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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

EDUCATION IN MOVEMENT                   11?

These different kinds of movement have been found useful in
order to counterbalance the muscular inertia of pupils who have
to follow a sedentary life in their studies, whilst keeping themselves
in a prescribed position imposed by class-discipline, that is to say,
seated stiffly on wooden benches. So gymnastics represent a
remedy necessitated by4 an evil inflicted on the children; and
nothing is more characteristic and almost symbolical of the old
regime than this action and counter-action enforced by the teacher,
who dictatorially increases evils and remedies for the passive,
disciplined child.

The modern tendencies which place gymnastics on different
levels, as for example, games in the open air which come to us
from England or the rhythmical gymnastics of Dalcroze, consider
the child in a more human fashion. They give Him an opportunity
for loosening his muscles from their enforced positions with a
greater regard for his personality. All these methods, however,,
are reactions from a life which has been wrongly understood and
have no modifying influence on life itself. They lie, like amuse-
ments, outside the usual existence.

Making muscular education penetrate into the very life of
the children, connecting it up with the practical life of every day,
formed a main part of the practical side of our method, which
has introduced education in movement fully into the indivisible
whole of the education of the personality of the child.

The child, as all agree, must be continually on the move; the
need for movement, which is irresistible in childhood, apparently
lessens as the inhibitory powers develop, during the time when
these, harmonizing with the motor impulses, are building up-
machinery for bringing them into subjection to the will. Thus
the more advanced child possesses more obedient motor tendencies,
and when an outside will influences his he can dominate impulses.
This, however, always remains as the foundation of the life of
relationship, for this is precisely the characteristic which distinguishes,
not only man but all the animal kingdom from the vegetable world.
Movement is therefore the essential of life and education cannot
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