Comparing Rousseau And Wollstonecraft's Views Of Childhood

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Rousseau and Wollstonecraft had a major impact on changing understandings of childhood. Rousseau believed that children should be free and be able to think for themselves and Wollstonecraft believed that men and women should have the same rights. Their key ideas were reflected through The Age of Enlightenment. Were these ideas from The Enlightenment brought to New Zealand, if so how? Jean-Jaques Rousseau believed that children (boys) should be free and be able to think for themselves. "Rousseau believed that children came to learn the limits and possibilities of their actions through freedom, which creates independence and happiness, thus few curbs should be placed upon their development." (May, H. 2013A. P.34). His liberal ideas of individuality…show more content…
"The Age of Enlightenment, sometimes called The Age of Reason, refers to the time of the guiding intellectual movement." (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Age_of_Enlightenment). During this time, political, economic and social ideals were tested. It started in Europe but quickly became worldwide as more were discovering new ideals such as those of Rousseau and Wollstonecraft. As the world was hearing of and opening up to new ideas, those in charge began to feel threatened. The most threatened were the upper class, the church and men. With people hearing of new ways of life they began to question how they're living and this caused anxieties. Many people wanted to go out and explore the world and see what the lives of others was like. This was a big concern for those in charge as they were worried they would lose their workers and would eventually result in them losing business. Wollstonecraft's beliefs speak through The Age of Enlightenment as she was a strong believer in choice, freedom, rights and autonomy. The Age of Enlightenment was a time of individualism and that is exactly…show more content…
The general system of instruction used in England has been introduced together with Watts catechism in the native language and has been found to succeed equally with Native and European children." (May, H. 2013B, P.77). The Age of Enlightenment introduced Infant Schooling in New Zealand which Rousseau was a believer of. He believed children should be learning from as young as possible. With the missionaries arrival to New Zealand and the current Natives already residing in New Zealand, for education to work there had to be some agreements and compromises. Native children were struggling to be educated the way Missionary children were and would prefer to run wild and discover things for themselves, much like Rousseau's ideas of education. The Missionaries had to learn to adapt to this as this was The Natives way of life and learning. Both Rousseau and Wollstonecraft's liberal ideas were brought to New Zealand through the Missionaries. Wollstonecraft believed strongly in an equal world and equal education. "the missionaries children and native children are attending together, as are boys and girls" (May, H. 2013B. P.77). Boys and girls were both being educated not only fairly, but together in the same school. Rousseau felt that children should be free and think for themselves, this became evident when the native children were running wild and the
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