June 30, 2012
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
* Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism of French expression. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought. * Known as the Father of the French Revolution
* Saw children as “noble savages” - naturally endowed with a sense of right and wrong, and with an innate plan for orderly, healthy growth. * Rousseau felt that children learn right and wrong through experiencing the consequences of their acts rather than through physical punishment. * Thought children’s moral ways and sense and unique ways of thinking and feeling would be hindered by adult training. * Two important concepts he is known for in development: Stages and Maturation * Stages:
Viewed development as a discontinuous, stage-wise process that follows a single, unified course mapped out by nature. Rousseau was one of the first to advocate developmentally appropriate education; and his description of the stages of child development mirrors his conception of the evolution of culture.
His philosophy on development was a child-centered philosophy in which the adult should be receptive to the child’s needs at each of four stages of development: infancy, childhood, late childhood, and adolescence. Rousseau 4 Stages of Development:
Stage 1 – Infancy: Birth- 2 years, when children are guided by their emotions and impulses, to allow them to do more themselves and demand less from others. Stage 2- Childhood: 2- 12 years, “Age of Nature” reason starts to develop, The purpose of education at this stage is to develop physical qualities and particularly senses, but not minds. Stage 3- Late Childhood: 12-16 years , “The Social Contract” The urge for activity now takes a mental form; there is greater capacity for sustained attention...
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