J.T. Burman, PhD
JEREMY TREVELYAN BURMAN, PhD, is Assistant Professor (UD1) of Theory and History of Psychology at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands. The primary focus of his research is Jean Piaget, but he is also interested more generally in the definition and movement of scientific meaning—over time, across disciplines, between languages, and internationally. To pursue these interests, he uses methods borrowed from the history and philosophy of science (esp. archival study) and the digital humanities (esp. network analysis).
Burman’s most popular article is a historical critique of the popularization of “memes,” published by Perspectives on Science in 2012. (This project is discussed in more detail here, here, and here.) His most highly-cited article examines the strategy used by Binet to ally psychologists with educators, against psychiatrists, in defining intelligence as something that should be intervened-upon in schools rather than treated in asylums. His most influential article presented an analysis and simplification of the meanings of "self-regulation," identifying 6 broad conceptual categories from the term's 447 different senses. This was published in Child Development in 2015, then was subsequently discussed on Canadian national television and informed a research-to-practice briefing published in both official languages (En / Fr). But his most important article shows a change in the logical underpinnings of Piaget's stage theory, and provides the formal meta-theoretical basis for what is called "Piaget's new theory." This was published in Theory & Psychology in 2016, as a prequel to an earlier article published in New Ideas in Psychology in 2013. The third essay in this sequence will be published as a chapter in a book forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.
He presently serves as a Consulting Editor of New Ideas in Psychology and History of Psychology. He has also been a reviewer for Cognitive Development, the European Yearbook for the History of Psychology, History of the Human Sciences, Human Development, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Perspectives on Science, Spontaneous Generations, and The Curriculum Journal. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors for the Jean Piaget Society (2015-2018) and on the Electronic Resources Advisory Committee for PsycINFO and the American Psychological Association (2007-2012), to which was added a liaison position with the Publications and Communications Board (2009-2012).
Burman was local host with Maarten Derksen, in 2018, of the European Society for the History of the Human Sciences. He is also the international liaison from the Society for the History of Psychology to the American Psychological Association, of which he is a full voting member (not an "international affiliate"). And he serves on the History Committee for the Jean Piaget Society, for which 40th anniversary celebrations will be held in 2020.
Burman's work has been recognized through several awards. Most recent among them is an Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association (awarded by Division 26, the Society for the History of Psychology). Others include the Jean Piaget Society's Dissertation Prize, a Certificate of Academic Excellence from the Canadian Psychological Association, the ThinkSwiss Research Scholarship, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship, the Ambassador Gary J. Smith Award for research with an international focus, the Norman S. Endler Research Fellowship, the International Emerging Scholars Award, and the Peter Pufall Award. For his teaching during his doctoral apprenticeship, he received his university's top teaching honour: the President’s University Wide Teaching Award. He also received two certificates of teaching excellence from the Council of Canadian Departments of Psychology.
Prior to joining the tenure-track at the University of Groningen in 2016, Burman worked at the Piaget Archives in the University of Geneva. His doctoral dissertation, developed and defended in the History and Theory of Psychology Graduate Program at York University in Toronto, was entitled Constructive History: From the standard theory of stages to Piaget's new theory. He also has a separate terminal MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University, and a B.Sc(Honours) from the University of Toronto. And he holds a Dutch university-teaching certificate: the Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs (referred-to in English as the University Teaching Qualification).
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