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Word Count: 763
Listening To The Past A New Way to Educate Children Rousseau lobbies against an educational system that tries to teach children concepts and facts before such time as they would make use of them He believes that a child should not neglect those studies which meet his present needs in order to learn that which he may acquire in later years He claims that experience and emotion are our real teachers thereby reinforcing the theory that a child should not be educated in matters which are not pertinent to their current station in life He contends that a child should remain in complete ignorance of those ideas which are beyond his grasp p686 In essence Rousseau argues that the healthy spontaneous impulses of children were being repressed by the adult demands for emotional restraint intellectual precision and social conformity as abdicated by the social and educational practices of his time Rousseau constructs a theory of education starting with the influence of the childs natural environment which should prevail over the influence of society and social institutions Rousseau advocates allowing children to grow and develop naturally in direct opposition to the prevailing methods of teaching Children should be encouraged to develop their faculties through experience This forms the basis for his fundamental principle of education Rousseau argues that to be of use to a child a concept must be relevant to his age Rousseau promotes involving the student in hands-on learning experiences as opposed to the more traditional methods of instruction Children pay little heed to verbal explanation nor do they remember them in his opinion He stresses the importance of discovery as a learning tool Ideas that seem difficult at the onset become less daunting when introduced using a hands-on approach Simply stated he proposes to teach his pupil through doing using words only as a final recourse I dont think Rousseaus plan appealed to the peasants and urban workers in the 18th century
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