Jean-Jacques Rousseau He was a writer, pedagogue, philosopher, botanist, naturalist and musician, who was born on June 28, 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland.
His father was the watchmaker, Isacc Rousseau and his mother, Suzanne Bernard, who died nine days after giving birth, so Jean-Jacques was raised by a maternal aunt.
Educated at home, he read all kinds of stories and novels that quickened his mind and made his sensitivity grow, reading all the intellectuals of the time.
When his father left Geneva due to legal problems, he went to live with his uncles, enjoying what he called an ideal education, a time that he would describe as the happiest of his life.
His first formal education was received, along with his cousin, at the school of a Calvinist pastor, in Bossey, France, from 1722 to 1724. Upon returning to Geneva in 1725 he worked as an apprentice watchmaker and engraver, developing sufficient experience to live from both trades all his life.
In 1728 he left Geneva, which led him to Savoy, where he met Madame de Warens, a highly cultured lady, thirteen years his senior. She helped him expand his education and musical hobby. Under its influence, Jean-Jacques converted from Calvinism to Catholicism.
What had started as a mother-child relationship, became a love relationship in 1733, so Jean-Jacques moved in with Madame de Warens. Jean-Jacques Rousseau lived with her for ten years, working on the Savoy cadastre and giving lessons in music and many other trades, until her breakup in 1744.
In 1745 he returned to Paris, where he composed the opera “Les Muses galantes”, at the age of 33. In those days he met Thérèse Levasseur, an illiterate dressmaker. With her, after having had five children in a row, he married civilly in 1768, managing to convince her to deliver her children to a hospice.
What they did as they were born, because Rousseau was afraid that his children would be raised by his wife’s uneducated family.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau returned to Geneva in 1754, reconciled with Calvinism and wrote his “Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men.”
In 1756 he retired to work and write at the residence of his friend Madame de Epinay.
There Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote “Julia, or The New Heloise“(1761) and”The Social Contract”(1762), the latter a work banned in France.
That same year, he published “Emilio or of the education”, Text that was condemned to the stake, with the simultaneous request to capture the author. Hence Rousseau he fled to Neuchatel, Switzerland, where he was living in retreat in the country, with Thérèse, from 1765 to 1767.
He returned to France in 1767, under a false name, that of Jean-Jacques Renou, until in 1770, he could officially return on the condition that he did not publish anything else. He remained in Paris until the beginning of 1778, where he continued to copy music, which was what he lived on, in addition to classifying herbs and writing on botany.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau He died of a stroke in retirement in Ermenonville, France, on July 2, 1778.
Pedagogical doctrine of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau saw education as the appropriate way to form free citizens, aware of their rights and duties. As the prevailing educational system was not able to do so, it formulated what came to be called the Rousseau’s pedagogical doctrine.
This doctrine is made up of four psychological principles:
- The necessary stages of the physical and mental development of the student are established by nature (Law of Genetic Succession).
- The exercise of the functions of each stage of life prepares you for the arrival of the following functions (Law of Genetic-Functional Exercise).
- Every action comes to satisfy a need or an interest of the moment.
- Each individual is different from the others, both physically and psychically.
Rousseau established that the learning periods must be adjusted to the ages of the learner, respecting these four psychological principles.
Rousseau also stressed that, history is the best place for boys to learn to meet men, so teachers should only teach realities.
Postulates of Rousseau’s Pedagogical Theory
The postulates of Rousseau’s pedagogical theory are still valid:
- “Education should focus more on the child and less on the adult.”
- “It is important to stimulate the desire to learn.”
- “The education of the child begins from its birth and it must be prevented from acquiring habits of which it could become a slave.”
In summary, Rousseau highlights the importance of understanding the needs of children, as a starting point for their education.
The child’s education must allow him to be free and to develop his own abilities, as well as his natural tendencies. It highlights how essential the experience is, as a teacher in the learning process, over the verbal lessons.
“Emilio or of the education”
In 1762, Jean-Jacques published his work “Emilio or of the education”, Where the psychological principles and postulates of Rousseau’s pedagogical theory are embodied.
That is why it is said that in this philosophical novel, Rousseau shows and proposes a new perspective on education through Emilio, the protagonist of his work.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau believes that every man and every child is good by natureTherefore, he argues that if education followed a natural rhythm, there would be freer societies. Assuming that nature is good and that the child must learn by himself, Rousseau argued that the child would do it according to his interests.
Therefore, it is said that he attacked the educational system with this novel, by stating that children should be educated according to their interests and not to strict discipline.
The educational philosophical novel “Emilio or of the education”Is divided into five parts.
The first three parts dedicated to childhood, the fourth dedicated to adolescence and the fifth, to the paternal, political and moral life of Emilio and, to the education of Sofía, the ideal woman.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was part of the time of illustration, an intellectual movement that influenced the American War of Independence in 1776 and the French Revolution in 1789. These revolts transformed those societies and gave way to the emergence of the concept of citizen, freedoms, rights, republican governments and sovereignty.
Rousseau made one of the greatest contributions to the Enlightenment, through his work “The Social Contract”, Giving rise to a new policy. This was based on the general will and sovereignty.
That is how “The Social Contract”Opens the way to democracy, in a society that is a Republic, where the people are the guarantor of its sovereignty.
Rousseau and botany
At 65, Jean-Jacques Rousseau discovered botany, dedicating himself to classifying herbs, an activity that reassured him. He is also considered the inventor of the comparison chart. The abbreviation “Rousseau”Is used to indicate that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the author of the description and scientific classification of herbs. In this final stage of his life, he managed to identify and name 21 new species.