Resources for Students

For students who are completely unfamiliar with Piaget, the best place to start is with a good undergraduate textbook on child psychology. Read the section on Piaget (every text will have one). If that doesn't answer your question, try checking the "suggested readings" in the back of the text (most textbooks will have one), or the reference list. If you're still curious, try one of the more advanced readings listed below.

Suggested readings for those interested in an introduction to Piaget's theories:

  • Bringuier, J.-C. (1980). Conversations with Jean Piaget. University of Chicago Press (original work published 1977)
  • Chapman, M. (1988). Constructive evolution: Origins and development of Piaget's thought. Cambridge University Press.
  • Gallagher, J. M. & Reid, D. K. (Foreword by Piaget & Inhelder) (1981/2002). The Learning Theory of Piaget & Inhelder. Order from online publisher: www.iuniverse.com.
  • Lourenco, O. & Machado, A. (1996). In defense of Piaget's theory: A reply to 10 common criticisms. Psychological Review, 103(1). 143-164.
  • Piaget, J. (1964). Six Psychological Studies. New York: Vintage. [the first 70 pages]
  • Piaget, J. (1973). The child and reality.
  • Piaget, J. (1983). "Piaget's Theory". In P. Mussen (Ed.) Handbook of child psychology. Wiley.
  • Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child. New York: Basic Books. (original work published 1966)
  • Piaget, J. (1985). Equilibration of cognitive structures. University of Chicago Press.
  • Piaget, J. (1995). Sociological studies. Routledge.
  • Wadsworth, Barry J. (1989). Piaget's Theory of cognitive and Affective Development (4th edition). New York: Longman.

These suggestions were taken from messages sent to the piaget-list

From Anastasia Tryphon at the Archives Piaget:


  • Inhelder, B. (1989). Bärbel Inhelder (Autobiography). In G. Lindzey (Ed.), A history of psychology in autobiography, Vol. 8 (pp. 208-243). Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Piaget, J. (1952). Jean Piaget (Autobiography). In E. G. Boring (Ed.), A history of psychology in autobiography, Vol. 4 (pp. 237-256). Worcester MA: Clark University Press.
  • Vidal, F. (1994). Piaget before Piaget. Harvard University Press.
  • Chapman, M. (1988). Constructive evolution. Origins and development of Piaget's thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Montangero, J. & Maurice-Naville, D. (1997). Piaget or the advance of knowledge. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  • Gruber, H. E., & Vonèche, J. (1995). The essential Piaget. Northvale, NJ: Aronson.

  • Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child. New York: Basic Books. (original work published 1966).
Piaget and education:
  • Duckworth, E., Easly, J., Hawkings, D., & Henriques, A. (1990). Science Education. A minds-on approach for the elementary years. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  • Furth, H. (1970). Piaget for teachers. Washington: Prentice Hall.

  • Kamii, K. (1985). Young children reinvent mathematics. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Kamii, K. (1989). Young children continue to reinvent mathematics (2nd grade). New York: Columbia University Press.
The clinical method:
  • Piaget. J. (1972). The child's conception of the world. Towota, NJ. Littlefield Adams (original work published 1926)

  • Smith, L. (1992) Judgments and justifications: Criteria for the attribution of children's knowledge in Piagetian research. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 10 (1-23).

Some suggestions from for those teaching Piaget from Susan Golbeck (golbeck@rci.rutgers.edu)

For early childhood people:

  • DeVries, R. & Kohlberg, L. (1987). Constructivist early education: Overview and comparison with other programs. Washington D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
    A scholarly volume for advanced students in early education interested in applying Piaget's ideas to curriculum development in programs for young children. This volume also compares and contrasts a Piagetian approach with other popular approaches to early education.

  • DeVries, R. & Zan, B. (1994). Moral classrooms, moral children: Creating a constructivist atmosphere in early education. NY: Teachers College Press.
    While geared towards early childhood practitioners, these ideas are relevant to all classrooms. DeVries and Zan explain why all learning starts with the sociomoral atmosphere and among other things offer a constructivist perspective on "classroom management"

For everyone:

  • Ginsburg, H. (1997). Entering the child's mind. NY: Cambridge University Press.
    Ginsburg discusses the use of the clinical method. He compares and contrasts this method of assessment with traditional forms of assessment and provides many examples and guidelines for novices.

  • DeLisi, R. & Golbeck, S. (1999). Implications of Piagetian theory for peer learning, (3-37). In A. O'Donnell & A. King (Eds.) Cognitive perspectives on peer learning. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    For graduate students interested in the collaborative and cooperative learning, this chapter explores the applicability of Piaget's theory. The chapter includes a discussion of social factors in disequilibration and a review of research on social interaction and cognitive change.

If you still insist on getting something about Piaget from the web, try this link: Time Magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.

An invitation from the webmaster:   A plea from the webmaster:

We are working on developing a set of resources for students and teachers interested in Piaget's theories. We hope to have this work completed soon, but as you can appreciate, getting Piagetian scholars to agree on a common interpretation is a tall order indeed.

If you have any suggestions for this page -- things that you've found useful as an introduction to Piaget's work, please send them to me.

  If you're looking for quick and easy answers to essay questions, you won't find them here. So please don't send me an e-mail message that reads:

"Send me information about Piaget's theory. My paper is due in 2 days!"