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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

EDUCATION IN MOVEMENT                  129

dry plates and glasses, etc. there will never be bora in bim any
real ability. And if he does not live a social life in which he
observes the rules of education he will never acquire that graceful
naturalness which is so attractive in our children. We know what
a perpetual struggle it is to prevent ourselves from falling into that
depth of indolence which is always hindering us on our journey
towards perfection, just as the force of gravity in the end stops
the smoothest, most polished sphere from running on the most
level surface. To have reached the highest refinement would matter
nothing, if that were not linked up with daily life, where various
motives urge us never to relax and where the fruits of dexterity
acquired are transmitted reciprocally. Roughness, inexactitude,,
spring up like those herbs which grow even among dry stones, on
a rock which, from its very nature, would seem to be protected
from them.

GIVING ACTIONS THEIR PEACE

One detail usually very little understood is the distinction
between teaching how one ought to actóleaving free, however,,
the practical applications of itóand the other plan (which is done-
by other methods) of guiding the child in every action and
imposing the power and the will of the adult on the child. Those
who teach in the old style suppose that we, while defending the
liberty of the child, desire that the child should remain without
ability or will-power because we deprive him of that adult superin-
tendence. On the contrary, we do not understand the idea so
simply; our education is not negative, it takes away nothing, but
it changes, it intensifies, it refines.

One ought to teach everything, one ought to connect every-
thing with life, but there ought not to be suppressed, by directing
them ourselves one by one, the actions which the children have
learnt to carry out and to place in practical life. This assigning
of their proper places to actions is one of the most important
things which the child has to do. He has not only learnt to be
silent, but he has learnt where he ought to be silent; he will be
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