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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

150               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

with the material world. He is awake and his connections with
the outside world are innumerable and unbroken. His need?
instead, is to bring order into the chaos which is created in his
mind by the multitude of sensations which the world has given
him. He is not asleep in life like the deficient child; he is an ardent
explorer in a world which is new to him, and like an explorer, what
he needs is a road (that is, something limited and direct) which
may lead him to his objective and save him from the wearying
deviations which hinder his progress. Then he is passionately
attached to those things, limited and direct in their scope, which
bring order into the chaos accumulated within him. They set up
conditions of clarity in his exploring mind and furnish him with
a guide in his exploring operations. The explorer, at first aban-
doned to himself, becomes then an enlightened man, who at every
step, makes new discoveries and advances with the strength which
is given by inward satisfaction.

How this experience ought to modify the conception still held
by many that the child is helped in proportion to the quantity of
educational objects which can be placed at his disposal! We all
believe wrongly that the child who has the most toys, who gets
the most help, ought to be the best developed. Instead of that,
the confused multitude of things raises new chaos in his mind, and
oppresses him with discouragement.

The limits to the aids which enable the child to reduce his
mind to order, and to make It easy for him to understand the
infinite number of things which surround him, are represented by
the maximum necessity for economizing his energy and for enabling
him to advance along the difficult way of development.