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´╗┐Title: The Education of the Child
Author: Key, Ellen, 1849-1926
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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by Ellen Key


Edward Bok, Editor of the "Ladies' Home Journal," writes:

"Nothing finer on the wise education of the child has ever been brought
into print. To me this chapter is a perfect classic; it points the way
straight for every parent and it should find a place in every home in
America where there is a child."


Goethe showed long ago in his Werther a clear understanding of
the significance of individualistic and psychological training, an
appreciation which will mark the century of the child. In this work he
shows how the future power of will lies hidden in the characteristics
of the child, and how along with every fault of the child an uncorrupted
germ capable of producing good is enclosed. "Always," he says, "I repeat
the golden words of the teacher of mankind, 'if ye do not become as
one of these,' and now, good friend, those who are our equals, whom we
should look upon as our models, we treat as subjects; they should have
no will of their own; do we have none? Where is our prerogative? Does it
consist in the fact that we are older and more experienced? Good God
of Heaven! Thou seest old and young children, nothing else. And in whom
Thou hast more joy, Thy Son announced ages ago. But people believe in
Him and do not hear Him--that, too, is an old trouble, and they model
their children after themselves." The same criticism might be applied to
our present educators, who constantly have on their tongues such words
as evolution, individuality, and natural tendencies, but do not heed
the new commandments in which they say they believe. They continue to
educate as if they believed still in the natural depravity of man, in
original sin, which may be bridled, tamed, suppressed, but not changed.
The new belief is really equivalent to Goethe's thoughts given above,
i.e., that almost every fault is but a hard shell enclosing the germ of
virtue. Even men of modern times still follow in education the old rule
of medicine, that evil must be driven out by evil, instead of the new
method, the system of allowing nature quietly and slowly to help itself,
taking care only that the surrounding conditions help the work of
nature. This is education.

Neither harsh nor tender parents suspect the truth expressed by Carlyle
when he said that the marks of a noble and original temperament are
wild, strong emotions, that must be controlled by a discipline as hard
as steel. People either strive to root out passions altogether, or they
abstain from teaching the child to get them under control.

To suppress the real personality of the child, and to supplant it with
another personality continues to be a pedagogical crime common to
those who announce loudly that education should only develop the real
individual nature of the child.

They are still not convinced that egoism on the part of the child is
justified. Just as little are they convinced of the possibility that
evil can be changed into good.

Education must be based on the certainty that faults cannot be atoned
for, or blotted out, but must always have their consequences. At
the same time, there is the other certainty that through progressive
evolution, by slow adaptation to the conditions of environment they may
be transformed. Only when this stage is reached will education begin to
be a science and art. We will then give up all belief in the miraculous
effects of sudden interference; we shall act in the psychological sphere
in accordance with the principle of the indestructibility of matter. We
shall never believe that a characteristic of the soul can be destroyed.
There are but two possibilities. Either it can be brought into
subjection or it can be raised up to a higher plane.

Madame de Stael's words show much insight when she says that only the
people who can play with children are able to educate them. For success
in training children the first condition is to become as a child
oneself, but this means no assumed childishness, no condescending
baby-talk that the child immediately sees through and deeply abhors.
What it does mean is to be as entirely and simply taken up with the
child as the child himself is absorbed by his life. It means to
treat the child as really one's equal, that is, to show him the same
consideration, the same kind confidence one shows to an adult. It means
not to influence the child to be what we ourselves desire him to become
but to be influenced by the impression of what the child himself is; not
to treat the child with deception, or by the exercise of force, but with
the seriousness and sincerity proper to his own character. Somewhere
Rousseau says that all education has failed in that nature does not
fashion parents as educators nor children for the sake of education.
What would happen if we finally succeeded in following the directions of
nature, and recognised that the great secret of education lies hidden in
the maxim, "do not educate"?

Not leaving the child in peace is the greatest evil of present-day
methods of training children. Education is determined to create a
beautiful world externally and internally in which the child can grow.
To let him move about freely in this world until he comes into contact
with the permanent boundaries of another's right will be the end of
the education of the future. Only then will adults really obtain a deep
insight into the souls of children, now an almost inaccessible kingdom.
For it is a natural instinct of self-preservation which causes the child
to bar the educator from his innermost nature. There is the person who
asks rude questions; for example, what is the child thinking about? a
question which almost invariably is answered with a black or a white
lie. The child must protect himself from an educator who would master
his thoughts and inclinations, or rudely handle them, who without
consideration betrays or makes ridiculous his most sacred feelings, who
exposes faults or praises characteristics before strangers, or even uses
an open-hearted, confidential confession as an occasion for reproof at
another time.

The statement that no human being learns to understand another, or at
least to be patient with another, is true above all of the intimate
relation of child and parent in which, understanding, the deepest
characteristic of love, is almost always absent.

Parents do not see that during the whole life the need of peace is
never greater than in the years of childhood, an inner peace under all
external unrest. The child has to enter into relations with his own
infinite world, to conquer it, to make it the object of his dreams. But
what does he experience? Obstacles, interference, corrections, the whole
livelong day. The child is always required to leave something alone,
or to do something different, to find something different, or want
something different from what he does, or finds, or wants. He is
always shunted off in another direction from that towards which his
own character is leading him. All of this is caused by our tenderness,
vigilance, and zeal, in directing, advising, and helping the small
specimen of humanity to become a complete example in a model series.

I have heard a three-year-old child characterised as "trying" because
he wanted to go into the woods, whereas the nursemaid wished to drag him
into the city. Another child of six years was disciplined because she
had been naughty to a playmate and had called her a little pig,--a
natural appellation for one who was always dirty. These are typical
examples of how the sound instincts of the child are dulled. It was a
spontaneous utterance: of the childish heart when a small boy, after an
account of the heaven of good children, asked his mother whether she
did not believe that, after he had been good a whole week in heaven, he
might be allowed to go to hell on Saturday evening to play with the bad
little boys there.

The child felt in its innermost consciousness that he had a right to be
naughty, a fundamental right which is accorded to adults; and not only
to be naughty, but to be naughty in peace, to be left to the dangers and
joys of naughtiness.

To call forth from this "unvirtue" the complimentary virtue is to
overcome evil with good. Otherwise we overcome natural strength by weak
means and obtain artificial virtues which will not stand the tests which
life imposes.

It seems simple enough when we say that we must overcome evil with good,
but practically no process is more involved, or more tedious, than to
find actual means to accomplish this end. It is much easier to say what
one shall not do than what one must do to change self-will into
strength of character, slyness into prudence, the desire to please
into amiability, restlessness into personal initiative. It can only be
brought about by recognising that evil, in so far as it is not atavistic
or perverse, is as natural and indispensable as the good, and that it
becomes a permanent evil only through its one-sided supremacy.

