January 11, 2013
John Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education
John Locke, famous sixteenth century philosopher and “Father of Classical Liberalism” wrote a work based on the human mind and learning methods entitled Some Thoughts Concerning Education. This work outlines Locke’s views on how the brain absorbs and remembers new ideas through a theory known as the “tabula rasa” or blank slate. This theory constitutes that humans are born with a blank mind and that as we are taught new concepts, they are inscribed into this blank slate and remain there until we pass on. According to Locke, the goal of education is not to create a scholar, but to create a virtuous man. He believes that learning morals is more important than any other kind of learning. He believes that education should create a person who obeys reason instead of passion. One of the most emphasized points in Locke’s work is that children should enjoy learning and that there is no good reason that they should dislike learning and love playing. This idea covers almost two thirds of his work on education as Locke believes that we should begin teaching humans correctly from a young age. All together, John Locke’s work emphasizes three base ideas, the concept of the tabula rasa, moral learning is more important than any other kind of learning, and that children should enjoy learning. The first subject being covered is the subject of the tabula rasa or blank slate that allows humans to think freely in a sense.
The concept of the tabula rasa, as told by John Locke, delves into the human mind deeper than one could simply comprehend by studying the surface of the human mind. Locke explains part of a pre-established concept introduced by Aristotle, known as priori and posteriori knowledge. His work places more emphasis on posteriori knowledge in that this learning method imposes that humans are born with a blank slate in their mind and that as they learn,...