Jean Jacques Rousseau Critique

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy of education known as "negative education" (Entwistle in Bayley, 89) describes many valid concepts which are still applied in today's educational system. Although his philosophy is reasonable in terms of its ideas, his contradictions make it such that it would be difficult to apply realistically as pedagogy. Rousseau was a French philosopher of the eighteenth century, he argued that children should not be told what to learn, instead they should learn for themselves through experiences and his pedagogies of "negative education", "the discipline of natural consequences", and "the discipline of lost opportunities" (Entwistle in Bayley, 89). He believed that anything man-made was corrupt and that children should be taught by nature. Rousseau believed in order to preserve a child's original nature, the type of education received depended on the child's age.

I. Rousseau's Concept of "Negative Education"

As defined by Rousseau, "negative education" is the act of educating children using a method other than the typical educational system. Rousseau believed that we are inherently pure and good, but we become corrupted by the chains and limitations of our evil society. We are born pure, and that is our natural state because that is how God created us. He believed that humans become corrupt because of the chains and limitations that society put on humans. Rousseau argued that knowledge was provided by the growth of the person, and that what the teacher needed to do was to create opportunities for learning. Due to this, Rousseau believed that children should be kept from a typical educational system during their early stages of schooling so they can remain pure longer (Entwistle in Bayley, 90).

A significant part of Rousseau's "negative education" stresses that parents and teachers should focus on the present rather than on the future, because children are entitled to enjoy their childhood years (Entwistle in Bayley, 92). In...
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