Negative Education- Concept
The concept of negative education is propounded by Rousseau. One of the very important contribution of Rousseau towards educational theory and practice is his theory of negative education. ‘Theory of Negative Education’- the term negative education indicates Rousseau’s hatred for the formal educational system prevailing in the society. He considered it unnatural and against the nature of child. He strongly criticized it and advocated to replace it. Since the formal system was considered as the positive system of education, he termed his own system of education as negativity.
Rousseau believe that everything is good as it comes from nature and it degenerates in the hands of men. therefore, Rousseau advocated that the education of the child should be purely negative. The child should not be taught the principles of truth and virtue but he should be guarded against ability.
Salient features of Negative Education
1. Direct experience of the child
Rousseau stresses the students to learn from his own experiences and not from books. Knowledge acquired from books is second hand and easily forgotten.
2. No time saving in childhood
Rousseau view that no time should be saved in childhood. It should rather be lost. Let the child run, jump and play all the day. In all these activities, they will have continuous reconstruction of experience which is nothing but education. Childhood is not the time for intellectual pursuits.
3. No book learning
According to Rousseau, books are a curse to children. they teach us to talk only, not work.
4. No habit formation
No habit formation is one another important feature of negative education. According to Rousseau, a child should not be allowed to form strict habit. Young children should not be made slaves of right habits. They should be left free in all their activities. they should be allowed to form natural habits only if required.
5. No direct moral education
Rousseau is not in favor of morals. the child should be left free to act and learn what is right and wrong by the consequences of his own action.
6. No formal discipline
Rousseau advocates discipline by natural consequences. he is in favor of free and positive discipline for children. Let the children learn discipline from his own action. Without the interventions of human beings. If a child climbs a tree, let him fall down and learn not to do so again.
7. No sticking to traditional procedure of education
Rousseau was strongly against the prevailing social, political, economic, religious and educational conditions of his country. Therefore, he urge to follow the reverse of the current practice to achieve the desired results.