Monday, February 08, 2016


In my current master's class, History of Educational Thought, we're reading about different educators and education philosophers, and one of our most recent ones was Rousseau.

I don't like Rousseau.

He completely made crap up, wrote it down in his book Emile, and people fawn over him/it and proclaim what a brilliant thinker he was.  Maybe, but this is a guy who left his own kids at an orphanage and was a total failure the only time he ever tried being a personal tutor.  I'm not much interested in what he has to say about children, their development, or their education.

This post at Joanne's site reminded me of Rousseau:
The classroom is outdoors at The Alaska Forest School, reports Erin Kirkland in the Alaska Dispatch News.

Lia Keller asked preschoolers if they could “find the tunnel from last time” and they led the way to a downed cottonwood, where they could play “foxes and bears” in a pit under the root ball...

The forest school idea started in Europe, but has spread around the world. It seems like a perfect fit for Alaska, says Beka Land, whose daughters are five and three. “The natural consequences of exploring the outdoors and talking through choices is so valuable,” Land said. “As a family, we like the idea of an outdoors-centered program that lets kids pick their own path.”
I'm not saying that this Forest School idea is bad, I think that kids should spend more time outdoors--especially young children.  Rousseau carried it to an extreme, though.


Pseudotsuga said...

So, when the kids play Prey and Predator, it might be time to get them out of the school...
Rousseau clearly spent zero time in any actual wilderness, or he might have had a less romantic view of it all.

Ellen K said...

Did Rousseau write Common Core math curriculum. That seems made up, too.