feerhow and Swiss statistician Karl Krafft in a more general sense "to designate that branch of astrology working on scientific foundations and keyed to the natural sciences".[1]

The term cosmobiology was popularized in English after the translation of the writings of Reinhold Ebertin, who based a large part of his techniques on the midpoint-astrology work of Alfred Witte[2] The term most frequently refers to the school of astrology founded by Ebertin. The main difference between Witte's Hamburg School and Ebertin's Cosmobiology is that Cosmobiology rejects the hypothetical Trans-Neptunian objects used by the Hamburg School and practitioners of Uranian astrology. Another difference is the significant expansion of Cosmobiology into medical astrology, Dr. Ebertin being a physician.

Cosmobiology continued Witte's ultimate primary emphasis on the use of astrological midpoints along with the following 8th-harmonic aspects in the natal chart, which both Witte and Ebertin found to be the most potent in terms of personal influence: conjunction (0°), semi-square (45°), square (90°), sesquiquadrate (135°), and opposition (180°).

In cosmobiological analysis, planets are inserted into a special type of horoscope often referred to as a 'Cosmogram' (derived from the Uranian 90° dial chart) and delineated.

The primary reference/research text for Cosmobiology was first published in 1940 by the German astrologer Reinhold Ebertin. The name of the book is The Combination of Stellar Influences. The original German title is Kombination der Gestirneinflusse. Its foundations were derived largely from the early versions of the "Regelwerk für Planetenbilder" by Alfred Witte, and then further built upon by Ebertin and colleagues.

Ebertin defined Cosmobiology as the following:

"Cosmobiology is a scientific discipline concerned with the possible correlation between the cosmos and organic life and the effects of cosmic rhythms and stellar motion on man, with all his potentials and dispositions, his character and the possible turns of fate; it also researches these correlation and effects as mirrored by earth's plant and animal life as a whole. In this endeavor, Cosmobiology utilises modern-day methods of scientific research, such as statistics, analysis, and computer programming. It is of prime importance, however, in view of the scientific effort expended, not to overlook the macrocosmic and microcosmic interrelations incapable of measurement."[3]

What is noteworthy about both Cosmobiology and Uranian astrology, which has developed along a different path technically, is their emphasis on critical analysis and testing by observing more clearly measurable or observable astrological correlations, rather than to simply perpetuate observations or assumptions written in historical astrological texts, a problem leading to widespread criticism of mainstream Classical Astrology. Some have speculated that the term "Cosmobiology" was coined specifically to divorce its precepts from the manifold ambiguities of, and subsequent widespread biases against, Classical Astrology.

Three prominent published Cosmobiological authors in the English language are German-American cosmobiologist Eleonora Kimmel, American cosmobiologist Aren Ober (formerly Savalan), and Australian cosmobiologist Doris Greaves, all of whom have published texts in Cosmobiology based on their own substantial experiences.


1. Ebertin acknowledges this in Ebertin 1972 p.11
2. Ebertin acknowledges substantial reference to the earlier work of Alfred Witte in Ebertin 1972, pp.28, although Ebertin differed with Witte on methodological approach.
3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
• Brau, Jean-Louis: Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology, McGraw-Hill Books, New York USA, 1977.
• Ebertin, Reinhold: Astrological Healing, Samuel Weiser Books, York Beach ME USA, 1989.
• Ebertin, Reinhold: Combination of Stellar Influences, Ebertin-Verlag, Aalen, Germany, 1972.
• Greaves, Doris: Regulus Ebertin Cosmobiology beyond 2000, Regulus Astrological Publications, Red Hill ACT, Australia, 1999.
• Kimmel, Eleonora: Cosmobiology for the 21st Century, American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe AZ USA, 2000.
• Ober, Aren: Midpoint Interpretation Simplified, 2nd Edition, Cotter Books, Cleveland OH USA, 2009.
• Witte, Alfred: Der Mensch, Ludwig Rudolph Verlag, Hamburg, Germany, 1975.
• Witte, Alfred: Regelwerk für Planetenbilder, Ludwig Rudolph Verlag, Hamburg, Germany, 1928.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:34 am

Part 1 of 2

Jean Piaget
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/16/19



Jean Piaget
Piaget at the University of Michigan, c. 1968
Born Jean William Fritz Piaget
9 August 1896
Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died 16 September 1980 (aged 84)
Geneva, Switzerland
Alma mater University of Neuchâtel
Known for Constructivism, Genevan School, genetic epistemology, theory of cognitive development, object permanence, egocentrism
Scientific career
Fields Developmental psychology, epistemology
Influences Immanuel Kant, Henri Bergson,[1] Pierre Janet, Alfred Binet, Théodore Simon, Sabina Spielrein, James Mark Baldwin[2]
Influenced Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, Bärbel Inhelder,[3][4] Jerome Bruner,[5] Kenneth Kaye,[citation needed] Lawrence Kohlberg,[6] Robert Kegan,[7] Howard Gardner,[8] Thomas Kuhn,[9] Seymour Papert,[10] Lev Vygotsky,[11][12] Jordan Peterson, John Flavell, Yann LeCun[13]

Jean Piaget (UK: /piˈæʒeɪ/,[14][15] US: /ˌpiːəˈʒeɪ, pjɑːˈʒeɪ/,[14][16][17][18] French: [ʒɑ̃ pjaʒɛ]; 9 August 1896 – 16 September 1980) was a Swiss psychologist known for his work on child development. Piaget's theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called "genetic epistemology".

