Some Thoughts Concerning Education

Some Thoughts Concerning Education by John Locke cover, black leather with a gilded design

Cover of Some Thoughts Concerning Education

By John Locke 3rd ed., London, 1695

Some Thoughts Concerning Education

Written by John Locke

London, A. and J. Churchill, 1695 (1693)

6" x 7.75"

TC Andersen Library, Rare Books, University of Minnesota Libraries

"If I mis-observe not, [children] love to be treated as rational Creatures sooner than is imagined," wrote John Locke in this seminal reflection on education in the broadest sense. Locke believed that teaching by rote or fear ran counter to children's fundamental nature. Reasoning alone was not enough, however. Early education worked best when the child experienced it as a form of play: "Thus Children may be...taught to read, without perceiving it to be any kind of thing but a Sport, and play them-selves into that which others are whipp'd for."

Authoritative statements such as this gave 18th-century printer-publishers in Britain, continental Europe, and North America their new marching orders and primed like-minded parents to shop for juvenile books unlike any they had seen before.


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Some Thoughts Concerning Education by John Locke title page, black text on cream colored paper

Title page of Some Thoughts Concerning Education

By John Locke 3rd ed., London, 1695

Some Thoughts Concerning Education by John Locke interior page, black text on cream colored paper

Interior of Some Thoughts Concerning Education

By John Locke 3rd ed., London, 1695

Visions of Childhood
A Blank Slate: The Rational Child
Some Thoughts Concerning Education