Jean Piaget Quotes

5 Jean Piaget Quotes About Children

Jean Piaget Quotes

In this article, you’ll discover some Jean Piaget quotes. He was one of the most important child psychologists of all time, who studied child development. Interestingly, his children were unwittingly the “guinea pigs” for his scientific research.

But we mustn’t consider his children “guinea pigs” per se. Actually, the psychologist simply observed them. This observation led to one of the most interesting evolutionary psychology theories of modern pedagogy.

Who was Jean Piaget?

Jean Piaget was a Swiss constructivism psychologist. Born in 1896, he studied children’s cognitive and intellectual development in detail. Such was the magnitude of his results, that his investigations are considered crucially influential on current pedagogy and developmental psychology.

He obtained his doctorate degree at the University of Neuchâtel in 1918. After that, he began working at psychological institutions in Paris, where he collaborated with another important psychologist, Alfred Binet.

In 1919, he began developing his theories seeking the nature of knowledge. Since that year, he published several studies on child psychology his research, which was based, in turn, in observing the development of his own children.

Among Piaget’s greatest contributions to the world of child psychology, his theory on sensorimotor intelligence stands out. This theory describes the development of practical intelligence actions from emerging concepts.

Jean Piaget quotes

From now on, you’ll discover and analyze a series of Jean Piaget quotes. They contain a lot of knowledge that’ll allow you to delve deeper into the world of children.


“Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he could have discovered for himself, that child is kept from inventing it and consequently from understanding it completely.”

Jean Piaget was a strong advocate of children’s natural development. Thus, if you go ahead and teach them something before they discover it, you won’t allow them to take those small steps themselves. For Piaget, adults should be observers and guides, not teachers.


“Knowledge, then, is a system of transformations that become more progressively adequate.”

If you look closely at the people around you, including children, those who know the most, who have higher education and more training, values, and intelligence, are those who best know how to act in any situation. Thus, knowledge is what has allowed these individuals to transform to find the appropriate behavior for any time.

Your inner child

“If you want to be creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society.”

Today, creativity is a highly sought-after skill by recruiters from all types of companies. However, people lose this skill as they get older.

For Piaget, the best way to remain creative is to never lose sight of the connection with your inner child. If you try to see life as children do, you won’t lose the ability to invent, imagine, and create. Although this comes naturally to children, it’s quite difficult for adults.


“Intelligence is what you use when you don’t know what to do.”

This quote incorporates one of Jean Piaget’s great maxims. Humans learn through experience. But to experience, they need to use intelligence. Thus, when humans reach a point in which they have no knowledge to move forward, they’ll have to use their intelligence in order to find the best way to proceed.


“Equilibrium is the profoundest tendency of all human activity.”

Life is all about finding balance. Sometimes we call it happiness, while other times we call it fulfillment. Therefore, the important thing is to find that point where you feel good about the way you are, act, and handle problems.

These Jean Piaget quotes show us that he was an interesting and clever psychologist who worked continuously to try to understand children better. Thanks to him, today we’re all able to better understand children and raise them to become balanced, self-confident adults who believe in their capabilities.

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5 Piaget Quotes About Infancy and Learning

Jean Piaget Quotes

Jean Piaget was a well-known constructivist psychologist who worked in the fields of child psychology and learning. His studies and research were extremely influential in both evolutionary psychology and modern pedagogy. Piaget’s quotes are a clear example of his passion for the study of adolescent development.

Piaget had children he learned a lot from. He was able to observe their growth. From this observation, he created a theory about intelligence and established certain stages of cognitive development in children.

We’ve selected seven of Piaget’s quotes that talk about the two subjects he was most passionate about: childhood and learning. Let’s take a look!

1. The importance of not always doing the same thing

“The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.”

What’s the use of repeating what others have already done? Piaget criticizes the education system in this quote. We can even apply this quote to the present day. In how many schools do administrators and teachers encourage criticism? The answer is probably very few. Most focus on a syllabus and they teach so students can pass standardized tests.

Young people spend a lot of hours listening to their boring teachers. The dynamic is the same as it’s always been. They do exercises and learn the curriculum from memory so they can regurgitate it on their exam. No real learning takes place here. There’s no criticism, no reasoning, nobody’s questioning anything. Is this really what we want?

2. The true meaning of education

“Education, for most people, means trying to make the child look the typical adult of their society. But for me, education manes making creators. You have to make them inventors, innovators, and non-conformists.”

From our childhood, we hear things “stop jumping” or “behave a big boy”. When people say this to us, it doesn’t allow us to be children. They push us to become adults prematurely. They want us to live our life through automatism.

All of this limits us, classifies us, and keeps us from standing out. As Piaget says, education should encourage non-conformist creative adults full of new ideas. However, every day we observe the opposite.

3. Children can discover new things

“How can we, with our adult minds, know what will be interesting to a child? If you follow the fold you can discover something new.”

This quote reflects Piaget’s interest in the world of children. And, above all, it also reflects his great admiration for them. Piaget knew that we can learn new things thanks to children.

Children haven’t been ruined by society yet. They’re free, creative, inventive and curious. But as we grow older, we lose interest in discovering the world. We sink into a series of paradigms that limit us and stifle us. Maybe we should learn something from the little ones.

4. The teacher is not a speaker

“What we want is for the professor to stop being an orator, satisfied with the transmission of ready-made solutions. Their role should be rather that of an initiative and stimulator of young people’s minds.”

Many teachers go to their classes, explain subjects, assign homework, and go on to the next lesson. This isn’t the true role of a teacher. Their role should be more active. They should be more involved in stimulating their students’ minds.

Piaget says in a very wise way that the teacher should promote the students’ initiative to enhance their curiosity. This is how children really learn.

5. Playing is work for children

“Playing is a child’s job.”

This is another one of Piaget’s quotes that talks about childhood and how important playing is for a child’s development. That’s why it’s so important to promote play in young ones instead of imposing restrictions. Playing is a child’s job. Playing allows children to learn who they are as individuals and in a group setting.

6. Let children discover the world

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it.”

Adults already have a lot of information, but children don’t. They have a lot of learning to do and it’s not always the adults’ job to teach children everything. You have to allow them to discover the world on their own, ask questions, and experiment in their own way.

7. Let a part of you stay child-

“If you want to be creative, let yourself be a child. Be a child with the creativity and inventiveness that characterize children before society changes them.”

Do you want to boost your creativity? Do you want to increase your capacity for inventiveness? If so, let a part of you still be child. Children are free, since society hasn’t yet altered the way they see the world.

These Piaget quotes make us think about how often we judge and limit ourselves. Why aren’t we more creative and curious? Maybe we should look at the young ones and start unlearning whatever we have learned that’s limiting us.

All of Piaget’s quotes are a reflection of his perspective, of his way of perceiving the world and specifically children. They criticize many things about education and learning. We hope you enjoyed this compilation of quotes. Tell us which one you d the most!

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