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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

EDUCATION IN MOVEMENT                   121

crowd of little ones the seed which is necessary for that age, she
feels that she is doing a work of the most worthy charity, like that
of giving food to the starving. Later on, these same children will
tend to become careless about precision of movement; the con-
structive period of muscular co-ordination will begin to decline.
The mind of the child will pass onward; he will no longer have
that love of his. His mind is compelled to follow a definite course,
which is as independent of his own will as it is of the power of his
teacher. Later on, duty will make him preserve, by an effort of
his will, what he had created lavishly in the stage of love, that is,
at the time when he had to create within himself new aptitudes.
It is, then, at this stage that there is a possibility of initiating
•children into the analysis of movements.


Every complex action is made up of successive incidents, one
quite distinct from the other; one act follows another. Trying to
recognize and to execute exactly and separately these successive
acts is the analysis of movement.

In dressing and undressing are performed very complicated
actions, which we adults, except in special social conditions, carry
out very imperfectly. The imperfection consists in mixing up
together several of the successive movements of the action. It
is something which resembles the jumbled up pronunciation of
long words, in which several syllables are run together into an
indistinct and sometimes incomprehensible sound. The person
speaks badly; he does not analyse the word into the sounds
of which it is composed. The elimination of or the confusion of
sounds has nothing to do with the slowness or the rapidity of
•speech. One can speak both clearly and rapidly; indeed the person
who distorts his words is often slow of speech. It is not a question
of speed, but of exactitude. Now we, generally speaking, display
in many of our movements an inexactitude which springs from
lack of education and which clings to us, though we may not be