The a critical lie; and learn to be

The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau established a
new theory of education. The concept of Rousseau’s theory was very modern
especially for the enlightenment era. It is also stated that Rousseau is the
founder of “modern education”. (Oelkers, 08)
He wanted to change the society’s perspective and educate it.

Firstly, Rousseau said that, when a child is being
educated, the child is not expected to work. Rousseau expected his students to
be curious; ready to give their own opinions, capable to start experimenting
with new things; have a critical lie; and learn to be independent. Although
nowadays these are taken for granted, unfortunately it was not always like
this. Before, only wealthy children were educated, while the poor had to work
and earn a wage, even though a miserable one, to help their family survive.

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Nowadays young children do not go to work and focus
only on basic education. Rousseau wanted to develop his new idea by educating
children and thus change society. His hope was that children would give new
choices, express curiosity, be individual, be independent, experiment with new
objects and have a critical eye.

Rousseau explained that a good teacher must observe
the student. The teacher must observe the child’s development and his learning
curve. To be a good teacher, the educator must expose children to different
circumstances and change their environment such as to expose them more to
nature. In the Maltese educational curriculum, some of Rousseau’s ideas are
entrenched in it.  Understanding
children’s learning curve and how to fair better; sharing of information with
others; and to reflect on practice. (Employment, 2012)

For Rousseau, the ideal school should not be in the
City centre but situated in a more rural environment. Big windowed classrooms
should be the norm so that the children could observe and enjoy the beauty of
the surrounding nature. He stated further that the school must not be in the
heart of the city because society at large is not morally and ethically good
yet and it would influence negatively on the formation of the child. Unfortunately,
in Malta, most of our schools were built in the heart of towns and villages.
Therefore, this theory, in Malta, is not used everywhere. Children will benefit
even more and improve on their self-esteem, achieve confidence, and develop a
positive self-identity, if the tutorial environment is free from negative
influences. (Employment, 2012)

Rousseau insists that schools should be well equipped
and capable of offering journals for knowledge reading, kitchens, tool shop,
wood works and chemicals He emphasises that children are to be exposed to these
types of classes to learn and gain experiences for life. In Malta, most modern
schools have incorporated kitchens for children to be exposed to. Rousseau
emphasises that to have a good education the child must be in “Child-centred”

Hence, Rousseau concludes that children must be given
independence and lead to learn different concepts and ideologies.





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