What Contributions Did John Locke Make to Early Childhood Education?

John Locke made a strong contribution to early childhood education in the form of his 1693 treatise, “Thoughts Concerning Education,” where he stated that students needed to receive better treatment as well as a more diverse syllabus.” In another one of his works, “Essay Concerning Human Understanding,” Locke stated that he believed educating children was not only a concern of the parents of the children, but also of the state, and that the status of the state will always depend upon the training of its youth.

John Locke was an English philosopher who was born in 1632 and lived until 1704. His writings inspired President Thomas Jefferson, among many other United States Founding Fathers. His ideas also heavily influenced Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s writing of the novel “Emile” in 1762.

Locke has a foundation named after him, the John Locke Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) research institute dedicated to using journalism, research and outreach programs in order to create a government that balances personal freedom, innovation, competition and personal responsibility. Additionally, the foundation pays close attention to childhood education.

Locke believed that schools needed to promote reason and promote the freedom of thinking in their students in order to create the best political society. He did not believe that humans were born with innate ideas, and therefore must be properly educated in order to learn how to reflect, perceive and understand external realities.