2 Philosophical Influences

Historical Influences 1843 – 1827

Martin Luther (1483-1546)[1]

  • Believed primary role of education is to teach children to read
  • Family plays the most important role in educating children
  • Contributed to ideal that all children need to be educated

John Amos Comenius (1592-1670)[2]

  • Wrote the first picture book for children called Orbis Pictus – an alphabet book based on the study of nature and the senses
  • Encouraged parents to let children play with other children of the same age
  • Reflected the growing social reform that would educate  the poor as well as the rich

John Locke (1632-1714)[3]

  • Proposed idea called tabula rasa (clean slate)
  • Believed that the child was born neutral rather than good or evil
  • Suggested that instruction should be pleasant with play activities as well as drills

Jean Jacques Rouseau (1712-1778)[4]

  • Wrote a book called Emile based on a hypothetical child – these ideas were brought forward in this book:
    • Education should be more than vocational
    • Children construct their own knowledge
    • Children’s perspectives differ from adults
    • Children’s cognitive development processes through distinct stages and instructions should coincide with those stages

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827)[5]

  • Believed that children should be cared for as well as educated
  • Integrated curriculum that develops the whole child
    • Defined the whole child as the hand, the head, and the heart
  • Thought children should be taught in group settings
  • Encourage parent education primarily for the mother


  1. Martin Luther, painted portrait by Lucas Cranach , Open Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
  2. Jan Amos Comenius (Komensky), painted portrait by Jürgen Ovens, Open Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
  3. Portrait of Locke in 1697 by Godfrey Kneller, Open Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
  4. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, painted portrait, Open Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
  5. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi by Francisco Javier Ramos, Open Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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