A Summary Of John Locke And Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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The Enlightenment period questioned traditional methods of educating children and introduced revolutionary new ways of thinking to bring about improvements in education and to actual allow students to enjoy learning. Before the Enlightenment, children were treated like small adults with no thought given to the development of very young children and once they were old enough to receive education it consisted of forced memory work along with harsh discipline (Platz & Arellano, 2011). The Enlightenment changed this way of thinking by questioning “what we are like naturally like (human nature), vs how we are influence by society” (Norris, 2017, slide 25). It brought about the “belief in the possibility of improvement of all of humanity…show more content…
When Locke left London to live in France and Holland because of health issues, he wrote letters to Edward and Mary Clark telling them his thoughts on how they should educate their son. These letters were later published in 1632 as Some Thoughts Concerning Education (Murphy, 2006 ).
Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education criticizes the teaching methods of that time and suggests improvements but it also covers a wide range of other topics like how children should be dress, what they should eat, the importance of regularly going to the bathroom, and the need for physical activity, all of which goes towards making a “sound mind in a sound body” (Locke, 1692, sec.1). Locke (1692) states the importance of education when he writes, “that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education” (sec. 1). Although Locke’s treatise on education was written for “boys of the gentlemen class” (Shouse, 1931. p. 25), it was implied that he was writing for the education of all children, including girls. Locke’s educational theory emphasized nurture over nature because as Henson (2003) states, “he introduced the idea of tabula rasa or blank slate, proposing that at birth the mind is a blank slate the only way to fill it is through having experiences, feeling these experiences, and reflecting on them” (p.7). Locke believed in finding a virtuous tutor when children were young to lead them by good
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