Author: Murat Artiran, Ph.D.
THE VIEWS OF LOCKE AND ROUSSEAU ON HOW CHILDREN DEVELOP
Before Locke, many philosophers thought that children have innate knowledge prior to experience. According to Locke, children learn from experiences and environment shapes the mind especially in child’s early years. He assumes some principles to shape us from childhood such as association, repetition, imitation, modeling, and rewards and punishment. Based on these ideas, we can say Locke view is mostly reinforcing children to learn and develop. However, this reinforcement must be done very carefully, so it should not hurt children in any ways.
On the contrary, Rousseau believed no environment powers should play in children development. Especially social environment should not play role in children development. Because growing children who depended others in his or her development can be dependent in his or her life and will forget to see life with their own eyes and their own mind. Based on these root ideas, we can say Rousseau concerns about children’s independence when comes to the development. One of the important goal of children development is to make children to solve problems on his own.
Locke wanted to teach and help children directly with using modeling, rewards and punishments, and repetition. Rousseau side wanted to let children learn by themselves with serving them opportunity such as first observing them which stage they are at and then helping them discover and grow by themselves to the further stages in their nature.