Piaget placed great importance on the education of children. As the Director of the International Bureau of Education, he declared in 1934 that "only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual."[19] His theory of child development is studied in pre-service education programs. Educators continue to incorporate constructivist-based strategies.

Piaget created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 while on the faculty of the University of Geneva and directed the Center until his death in 1980.[20] The number of collaborations that its founding made possible, and their impact, ultimately led to the Center being referred to in the scholarly literature as "Piaget's factory".[21]

According to Ernst von Glasersfeld, Jean Piaget was "the great pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing."[22] However, his ideas did not become widely popularized until the 1960s.[23] This then led to the emergence of the study of development as a major sub-discipline in psychology.[24] By the end of the 20th century, Piaget was second only to B. F. Skinner as the most cited psychologist of that era.[25]

Personal life

Piaget was born in 1896 in Neuchâtel, in the Francophone region of Switzerland. He was the oldest son of Arthur Piaget (Swiss), a professor of medieval literature at the University of Neuchâtel, and Rebecca Jackson (French). Piaget was a precocious child who developed an interest in biology and the natural world. His early interest in zoology earned him a reputation among those in the field after he had published several articles on mollusks by the age of 15.[26] When he was 15, his former nanny wrote to his parents to apologize for having once lied to them about fighting off a would-be kidnapper from baby Jean's pram. There never was a kidnapper. Piaget became fascinated that he had somehow formed a memory of this kidnapping incident, a memory that endured even after he understood it to be false.[27]

He developed an interest in epistemology due to his godfather's urgings to study the fields of philosophy and logic.[28] He was educated at the University of Neuchâtel, and studied briefly at the University of Zürich. During this time, he published two philosophical papers that showed the direction of his thinking at the time, but which he later dismissed as adolescent thought.[29] His interest in psychoanalysis, at the time a burgeoning strain of psychology, can also be dated to this period. Piaget moved from Switzerland to Paris, France after his graduation and he taught at the Grange-Aux-Belles Street School for Boys. The school was run by Alfred Binet, the developer of the Binet-Simon test (later revised by Lewis Terman to become the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales). Piaget assisted in the marking of Binet's intelligence tests. It was while he was helping to mark some of these tests that Piaget noticed that young children consistently gave wrong answers to certain questions. Piaget did not focus so much on the fact of the children's answers being wrong, but that young children consistently made types of mistakes that older children and adults did not. This led him to the theory that young children's cognitive processes are inherently different from those of adults. Ultimately, he was to propose a global theory of cognitive developmental stages in which individuals exhibit certain common patterns of cognition in each period of development. In 1921, Piaget returned to Switzerland as director of the Rousseau Institute in Geneva. At this time, the institute was directed by Édouard Claparède.[30] Piaget was familiar with many of Claparède's ideas including that of the psychological concept 'groping' which was closely associated with "trials and errors" observed in human mental patterns.[31]

In 1923, he married Valentine Châtenay (7 January 1899 – 3 July 1983)[32] the couple had three children, whom Piaget studied from infancy. From 1925 to 1929, Piaget worked as a professor of psychology, sociology, and the philosophy of science at the University of Neuchatel.[33] In 1929, Jean Piaget accepted the post of Director of the International Bureau of Education and remained the head of this international organization until 1968. Every year, he drafted his "Director's Speeches" for the IBE Council and for the International Conference on Public Education in which he explicitly addressed his educational credo.

Having taught at the University of Geneva and at the University of Paris, in 1964, Piaget was invited to serve as chief consultant at two conferences at Cornell University (March 11–13) and University of California, Berkeley (March 16–18). The conferences addressed the relationship of cognitive studies and curriculum development and strived to conceive implications of recent investigations of children's cognitive development for curricula.[34]

In 1979 he was awarded the Balzan Prize for Social and Political Sciences. He died in 1980 and was buried with his family in an unmarked grave in the Cimetière des Rois (Cemetery of Kings) in Geneva. This was as per his request.[35]

Career history

Bust of Jean Piaget in the Parc des Bastions, Geneva

Harry Beilin described Jean Piaget's theoretical research program[36] as consisting of four phases:

1. the sociological model of development,
2. the biological model of intellectual development,
3. the elaboration of the logical model of intellectual development,
4. the study of figurative thought.

