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What are the past origins and philosophical concepts of childhood? Has the society always treated the child as a ‘whole person’, given him or her the necessary status in society? Was there a break-through in mentality? The purpose of this essay is, to help me identify and gain an understanding to see whether childhood became an established and recognised time of life for the child throughout the centuries. Personally, I believe that, all children deserve an opportunity to prove their capabilities and that they should be respected as individuals.However, until around the twelfth century, European society did not think of childhood as an important period of development, in the manner that we do nowadays. Children were not cherished as individuals. In the Middle Ages, children had no status in society, and were considered as miniature adults. Children were trained to become the future productive members of the society or community. Moreover, the young children were not expected to need any special treatment. However, this placid attitude, reflected deeply in the lack of schools available. The possibility of having proper education was remote, and considered to be an extravagant luxury fit only for boys coming from wealthy families. Children’s welfare and rights were still not recognised or acknowledged. But society’s ideology towards the conception of childhood changed gradually from time to time. Research shows that eventually, children stopped being considered as an addition contribution to their families’ financial economy. Thanks to the initiative efforts and work of influential international figures, new concepts of childhood were introduced. New systems and reforms were established to give status to the child. Towards the twentieth century education replaced child-labour. Unlike previous centuries, society acknowledged the assets of the child’s educational contribution, rather than his financial input. Since then, education became the main element of childhood, and has become a necessity. Much can be said about the twenty first century where, individualism and creativity are synonymous with early childhood.


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