The History of Childhood Paradigm Shifts in Western Childhood.
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The History of Childhood Paradigm Shifts in Western Childhood
Children in the Middle Ages : 500-1450 (Europe) Infancy is the only period of “childhood” Once a child is able to eat, sleep, dress, and act independently. Children expected to enter adult society Lower class children worked on the family property. Upper class children were apprentices/courtiers. Young people take on the work of an adult as they are able. Children Acculturated/Not Educated. Children dressed and acted as adults -- with what exceptions? Who is excluded from this paradigm?
Children in the Renaissance: 1400-1550 (Europe) Infancy is “childhood” More and more noble children are tutored before they become courtiers. Children’s “games” are preparation for adulthood with serious consequences. Children are “workers” in all classes. Lower classes work at home. Upper class children are sent off. Children dressed and acted as adults with the noted exceptions. Apprenticeship Leagues Begin Who is excluded from this paradigm?
Children in the Reformation 1500-1650 (Europe) Infancy is “childhood” Age of Reason Established Religious Education Essential Children still seen as workers. Their role depends on their class. The Work Ethic Established Children are still seen as little adults. Grammar Schools Begin Who is excluded from this paradigm?
Children in the Enlightenment: 1650- 1790(Europe) Children as a Blank Slate (Locke 1690s) Children learn through Experience Proper Experience = Education Children still seen as workers in the lower class. Upper class children can still be apprenticed/courtiers. Noble Children are Pretty Toys Children dressed and acted as adults with the noted exceptions. Beginning of Children’s Literature for entertainment (1740s Newbery) Who is excluded from this paradigm?
Children in the Industrial Revolution:1790-1850 ( US) Children as a Blank Slate Upper Class Children Staying with their families. Children learn through Experience Massive Urbanization & Colonization Children as Laborers Essential to lower class families in farming and industry. Beginning of national school systems Growth of Children’s Literature Increasing Immigration Children as “innocent” (Pastoral) Boom in children’s toys and clothing Who is excluded from this paradigm?
Children in the Gilded Age: 1850 -1918 (United States) Education is Mandatory First Children’s Room in a library (1890) New laws to protect children Golden Era of Children’s Literature (1860s-1930s) Growth of the Middle Class Growth of child services Children as “innocent” Massive Immigration/Assimilation Adolescence as a separate stage. Who is excluded from this paradigm?