The resulting theoretical frameworks are sufficiently different from each other that they have been characterized as representing different "Piagets." More recently, Jeremy Burman responded to Beilin and called for the addition of a phase before his turn to psychology: "the zeroeth Piaget."[37]

Piaget before psychology

Before Piaget became a psychologist, he trained in natural history and philosophy. He received a doctorate in 1918 from the University of Neuchâtel. He then undertook post-doctoral training in Zürich (1918–1919), and Paris (1919–1921). He was hired by Théodore Simon to standardize psychometric measures for use with French children in 1919.[38] The theorist we recognize today only emerged when he moved to Geneva, to work for Édouard Claparède as director of research at the Rousseau Institute, in 1922.

Sociological model of development

Piaget first developed as a psychologist in the 1920s. He investigated the hidden side of children's minds. Piaget proposed that children moved from a position of egocentrism to sociocentrism. For this explanation he combined the use of psychological and clinical methods to create what he called a semiclinical interview. He began the interview by asking children standardized questions and depending on how they answered, he would ask them a series of nonstandard questions. Piaget was looking for what he called "spontaneous conviction" so he often asked questions the children neither expected nor anticipated. In his studies, he noticed there was a gradual progression from intuitive to scientific and socially acceptable responses. Piaget theorized children did this because of the social interaction and the challenge to younger children's ideas by the ideas of those children who were more advanced.

This work was used by Elton Mayo as the basis for the famous Hawthorne Experiments.[39][40] For Piaget, it also led to an honorary doctorate from Harvard in 1936.[41]

Biological model of intellectual development

In this stage, Piaget believed that the process of thinking and the intellectual development could be regarded as an extension of the biological process of the adaptation of the species, which has also two on-going processes: assimilation and accommodation. There is assimilation when a child responds to a new event in a way that is consistent with an existing schema.[42] There is accommodation when a child either modifies an existing schema or forms an entirely new schema to deal with a new object or event.[42]

He argued infants were engaging in an act of assimilation when they sucked on everything in their reach. He claimed infants transform all objects into an object to be sucked. The children were assimilating the objects to conform to their own mental structures. Piaget then made the assumption that whenever one transforms the world to meet individual needs or conceptions, one is, in a way, assimilating it. Piaget also observed his children not only assimilating objects to fit their needs, but also modifying some of their mental structures to meet the demands of the environment. This is the second division of adaptation known as accommodation. To start out, the infants only engaged in primarily reflex actions such as sucking, but not long after, they would pick up objects and put them in their mouths. When they do this, they modify their reflex response to accommodate the external objects into reflex actions. Because the two are often in conflict, they provide the impetus for intellectual development. The constant need to balance the two triggers intellectual growth.

To test his theory, Piaget observed the habits in his own children.

Elaboration of the logical model of intellectual development

In the model Piaget developed in stage three, he argued that intelligence develops in a series of stages that are related to age and are progressive because one stage must be accomplished before the next can occur. For each stage of development the child forms a view of reality for that age period. At the next stage, the child must keep up with earlier level of mental abilities to reconstruct concepts. Piaget conceived intellectual development as an upward expanding spiral in which children must constantly reconstruct the ideas formed at earlier levels with new, higher order concepts acquired at the next level.

It is primarily the "Third Piaget" (the logical model of intellectual development) that was debated by American psychologists when Piaget's ideas were "rediscovered" in the 1960s.[43]

Study of figurative thought

Piaget studied areas of intelligence like perception and memory that are not entirely logical. Logical concepts are described as being completely reversible because they can always get back to the starting point, meaning that if one starts with a given premise and follows logical steps to reach a conclusion, the same steps may be done in the opposite order, starting from the conclusion to arrive at the premise. The perceptual concepts Piaget studied could not be manipulated. To describe the figurative process, Piaget uses pictures as examples. Pictures cannot be separated because contours cannot be separated from the forms they outline. Memory is the same way: it is never completely reversible; people cannot necessarily recall all the intervening events between two points. During this last period of work, Piaget and his colleague Inhelder also published books on perception, memory, and other figurative processes such as learning.[44][45]

Because Piaget's theory is based upon biological maturation and stages, the notion of readiness is important. Readiness concerns when certain information or concepts should be taught. According to Piaget's theory, children should not be taught certain concepts until they reached the appropriate stage of cognitive development.[46] For example, young children in the preoperational stage engage in "irreversible" thought and cannot comprehend that an item that has been transformed in some way may be returned to its original state.[47]


Main article: Piaget's theory of cognitive development

Piaget defined himself as a 'genetic' epistemologist, interested in the process of the qualitative development of knowledge. He considered cognitive structures development as a differentiation of biological regulations. When his entire theory first became known – the theory in itself being based on a structuralist and a cognitivitist approach – it was an outstanding and exciting development in regards to the psychological community at that time.[48]

There are a total of four phases in Piaget's research program that included books on certain topics of developmental psychology. In particular, during one period of research, he described himself studying his own three children, and carefully observing and interpreting their cognitive development.[49] In one of his last books, Equilibration of Cognitive Structures: The Central Problem of Intellectual Development, he intends to explain knowledge development as a process of equilibration using two main concepts in his theory, assimilation and accommodation, as belonging not only to biological interactions but also to cognitive ones.

