Wikipedia:Peer review/Some Thoughts Concerning Education/archive1

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Some Thoughts Concerning Education[edit]

I am working on getting this article about John Locke's work on education up to FA quality. I would appreciate feedback on which sections need expansion, what is missing from the article and general stylistic suggestions. Thank you. Awadewit 20:23, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Please see automated peer review suggestions here. Thanks, APR t 22:38, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Some thoughts concerning Some Thoughts Concerning Education:
    • The lead is extremely short compared to the article.
      • I agree - I will expand it.
    • The first paragraph of historical context section is a little oddly placed; it seems more logical to place the discussion of critical reception after the historical background.
      • I have moved it and will now revise the text so that it fits in better.
    • "...nurture their child’s physical “habits” before pursuing its academic education" - I know people like to have long pointless disputes about pronouns, but referring to a child as 'it' is pretty awkward.
      • It's fairly common in the academic literature, but I'll try to switch everything to the plural so that I'm not stuck with he/she.
    • Western child-rearing manuals are obsessed with food and sleep? Obsessed?
      • They are obsessed. They really are - it's amazing.
    • Where Essay Concerning Human Understanding is wikilinked, the full title should be written out.
      • Done.
    • The virtue section says that Locke considered children reasoning beings, but in the last sentence 'children are irrational when young'. That's obviously not a contradiction, but it is an invitation to more information here; did Locke discuss any specific aspects of children's reasoning faculties that were deficient?
      • Tried to clarify.
    • There are several occurrences - I first noticed it in the curriculum section - of 'we would call', 'we see', etc., which is generally deprecated.
      • I will fix those.
    • "While Locke began writing Some Thoughts on Education as a guide for educating an aristocrat's son,..." - the impression I got at the beginning is that the letters weren't initially intended as the working draft of a book, but this phrasing implies that he was writing a book from the beginning.
      • I will fix that.
    • The class section is very short; is there more to be said on the topic? Did Locke express any opinion about how the lower classes ought to be educated?
      • I can add in some quotes from "Essay on the Poor Law."
    • Since you were so careful to add the appropriate sics for all the archaic spellings, is 'educatin' in Coste's quote a typo or in the original? Same with 'he busy sunbeams' later.
      • Fixed.
    • "the fact that it was never published allowed readers to draw their own conclusions regarding the “different treatments” required for girls and boys, if any" - 'it' = the view Locke expressed in his letter to Mrs. Clarke? Since current readers will have access to this kind of information, maybe this should be 'contemporary readers' or similar.
      • Will do.
    • The last sentence is awkwardly written; it's one of those, with, too, many, commas.
      • Will, remove, commas.
    • The reception section could be fleshed out, and could reach further forward in time. Given the claims in the lead - most important work on education in Britain for a century - there must be more to include about this. I don't know if there's much to say about modern influence, but surely John Dewey had something to say about the Lockean model, for example?
      • I don't know about Dewey, but I can say more about the eighteenth century.
        • Update: a quick look while I was in the bookstore says Dewey does discuss Locke's influence in Democracy and Education, though not too much in relation to his own views as far as I can tell. I'd elaborate further, but I can't find my own copy of the book :( It'd be nice to see some later influences, though, since I think it will be interesting for most readers to see the modern echoes of such a classic work. Opabinia regalis 01:32, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
          • That's very helpful. The only concern that I have about including that information is that the article would skip from Maria Edgeworth (1798) to John Dewey (c.1900) with nary a word about the nineteenth century's reaction to Locke. Since Locke's primary educational influence was on the eighteenth century, I stopped with Edgeworth. I would hate to include Dewey without at least mentioning what happened in between, but I am ill-equipped to do so and I am not sure that Locke really did affect nineteenth-century education in a significant way. As I understand it, the nineteenth-century dramatically switched its focus to scientifically-based theories of education (Bell and Lancastarian systems of education come to mind). I also don't want to be accused of making overly dramatic claims for Locke's influence. I already think that some people reading the page might argue this point (for example, those who study Locke's philosophy or political works) and claiming that Locke's influence stretched from 1700 to 1900 without any solid timeline would only serve to provoke them, I believe. If someone with more knowledge than myself could prove such a timeline, though, I would obviously welcome their contributions. Awadewit 15:09, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
            • I agree; I just had to check once I'd thought of it. I have a tiny speck of knowledge about Western educational trends in the 20th century but not even that much any earlier, so I'll just leave my suggestion here in case someone else stumbles across it ;) Opabinia regalis 02:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Overall, it's a very well-written article on an interesting subject; nice work ;) Opabinia regalis 03:31, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

