The advent of pedagogy as a moral science and then as an experimental and social science in Geneva is part of the wake of the international movement which is seeing a multiplication since the end of the 19th, Chairs, laboratories, institutes all or part dedicated to the educational reflection . While exemplifying a broader movement, the Geneva case immediately takes on specific configurations that will have a lasting influence on the evolution of the disciplinary field. If only because of the fact that it is based on the first Institute of Education Sciences, one of the only ones to last throughout the 20th century and whose scale has little equivalent in Europe.
While pedagogy is established in Letters, psychology finds a place first in Science, to build an experimental science of the soul, a venture that then extends into an Institute of Education Sciences, to promote an approach resolutely scientific educational phenomena. Only after the end of the Great War, thanks to the powerful pedagogical, pacifist and internationalist impulse generating the conviction that "the future of democracy requires scholars of childhood", these initiatives are put into practice. in synergy, allowing the Institute to be attached to the University, a condition of its future and of its academic recognition as a disciplinary field. While the sciences of education find their first institutional inscription under their plural denomination, the history of the disciplinary field in Geneva is entirely imbricated, even confused, with that of psychology, to which the Institute will gradually offer a niche allowing the unfolding, incomparable, Piagetian psychology of development and intelligence.
- This research is part of a Habilitation (HDR), presented by Rita Hofstetter at the Paris-Sorbonne IV Institute of History (Pr J.-N. Luc)., Published in 2010: Hofstetter, R. (2010). Geneva: crucible of educational sciences (late nineteenth century - first half of the twentieth century). Genèvre: Droz.
- It continued collectively in a group working for the centenary of the IJJR by integrating the more recent history of the sciences of education in Geneva, with the transformation, in 1975, of the Institute into the Faculty of Psychology and educational sciences, the result of which is a richly illustrated work: One hundred years of life (1912-2012). The FPSE, heiress of the Rousseau Institute and the Piagetian era, of Rita Hofstetter, Marc Ratcliff and Bernard Schneuwly.