Piaget believed answers for the epistemological questions at his time could be answered, or better proposed, if one looked to the genetic aspect of it, hence his experimentations with children and adolescents. As he says in the introduction of his book Genetic Epistemology: "What the genetic epistemology proposes is discovering the roots of the different varieties of knowledge, since its elementary forms, following to the next levels, including also the scientific knowledge."

The four development stages are described in Piaget's theory as:

1. Sensorimotor stage: from birth to age two. The children experience the world through movement and their senses. During the sensorimotor stage children are extremely egocentric, meaning they cannot perceive the world from others' viewpoints. The sensorimotor stage is divided into six substages:[50]

I. Simple reflexes;
From birth to one month old. At this time infants use reflexes such as rooting and sucking.

II. First habits and primary circular reactions;
From one month to four months old. During this time infants learn to coordinate sensation and two types of schema (habit and circular reactions). A primary circular reaction is when the infant tries to reproduce an event that happened by accident (ex.: sucking thumb).

III. Secondary circular reactions;
From four to eight months old. At this time they become aware of things beyond their own body; they are more object-oriented. At this time they might accidentally shake a rattle and continue to do it for sake of satisfaction.

IV. Coordination of secondary circular reactions;
From eight months to twelve months old. During this stage they can do things intentionally. They can now combine and recombine schemata and try to reach a goal (ex.: use a stick to reach something). They also begin to understand object permanence in the later months and early into the next stage. That is, they understand that objects continue to exist even when they can't see them.

V. Tertiary circular reactions, novelty, and curiosity;
From twelve months old to eighteen months old. During this stage infants explore new possibilities of objects; they try different things to get different results.

VI. Internalization of schemata.

Some followers of Piaget's studies of infancy, such as Kenneth Kaye[51] argue that his contribution was as an observer of countless phenomena not previously described, but that he didn't offer explanation of the processes in real time that cause those developments, beyond analogizing them to broad concepts about biological adaptation generally. Kaye's "apprenticeship theory" of cognitive and social development refuted Piaget's assumption that mind developed endogenously in infants until the capacity for symbolic reasoning allowed them to learn language.

2. Preoperational stage: Piaget's second stage, the pre-operational stage, starts when the child begins to learn to speak at age two and lasts up until the age of seven. During the pre-operational Stage of cognitive development, Piaget noted that children do not yet understand concrete logic and cannot mentally manipulate information. Children's increase in playing and pretending takes place in this stage. However, the child still has trouble seeing things from different points of view. The children's play is mainly categorized by symbolic play and manipulating symbols. Such play is demonstrated by the idea of checkers being snacks, pieces of paper being plates, and a box being a table. Their observations of symbols exemplifies the idea of play with the absence of the actual objects involved. By observing sequences of play, Piaget was able to demonstrate that, towards the end of the second year, a qualitatively new kind of psychological functioning occurs, known as the Pre-operational Stage.[52]

The pre-operational stage is sparse and logically inadequate in regard to mental operations. The child is able to form stable concepts as well as magical beliefs. The child, however, is still not able to perform operations, which are tasks that the child can do mentally, rather than physically. Thinking in this stage is still egocentric, meaning the child has difficulty seeing the viewpoint of others. The Pre-operational Stage is split into two substages: the symbolic function substage, and the intuitive thought substage. The symbolic function substage is when children are able to understand, represent, remember, and picture objects in their mind without having the object in front of them. The intuitive thought substage is when children tend to propose the questions of "why?" and "how come?" This stage is when children want the knowledge of knowing everything.[52]

The Preoperational Stage is divided into two substages:

I. Symbolic Function Substage

From two to four years of age children find themselves using symbols to represent physical models of the world around them. This is demonstrated through a child's drawing of their family in which people are not drawn to scale or accurate physical traits are given. The child knows they are not accurate but it does not seem to be an issue to them.

