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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS                    15

or his intestines get displaced, his mind gets depressed, stupified
or perhaps killed. The moral degradation of the slave which is
the main hindrance to our progress ought to be raised, and which
cannot be done because of this dead weight. The call for redemp-
tion comes louder still from souls than from bodies.

What shall we say when it is a matter of educating children?

Here is a spectacle with which we are very familiar. In the
classroom there is the interfering teacher who pours knowledge
into the heads of the pupils. That his work may succeed, he must
maintain the discipline of immobility, of forced attention on the
part of his students; and the master must have power to use freely
both rewards and punishments by which to restrain those who
are condemned to be his hearers.

These external rewards and punishments, if I may be allowed
ihe expression, constitute the bench of the soul, that is, the instru-
ment by which slavery is inflicted on the spirit, except that here
it is applied not to lessen deformities but to give rise to them,

In fact, rewards and punishments are adopted to compel
children to obey the laws of the world rather than those of God.
The laws of the world for the children are dictated almost always by
the will of the adult man, who clothes himself with an exaggerated,
unlimited authority.

Too often he commands because he is strong, and wishes the
child to obey because he is weak. Instead of that, adult man
ought to constitute himself as a loving and enlightened guide to
the child and assist the new man to find the ways which lead to the
Kingdom of Heaven. Of quite another character are the rewards
and punishments promised by Jesus—the elevation of the good
and the abyss of perdition into which the wicked must fall. Any-
one who makes use of his talents may be exalted and the reward
is accessible to all, whether their talents be many or few.

But, in the schools, there is only one reward available for all
those who strive, a fact which gives rise to emulation, greed and
vanity, instead of the upliftment which springs from effort,
humility and love, which all may attain. In this way we create a