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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

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H          A          P          T          E          R          XiV



ONE of the differences between our method and those generally
used in the schools for the education of normal children bears
reference to the way of education.

Perhaps the * silence' may serve to illustrate the idea.

In the ordinary schools there is discussed a state of normal
order which is accepted although it has never been defined. It is
that state in which the behaviour of the class makes it possible for
the master to give a lesson.

As, however, the class is acting under compulsion the tendency
is to drift from that mediocre state of order into a disorder in which
movements of all kinds, unco-ordinated and purposeless, create
noise and restlessness which make the giving of a lesson difficult
or impossible; that is, it disturbs the working order. There must
in such a case be an energetic call for 4 silence * indicating with
this very word the working order.

So the * medium order' is not only something already attain-
ed, but is normal and customary; a simple command suffices to
obtain it.