The purpose of this research paper is to inform my fellow classmates and myself about Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his research in education fundamental. My focus scholar is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. I plan to cover his early life and his work and what his involvement is in early childhood. I also plan on talking about his implications on teachers in today’s world. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an enlightenment philosopher, composer, and writer who wrote about political systems and education. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born to a couple by the name of Suzanne Bernard and Isaac Rousseau on June 28, 1712, in Geneva, Switzerland.
After nine days of his birth, his mother died. He was raised up all by his dad. His dad left Geneva because he was trying to avoid imprisonment.
Rousseau was only ten years old when his dad left him. Hs dad did not return to see Rousseau. Rousseau was left with his uncle, his mother’s brother. His uncle sent him to study in a city named Bosey.
By the time Rousseau was thirteen, he stopped going to school and he started working as a notary public. He later started working as a watchmaker, just like his father. A few years passed and he stopped working as a watchmaker, he was taken into care by a woman named Madame de Warens. The relationship he had with Madame de Warens gave him the opportunity to meet Diderot and eventually it helped him with his encyclopedia. After winning a prize in an essay writing competition, Rousseau finally published his first book around the age of forty. The book made him successfully very quickly.
As Rousseau continued to write he was invited to England by a man named David Hume. Rousseau struggled in England with a mental illness and he was convinced that David Hume was plotting something bad against him. After struggling and being convinced that something was being plotted against him, he decided to move back to France and continued to write more books. His political philosophy can be read in a variety of ways.
Some claim that his ideas were an inspiration for the rule of Robespierre in the Reign of Terror, while others claim his ideas were one of the bases for American Democracy and Liberal Democracy. He also wrote several operas, and his novel Julie, or the New Heloise was influential in the beginnings of the romanticism movement. Rousseau opened his book The Social Contract by saying, “Man is born free, and he is everywhere in chains.” This theme of attempting to find a balance between individual rights and the authority of the state influenced much of his work. Rousseau feared that the masses would leave themselves subject to an elite ruling minority for fear of falling into a state of war. According to Rousseau, we must avoid this by taking our laws and dictums from “the general will” or the opinions that are agreed by all citizens. Since these citizens all are only subject to something they agree to they are able to confirm to the authority of the state without sacrificing their own personal freedom. They are no longer giving up their own freedom to someone else, in fact they are giving their freedom to themselves because they have already agreed to the rules and laws.
Rousseau also wrote on the philosophy of education. He claimed that we should not force children to learn particular things, but rather that we should put them in an environment where they learn for themselves. According to Rousseau, it is the job of the tutor not to attempt to manipulate or mold the mind of the children directly, but rather to design the children’s environment in such a way as to allow the children to discover things for themselves. Students should learn through practical experience for Rousseau, and they should be punished with the natural consequences of their actions instead of with physical force. Rousseau was the first to introduce a more naturalistic approach when it came to teaching early childhood programs.
The implications for teachers today is that they could incorporate more field trips for students and allow them to work outside. Other implications for teachers today include allowing the students to make their decisions as will be discussed in the stages of development that Rousseau came up with. Another implication is that teachers have to control what they watch, who the children talk to, and who are strangers and who isn’t a stranger. Jean Jacques Rousseau studied the educational fundamentals of a child from birth to manhood. He studied these years and made them into stages from one to five. The following stages are in order from infancy, childhood, boyhood/preadolescence, adolescence or youth, and manhood.
In the first stage, Rousseau believed that in the infancy stage a child acts like an animal. In this stage a child can better endure change than in any other stage.”According to Rousseau, education is only for the children of the wealthy, and the type of education he designed is a type which only a rich man can afford.” A child does not have any habits in this stage – they simply just imitate. Since a child in this stage only “thinks” their ideas rather than words, a limited vocabulary should not be distressing. Physical and social training is crucial in this stage because a child simply just copies what the adults around him/her do.