That's very helpful - thank you. Awadewit 17:47, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


Impressive. Can't think of much to say, really; this might be able to pass FA now. But as long as you are asking:

  • secualarist?
This is a word.
    • "This" is. "Secualarist" isn't. [1] [2] You probably mean "secularist". --AnonEMouse (squeak) 03:28, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
      • Oh, I missed that extra "a." Sorry about that.
  • "Western child-rearing manuals are still dominated by the topics of food and sleep." - sorry, writing "they really are" isn't enough. You need a citation, a reliable source saying that.
I know, I was joking. I'll find something.
Thanks. I'll fix that.
  • Reception - surely it couldn't have been all positive. For example, he directly attacked Oxford and Cambridge, surely they must have said something, or had defenders.
He was attacking them implicitly (more so in the Essay). This is a book about raising a child and really, there were very few negative reactions. I can add in some criticisms, but as far as I know, the scholarship says that the criticisms were few and far between. (My dissertation is partly on how scholarship has ignored the criticisms of Locke in the late eighteenth century. If you know of any criticism, please let me know because there is just very little.)
  • Historical context and publication - why was Locke more successful than John Evelyn, John Aubrey, John Eachard, and John Milton ?
I will try to find a published explanation of why.
  • Heck, why were they all called John, what is this, a conspiracy?!?  :-)
I know! What is that?
  • "the humanist educational values of the Renaissance" - this bit combined with the next sentences seems to say that those values consisted of venerating Aristotle. Surely that's not true, the Renaissance was about going beyond Aristotle, hence Galileo, etc.
Well, a large part of the Renaissance was about resurrecting the Greek and Roman past (see Renaissance and Humanism). From around 1400-1650, the "ancients," as they said, held sway. That is why there was a neo-classical revolution in art. It was not until the seventeenth century that a critical mass of people began to question the authority of the ancients (in England, Francis Bacon was particularly instrumental in this process). Throughout the eighteenth century there was what was called the debate of the "ancients vs. the moderns," which was about the authority of the classics. The major question was, could modern man ever hope to reach the artistic and philosophical level of the ancients? It was not until the end of the eighteenth century that this question was answered with an emphatic "yes." This is why it was during the eighteeenth century that Shakespeare became a British national icon. The "modern" camp adopted him as an example of genius who was not ancient.
Our Renaissance article does say "Aristotle", it also says "advancements of science"; "everything ends with Aristotle" doesn't sound like it leaves much room for advancement. Can you just strike the wod --AnonEMouse (squeak) 03:28, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
What do you want me to strike? Let's not get ahead of ourselves with "scientific advancements." The Renaissance allowed Europe to rediscover classical sources which allowed them to starting thinking about all sorts of new topics and to break away from Christian traditions. In response, natural philosophers of the seventeenth century looked at the humanists of the Renaissance and said "they rely too much on the ancients, we can do our own experimentation like the ancients did." And thus the scientific revolution was born. This is an extremely simplified view, but the Renaissance was not primarily about great advancements in science (Galileo is the exception). Think of all the giants in the seventeenth century: Newton, Boyle, Kepler, Huygens, Hooke, etc. See Scientific Revolution. Awadewit 04:07, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Legacy - how did this impact later authors and works in the field? This seems to have been a milestone book in the field, with most other works citing it - what was or were the next milestone(s), and how did it differ from or expand upon Locke's views? --AnonEMouse (squeak) 21:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I would think that that information would belong on a history of the philosophy of education page such as this one Philosophy of education. I have traced Locke's influence as far as it goes. After the turn of the century, other philosophies take over and I think that this page should be restricted to Locke's Some Thoughts. Awadewit 22:48, 9 March 2007 (UTC)