Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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DISCIPLINE                            95
first confused in the unconscious disorder of his move­ments. It is remarkable how clearly individual differ­ences show themselves, if we proceed in this way; the child, conscious and free, reveals himself.
There are those who remain quietly in their seats, apa­thetic, or drowsy; others who leave their places to quarrel, to fight, or to overturn the various blocks and toys, and then there are those others who set out to fulfil a definite and determined act — moving a chair to some particular spot and sitting down in it, moving one of the unused tables and arranging upon it the game they wish to play.
Our idea of liberty for the child cannot be the simple concept of liberty we use in the observation of plants, insects, etc.
The child, because of the peculiar characteristics of help­lessness with which he is born, and because of his qualities as a social individual is circumscribed by bonds which limit his activity.
An educational method that shall have liberty as its basis must intervene to help the child to a conquest of these various obstacles. In other words, his training must be such as shall help him to diminish, in a rational man­ner, the social bonds, which limit his activity.
Little by little, as the child grows in such an atmos­phere, his spontaneous manifestations will become more clear, with the clearness of truth, revealing his nature. For all these reasons, the first form of educational in­tervention must tend to lead the child toward independence.
No one can be free unless he is independent: therefore, the first, active manifestations of the child's individual liberty must be so guided that through this activity he
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