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Evolution of the Concept of Childhood - Case Study Example

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The paper "Evolution of the Concept of Childhood" describes that the theories of the past that hold childhood as a stage of preparation or transition from ignorance to maturity or to the ultimate growth into adulthood (Kellett et al) the 21st-century researchers have broken the preconceived myths…
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Evolution of the Concept of Childhood
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Download file to see previous pages Philosophers, psychologists and educationists have attempted to approach and analyse the issues of childhood from either their socio-cultural perspectives or from their respective disciplines (Richards & Light, 1986; Burman, 1994a; Woodhead, 1999). A look at the theories suggests that the concept of childhood and the position of children has evolved down the ages into a child or childhood-centric view. In the research works of both Elizabeth Coates from the discipline of Education and Wataru Takei from Psychology, the child-centric model of research is apparent. This aspect of their research has not only made it interesting but at the same time palpable.
Coates’ research on children and their learning response in an educational context is based on her first-hand experience as a nursery teacher. The subject of her research was how children between the ages of three to seven years behave or respond in a receiving environment. The key factor of her research consists of the drawings and their descriptions or interpretation made by the children.
In her interpretation of childhood, she does not follow any particular school of thought like Locke’s philosophy of the tabula rasa or Rousseau’s (1991)t of natural surroundings. But her approach to the issue is based on the principles of the discipline of Education (Kellett et al). As a teacher and educationist, she does not generalise children into stereotypes or pass out theoretical definitions on their behavioural gestures. Coates does not base her investigation on any preconceptions that the predecessor theorists have created. She starts by applying the theoretical concepts of constructing the schema as propounded by Vygotsky (Gentle, 1985; Nutbrown 1999; Matthews, 1994) and the marks system (Kellogg, 1955). As a result, her research topic is refreshingly new. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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