One more before bed

The child as a “tabula rasa” was first intriduced by

(A) Freud
(B) Hall
(C) Rousseau
(D) Locke
(E) Watson

(D) Although J.B. Watson was a strong proponent of environmental determinism, John Locke was the first major figure to stress the importance of evironment in influencing human development. “Tabula Rasa” means “blank slate.” In other words, a child is born as a blank slate upon which environmental experiences would determine the course of his development. Locke urged parents to use intelligent, rational thinking when rearing their children.

Another easy one. I remember this from developmental psych class, as well as a brief mentioning in western civ class. I find more thoughts on this in a philosophy book that I have which uses some of Locke’s arguments concerning the mind/spirit/self debate. Interesting stuff, but the notion of “tabula rasa” is utterly without credence and no serious thinker entertains this notion anymore. The GRE test book did not mention the view of the period when Locke wrote his thoughts on tabula rasa that children were “little adults”, that is without any of the child specific behavior or needs. In looking at the artwork of the time (which this was the point of the western civ class and sadly not of the psych class) one finds that the children are generally painted like adults in serious, stiff, formal attire. The same view is seen too often still today. Chidren are dressed in suits and put on display as though they were a miniature adult. I’m happy to see my sister bucking this trend. I’ve got lots of great photos of my nephews in frog suits, costumes, and kid’s clothes. She seems more interested in exploring what it means to be a kid with them instead of making them into adults. That is great! Good for development of the mind.


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