TEACHING METHODS 89 The man who acts by himself, who expends his strength on his own actions, conquers himself, increases his power and perfects himself. The men of future generations must be made strong men, that is, independent and free. REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS FOR OUR CHILDREN We have only to apply the principles set out above to find that there is born in the child a peacefulness which characterizes and almost illumines all his doings. Truly there is born a new child morally superior to the one who is treated as a helpless and incompetent being. A sense of dignity accompanies this new- found feeling of inward liberation; henceforth the child interests himself in his own conquests, remaining indifferent to the many small external temptations which would have excited his lower feelings irresistibly. I must confess that this experience filled me with astonish- ment. I also had been under the delusion of one of the most absurd proceedings of ordinary education, that is, I also be- lieved that in order to foster in the child a strong sense of work and tranquillity it was necessary to encourage by means of an external reward his lower feelings such as greed, vanity and self- love. And I was also astonished when I found out that the child who is allowed to bring himself up abandons these lower instincts of his. I then exhorted the teachers to discard the usual rewards and punishments, which were no longer adapted to our children,^ and to confine themselves to directing them gently in their work. But nothing is more difficult for the teacher than giving up old customs and old prejudices. One of them especially employed herself in my absence in improving on my ideas, introducing a little of the methods to which she had been accustomed. One day, on an unexpected visit, I surprised a child, one of the most intelli- gent, wearing on his breast a large silver Greek cross suspended from a handsome white ribbon; another child was seated in a chair in the middle of the room.