Naturalism as Philosophy of Education
The naturalists emphasised the nature of the child. According to the naturalists education should be according to the nature of the child, Rousseau has played a great role in this regard (Sahu, 2002). In 1759, Rousseau published his famous book “Emile” which contained Rousseau’s ideas on naturalism. Emile means boy in French. In this novel Rousseau focuses on the private education of the boy (Shahid, 2000). Rousseau considered world as an artificial, autocratic, egotistic and arrogant place and Rousseau believed that education should be given according to the natural interest of the child aiming at a holistic development of the personality . Nature is the best teacher and means of education according to Rousseau (Singh, 2007).
A child is a child and not an adult in the making. This is believed by the naturalistic education (Singh, 2007). The focus of Emile is upon the individual tuition of a boy in line with the principles of 'natural education'. The character of Emile begins learning important moral lessons from his infancy, thorough childhood, and into early adulthood. Emile is divided into five main sections which are briefly explained below (Morrish, 1967):