Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)The publication of Emile in 1762 called attention to the importance of the early
childhood years and changed the history of education.Rousseau's contributions to education include the suggestion that young children need motor activity, firsthand experiences, and happy games to develop language, mathematical and sensory concepts. He believed in the natural goodness of
children and opposed the artificial lifestyle of the times, especially the way children were raised as small adults. He suggested that young children be protected
from society and allowed to engage in activities that were natural for children;
children should be allowed to become fully developed or mature before exposing
them to society; they should have the freedom to play and be spontaneous; and he
advocated a study of how children develop at different ages as the basis for educational practice. Rousseau proposed that formal learning activities be delayed until
age 12 and suggested that educators use motivating activities to ensure attention
and interest. He believed that young children should gain self-acceptance and discipline from the natural consequences of things and activities.Rousseau's naturalism emphasized freedom, growth, interest, and activity as
the basis for early education. His ideas were radically different from the eighteenth
century concept of education which may be the reason that the application of
Rousseau's ideas to classroom practice had to wait for others more involved with
practice rather than theory.
|411. émile, Ou de L'éducation en Oeuvres Completes. eds.
Marcel Raymond. Vol. 4. Bibliothéque de la Pléiade, Gallemard: Paris, 1959- 1969. [ Emilius: or a Traité of Education, Translated from the French
of J.J. Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva. Edinburgh, Dickson & Elliot , 1773. émile: or Education. Trans.
Barbara Foxley. New York: E.P. Dutton &
Co., 1911. émile for Today. Trans.
William Boyd. London: Heinemann, 1956. The émile of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Trans. and ed.
William Boyd William Boyd. New York: Teachers College Press, 1962. émile or on Education. Trans. Allan Bloom. New York: Basic Books, 1979.] Written as a novel, the
book describes the life of a fictional child from birth to marriage. Provides a guide to raising a child in a natural way with the father as the tutor,
guide, and mentor away from society, which Rousseau believed to be corrupting. As a result of émile, childhood began to be treated as a separate
time of life and children were no longer expected to conform to adult
styles of dress and standards of behavior. The Boyd and Bloom translations provide excellent notes and introductions.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Pioneers of Early Childhood Education:A Bio-Bibliographical Guide.
Contributors: Barbara Ruth Peltzman - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: 105.
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