chapter  III
3 Pages

III.4 Educational treatises


Early modern educational treatises provide insight into how contemporary pedagogic thinking incorporated physiological theories about emotions into educational theory and practices. These treatises reveal the close attention that was paid to children’s temperaments and the complex role education was thought to have in fostering desired emotional states and behaviour. In early modern England the spectrum of printed educational treatises ranges from the humanist writings of Roger Ascham (1515-68), works by schoolmasters like Richard Mulcaster (1531/2-1611) and philosophical texts by John Locke (1632-1704) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78). These early modern treatises absorbed, reflected and, in some cases, prompted new ideas about children’s passionate temperaments, the role discipline played in encouraging or alternatively stifling learning and, increasingly in the late eighteenth century, children’s innocence.