Whether one or two sweetmeats a day are allowed, or whether they go without any, well brought-up children do not seem to mind. The burden of a child's training is the parent's responsibility, but the parent should bear it with an easy grace and erect posture, like a Spanish peasant carrying a water-jug. Where a working hypothesis is necessary, all we can do is to assume those bases that seem to us the most adequate and the most fruitful. He opens with a limiting definition of psychology as the 'description and explanation of states of consciousness as such. Our thinking is not a separate thing from our conduct and our prayers, or even from our bodily well-being. If they had stubborn questionings as to whether was better for us, this or that, they kept them to themselves. You know that pressure release valve on top of your? It is painted in a picture, written in a book, carved into a chair, or only spoken to someone who speaks it again, who speaks it again, who speaks it again, so that it goes on being spoken, for how long? Such an incident would scarcely happen to-day; the boy would protest, plead his own benumbed fatigue, and suggest that a man should be sent to shut the gate, if, as did not appear from the story, it was important that it should be shut at all.
The first makes the holiday doubly a delight; the second produces a restless desire to gain some other easy victory. Still, I said nothing, but just held her tight. Will the reader kindly substitute 'teachers' for 'parents' when the former title suits the case? For the first time, I saw that all I had been striving toward was doable! It is a little humiliating to the best of us to see a careless, rather a selfish mother, whose children are her born slaves and run to do her bidding with delight. Current thought upon the subject of education by Things is so sound and practical, and so thoroughly carried into effect, that I have not thought it necessary to dwell much here upon this part of education. The art of standing aside to let a child develop the relations proper to him is the fine art of education, when the educator perceives the two things he must do and how to do these two things. The person is non est, or is the mere sport of the ideas which take possession of him. You may read these, print them out, share them freely--but they are copyrighted to me, so please don't post or publish them without asking.
Company is coming for dinner, or the family's summer clothes need to be taken care of, or drawers and cabinets need to be cleaned out, or there's a test coming. I have ventured to indicate in a former chapter what appears to me the root-defect of the educational philosophy of this great thinker——that it tends to eliminate personality, and therefore leads to curious futilities in teaching. Sometimes events hurry us, and sometimes——is it not true? Education the Science of Relations. We do not know what it is possible to effect, and, as a man does not usually compass more than he aims at, the results of our education are very inadequate unsatisfactory. We have to be prodded to do our social duties. With this sort of appreciative knowledge of things to begin with, the superstructure of exact knowledge, living science, no mere affair of text-books and examinations, is easily raised, because a natural desire is implanted. We control too much, as if we were shielding little lambs from the wind.
It indicates the power to act, the desire to act, and the insight and self-restraint which forbid action. We received everything at their hands, from bread and milk to mother's love, with more or less gratitude, but with invariable docility. In this matter, as in all others, the parent's inactivity must be masterly; that is, the young people should read approval or disapproval very easily, and should be able to trace one or the other to general principles of character and conduct, though nothing be said or done or even looked in disparagement of the ally of the hour. No one knows whence these currents, these ideas arise; but they are there. The logical proofs of this premise pour in upon their minds in such volume that a considerable literature exists to prove an idea which on the face of it appears absurd. I heard the other day of a Scotch father who confined his daughter of eighteen to her room for a week on account of some, by no means serious, breach of discipline.
All our complex notions of intellect, will, feeling and so on, disappear. Children Need To Succeed or Fail by Their Own Efforts There's another way that we don't leave children alone enough to do their work, and this is even more in our control. Every habit we have formed has had its initial idea, and every idea we receive is able to initiate a habit of thought and of action. These are the qualities proper to every ruler of a household, a school, or a kingdom. It would seem that spontaneity is a condition of development, and that human nature needs the discipline of failure as well as of success.
But, believing that the normal child has powers of mind that fit him to deal with all knowledge proper to him, we must give him a full and generous curriculum; taking care, only, that the knowledge offered to him is vital——that is, the facts are not presented without their informing ideas. Autocracy has ever a drastic penal code, whether in the kingdom, the school, or the family. In this matter, just like other matters, the parent's inactivity must be masterly. Response of Docility to Authority, a Natural Function. This sort of thing was a matter of conscience with an older generation; lethargic, self-indulgent intervals were not allowed. That free-will of man, which has for ages exercised faithful souls who would prefer to be compelled into all righteousness and obedience, is after all a pattern for parents.
The Notion of the Finality of Human Reason Intolerable. The boy learns up his text, listens to lectures, makes diagrams, watches demonstrations. They are content to have a child till he is seven; but we want him till he is twelve or fourteen, if we may not have him longer. Authority and Docility, Fundamental principles. Probably no degree of loving intimacy will throw the closed doors of the child's nature permanently ajar, because, we may believe, the burden of the mystery of all this unintelligible world falls early upon the conscious soul, and each of us must beat out his conception of life for himself. A curriculum, however, is not an independent product, but is linked to much else by chains of cause and consequence; and the manner of curriculum I am anxious to indicate is the outcome of a scheme of educational thought, the adoption of which might, I believe, place educational work generally upon a sounder footing.
Herbartian Thought the most advanced on the Continent. I knew tears were imminent. Volume 3, School Education, pg 183-184 We Manage Too Much of Children's Lives I don't think we allow life and normal circumstances to just naturally occur in children's lives. Let us say with Plato that an idea is an entity, a live thing of the mind. It is not well we should take it for granted that everybody knows these things.