The educator wants the child to be finished at once, and perfect. He
forces upon the child an unnatural degree of self-mastery, a devotion to
duty, a sense of honour, habits that adults get out of with astonishing
rapidity. Where the faults of children are concerned, at home and in
school, we strain at gnats, while children daily are obliged to swallow
the camels of grown people.

The art of natural education consists in ignoring the faults of children
nine times out of ten, in avoiding immediate interference, which is
usually a mistake, and devoting one's whole vigilance to the control
of the environment in which the child is growing up, to watching the
education which is allowed to go on by itself. But educators who, day in
and day out, are consciously transforming the environment and themselves
are still a rare product. Most people live on the capital and interest
of an education, which perhaps once made them model children, but has
deprived them of the desire for educating themselves. Only by keeping
oneself in constant process of growth, under the constant influence of
the best things in one's own age, does one become a companion half-way
good enough for one's children.

To bring up a child means carrying one's soul in one's hand, setting
one's feet on a narrow path, it means never placing ourselves in danger
of meeting the cold look on the part of the child that tells us without
words that he finds us insufficient and unreliable. It means the
humble realisation of the truth that the ways of injuring the child are
infinite, while the ways of being useful to him are few. How seldom does
the educator remember that the child, even at four or five years of age,
is making experiments with adults, seeing through them, with marvellous
shrewdness making his own valuations and reacting sensitively to each
impression. The slightest mistrust, the smallest unkindness, the least
act of injustice or contemptuous ridicule, leave wounds that last for
life in the finely strung soul of the child. While on the other side
unexpected friendliness, kind advances, just indignation, make quite as
deep an impression on those senses which people term as soft as wax but
treat as if they were made of cowhide.

Relatively most excellent was the old education which consisted solely
in keeping oneself whole, pure, and honourable. For it did not at least
depreciate personality, although it did not form it. It would be well
if but a hundredth part of the pains now taken by parents were given to
interference with the life of the child and the rest of the ninety
and nine employed in leading, without interference, in acting as an
unforeseen, an invisible providence through which the child obtains
experience, from which he may draw his own conclusions. The present
practice is to impress one's own discoveries, opinions, and principles
on the child by constantly directing his actions. The last thing to be
realised by the educator is that he really has before him an entirely
new soul, a real self whose first and chief right is to think over the
things with which he comes in contact. By a new soul he understands only
a new generation of an old humanity to be treated with a fresh dose of
the old remedy. We teach the new souls not to steal, not to lie, to save
their clothes, to learn their lessons, to economise their money, to obey
commands, not to contradict older people, say their prayers, to fight
occasionally in order to be strong. But who teaches the new souls to
choose for themselves the path they must tread? Who thinks that the
desire for this path of their own can be so profound that a hard or
even mild pressure towards uniformity can make the whole of childhood a

The child comes into life with the inheritance of the preceding members
of the race; and this inheritance is modified by adaptation to the
environment. But the child shows also individual variations from the
type of the species, and if his own character is not to disappear during
the process of adaptation, all self-determined development of energy
must be aided in every way and only indirectly influenced by the
teacher, who should understand how to combine and emphasise the results
of this development.

Interference on the part of the educator, whether by force or
persuasion, weakens this development if it does not destroy it

The habits of the household, and the child's habits in it must be
absolutely fixed if they are to be of any value. Amiel truly says that
habits are principles which have become instincts, and have passed over
into flesh and blood. To change habits, he continues, means to attack
life in its very essence, for life is only a web of habits.

Why does everything remain essentially the same from generation to
generation? Why do highly civilised Christian people continue to plunder
one another and call it exchange, to murder one another en masse, and
call it nationalism, to oppress one another and call it statesmanship?

Because in every new generation the impulses supposed to have been
rooted out by discipline in the child, break forth again, when the
struggle for existence--of the individual in society, of the society in
the life of the state--begins. These passions are not transformed by the
prevalent education of the day, but only repressed. Practically this
is the reason why not a single savage passion has been overcome in
humanity. Perhaps man-eating may be mentioned as an exception. But what
is told of European ship companies or Siberian prisoners shows that
even this impulse, under conditions favourable to it, may be revived,
although in the majority of people a deep physical antipathy to
man-eating is innate. Conscious incest, despite similar deviations, must
also be physically contrary to the majority, and in a number of women,
modesty--the unity between body and soul in relation to love--is an
incontestable provision of nature. So too a minority would find
it physically impossible to murder or steal. With this list I have
exhausted everything which mankind, since its conscious history began,
has really so intimately acquired that the achievement is passed on
in its flesh and blood. Only this kind of conquest can really stand up
against temptation in every form.

A deep physiological truth is hidden in the use of language when one
speaks of unchained passions; the passions, under the prevailing system
of education, are really only beasts of prey imprisoned in cages.

While fine words are spoken about individual development, children are
treated as if their personality had no purpose of its own, as if they
were made only for the pleasure, pride, and comfort of their parents;
and as these aims are best advanced when children become like every one
else, people usually begin by attempting to make them respectable and
useful members of society.

But the only correct starting point, so far as a child's education in
becoming a social human being is concerned, is to treat him as such,
while strengthening his natural disposition to become an individual
human being.

The new educator will, by regularly ordered experience, teach the child
by degrees his place in the great orderly system of existence; teach him
his responsibility towards his environment. But in other respects, none
of the individual characteristics of the child expressive of his life
will be suppressed, so long as they do not injure the child himself, or
others. The right balance must be kept between Spencer's definition
of life as an adaptation to surrounding conditions, and Nietzsche's
definition of it as the will to secure power.

In adaptation, imitation certainly plays a great role, but individual
exercise of power is just as important. Through adaptation life attains
a fixed form; through exercise of power, new factors.

Thoughtful people, as I have already stated, talk a good deal about
personality. But they are, nevertheless, filled with doubts when their
children are not just like all other children; when they cannot show in
their offspring all the ready-made virtues required by society. And so
they drill their children, repressing in childhood the natural instincts
which will have freedom when they are grown. People still hardly realise
how new human beings are formed; therefore the old types constantly
repeat themselves in the same circle,--the fine young men, the sweet
girls, the respectable officials, and so on. And new types with
higher ideals,--travellers on unknown paths, thinkers of yet unthought
thoughts, people capable of the crime of inaugurating new ways,--such
types rarely come into existence among those who are well brought up.