II. Intuitive Thought Substage

At between about the ages of four and seven, children tend to become very curious and ask many questions, beginning the use of primitive reasoning. There is an emergence in the interest of reasoning and wanting to know why things are the way they are. Piaget called it the "intuitive substage" because children realize they have a vast amount of knowledge, but they are unaware of how they acquired it. Centration, conservation, irreversibility, class inclusion, and transitive inference are all characteristics of preoperative thought.[52]

3. Concrete operational stage: from ages seven to eleven. Children can now conserve and think logically (they understand reversibility) but are limited to what they can physically manipulate. They are no longer egocentric. During this stage, children become more aware of logic and conservation, topics previously foreign to them. Children also improve drastically with their classification skills

4. Formal operational stage: from age eleven to sixteen and onwards (development of abstract reasoning). Children develop abstract thought and can easily conserve and think logically in their mind. Abstract thought is newly present during this stage of development. Children are now able to think abstractly and utilize metacognition. Along with this, the children in the formal operational stage display more skills oriented towards problem solving, often in multiple steps.

Developmental process

Piaget provided no concise description of the development process as a whole. Broadly speaking it consisted of a cycle:

• The child performs an action which has an effect on or organizes objects, and the child is able to note the characteristics of the action and its effects.
• Through repeated actions, perhaps with variations or in different contexts or on different kinds of objects, the child is able to differentiate and integrate its elements and effects. This is the process of "reflecting abstraction" (described in detail in Piaget 2001).
• At the same time, the child is able to identify the properties of objects by the way different kinds of action affect them. This is the process of "empirical abstraction".
• By repeating this process across a wide range of objects and actions, the child establishes a new level of knowledge and insight. This is the process of forming a new "cognitive stage". This dual process allows the child to construct new ways of dealing with objects and new knowledge about objects themselves.
• However, once the child has constructed these new kinds of knowledge, he or she starts to use them to create still more complex objects and to carry out still more complex actions. As a result, the child starts to recognize still more complex patterns and to construct still more complex objects. Thus a new stage begins, which will only be completed when all the child's activity and experience have been re-organized on this still higher level.

This process may not be wholly gradual, but new evidence shows that the passage into new stages is more gradual than once thought. Once a new level of organization, knowledge and insight proves to be effective, it will quickly be generalized to other areas if they exist. As a result, transitions between stages can seem to be rapid and radical, but oftentimes the child has grasped one aspect of the new stage of cognitive functioning but not addressed others. The bulk of the time spent in a new stage consists of refining this new cognitive level; however it does not always happen quickly. For example, a child may see that two different colors of Play-Doh have been fused together to make one ball, based on the color. However, if sugar is mixed into water or iced tea, then the sugar "disappeared" and therefore does not exist to the child at that stage. These levels of one concept of cognitive development are not realized all at once, giving us a gradual realization of the world around us.[53]

It is because this process takes this dialectical form, in which each new stage is created through the further differentiation, integration, and synthesis of new structures out of the old, that the sequence of cognitive stages are logically necessary rather than simply empirically correct. Each new stage emerges only because the child can take for granted the achievements of its predecessors, and yet there are still more sophisticated forms of knowledge and action that are capable of being developed.

Because it covers both how we gain knowledge about objects and our reflections on our own actions, Piaget's model of development explains a number of features of human knowledge that had never previously been accounted for. For example, by showing how children progressively enrich their understanding of things by acting on and reflecting on the effects of their own previous knowledge, they are able to organize their knowledge in increasingly complex structures. Thus, once a young child can consistently and accurately recognize different kinds of animals, he or she then acquires the ability to organize the different kinds into higher groupings such as "birds", "fish", and so on. This is significant because they are now able to know things about a new animal simply on the basis of the fact that it is a bird – for example, that it will lay eggs.

At the same time, by reflecting on their own actions, the child develops an increasingly sophisticated awareness of the "rules" that govern in various ways. For example, it is by this route that Piaget explains this child's growing awareness of notions such as "right", "valid", "necessary", "proper", and so on. In other words, it is through the process of objectification, reflection and abstraction that the child constructs the principles on which action is not only effective or correct but also justified.

One of Piaget's most famous studies focused purely on the discriminative abilities of children between the ages of two and a half years old, and four and a half years old. He began the study by taking children of different ages and placing two lines of sweets, one with the sweets in a line spread further apart, and one with the same number of sweets in a line placed more closely together. He found that, "Children between 2 years, 6 months old and 3 years, 2 months old correctly discriminate the relative number of objects in two rows; between 3 years, 2 months and 4 years, 6 months they indicate a longer row with fewer objects to have "more"; after 4 years, 6 months they again discriminate correctly" (Cognitive Capacity of Very Young Children, p. 141). Initially younger children were not studied, because if at four years old a child could not conserve quantity, then a younger child presumably could not either. The results show however that children that are younger than three years and two months have quantity conservation, but as they get older they lose this quality, and do not recover it until four and a half years old. This attribute may be lost due to a temporary inability to solve because of an overdependence on perceptual strategies, which correlates more candy with a longer line of candy, or due to the inability for a four-year-old to reverse situations.

