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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

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unsuspected wounds, the spiritual maladies which already exist in-
these gracious little sons of the prisoners of our artificial


. Education in the school will be able to fix the attention of
the child on particular objects which will show precisely how far
he has been able to develop feelings for Nature, and which will
awaken in him latent or almost lost sentiments. To supply him
with incentives to activity and at the same time information which
interests him constitutes, as is true for every other activity, the
function of scholastic education.

The child, who is the greatest spontaneous observer of Nature,
undoubtedly needs to have placed at his disposal material on which
to work.


Solicitous care for living things affords satisfaction to one of
the most lively instincts of the child mind. It is easy, therefore,
to organize an active service for the care of plants and, more parti-
cularly, . of animals. Nothing is better calculated than this to
awaken an attitude of foresight in the little child who lives through
his fleeting moments without thought for the days to come. When
he knows that some animals need him, that the little plants will
dry up if he does not water them, his love binds together with a
new thread the passing moments and the day which is to follow.

Watch the little ones as on one morning, after they had for
many days, with loving care, placed food and water near the
brooding doves, they discover the nestlings 1 Another day, it is a
number of delightful chickens which are there, where before there
had been the eggs which the hen had been keeping under her wings
for so long. What tenderness and what immense enthusiasm t
There is born in the children the desire to give further help; they
collect little bits of straw, threads of old cotton material, wisps of
cotton-wool, for the birds which are building their nests under the