Nature herself, it is true, repeats the main types constantly. But she
also constantly makes small deviations. In this way different species,
even of the human race, have come into existence. But man himself does
not yet see the significance of this natural law in his own higher
development. He wants the feelings, thoughts, and judgments already
stamped with approval to be reproduced by each new generation. So we get
no new individuals, but only more or less prudent, stupid, amiable, or
bad-tempered examples of the genus man. The still living instincts
of the ape, double, in the case of man, the effect of heredity.
Conservatism is for the present stronger in mankind than the effort to
produce new types. But this last characteristic is the most valuable.
The educator should do anything but advise the child to do what
everybody does. He should rather rejoice when he sees in the child
tendencies to deviation. Using other people's opinion as a standard
results in subordinating one's self to their will. So we become a part
of the great mass, led by the Superman through the strength of his will,
a will which could not have mastered strong personalities. It has been
justly remarked that individual peoples, like the English, have attained
the greatest political and social freedom, because the personal feeling
of independence is far in excess of freedom in a legal form. Accordingly
legal freedom has been constantly growing.

For the progress of the whole of the species, as well as of society, it
is essential that education shall awake the feeling of independence; it
should invigorate and favour the disposition to deviate from the type
in those cases where the rights of others are not affected, or where
deviation is not simply the result of the desire to draw attention to
oneself. The child should be given the chance to declare conscientiously
his independence of a customary usage, of an ordinary feeling, for this
is the foundation of the education of an individual, as well as the
basis of a collective conscience, which is the only kind of conscience
men now have. What does having an individual conscience mean? It means
submitting voluntarily to an external law, attested and found good by
my own conscience. It means unconditionally heeding the unwritten law,
which I lay upon myself, and following this inner law even when I must
stand alone against the whole world.

It is a frequent phenomenon, we can almost call it a regular one, that
it is original natures, particularly talented beings, who are badly
treated at home and in school. No one considers the sources of conduct
in a child who shows fear or makes a noise, or who is absorbed in
himself, or who has an impetuous nature. Mothers and teachers show in
this their pitiable incapacity for the most elementary part in the art
of education, that is, to be able to see with their own eyes, not with
pedagogical doctrines in their head.

I naturally expect in the supporters of society, with their conventional
morality, no appreciation of the significance of the child's putting
into exercise his own powers. Just as little is this to be expected of
those Christian believers who think that human nature must be brought
to repentance and humility, and that the sinful body, the unclean beast,
must be tamed with the rod,--a theory which the Bible is brought to

I am only addressing people who can think new thoughts and consequently
should cease using old methods of education. This class may reply that
the new ideas in education cannot be carried out. But the obstacle is
simply that their new thoughts have not made them into new men; the old
man in them has neither repose, nor time, nor patience, to form his own
soul, and that of the child, according to the new thoughts.

Those who have "tried Spencer and failed," because Spencer's method
demands intelligence and patience, contend that the child must be taught
to obey, that truth lies in the old rule, "As the twig is bent the tree
is inclined."

BENT is the appropriate word, bent according to the old ideal which
extinguishes personality, teaches humility and obedience. But the new
ideal is that man, to stand straight and upright, must not be bent at
all only supported, and so prevented from being deformed by weakness.

One often finds, in the modern system of training, the crude desire for
mastery still alive and breaking out when the child is obstinate. "You
won't!" say father and mother; "I will teach you whether you have a
will. I will soon drive self-will out of you." But nothing can be driven
out of the child; on the other hand, much can be scourged into it which
should be kept far away.

Only during the first few years of life is a kind of drill necessary, as
a pre-condition to a higher training. The child is then in such a high
degree controlled by sensation, that a slight physical pain or pleasure
is often the only language he fully understands. Consequently for some
children discipline is an indispensable means of enforcing the practice
of certain habits. For other children, the stricter methods are entirely
unnecessary even at this early age, and as soon as the child can
remember a blow, he is too old to receive one.

The child must certainly learn obedience, and, besides, this obedience
must be absolute. If such obedience has become habitual from the
tenderest age, a look, a word, an intonation is enough to keep the child
straight. The dissatisfaction of those who are bringing him up can
only be made effective when it falls as a shadow in the usual sunny
atmosphere of home. And if people refrain from laying the foundations of
obedience while the child is small, and his naughtiness is entertaining,
Spencer's method undoubtedly will be found unsuitable after the child is
older and his caprice disagreeable.

With a very small child, one should not argue, but act consistently
and immediately. The effort of training should be directed at an early
period to arrange the experiences in a consistent whole of impressions
according to Rousseau and Spencer's recommendation. So certain habits
will become impressed in the flesh and blood of the child.

Constant crying on the part of small children must be corrected when it
has become clear that the crying is not caused by illness or some
other discomfort,--discomforts against which crying is the child's only
weapon. Crying is now ordinarily corrected by blows. But this does not
master the will of the child, and only produces in his soul the idea
that older people strike small children, when small children cry.
This is not an ethical idea. But when the crying child is immediately
isolated, and it is explained to him at the same time that whoever
annoys others must not be with them; if this isolation is the absolute
result, and cannot be avoided, in the child's mind a basis is laid for
the experience that one must be alone when one makes oneself unpleasant
or disagreeable. In both cases the child is silenced by interfering with
his comfort; but one type of discomfort is the exercise of force on
his will; the other produces slowly the self-mastery of the will,
and accomplishes this by a good motive. One method encourages a base
emotion, fear. The other corrects the will in a way that combines it
with one of the most important experiences of life. The one punishment
keeps the child on the level of the animal. The other impresses upon him
the great principle of human social life, that when our pleasure
causes displeasure to others, other people hinder us from following our
pleasures; or withdraw themselves from the exercise of our self-will.
It is necessary that small children should accustom themselves to
good behaviour at table, etc. If every time an act of naughtiness is
repeated, the child is immediately taken away, he will soon learn
that whoever is disagreeable to others must remain alone. Thus a right
application is made of a right principle. Small children, too, must
learn not to touch what belongs to other people. If every time anything
is touched without permission, children lose their freedom of action one
way or another, they soon learn that a condition of their free action is
not to injure others.

It is quite true, as a young mother remarked, that empty Japanese rooms
are ideal places in which to bring up children. Our modern crowded rooms
are, so far as children are concerned, to be condemned. During the year
in which the real education of the child is proceeding by touching,
tasting, biting, feeling, and so on, every moment he is hearing the
cry, "Let it alone." For the temperament of the child as well as for
the development of his powers, the best thing is a large, light nursery,
adorned with handsome lithographs, wood-cuts, and so on, provided
with some simple furniture, where he may enjoy the fullest freedom of
movement. But if the child is there with his parents and is disobedient,
a momentary reprimand is the best means to teach him to reverence the
greater world in which the will of others prevails, the world in which
the child certainly can make a place for himself but must also learn
that every place occupied by him has its limits.

