By Dr. Monique M. Chouraeshkenazi
Even though Locke and Rousseau had similar interests on sociopolitical views and ideologies of democratic governance, there were precise differences on educational perspectives, pertaining to a child’s development. Locke believed authoritative roles were not necessary and was a supporter of quality education for children’s progression. He was acknowledged for his stance that people should use their own logic and common sense than to find answers from authoritative individuals; instead information from authoritative heads should be considered “opinions” (Stanford University, 2018). He had social and moral standards, which is believed to be aligned with government stratagem on educational standards throughout institutions across the nation. Locke’s philosophies were based on quality education, which increases the interest in learning among children. His perception of children’s learning was based on growth and development and he believed their education was determined by the parents’ skills within the home. In his educational works, Locke emphatically voiced for parents to spend time with their children and find what educational practices worked for them and to use those as strategies rather than punishment (Stanford University, 2018). Finally, not only was he an advocate for those to invest in their own educational careers, but to incorporate their knowledge into involving themselves in government. He believed education and self-governance was the key to “reason, freedom, and morality” (Stanford University, 2018, para. 93). From there, children would grow up to be adults and make informed decisions on the betterment of their country (i.e. the ideology is considered government involvement within education is paramount).
Rousseau, on the other hand, predicated his work on two sides of the spectrum: equal rights of citizens in an autonomous state and children’s development within an autonomous state that mitigates self-interest (Stanford University 2017). He was emphatic on providing quality education that was not predicated on self-interest and believed academic ideals were beneficial if a child’s learning abilities were based on his or her pace and not a syllabus established by an educator (i.e. like Montessori school systems). He believed children maximized their potential when they are guided and not “told” how problems are solved, how words are spelled, how to comprehend instructions, and so forth. Educational programs were more effective when children exercise their own conclusions through exploration and their own comprehension (Stanford University, 2017). Therefore, children are their own teachers, tutors, and problem solvers; there are guided by an academic figure, not instructed by one.
Montessori schools would not agree with the following statement, “for children to learn, we must praise their correct responses and correct their mistakes” (APUS, 2018). Such schools are based on the natural progression of children’s development and do not believe in correcting children; instead, the purpose is to guide children, at their own peace, to achieve academic excellence (Montessori, 2018). Montessori education standards are based on teaching and does not involve correcting students. Instead, there are programs designed by teachers on what children can do to improve their educational standards rather than correcting their work. Additionally, children are not praised for their work in Montessori schools because it is dependent upon behavior rather than academic excellence. If children are continually praised for correct work, they rely on affirmation from authoritative figures than understanding the work completed. Hence, children are encouraged to continue their educational progression than receive praise for correct answers.
Heinz Werner was a world-renowned psychologist who studied developmental psychology. Microgenesis is a fully developed body part, which is small in nature, as it relates to biology and medicine. Werner’s study in developmental psychology related microgenesis as how problems are solved and how the process is completed as when new problems exist. His beliefs were much of the population cannot reverse the process of microgenesis, but some specialized groups can (Southern Arkansas University, n.d.). For example, there are individuals with specific talents (i.e. artists, musicians, dancers, etc.). Under Werner’s methodology of microgenesis, the study of individuals who possess such talents would be warranted to determine if there are differences in their learning and cognitive abilities compared to those who do not possess it. The microgenetic mobility method is based on how change occurs, which is completed through repetitive research studies of a controlled group (comprised of the same people) to assess a transitional period. Such approaches to the microgenetic mobility methodology examines change through glimpses of time with people (i.e. individually). Flynn, Pine, and Lewis (2006) state the period of change assesses how people learn, the knowledge retained, and how they cognitively progress from different levels while examining certain behaviors. Werner’s perspective (microgenetic mobility) of the methodology is the capability of reversing microgenesis. For instance, experts could conduct experiments, over time, with control groups (i.e. individuals with specialized talents vs. those who do not have specialized) and analyzed their learning, cognitive, and behavioral capabilities.
Dr. Constance Kamii is a professor and early childhood program educator who has a constructivist approach when it comes to children learning math. Her specialization in mathematics has a profound way on how children learn. Therefore, her stance is based on reforming mathematical methodologies, redefining educator’s responsibilities, removing competition and workbooks (Joy, 1995). Kamii believes that children can learn the most from games, which will develop an interest in learning, memory, and cognitive abilities. Dr. Kamii’s overall concern is the how early childhood education affects children’s academic and social development. She studied under Jean Piaget for approximately 15 years and focused her professional career on embedding his approaches to curriculum within American school systems. Her curriculum was initially focused in preschools, but now she is focusing on older children within secondary education (up to third grade).
Piaget’s approach is predicated on social and intellectual autonomy (i.e. Montessori) and he believed children’s progression is due to their surroundings and environment. This theory formulated when he became intrigued when he first constructed an English intelligence test and wanted to know the reasoning behind children’s logical thinking and answers. He is known as the first psychologist to study the cognitive development of children and wanted to conduct research to determine logical thinking and fundamental ideas of learning. Criticisms of Piaget’s theory are the terminology, stage theory, the fact there is not any substantial evidence to show differences between children in their stages of cognitive behavior, and the action-oriented approach, to name a few (Massey University, 2018, paras. 1-5).
Conventional morality is part of the stage of Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory, in which individuals are centralized on the laws, rules, and societal obligations. This is based on moral reasoning where individuals compare actions and determine if those actions conform to societal norms. Also, the same concept is compared to laws and whether individuals abide to societal statutes. The purpose of conventional morality is based on individuals not defying laws and respecting authority who enforce laws and societal norms (de Guzamn, 2009). This stage is more relevant to adolescents and teenage years to young adults.
Post conventional morality is the third level on Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. It is considered the highest level in his theory and it is based on two stages: social contract and ethical principles. The social contract is indicative on how people use their moral judgement in comparison to societal norms and legislative actions. In this stage, rules and laws are not necessarily obeyed because of respecting such statutes and the authoritative figures who enforce them, but social contracts should be followed because it is based on the community-at-large. Ethical principles are based on moral justifications that are indicative of individual preference (i.e. upbringing, social and environmental factors, school, workplace, and so forth). Such ideologies are based on values and contribute to how one handles ethical and societal dilemmas.
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Flynn, E., Pine, K., & Lewis, C. (2006). The microgenetic method – time for change? The British Psychological Society, 19, pp. 152-155.
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