By the end of this experiment several results were found. First, younger children have a discriminative ability that shows the logical capacity for cognitive operations exists earlier than acknowledged. This study also reveals that young children can be equipped with certain qualities for cognitive operations, depending on how logical the structure of the task is. Research also shows that children develop explicit understanding at age 5 and as a result, the child will count the sweets to decide which has more. Finally the study found that overall quantity conservation is not a basic characteristic of humans' native inheritance.

Genetic epistemology

According to Jean Piaget, genetic epistemology attempts to "explain knowledge, and in particular scientific knowledge, on the basis of its history, its sociogenesis, and especially the psychological origins of the notions and operations upon which it is based". Piaget believed he could test epistemological questions by studying the development of thought and action in children. As a result, Piaget created a field known as genetic epistemology with its own methods and problems. He defined this field as the study of child development as a means of answering epistemological questions.


A Schema is a structured cluster of concepts, it can be used to represent objects, scenarios or sequences of events or relations. The original idea was proposed by philosopher Immanuel Kant as innate structures used to help us perceive the world.[54]

A schema (pl. schemata) is the mental framework that is created as children interact with their physical and social environments.[55] For example, many 3-year-olds insist that the sun is alive because it comes up in the morning and goes down at night. According to Piaget, these children are operating based on a simple cognitive schema that things that move are alive. At any age, children rely on their current cognitive structures to understand the world around them. Moreover, younger and older children may often interpret and respond to the same objects and events in very different ways because cognitive structures take different forms at different ages.[56]

Piaget (1953) described three kinds of intellectual structures: behavioural (or sensorimotor) schemata, symbolic schemata, and operational schemata.

• Behavioural schemata: organized patterns of behaviour that are used to represent and respond to objects and experiences.
• Symbolic schemata: internal mental symbols (such as images or verbal codes) that one uses to represent aspects of experience.
• Operational schemata: internal mental activity that one performs on objects of thought.[57]

According to Piaget, children use the process of assimilation and accommodation to create a schema or mental framework for how they perceive and/or interpret what they are experiencing. As a result, the early concepts of young children tend to be more global or general in nature.[58]

Similarly, Gallagher and Reid (1981) maintained that adults view children's concepts as highly generalized and even inaccurate. With added experience, interactions, and maturity, these concepts become refined and more detailed. Overall, making sense of the world from a child's perspective is a very complex and time-consuming process.[59]

Schemata are:

• Critically important building block of conceptual development
• Constantly in the process of being modified or changed
• Modified by on-going experiences
• A generalized idea, usually based on experience or prior knowledge.[58]

These schemata are constantly being revised and elaborated upon each time the child encounters new experiences. In doing this children create their own unique understanding of the world, interpret their own experiences and knowledge, and subsequently use this knowledge to solve more complex problems. In a neurological sense, the brain/mind is constantly working to build and rebuild itself as it takes in, adapts/modifies new information, and enhances understanding.[58]

Physical microstructure of schemata

In his Biology and Knowledge (1967+ / French 1965), Piaget tentatively hinted at possible physical embodiments for his abstract schema entities. At the time, there was much talk and research about RNA as such an agent of learning, and Piaget considered some of the evidence. However, he did not offer any firm conclusions, and confessed that this was beyond his area of expertise.

One difficulty at that time was that it was generally assumed that nearly all RNA served as mere templates for protein production, and such ideas offered no coherent explanation for Piaget's schema account. However (from 2001 onward), Mattick[60] [2] and others pointed out that, in humans, only about 3% of RNA serves that purpose! — leaving ample stocks of ncRNA available for other tasks (perhaps acting in their own right, rather than as templates). On that new basis, it has now been possible to reverse engineer a seemingly plausible mechanistic framework, based on Piaget's work, accounting for some of the activities of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex etc.[61] Meanwhile it remains to be seen whether this will be consistent with new direct experimental evidence (if indeed such experiments are possible).

Research methods

Piaget wanted to revolutionize the way research was conducted. Although he started researching with his colleagues using a traditional method of data collection, he was not fully satisfied with the results and wanted to keep trying to find new ways of researching using a combination of data, which included naturalistic observation, psychometrics, and the psychiatric clinical examination, in order to have a less guided form of research that would produce more empirically valid results. As Piaget developed new research methods, he wrote a book called The Language and Thought of the Child, which aimed to synthesize the methods he was using in order to study the conclusion children drew from situations and how they arrived to such conclusion. The main idea was to observe how children responded and articulated certain situations with their own reasoning, in order to examine their thought processes (Mayer, 2005).

Piaget administered a test in 15 boys with ages ranging from 10 to 14 years in which he asked participants to describe the relationship between a mixed bouquet of flowers and a bouquet with flowers of the same color. The purpose of this study was to analyze the thinking process the boys had and to draw conclusions about the logic processes they had used, which was a psychometric technique of research. Piaget also used the psychoanalytic method initially developed by Sigmund Freud. The purpose of using such method was to examine the unconscious mind, as well as to continue parallel studies using different research methods. Psychoanalysis was later rejected by Piaget, as he thought it was insufficiently empirical (Mayer, 2005).