If it is a case of a danger, which it is desirable that the child
should really dread, we must allow the thing itself to have an alarming
influence. When a mother strikes a child because he touches the light,
the result is that he does this again when the mother is away. But let
him burn himself with the light, then he is certain to leave it alone.
In riper years when a boy misuses a knife, a toy, or something similar,
the loss of the object for the time being must be the punishment. Most
boys would prefer corporal punishment to the loss of their favourite
possession. But only the loss of it will be a real education through
experience of one of the inevitable rules of life, an experience which
cannot be too strongly impressed.

We hear parents who have begun with Spencer and then have taken to
corporal punishment declare that when children are too small to repair
the clothing which they have torn there must be some other kind of
punishment. But at that age they should not be punished at all for such
things. They should have such simple and strong clothes that they can
play freely in them. Later on, when they can be really careful, the
natural punishment would be to have the child remain at home if he is
careless, has spotted his clothes, or torn them. He must be shown that
he must help to put his clothes in good condition again, or that he will
be compelled to buy what he has destroyed carelessly with money earned
by himself. If the child is not careful, he must stay at home, when
ordinarily allowed to go out, or eat alone if he is too late for meals.
It may be said that there are simple means by which all the important
habits of social life may become a second nature. But it is not possible
in all cases to apply Spencer's method. The natural consequences
occasionally endanger the health of the child, or sometimes are too
slow in their action. If it seems necessary to interfere directly, such
action must be consistent, quick, and immutable. How is it that the
child learns very soon that fire burns? Because fire does so always.
But the mother who at one time strikes, at another threatens, at another
bribes the child, first forbids and then immediately after permits some
action; who does not carry out her threat, does not compel obedience,
but constantly gabbles and scolds; who sometimes acts in one way and
just as often in another, has not learned the effective educational
methods of the fire.

The old-fashioned strict training that in its crude way gave to the
character a fixed type rested on its consistent qualities. It was
consistently strict, not as at present a lax hesitation between all
kinds of pedagogical methods and psychological opinions, in which the
child is thrown about here and there like a ball, in the hands of grown
people; at one time pushed forward, then laughed at, then pushed aside,
only to be brought back again, kissed till it, is disgusted, first
ordered about, and then coaxed. A grown man would become insane if
joking Titans treated him for a single day as a child is treated for
a year. A child should not be ordered about, but should be just as
courteously addressed as a grown person in order that he may learn
courtesy. A child should never be pushed into notice, never compelled to
endure caresses, never overwhelmed with kisses, which ordinarily torment
him and are often the cause of sexual hyperaesthesia. The child's
demonstrations of affection should be reciprocated when they are
sincere, but one's own demonstrations should be reserved for special
occasions. This is one of the many excellent maxims of training that are
disregarded. Nor should the child be forced to express regret in begging
pardon and the like. This is excellent training for hypocrisy. A small
child once had been rude to his elder brother and was placed upon a
chair to repent his fault. When the mother after a time asked if he
was sorry, he answered, "Yes," with emphasis, but as the mother saw a
mutinous sparkle in his eyes she felt impelled to ask, "Sorry for what?"
and the youngster broke out, "Sorry that I did not call him a liar
besides." The mother was wise enough on this occasion, and ever after,
to give up insisting on repentance.

Spontaneous penitence is full of significance, it is a deeply felt
desire for pardon. But an artificial emotion is always and everywhere
worthless. Are you not sorry? Does it make no difference to you that
your mother is ill, your brother dead, your father away from home? Such
expressions are often used as an appeal to the emotions of children. But
children have a right to have feelings, or not have them, and to have
them as undisturbed as grown people. The same holds good of their
sympathies and antipathies. The sensitive feelings of children are
constantly injured by lack of consideration on the part of grown people,
their easily stimulated aversions are constantly being brought out. But
the sufferings of children through the crudeness of their elders belong
to an unwritten chapter of child psychology. Just as there are few
better methods of training than to ask children, when they have behaved
unjustly to others, to consider whether it would be pleasant for them to
be treated in that way, so there is no better corrective for the trainer
of children than the habit of asking oneself, in question small and
great,--Would I consent to be treated as I have just treated my child?
If it were only remembered that the child generally suffers double as
much as the adult, parents would perhaps learn physical and psychical
tenderness without which a child's life is a constant torment.

As to presents, the same principle holds good as with emotions and marks
of tenderness. Only by example can generous instincts be provoked. Above
all the child should not be allowed to have things which he immediately
gives away. Gifts to a child should always imply a personal requital
for work or sacrifice. In order to secure for children the pleasure of
giving and the opportunity of obtaining small pleasures and enjoyments,
as well as of replacing property of their own or of others which they
may have destroyed, they should at an early age be accustomed to perform
seriously certain household duties for which they receive some small
remuneration. But small occasional services, whether volunteered or
asked for by others, should never be rewarded. Only readiness to serve,
without payment, develops the joy of generosity. When the child wants to
give away something, people should not make a presence of receiving
it. This produces the false conception in his mind that the pleasure of
being generous can be had for nothing. At every step the child should be
allowed to meet the real experiences of life; the thorns should never be
plucked from his roses. This is what is least understood in present-day
training. Thus we see reasonable methods constantly failing. People find
themselves forced to "afflictive" methods which stand in no relation
with the realities of life. I mean, above all, what are still called
means of education, instead of means of torture,--blows.

Many people of to-day defend blows, maintaining that they are milder
means of punishment than the natural consequences of an act; that blows
have the strongest effect on the memory, which effect becomes permanent
through association of ideas.

But what kinds of association? Is it not with physical pain and shame?
Gradually, step by step, this method of training and discipline has
been superseded in all its forms. The movement to abolish torture,
imprisonment, and corporal punishment failed for a long time owing to
the conviction that they were indispensable as methods of discipline.
But the child, people answer, is still an animal, he must be brought up
as an animal. Those who talk in this way know nothing of children nor of
animals. Even animals can be trained without striking them, but they can
only be trained by men who have become men themselves.

