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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

H          A          P          T          E          R        XXIV

DISCIPLINE IN THE CHILDREN'S HOUSE

THE experience gathered from the time when the first edition of
the Italian book was printed up till today has confirmed over
and over again this truth—that in our classes of small children
reaching the size of forty or even fifty pupils, there prevails a
discipline more nearly perfect than that existing in the ordinary
schools. Anyone who visits well-managed schools is struck by
the discipline of the children. Here you may find forty children
from three to seven years of age, intent each on his own work;
some are doing sense exercises, some arithmetic, some tracing
letters, some drawing; some are busy with the clothes, some are
dusting; some are seated at a table, some are stretched on mats
on the ground. One hears a faint noise of objects being moved
about lightly, of children going about on tip-toe. Every now and
again there is a badly repressed cry of joy, a quick call of
" Signorina, Signorina!;" an exclamation of " See what I have
done!"

But more frequently the peace is absolute.

The teacher moves about slowly and silently; she goes to any-
one who calls her; she supervises in such a way that anyone who
needs her is aware of her presence at once, whilst those who do
not need her do not notice her existence.