Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Phi-LOST-ophy 101

Caveat emptor: extreme nerd alert!!

OK, so, I just spent a couple of hours on my Psych class (Human Growth and Development). The online thing is pretty cool, actually. My instructor puts together powerpoint presentations complete with audio lecture and imbedded videos, so I read the chapter, then watch the "lesson" and take notes. Kinda just like class! Only in my pajamas. Nice. Unfortunately, I made a 60% on my first quiz. *frown* Welcome back to college, Jamie. And hilariously, it was over the very very first lesson, aptly entitled "Orientation." I think it was mainly to get us acquainted with how this online thing works... I can't believe I missed 2 out of 5. Guess I should have watched it again. I am happy to note, however, that we have a discussion board, where I feel right at home.

OK, so, my second lesson is the first chapter of my book Development Through The Lifespan. You know how the first chapter of a textbook is always really boring history and theories? Yep, same here. And since this is lifespan development, we are obviously going to start at the beginning, with the most basic of psychological debates, Nature vs. Nurture.

Imagine my surprise and undeniably geeky glee to discover the two main opposing theorists in this debate were John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau.

Nurture. In medieval Europe (6th-15th centuries), little emphasis was placed on childhood as a separate phase of life: a view called preformationism, where once children emerged from infancy, they were regarded as miniature, already-formed adults. John Locke was one of the first philosophists to introduce behaviorism. He viewed a child as a "tabula rasa," or "blank slate." According to his ideas, children are, to begin with, nothing at all, and all kinds of experiences can shape their characters. Locke described parents as rational tutors who can mold the child in any way they wish through careful instruction, effective example, and rewards for good behavior. His philosophy led to a culture-wide change in child-rearing.

Nature. In the 18th century, a French philosophist named Rousseau discerned that children were not blank slates, but noble savages, naturally endowed with a sense of right and wrong, and with an innate plan for orderly, healthy growth. Rousseau believed, unlike Locke, that a person's built-in moral sense and unique way of thinking and feeling would only be harmed by adult training. His philosophy stated that a parent should be receptive to the child's needs at each stage of development, and natural maturation (a genetically-determined naturally unfolding course of growth) would occur. Rousseau thought a child's inherent nature determined his destiny.

Discuss. I need ideas for my assignment. *wink*


Blogger Shelly said...

One thing I love about LOST is how it pulls from everything. Religion, books, notable figures, etc. The sources alone don't necessarily mean much, but once they are all pulled together,'s fresh and new and wonderfully interesting and exciting.

Lets hope this class enables you to form a solid theory on the nature of the island. School has to be good for something.

May 31, 2006 8:14 PM  
Blogger Brain Diva said...

I am teaching developmental psych, albeit at the other end of the spectrum (i.e., aging). Psychologists can discuss nature vs. nurture to death. I have. ;) Seriously though, if you need help in any way, just holler my way.

May 31, 2006 9:19 PM  
Blogger iamchanelle said...

ok. i am going to bed now. when i wake up in the morning, i will drink my coffee, and read this over again. then i MIGHT have something intelligent to add.


May 31, 2006 10:22 PM  
Blogger krysten said...

and then there's the Bible, who says we are objects of wrath, just naturally. so yes on the savage, but not so much "noble".

of course i guess a biblical view isnt going to get you anywhere in your class...

anyone who thinks a child is born knowing right from wrong has never had a toddler. seriously.

it's funny bc even though it's been a while since i've been in school, i caught on to the psychology of LOST, i found that to be a nice touch.

June 01, 2006 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

And here I was thinking the "Tabula Rasa" link was to one of the most INGENIUOUS Buffy episodes ever written.

I should have known better...


June 01, 2006 11:27 PM  
Blogger hello jamie: said...

Oh Tom. There's no way you actually thought that.


June 02, 2006 6:19 AM  
Blogger MyUtopia said...

I ended up having to take several development courses. It gets interesting, I promise. My fav is moral developmen (Kholberg). Good luck on your next test/quiz.

June 02, 2006 7:34 AM  
Blogger The Bagboy said...

Daniel on TWoP pointed out, and I failed to notice this at the time, that Desmond's last name is Hume. So now we have Locke, Rousseau, AND Hume. Philosopher overload, anyone?

And Hume (and I) fall on the nurture side of this debate.

June 02, 2006 11:00 AM  
Blogger hello jamie: said...

Don't even get me started on the other names in this show. Henry Gale, Penelope, Inman, Aaron, Shepard... etc.

His name is actually Desmond DAVID Hume, natch.

June 02, 2006 11:23 AM  

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