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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

DISCIPLINE IN THE CHILDREN'S HOUSE        379*

are helping him, are pushing him backward along the ways of life*,
he appears as a rebel, a revolutionary, a destroyer. Thus the-
adult who loves him fastens on his bent neck still another slander,,
confusing the defence of obstructed life with a form of original,
sin natural in children of tender age.

How would we feel if we were plunged into the midst of
Fregoli people, who are extravagantly rapid in their movements, like
those who astound us and make us laugh in our theatre by their
rapid transformations? And if, continuing to move in our usual,
way, we found ourselves assaulted by these Fregoli, dressed and
undressed badly by them, made to put our food so fast into our
mouths that we had no time to swallow it, had our work taken
out of our hands to be done by them much more rapidly, found
ourselves reduced to impotency and an idleness indescribably
humiliating—we, not knowing how to express ourselves better,,
would defend ourselves from these madmen with our fists and with
shouts, and they, solely animated with the desire to serve us, would
say that we were bad, rebels, unfit for anything. We, who knew
our own country, would say to such: " Come to our country, and
you will see a splendid civilization built up there by us, you will'
see our marvellous works.'* These Fregoli would admire us de-
lightedly, not able to believe their own eyes, when they saw how
our world went on—so beautiful, busy, orderly, peaceful and
kindly, but much slower than their world.

Something similar happens between us and the children.

The education of the senses is completely provided for by the"
repetition of the exercises. Its object is not that the child should
acquire knowledge of the colours, shapes and qualities of the-
various objects but that his senses should be sharpened by exercises
in observation, comparison, judgement—which constitute true intel-
lectual gymnastics. Such gymnastics, thoughtfully carried out with
various stimuli, aid in intellectual development, just as physical
gymnastics improve the health and regulate the growth of the body_

The child who is exercising himself in receiving stimuli from
the different senses taken separately concentrates his attention.