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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

DISCIPLINE IN THE CHILDREN'S HOUSE        371

piğeparation a series of complicated actions exemplified by those
involved in the complete application of a method of eduation,

We find therefore that discipline comes by an indirect route,
by developing activity in spontaneous work. Every individual
must find out how to control himself by his own efforts and through
calm, silent activity which is directed towards no external aim but
is meant to keep alive that inner flame on which our life depends.

Work cannot be offered in an arbitrary manner; this is the
principle embodied in the * method'; it must be the work for
which man craves in his inmost soul, the work which in some
mysterious way is demanded by the latent requirements of life,
and towards which the individual ascends step by step. It is work
of this nature which determines the personality and which opens
oip the ill-defined road leading to expansion. Let us take as an
example the undisciplined behaviour of the little child. The child
is continually on the move, and in an irregular way; he throws
himself on the ground, makes strange gestures, shouts, destroys
things. Deep down in all this there lies hidden a tendency to try
and coordinate the movements, which will be established later.
The child is the man who is not yet quick in movement and in
language, and who will have to become so; but he is passing
through an experience full of mistakes and is struggling painfully
towards the right goal which his instinct keeps hidden, which is
not clear to his understanding, . Whatever the movements which
have to be established are those corresponding to the behaviour
of man. The children must acquire the movements, the customs
which they find in their environment. That is why he must have
an opportunity to exercise them; it is not enough merely to see
them done by others. His movements do not belong to an engine
which only needs checking up; they belong to a mechanism with
a definite task to be accomplished. Motor activity therefore must
have a purpose and be connected with mental activity. There is
a close link between movement aad the intelligence eager to learn.
The many children who are disorderly in their movements are not
merely children who have not learned how to more, they are above