Others come forward with the doctrine that terror and pain have been the
best means of educating mankind, so the child must pursue the same road
as humanity. This is an utter absurdity. We should also, on this theory,
teach our children, as a natural introduction to religion, to practice
fetish worship. If the child is to reproduce all the lower development
stages of the race, he would be practically depressed beneath the level
which he has reached physiologically and psychologically through the
common inheritance of the race. If we have abandoned torture and painful
punishments for adults, while they are retained for children, it is
because we have not yet seen that their soul life so far as a greater
and more subtle capacity for suffering is concerned has made the same
progress as that of adult mankind. The numerous cases of child suicide
in the last decade were often the result of fear of corporal punishment;
or have taken place after its administration. Both soul and body are
equally affected by this practice. Where this is not the result, blows
have even more dangerous consequences. They tend to dull still further
the feeling of shame, to increase the brutality or cowardice of the
person punished. I once heard a child pointed out in a school as being
so unruly that it was generally agreed he would be benefited by a
flogging. Then it was discovered that his father's flogging at home had
made him what he was. If statistics were prepared of ruined sons, those
who had been flogged would certainly be more numerous than those who had
been pampered.

Society has gradually given up employing retributive punishments because
people have seen that they neither awaken the feeling of guilt, nor
act as a deterrent, but on the contrary retribution applied by equal to
equal brutalises the ideas of right, hardens the temper, and stimulates
the victim to exercise the same violence towards others that has been
endured by himself. But other rules are applied to the psychological
processes of the child. When a child strikes his small sister the mother
strikes him and believes that he will see and understand the difference
between the blows he gets and those he gives, that he will see that the
one is a just punishment and the other vicious conduct. But the child
is a sharp logician and feels that the action is just the same, although
the mother gives it a different name.

Corporal punishment was long ago admirably described by Comenius, who
compared an educator using this method with a musician striking a badly
tuned instrument with his fist, instead of using his ears and his hands
to put it into tune.

These brutal attacks work on the active sensitive feelings, lacerating
and confusing them. They have no educative power on all the innumerable
fine processes in the life of the child's soul, on their obscurely
related combinations.

In order to give real training, the first thing after the second
or third year is to abandon the very thought of a blow among the
possibilities of education. It is best if parents, as soon as the child
is born, agree never to strike him, for if they once begin with this
convenient and easy method, they continue to use corporal discipline
even contrary to their first intention, because they have failed while
using such punishment to develop the child's intelligence.

If people do not see this it is no more use to speak to them of
education than it would be to talk to a cannibal about the world's

But as these savages in educational matters are often civilised human
beings in other respects, I should like to request them to think over
the development of marriage from the time when man wooed with a club and
when woman was regarded as the soulless property of man, only to be kept
in order by blows, a view which continued to be held until modern times.
Through a thousand daily secret influences, our feelings and ideas have
been so transformed that these crude conceptions have disappeared, to
the great advantage of society and the individual. But it may be hard
to awaken a pedagogical savage to the conviction that, in quite the same
way, a thousand new secret and mighty influences will change our crude
methods of education, when parents once come to see that parenthood must
go through the same transformation as marriage, before it attains to a
noble and complete development.

Only when men realise that whipping a child belongs to the same low
stage of civilisation as beating a woman, or a servant, or as the
corporal punishment of soldiers and criminals, will the first real
preparation begin of the material from which perhaps later an educator
may be formed.

Corporal punishment was natural in rough times. The body is tangible;
what affects it has an immediate and perceptible result. The heat of
passion is cooled by the blows it administers; in a certain stage of
development blows are the natural expression of moral indignation, the
direct method by which the moral will impresses itself on beings of
lower capacities. But it has since been discovered that the soul may be
impressed by spiritual means, and that blows are just as demoralising
for the one who gives them as for the one who receives them.

The educator, too, is apt to forget that the child in many cases has
as few moral conceptions as the animal or the savage. To punish for
this--is only a cruelty, and to punish by brutal methods is a piece
of stupidity. It works against the possibility of elevating the child
beyond the level of the beast or the savage. The educator to whose mind
flogging never presents itself, even as an occasional resource, will
naturally direct his whole thought to finding psychological methods of
education. Administering corporal punishment demoralises and stupefies
the educator, for it increases his thoughtlessness, not his patience,
his brutality, not his intelligence.

A small boy friend of mine when four years old received his first
punishment of this kind; happily it was his only one. As his nurse
reminded him in the evening to say his prayers he broke out, "Yes,
to-night I really have something to tell God," and prayed with deep
earnestness, "Dear God, tear mamma's arms out so that she cannot beat me
any more."

Nothing would more effectively further the development of education than
for all flogging pedagogues to meet this fate. They would then learn
to educate with the head instead of with the hand. And as to public
educators, the teachers, their position could be no better raised than
by legally forbidding a blow to be administered in any school under
penalty of final loss of position.

That people who are in other respects intelligent and sensitive continue
to defend flogging, is due to the fact that most educators have only a
very elementary conception of their work. They should constantly keep
before them the feelings and impressions of their own childhood in
dealing with children. The most frequent as well as the most dangerous
of the numerous mistakes made in handling children is that people do
not remember how they felt themselves at a similar age, that they do
not regard and comprehend the feelings of the child from their own past
point of view. The adult laughs or smiles in remembering the punishments
and other things which caused him in his childhood anxious days or
nights, which produced the silent torture of the child's heart, infinite
despondency, burning indignation, lonely fears, outraged sense of
justice, the terrible creations of his imagination, his absurd shame,
his unsatisfied thirst for joy, freedom, and tenderness. Lacking these
beneficent memories, adults constantly repeat the crime of destroying
the childhood of the new generation,--the only time in life in which the
guardian of education can really be a kindly providence. So strongly do
I feel that the unnecessary sufferings of children are unnatural as well
as ignoble that I experience physical disgust in touching the hand of a
human being that I know has struck a child; and I cannot close my
eyes after I have heard a child in the street threatened with corporal

Blows call forth the virtues of slaves, not those of freemen. As early
as Walther von der Vogelweide, it was known that the honourable man
respects a word more than a blow. The exercise of physical force
delivers the weak and unprotected into the hands of the strong. A child
never believes in his heart, though he may be brought to acknowledge
verbally, that the blows were due to love, that they were administered
because they were necessary. The child is too keen not to know that such
a "must" does not exist, and that love can express itself in a better

Lack of self-discipline, of intelligence, of patience, of personal
effort--these are the corner-stones on which corporal punishment rests.
I do not now refer to the system of flogging employed by miserable
people year in and year out at home, or, particularly in schools, that
of beating children outrageously, or to the limits of brutality. I
do not mean even the less brutal blows administered by undisciplined
teachers and parents, who avenge themselves in excesses of passion or
fatigue or disgust,--blows which are simply the active expression of a
tension of nerves, a detestable evidence of the want of self-discipline
and selfculture. Still less do I refer to the cruelties committed by
monsters, sexual perverts, whose brutal tendencies are stimulated
by their disciplinary power and who use it to force their victims to
silence, as certain criminal trials have shown.

