One of the marks of a good theory is in the amount of research it stimulates, and within this criteria, Piaget's theory is truly great. Many thousands of research studies throughout the world have been published in scientific journals regarding Jean Piaget's theories of genetic epistemology. In 1974 an eight-volume set of compilation and commentary referenced over 3,500 studies. In the 30 years since those volumes appeared, Piagetian research has continued, particularly in the area of the application and utility of genetic epistemology to the fields of early childhood education, including the acquisition of morality. A vast body of research has arisen to test Piaget's theories and confirm or refute his claims.
The beginning student of Piaget has a daunting task in assimilating the complex theory of genetic epistemology. It is an additional challenge to distinguish the most relevant studies from among the thousands that have been done, and to find those investigators whose critical work will either validate, refute, or extend Piaget's findings in a way that will further the understanding of the origin and nature of knowledge, and not confound the search.
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