our educational system practices have a tendency to foster dependence, passivity and a "tell me what to do" attitude.
Effective learning is that students are in charge of their own learning and progress. A growing body of research indicates that when students are working on goals they themselves have set, they are more motivated and efficient, and they achieve more than they do when working on goals that have been set by the teacher.
As understood by Locke, tabula rasa meant that the mind of the individual was born "blank", and it also emphasized the individual's freedom to author his or her own soul. Each individual was free to define the content of his or her character - but his or her basic identity as a member of the human species cannot be so altered. It is from this presumption of a free, self-authored mind combined with an immutable human nature that the Lockean doctrine of "natural" rights derives.
Tabula Rasa is also featured in Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis. Freud depicted personality traits as being formed by family dynamics (see Oedipus complex, etc.). Freud's theories show that one can downplay genetic and congenital influences on human personality without advocating free will. In psychosanalysis, one is largely determined by one's upbringing.
The tabula rasa concept became popular in social sciences in the 20th century. Eugenics (mainstream in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) came to be seen not as a sound policy but as a crime. The idea that genes (or simply "blood") determined character took on racist overtones. By the 1970s, some scientists had come to see gender identity as socially constructed rather than rooted in genetics (see John Money), a concept still current (see Anne Fausto-Sterling). This swing of the pendulum accompanied suspicion of innate differences in general (see racism) and a propensity to "manage" society, where the real power must be if people are born blank.[original research?]