I am only speaking of conscientious, amiable parents and teachers who,
with pain to themselves, fulfil what they regard as their duty to the
child. These are accustomed to adduce the good effects of corporal
discipline as a proof that it cannot be dispensed with. The child by
being whipped is, they say, not only made good but freed from his evil
character, and shows by his whole being that this quick and summary
method of punishment has done more than talks, and patience, and the
slowly working penalties of experience. Examples are adduced to prove
that only this kind of punishment breaks down obstinacy, cures the habit
of lying and the like. Those who adopt this system do not perceive that
they have only succeeded, through this momentarily effective means,
in repressing the external expression of an evil will. They have
not succeeded in transforming the will itself. It requires constant
vigilance, daily self-discipline, to create an ever higher capacity for
the discovery of intelligent methods. The fault that is repressed is
certain to appear on every occasion when the child dares to show it.
The educator who finds in corporal punishment a short way to get rid
of trouble, leads the child a long way round, if we have the only real
development in view, namely that which gradually strengthens the child's
capacity for self-control.

I have never heard a child over three years old threatened with corporal
punishment without noticing that this wonderfully moral method had an
equally bad influence on parents and children. The same can be said of
milder kinds of folly, coaxing children by external rewards. I have seen
some children coaxed to take baths and others compelled by threats. But
in neither case was their courage, or self-control, or strength of will
increased. Only when one is able to make the bath itself attractive is
that energy of will developed that gains a victory over the feeling of
fear or discomfort and produces a real ethical impression, viz., that
virtue is its own reward. Wherever a child is deterred from a bad habit
or fault by corporal punishment, a real ethical result is not reached.
The child has only learnt to fear an unpleasant consequence, which lacks
real connection with the thing itself, a consequence it well knows
could have been absent. Such fear is as far removed as heaven from the
conviction that the good is better than the bad. The child soon becomes
convinced that the disagreeable accompaniment is no necessary result of
the action, that by greater cleverness the punishment might have been
avoided. Thus the physical punishment increases deception not morality.
In the history of humanity the effect of the teaching about hell and
fear of hell illustrates the sort of morality produced in children's
souls by corporal punishment, that inferno of childhood. Only with the
greatest trouble, slowly and unconsciously, is the conviction of the
superiority of the good established. The good comes to be seen as more
productive of happiness to the individual himself and his environment.
So the child learns to love the good. By teaching the child that
punishment is a consequence drawn upon oneself he learns to avoid the
cause of punishment.

Despite all the new talk of individuality the greatest mistake in
training children is still that of treating the "child" as an abstract
conception, as an inorganic or personal material to be formed and
transformed by the hands of those who are educating him. He is beaten,
and it is thought that the whole effect of the blow stops at the moment
when the child is prevented from being bad. He has, it is thought, a
powerful reminder against future bad behaviour. People no not suspect
that this violent interference in the physical and psychical life of
the child may have lifelong effects. As far back as forty years ago,
a writer showed that corporal punishment had the most powerful somatic
stimulative effects. The flagellation of the Middle Ages is known to
have had such results; and if I could publish what I have heard from
adults as to the effect of corporal punishment on them, or what I have
observed in children, this alone would be decisive in doing away with
such punishment in its crudest form. It very deeply influences the
personal modesty of the child. This should be preserved above everything
as the main factor in the development of the feeling of purity. The
father who punishes his daughter in this way deserves to see her some
day a "fallen woman." He injures her instinctive feeling of the sanctity
of her body, an instinct which even in the case of a small child can
be passionately profound. Only when every infringement of sanctity
(forcible caressing is as bad as a blow) evokes an energetic,
instinctive repulsion, is the nature of the child proud and pure.
Children who strike back when they are punished have the most promising
characters of all.

Numerous are the cases in which bodily punishment can occasion
irremediable damage, not suspected by the person who administers it,
though he may triumphantly declare how the punishment in the specific
case has helped. Most adults feel free to tell how a whipping has
injured them in one way or another, but when they take up the training
of their own children they depend on the effect of such chastisement.

What burning bitterness and desire for vengeance, what canine fawning
flattery, does not corporal punishment call forth. It makes the lazy
lazier, the obstinate more obstinate, the hard, harder. It strengthens
those two emotions, the root of almost all evil in the world, hatred and
fear. And as long as blows are made synonymous with education, both of
these emotions will keep their mastery over men.

One of the most frequent occasions for recourse to this punishment is
obstinacy, but what is called obstinacy is only fear or incapacity.
The child repeats a false answer, is threatened with blows, and again
repeats it just because he is afraid not to say the right thing. He
is struck and then answers rightly. This is a triumph of education;
refractoriness is overcome. But what has happened? Increased fear
has led to a strong effort of thought, to a momentary increase of
self-control. The next day the child will very likely repeat the fault.
Where there is real obstinacy on the part of children, I know of cases
when corporal punishment has filled them with the lust to kill, either
themselves or the person who strikes them. On the other hand I know of
others, where a mother has brought an obstinate child to repentance and
self-mastery by holding him quietly and calmly on her knees.

How many untrue confessions have been forced by fear of blows; how
much daring passion for action, spirit of adventure, play of fancy, and
stimulus to discovery has been repressed by this same fear. Even
where blows do not cause lying, they always hinder absolute
straightforwardness and the down-right personal courage to show oneself
as one is. As long as the word "blow" is used at all in a home, no
perfect honour will be found in children. So long as the home and the
school use this method of education, brutality will be developed in the
child himself at the cost of humanity. The child uses on animals, on
his young brothers and sisters, on his comrades, the methods applied to
himself. He puts in practice the same argument, that "badness" must be
cured with blows. Only children accustomed to be treated mildly, learn
to see that influence can be gained without using force. To see this
is one of man's privileges, sacrificed by man through descending to the
methods of the brute. Only by the child seeing his teacher always and
everywhere abstaining from the use of actual force, will he come himself
to despise force on all those occasions which do not involve the defence
of a weaker person against physical superiority. The foundation of the
desire for war is to be sought for less in the war games than in the
teachers' rod.