Piaget argued that children and adults used speech for different purposes. In order to confirm his argument, he experimented analyzing a child's interpretation of a story. In the experiment, the child listened to a story and then told a friend that same story in his/her/their own words. The purpose of this study was to examine how children verbalize and understand each other without adult intervention. Piaget wanted to examine the limits of naturalistic observation, in order to understand a child's reasoning. He realized the difficulty of studying children's thoughts, as it is hard to know if a child is pretending to believe their thoughts or not. Piaget was the pioneer researcher to examine children's conversations in a social context – starting from examining their speech and actions – where children were comfortable and spontaneous (Kose, 1987).

Issues and possible solutions

After conducting many studies, Piaget was able to find significant differences in the way adults and children reason; however, he was still unable to find the path of logic reasoning and the unspoken thoughts children had, which could allow him to study a child's intellectual development over time (Mayer, 2005). In his third book, The Child's Conception of the World, Piaget recognized the difficulties of his prior techniques and the importance of psychiatric clinical examination. The researcher believed that the way clinical examinations were conducted influenced how a child's inner realities surfaced. Children would likely respond according to the way the research is conducted, the questions asked, or the familiarity they have with the environment. The clinical examination conducted for his third book provides a thorough investigation into a child's thinking process. An example of a question used to research such process was: "Can you see a thought?" (Mayer, 2005, p. 372).

Development of new methods

Piaget recognized that psychometric tests had its limitations, as children were not able to provide the researcher with their deepest thoughts and inner intellect. It was also difficult to know if the results of child examination reflected what children believed or if it is just a pretend situation. For example, it is very difficult to know with certainty if a child who has a conversation with a toy believes the toy is alive or if the child is just pretending. Soon after drawing conclusions about psychometric studies, Piaget started developing the clinical method of examination. The clinical method included questioning a child and carefully examining their responses – in order to observe how the child reasoned according to the questions asked – and then examining the child's perception of the world through their responses. Piaget recognized the difficulties of interviewing a child and the importance of recognizing the difference between "liberated" versus "spontaneous" responses (Mayer, 2005, p. 372).

Criticism of Piaget's research methods

"The developmental theory of Jean Piaget has been criticized on the grounds that it is conceptually limited, empirically false, or philosophically and epistemologically untenable." Piaget responded to criticism by contending that the vast majority of critics did not understand the outcomes he wished to obtain from his research.[62]

As Piaget believed development was a universal process, his initial sample sizes were inadequate, particularly in the formulation of his theory of infant development.[63] Piaget's theories of infant development were based on his observations of his own three children. While this clearly presents problems with the sample size, Piaget also probably introduced confounding variables and social desirability into his observations and his conclusions based on his observations. It is entirely possible Piaget conditioned his children to respond in a desirable manner, so, rather than having an understanding of object permanence, his children might have learned to behave in a manner that indicated they understood object permanence. The sample was also very homogenous, as all three children had a similar genetic heritage and environment. Piaget did, however, have larger sample sizes during his later years.

Development of research methods

Piaget wanted to research in environments that would allow children to connect with some existing aspects of the world. The idea was to change the approach described in his book The Child's Conception of the World and move away from the vague questioning interviews. This new approach was described in his book The Child's Conception of Physical Causality, where children were presented with dilemmas and had to think of possible solutions on their own. Later, after carefully analyzing previous methods, Piaget developed a combination of naturalistic observation with clinical interviewing in his book Judgment and Reasoning in the Child, where a child's intellect was tested with questions and close monitoring. Piaget was convinced he had found a way to analyze and access a child's thoughts about the world in a very effective way (Mayer, 2005). Piaget's research provided a combination of theoretical and practical research methods and it has offered a crucial contribution to the field of developmental psychology (Beilin, 1992). "Piaget is often criticized because his method of investigation, though somewhat modified in recent years, is still largely clinical". He observes a child's surroundings and behavior. He then comes up with a hypothesis testing it and focusing on both the surroundings and behavior after changing a little of the surrounding.[64]


Photo of the Jean Piaget Foundation with Pierre Bovet (1878–1965) first row (with large beard) and Jean Piaget (1896–1980) first row (on the right, with glasses) in front of the Rousseau Institute (Geneva), 1925

Despite his ceasing to be a fashionable psychologist, the magnitude of Piaget's continuing influence can be measured by the global scale and activity of the Jean Piaget Society, which holds annual conferences and attracts around 700 participants.[65] His theory of cognitive development has proved influential in many different areas:

• Developmental psychology
• Education and Morality
• Historical studies of thought and cognition
• Evolution
• Philosophy
• Primatology
• Artificial intelligence (AI)

