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Locke Concepts on Parenting Essay

  • Submitted by: destinaed
  • on April 18, 2015
  • Category: History
  • Length: 591 words

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Below is an essay on "Locke Concepts on Parenting" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Many educational writers took their cues from John Locke’s seminal Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693), which was cited ubiquitously, even in the prefaces of children’s books. Locke famously argued against the physical punishment of children for their little transgressions, except in cases where a child evinced a “manifest Perverseness of the Will.” He suggested children would learn better and correct themselves when their behaviour was disciplined by a system of reward and shame, and while physical punishment was doubtless still widespread, most writers for and about children adopted Locke’s position.   For some critics and historians, Locke’s system provides the child with the kind of autonomy and self-discipline needed to become a successful and socially responsible modern individual; others see in Locke’s method of child-rearing an almost insidious internalization of authority designed to produce docile and compliant subjects.

Another political philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, was arguably just as influential as Locke on the various discourses of childhood in the latter part of the eighteenth century. His account in Émile (1762) of the “natural” education of the fictional titular character was controversial, considered even irreligious by some critics. The method of education he outlined was also quite impracticable, as it involved the veritable isolation for years of the boy and his tutor in the country, far from the rest of society, where he could learn from nature and for himself. Like Locke, Rousseau was interested in education as a means of producing self-sufficient individuals who would make good citizens in a new society.   To become the good adult citizen, however, the child Émile must endure the invasive and constant supervision of his tutor.   Further, Rousseau’s model of education and citizenship is only intended for males. Nonetheless, the idea that children were by nature good and were only corrupted by exposure to society became a staple...

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