Locke v Rousseau: two competing views in education


Lock (traditional, fundamentalist – Back to Basic): children’s minds are tabula rasa/ a child’s growth is determined by external causes from the environment of society / it was important to instruct children in order to instill the values of democracy/ children needed to be taught [Essay concerning Human Understanding, 1690]

Rousseau (alternative, humanist – Whole Child): children as the expression of innate purity/ children needed supportive contexts for their talents and other various capacities to flourish/ children as noble savages whose growth was determined by internal causes of development/ children needed to be protected from the pressures of society to discover themselves [The Social Contract; Emile, 1762]



Esbjörn-Hargens, S., 2007. Integral Teacher, Integral Students, Integral Classroom: Applying Integral Theory to Education. In AQAL: Journal of Integral Theory and Practice Vol 2, No. 2., pp. 72-103.

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