Developmental psychology

Piaget is the most influential developmental psychologist to date,[62] influencing not only the work of Lev Vygotsky and of Lawrence Kohlberg but whole generations of eminent academics.[clarification needed] Although subjecting his ideas to massive scrutiny led to innumerable improvements and qualifications of his original model and the emergence of a plethora of neo-Piagetian and post-Piagetian variants, Piaget's original model has proved to be remarkably robust.[62]

Piaget on education

By using Piaget's theory, educators focus on their students as learners. As a result of this focus, education is learner-center and constructivist-based to an extent. Piaget's theory allows teachers to view students as individual learners who add new concepts to prior knowledge to construct, or build, understanding for themselves.[66] Teachers who use a learner-centered approach as a basis for their professional practices incorporate the several dispositions.[66] They provide experience-based educational opportunities. These teachers also contemplate the learners’ individual qualities and attitudes during curriculum planning. Educators allow learners’ insights to alter the curriculum. They nourish and support learners’ curiosity. They also involve learners’ emotions and create a learning environment in which students feel safe.[66]

There are two differences between the preoperational and concrete operational stages that apply to education. These differences are reversibility and decentration. At times, reversibility and decentration occur at the same time.[67] When students think about the steps to complete a task without using a particular logical, sequential order, they are using reversibility.[67] Decentration allows them to concentrate on multiple components of a problematic task at a time.[67] Students use both reversibility and decentration to function throughout the school day, follow directions, and complete assignments.

An example of a student using reversibility is when learning new vocabulary. The student creates a list of unfamiliar words from a literary text. Then, he researches the definition of those words before asking classmate to test him. His teacher has given a set of particular instructions that he must follow in a particular order: he must write the word before defining it, and complete these two steps repeatedly.[67] A child in the preoperational stage gets confused during this process and needs assistance from the teacher to stay on task. The teacher refers him back to his text in order to notate the next word before he can define it.[67] A child in the preoperational stage does not understand the organization required to complete this assignment. However, a child in the concrete operational stage understands the organization, and he can recall the steps in any order while being able to follow the order given.[67] Using decentration, the child has the two activities on his mind: identify words and find them in the dictionary.[67]

A sample of decentration is a preschooler may use a toy banana as a pretend telephone. The child knows the difference between the fruit and a phone. However, in this form of play, he is operating on two levels at once.[67] In an older child at the concrete operational level, decentration allows him to complete subtraction of two-digit numbers and indicate which of the problems also involved borrowing from the other column. The student simultaneously does both.[67] Using reversibility, the student has to move mentally between two subtasks.

Regarding the giving of praise by teachers, praise is a reinforcer for students. Adolescents undergo social-emotional development such that they seek rapport with peers. Thus, teacher praise is not as powerful for students who see teachers as authority figures. They give no value to praise provided by adults, or they have no respect for the individual who is giving praise.[68]


During the 1970s and 1980s, Piaget's works also inspired the transformation of European and American education, including both theory and practice, leading to a more ‘child-centered’ approach. In Conversations with Jean Piaget, he says: "Education, for most people, means trying to lead the child to resemble the typical adult of his society ... but for me and no one else, education means making creators... You have to make inventors, innovators—not conformists" (Bringuier, 1980, p. 132).

His theory of cognitive development can be used as a tool in the early childhood classroom. According to Piaget, children developed best in a classroom with interaction.

Piaget defined knowledge as the ability to modify, transform, and "operate on" an object or idea, such that it is understood by the operator through the process of transformation.[69] Learning, then, occurs as a result of experience, both physical and logical, with the objects themselves and how they are acted upon. Thus, knowledge must be assimilated in an active process by a learner with matured mental capacity, so that knowledge can build in complexity by scaffolded understanding. Understanding is scaffolded by the learner through the process of equilibration, whereby the learner balances new knowledge with previous understanding, thereby compensating for "transformation" of knowledge.[69]

Learning, then, can also be supported by instructors in an educational setting. Piaget specified that knowledge cannot truly be formed until the learner has matured the mental structures to which that learning is specific, and thereby development constrains learning. Nevertheless, knowledge can also be "built" by building on simpler operations and structures that have already been formed. Basing operations of an advanced structure on those of simpler structures thus scaffolds learning to build on operational abilities as they develop. Good teaching, then, is built around the operational abilities of the students such that they can excel in their operational stage and build on preexisting structures and abilities and thereby "build" learning.[69]

Evidence of the effectiveness of a contemporary curricular design building on Piaget's theories of developmental progression and the support of maturing mental structures can be seen in Griffin and Case's "Number Worlds" curriculum.[70] The curriculum works toward building a "central conceptual structure" of number sense in young children by building on five instructional processes, including aligning curriculum to the developmental sequencing of acquisition of specific skills. By outlining the developmental sequence of number sense, a conceptual structure is built and aligned to individual children as they develop.
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