To defend corporal discipline, children's own statements are brought
in evidence, they are reported as saying they knew they deserved such
discipline in order to be made good. There is no lower example of
hypocrisy in human nature than this. It is true the child may be sincere
in other cases in saying that he feels that through punishment he has
atoned for a fault which was weighing upon his conscience. But this is
really the foundation of a false system of ethics, the kind which still
continues to be preached as Christian, namely; that a fault may be
atoned for by sufferings which are not directly connected with the
fault. The basis of the new morality is just the opposite as I have
already shown. It teaches that no fault can be atoned for, that no one
can escape the results of his actions in any way.

Untruthfulness belongs to the faults which the teacher thinks he must
most frequently punish with blows. But there is no case in which this
method is more dangerous.

When the much-needed guide-book for parents is published, the
well-known story of George Washington and the hatchet must appear in it,
accompanied by the remark which a clever ten-year-old child added to the
anecdote: "It is no trouble telling the truth when one has such a kind

I formerly divided untruthfulness into unwilling, shameless, and
imaginative lies. A short time ago I ran across a much better division
of lying; first "cold" lies, that is, fully conscious untruthfulness
which must be punished, and "hot" lies; the expression of an excited
temperament or of a vigorous fancy. I agree with the author of this
distinction that the last should not be punished but corrected, though
not with a pedantic rule of thumb measure, based on how much it exceeds
or falls short of truth. It is to be cured by ridicule, a dangerous
method of education in general, but useful when one observes that this
type of untruthfulness threatens to develop into real untrustworthiness.
In dealing with these faults we are very strict towards children, so
strict that no lawyer, no politician, no journalist, no poet, could
exercise his profession if the same standard were applied to them as to

The white lie is, as a French scientist has shown, partly caused by pure
morbidness, partly through some defect in the conception. It is due
to an empty space, a dead point in memory, or in consciousness, that
produces a defective idea or gives one no idea at all of what has
happened. In the affairs of everyday life the adults are often mistaken
as to their intentions or acts. They may have forgotten about their
actions, and it requires a strong effort of memory to call them back
into their minds; or they suggest to themselves that they have done, or
not done, something. In all of these cases, if they were forced to give
a distinct answer, they would lie. In every case of this kind, where a
child is concerned, the lie is assumed to be a conscious one, and when
on being submitted to a strict cross-examination, he hesitates, becomes
confused, and blushes, it is looked upon as a proof that he knows he has
been telling an untruth, although as a rule there has been no instance
of untruthfulness, except the finally extorted confession from the child
that he has lied. Yet in all these complicated psychological problems,
corporal punishment is treated as a solution.

The child who never hears lying at home, who does not see exaggerated
weight placed on small, merely external things, who is not made cowardly
by fear, who hears conscious lies always spoken of with contempt, will
get out of the habit of untruthfulness simply by psychological means.
First he will find that untruthfulness causes astonishment, and a
repetition of it, scorn and lack of confidence. But these methods should
not be applied to untruthfulness caused by distress or by richness of
imagination; or to such cases as originate from the obscure mental ideas
noted above, ideas whose connection with one another the child cannot
make clear to himself. The cold untruth on the other hand, must be
punished; first by going over it with the child, then letting him
experience its effect in lack of confidence, which will only be restored
when the child shows decided improvement in this regard. It is of the
greatest importance to show children full and unlimited confidence,
even though one quietly maintains an attitude of alert watchfulness; for
continuous and undeserved mistrust is just as demoralising as blind and
easy confidence.

No one who has been beaten for lying learns by it to love truth. The
accuracy of this principle is illustrated by adults who despise corporal
punishment in their childhood yet continue to tell untruths by word
and deed. Fear may keep the child from technical untruth, but fear also
produces untrustworthiness. Those who have been beaten in childhood for
lying have often suffered a serious injury immeasurably greater than
the direct lie. The truest men I ever knew lie voluntarily and
involuntarily; while others who might never be caught in a lie are
thoroughly false.

This corruption of personality begins frequently at the tenderest
age under the influence of early training. Children are given untrue
motives, half-true information; are threatened, admonished. The child's
will, thought, and feeling are oppressed; against this treatment
dishonesty is the readiest method of defence. In this way educators
who make truth their highest aim, make children untruthful. I watched
a child who was severely punished for denying something he had
unconsciously done, and noted how under the influence of this senseless
punishment he developed extreme dissimulation.

Truthfulness requires above everything unbroken determination; and many
nervous little liars need nourishing food and life in the open air, not
blows. A great artist, one of the few who live wholly according to the
modern principles of life, said to me on one occasion: "My son does not
know what a lie is, nor what a blow is. His step-brother, on the other
hand, lied when he came into our house; but lying did not work in the
atmosphere of calm and freedom. After a year the habit disappeared by
itself, only because it always met with deep astonishment."

This makes me, in passing, note one of the other many mistakes of
education, viz., the infinite trouble taken in trying to do away with
a fault which disappears by itself. People take infinite pains to teach
small children to speak distinctly who, if left to themselves, would
learn it by themselves, provided they were always spoken to distinctly.
This same principle holds good of numerous other things, in children's
attitude and behaviour, that can be left simply to a good example and to
time. One's influence should be used in impressing upon the child habits
for which a foundation must be laid at the very beginning of his life.

There is another still more unfortunate mistake, the mistake of
correcting and judging by an external effect produced by the act, by the
scandal it occasions in the environment. Children are struck for using
oaths and improper words the meaning of which they do not understand; or
if they do understand, the result of strictness is only that they go
on keeping silence in matters in which sincerity towards those who are
bringing them up is of the highest importance. The very thing the child
is allowed to do uncorrected at home, is not seldom corrected if it
happens away from home. So the child gets a false idea that it is not
the thing that deserves punishment, but its publicity. When a mother
is ashamed of the bad behaviour of her son she is apt to strike
him--instead of striking her own breast! When an adventurous feat fails
he is beaten, but he is praised when successful. These practices produce
demoralisation. Once in a wood I saw two parents laughing while the
ice held on which their son was sliding; when it broke suddenly they
threatened to whip him. It required strong self-control in order not
to say to this pair that it was not the son who deserved punishment but

On occasions like these, parents avenge their own fright on their
children. I saw a child become a coward because an anxious mother struck
him every time he fell down, while the natural result inflicted on the
child would have been more than sufficient to increase his carefulness.
When misfortune is caused by disobedience, natural alarm is, as a rule,
enough to prevent a repetition of it. If it is not sufficient blows have
no restraining effect; they only embitter. The boy finds that adults
have forgotten their own period of childhood; he withdraws himself
secretly from this abuse of power, provided strict treatment does
not succeed in totally depressing the level of the child's will and
obstructing his energies.

