This week’s lecture on Ideas in European Education brought forth many educational ideas that many of us take for granted. I was struck by the number of ideas Ellis listed that I had not previously considered as having a source, they just seemed to be. For example in the lecture Ellis discusses how during the Romantic Movement Rousseau essentially invented the idea of childhood. Also he mentions that during this time it was discovered that children learn differently than adults as they do not have the benefit of experience as adults do. I was shocked by the idea that childhood was once nonexistent and is a relatively new concept. Most people in a western society today view childhood as a God given right that absolutely should be cherished and preserved. As Americans we have a tendency to forget the past and never seem to look back at how far we have truly come. So often teachers, administers, and government officials can be seen arguing over such minute details as the format of a standardized test or the type of math program implemented in second grade. This lecture and reading has given me pause and helped me to appreciate the origin of the most basic ideas that take place within my school.
Ellis, A. K. (Performer) (2007, November 3). Ideas in European education. [Audio podcast].