Educational provision has always involved much more than the ways of accumulation of academic knowledge. It has been central to the processes by which ideas of childhood has been socially constructed and, therefore, its history has much to tell us about the development of different educational systems in the context of changing ideologies in a changing society. At all times there was a very close connection between beliefs about childhood and educational provision of the society within which those beliefs had been held. Until sometime around the twelfth century, European society did not see childhood as a distinct period of development the way that we do now. Children were viewed as miniature adults and participated fully in adult life.
[...] The dominating factor of a child's education at that stage is based on a play, but the play is not limited only by toys: it includes painting, cooking, learning nursery rhymes and action songs, little plays, festivals everything that helps to develop imagination and nature of the child. Teaching children between the ages of six and fourteen are different both in content and method: it becomes an education of the feelings and of the heart. There is no competition between pupils, no marks, no rewards, but there is always help and correction if necessary. [...]
[...] In contrast to this perception, a second perception of the child arose among groups that stood in opposition: the church, the moralists, and the pedagogues, who felt responsible for the spiritual development of the child. They believed that children need education and discipline, and simultaneous with the new interest in the psychology of the child, they drafted a demand for an educational system that would satisfy these needs: the child was perceived as a delicate creature, who must be protected, educated, and moulded in accordance with the current educational beliefs and goals”. [...]
[...] The process of developing the ideas of childhood is a continuous non-stop practice, which helps us to comprehend the children and their lives as they really are and in this way give the children's views a central role in our analyses and understandings. BIBLIOGRAPHY Anning, A. (2005) The First Years at School Philadelphia, Open University Press Aries, P. (2002) Centuries of Childhood. A Social History of Family Life.2nd edition, New York, Vintage Books Bowen, H. (1907) Froebel and Education by Self- Activity London, William Heinemann Bruce, T. [...]
[...] Steiner developed a quite new approach to the understanding of human nature and built a totally new conception of education recognizing a child as a bond of body, soul and spirit, and consequently his educational practice aimed to attend to all three. Rudolf Steiner believed that children should be given all-round education and not simply occupational training, which meant that the education was to help each person to find his/her right space in life and to fulfil a personal destiny. [...]
[...] He recognized that children began to learn as soon as they began to interact with the world, and he reasoned that since the interaction was mostly in the form of play, the way to educate a child was through play, a means of awakening and developing the active and presentative side of his nature; wherefore none, not even the simplest gifts from a child, should ever be suffered to be neglected.” (Froebel p.77) Froebel's continuous studies of the ideas concerning child” came to fruition in the concept of the Kindergarten ( a new kind of educational provision, where children “instruct and educate themselves” and where they develop and integrate all their abilities through play. [...]
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