Journal of East China Normal University(Educationa ›› 2015, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (1): 11-17.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2015.01.002

• Educational Theory(教育理论) • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Rousseau’s Educational Intention

1、LIU Liang hua;2、ZENG Shi ping   

  1. 1. Institute of Curriculum and Instruction, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China; 2. Faculty of Education, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Online:2015-04-24 Published:2015-05-12
  • Contact: 1、LIU Liang hua;2、ZENG Shi ping
  • About author:1、LIU Liang hua;2、ZENG Shi ping

Abstract: It seems that there is a paradoxical relationship or a tension between Rousseau’s The Social Contract and his Emile. The Social Contract focuses on “society”, denying human’s “State of Nature”, while Emile is individualoriented, emphasizing the importance of “natural education”. But according to Rousseau’s educational intention, the two writings are actually based on the same principle and consistent with each other. On the surface, Rousseau’s The Social Contract denies “the State of Nature”, but in essence it imitates “the State of Nature”, that is, building a civil society by “Learning from Nature”. Further, in The Social Contract Rousseau focuses his discussion on the education of the ordinary citizens (namely, mass education). Emile is not the opposite of The Social Contract. Its aim is to cultivate the legislator for the civil society (namely, elite education). Emile is more important than The Social Contract for the reason that the legislator plays a greater role in society than the ordinary citizens.

Key words: The Social Contract, Emile, mass education, education for the legislator