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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

190               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

It is worth while to illustrate the principle by several examples.
We tell a cook to buy some fresh fish; she understands the idea
and proceeds to carry it out. But if the cook's sight and smell
have not been trained to recognize the signs of freshness in fish,
she will not be able to carry out the order.

Such a deficiency will be still more manifest in culinary opera-
tions. The cook may be able to read and may be wonderfully
well acquainted with the quantities and times set out in a cookery
book; she may be able to carry out all the manipulations necessary
to give the required form to the dishes; but when it comes to testing
by smell the right moment in the cooking, or to deciding by sight
or taste the moment when a certain condiment should be added,
then the performance will break down if the cook's senses have
not been sufficiently trained. She will have to acquire this skill
through long practice and such practice is no other than late
education of the senses, which in the adult is very often no longer
-effective.

The same thing can be said concerning manual work and
generally for the training for all the crafts of the labourer. Every-
body must "learn by means of repeated exercises," and this
* learning * includes a training of the senses which has to be under-
gone at a later age. For instance, those who spin have to acquire
the capacity of using the tactile sense of their fingers to discriminate
the threads; those who weave or embroider have to acquire a
refinement of the eye to discriminate the particularities of their
work, specially for the discernment of colour.

Finally, learning a craft, specially if it is an artistic or refined
craft, means undertaking a development of the senses and of the
movements of the hand, and this movement of the hand is then
helped by a subsequent refinement of the tactile sense.

If this training is undertaken at an age in which in nature the
formative period is over, it becomes difficult, imperfect. The
secret of preparing anybody for a craft lies in the utilization of
that period of life, between thiee and six years of age, when there
is a natural tendency to perfect the senses and movement