Famous Swiss Educators

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Jean Piaget
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Birthdate: August 9, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: September 16, 1980
Swiss psychologist and academic Jean Piaget is remembered for his work on child development and genetic epistemology, consisting of his theory of cognitive development. He also established the International Center for Genetic Epistemology and was the director of the International Bureau of Education. He was an honorary Harvard doctorate.
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
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Birthdate: January 12, 1746
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: February 17, 1827
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Émile Jaques-Dalcroze
(Swiss Composer, Musician and Music Educator Who Developed 'Dalcroze Eurhythmics' Method of Learning Music)
Émile Jaques-Dalcroze
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Birthdate: July 6, 1865
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 1, 1950

Remembered for pioneering the eurythmics approach of learning music, Swiss composer Émile Jaques-Dalcroze was a major figure of the modernist movement in music. Starting his career as a professor at the Geneva Conservatory, he later launched his own music school, which was later shut down by the Nazis.

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Jean Piccard
(Chemist)
Jean Piccard
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Birthdate: January 28, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: January 28, 1963

Swiss-born American chemist Jean Piccard and academic had been associated with various institutes, such as the universities of Chicago, Minnesota, and Lausanne. He was also a passionate balloonist and conducted balloon flights for his research on cosmic rays and the stratosphere. He also collaborated with his balloonist wife on many inventions.

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Christian Schwarzenegger
(Professor of criminal law, criminal procedure and criminology at the University of Zurich)
Christian Schwarzenegger
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Birthdate: November 11, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
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Johann Jakob Bachofen
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Birthdate: December 22, 1815
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: November 25, 1887
Françoise-Louise de Warens
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Birthdate: March 31, 1699
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vevey, Switzerland
Died: November 29, 1762
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Julia Steinberger
(Writer, Scientist)
Julia Steinberger
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Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Switzerland

A professor of ecological economics and industrial ecology, Julia Steinberger had been associated with the universities of Leeds and Zurich before joining the University of Lausanne. The daughter of Nobel-winning physicist Jack Steinberger, Julia has also led the award-winning research project Living Well Within Limits and supports Greta Thunberg’s climate activism.

Charles Albert Gobat
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Birthdate: May 21, 1843
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tramelan, Switzerland
Died: March 16, 1914
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K. Alex Müller
(Physicist)
K. Alex Müller
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Birthdate: April 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

Nobel Prize-winning physicist K. Alex Müller was the son of a budding musician and was sent to an Evangelical college after his mother’s death. He later joined ETH Zurich and then continued his research at the IBM Research laboratory. He is best known for his joint discovery of superconductivity in ceramic material.

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Waldo R. Tobler
(Geographer)
Waldo R. Tobler
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Birthdate: November 16, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: February 20, 2018
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Richard Avenarius
(Philosopher)
Richard Avenarius
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Birthdate: November 19, 1843
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 18, 1896

Remembered as the founder of empirio-criticism, or critical positivism, German-Swiss philosopher Richard Avenarius had a life-long association with the University of Leipzig. He penned influential volumes such as Kritik der reinen Erfahrung and advocated for pure experience. He was supposedly a distant-relative of composer Richard Wagner.

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Ernst Fehr
(Economist, University teacher)
Ernst Fehr
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Birthdate: June 21, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hard, Austria
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Alfred Newton
(Ornithologist)
Alfred Newton
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Birthdate: June 11, 1829
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: June 7, 1907
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Frédéric-César de La Harpe
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Birthdate: April 6, 1754
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rolle, Switzerland
Died: March 30, 1838
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Ernst Haefliger
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Birthdate: July 6, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Davos, Switzerland
Died: March 17, 2007
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Jacob Wackernagel
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Birthdate: December 11, 1853
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: May 22, 1938
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Thomas Platter
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Birthdate: February 12, 1499
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grächen, Switzerland
Died: January 26, 1582
Albertine Necker de Saussure
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Birthdate: April 9, 1766
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: April 13, 1841
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Philipp Emanuel von Fellenberg
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Birthdate: June 27, 1771
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bern, Switzerland
Died: November 21, 1844
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Auguste Arthur de la Rive
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Birthdate: October 9, 1801
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: November 27, 1873

Born to a prominent Swiss physician and physicist, Auguste Arthur de la Rive initially served as the chair of natural philosophy at the University of Geneva, where his father had worked. He later came to be known for his research on the electrochemical reaction in batteries.

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Walther von Wartburg
(Lexicographer)
Walther von Wartburg
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Birthdate: May 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Riedholz, Switzerland
Died: August 15, 1971
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Ekkehard I
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Birthdate: 0910 AD
Birthplace: Toggenburg, Switzerland
Died: January 14, 0973
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Albin Zollinger
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Birthdate: January 24, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: November 7, 1941

Born to a mechanic in Zurich, Albin Zollinger grew up in Switzerland and Argentina. Known for his novels such as The Thunderstorm and his poem collections such as Autumn Tranquility, he later became popular for his signature descriptions of landscapes. Apart from writing, he also worked for a Swiss engineering firm.

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Alfred Bertholet
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Birthdate: November 9, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: August 24, 1951