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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

H          A          P          T          E          R          XIII

OBSERVATIONS ON PREJUDICES

THE training of the teacher for our method is greatly simplified,
as compared with that of ordinary teachers. The necessary is
pointed out; she is taught to avoid the superfluous, which is
harmful as being an obstacle to the progress of children; there is
indicated a limit as perfection. Ordinary teachers, on the other
hands are preoccupied with many things, tire themselves out by
doing many things whilst one thing only is necessary.

In order to help the teacher to free herself from old precon-
ceptions and prejudices I will refer briefly here to some of the
needless difficulties which dissipate the energy and the attention
of the teacher. They are particularly concerned with the degrees
of difficulty which the pupil must overcome and with the repose
of the child.

Prejudices respecting the ease and difficulty of learning form
one of the stumbling-blocks from which we have saved the teacher.
Ease and difficulty in doing things cannot be judged through
preconceptions, but by direct experience after difficulties have been
analysed one by one.

For example, it strikes many people that in teaching geome-
trical forms we are teaching geometry, and that this is premature