This is certainly a danger, but the most serious effect of corporal
punishment is that it has established an unethical morality as its
result. Until the human being has learnt to see that effort, striving,
development of power, are their own reward, life remains an unbeautiful
affair. The debasing effects of vanity and ambition, the small and great
cruelties produced by injustice, are all due to the idea that failure or
success sets the value to deeds and actions.

A complete revolution in this crude theory of value must come about
before the earth can become the scene of a happy but considerate
development of power on the part of free and fine human beings. Every
contest decided by examinations and prizes is ultimately an immoral
method of training. It awakens only evil passions, envy and the
impression of injustice on the one side, arrogance on the other. After I
had during the course of twenty years fought these school examinations,
I read with thorough agreement a short time ago, Ruskin's views on the
subject. He believed that all competition was a false basis of stimulus,
and every distribution of prizes a false means. He thought that the
real sign of talent in a boy, auspicious for his future career, was
his desire to work for work's sake. He declared that the real aim of
instruction should be to show him his own proper and special gifts, to
strengthen them in him, not to spur him on to an empty competition with
those who were plainly his superiors in capacity.

Moreover it ought not to be forgotten that success and failure involve
of themselves their own punishment and their own reward, the one bitter,
the other sweet enough to secure in a natural way increased strength,
care, prudence, and endurance. It is completely unnecessary for the
educator to use, besides these, some special punishments or special
rewards, and so pervert the conceptions of the child that failure seems
to him to be a wrong, success on the other hand as the right.

No matter where one turns one's gaze, it is notorious that the
externally encouraging or awe-inspiring means of education, are an
obstacle to what are the chief human characteristics, courage in oneself
and goodness to others.

A people whose education is carried on by gentle means only (I mean
the people of Japan), have shown that manliness is not in danger where
children are not hardened by corporal punishment. These gentle means are
just as effective in calling forth selfmastery and consideration. These
virtues are so imprinted on children, at the tenderest age, that one
learns first in Japan what attraction considerate kindliness bestows
upon life. In a country where blows are never seen, the first rule of
social intercourse is not to cause discomfort to others. It is told that
when a foreigner in Japan took up a stone to throw it at a dog, the dog
did not run. No one had ever thrown a stone at him. Tenderness towards
animals is the complement in that country of tenderness in human
relationship, a tenderness whose result is observed, among other
effects, in a relatively small number of crimes against life and

War, hunting for pleasure, corporal discipline, are nothing more than
different expressions of the tiger nature still alive in man. When the
rod is thrown away, and when, as some one has said, children are
no longer boxed on their ears but are given magnifying glasses and
photographic cameras to increase their capacity for life and for loving
it, instead of learning to destroy it, real education in humanity will

For the benefit of those who are not convinced that corporal punishment
can be dispensed with in a manly education, by so remote and so distant
an example as Japan, I should like to mention a fact closer to us.
Our Germanic forefathers did not have this method of education. It was
introduced with Christianity. Corporal discipline was turned into
a religious duty, and as late as the seventeenth century there were
intelligent men who flogged their children once a week as a part of
spiritual guardianship. I once asked our great poet, Victor Rydberg, and
he said that he had found no proof that corporal punishment was usual
among the Germans in heathen times. I asked him whether he did not
believe that the fact of its absence had encouraged the energetic
individualism and manliness in the Northern peoples. He thought so, and
agreed with me. Finally, I might note from our own time, that there
are many families and schools, our girls' schools for example, and also
boys' schools in some countries, where corporal punishment is never
used. I know a family with twelve children whose activity and capacity
are not damaged by bringing them under the rule of duty alone. Corporal
punishment is never used in this home; a determined but mild mother
has taught the children to obey voluntarily, and has known how to train
their wills to self-control.

By "voluntary obedience," I do not mean that the child is bound to ask
endless questions for reasons, and to dispute them before he obeys. A
good teacher never gives a command without there being some good reason,
but whether the child is convinced or not, he must always obey, and if
he asks "why" the answer is very simple; every one, adults as well as
children, must obey the right and must submit to what cannot be avoided.
The great necessity in life must be imprinted in childhood. This can
be done without harsh means by training the child, even previous to his
birth, by cultivating one's self-control, and after his birth by never
giving in to a child's caprices. The rule is, in a few cases, to work
in opposition to the action of the child, but in other cases work
constructively; I mean provide the child with material to construct his
own personality and then let him do this work of construction. This is,
in brief, the art of education. The worst of all educational methods are
threats. The only effective admonitions are short and infrequent ones.
The greatest skill in the educator is to be silent for the moment and
then so reprove the fault, indirectly, that the child is brought to
correct himself or make himself the object of blame. This can be done
by the instructor telling something that causes the child to compare his
own conduct with the hateful or admirable types of behaviour about which
he hears information. Or the educator may give an opinion which the
child must take to himself although it is not applied directly to him.

On many occasions a forceful display of indignation on the part of the
elder person is an excellent punishment, if the indignation is reserved
for the right moment. I know children to whom nothing was more frightful
than their father's scorn; this was dreaded. Children who are deluged
with directions and religious devotions, who receive an ounce of
morality in every cup of joy, are most certain to be those who will
revolt against all this. Nearly every thinking person feels that the
deepest educational influences in his life have been indirect; some good
advice not given to him directly; a noble deed told without any direct
reference. But when people come themselves to train others they forget
all their own personal experience.

The strongest constructive factor in the education of a human being
is the settled, quiet order of home, its peace, and its duty.
Open-heartedness, industry, straightforwardness at home develop
goodness, desire to work, and simplicity in the child. Examples of
artistic work and books in the home, its customary life on ordinary
days and holidays, its occupations and its pleasures, should give to the
emotions and imagination of the child, periods of movement and repose,
a sure contour and a rich colour. The pure, warm, clear atmosphere
in which father, mother, and children live together in freedom and
confidence; where none are kept isolated from the interests of the
others; but each possesses full freedom for his own personal interest;
where none trenches on the rights of others; where all are willing to
help one another when necessary,--in this atmosphere egoism, as well as
altruism, can attain their richest development, and individuality
find its just freedom. As the evolution of man's soul advances to
undreamed-of possibilities of refinement, of capacity, of profundity;
as the spiritual life of the generation becomes more manifold in
its combinations and in its distinctions; the more time one has for
observing the wonderful and deep secrets of existence, behind the
visible, tangible, world of sense, the more will each new generation of
children show a more refined and a more consistent mental life. It is
impossible to attain this result under the torture of the crude methods
in our present home and school training. We need new homes, new schools,
new marriages, new social relations, for those new souls who are to
feel, love, and suffer, in ways infinitely numerous that we now can
not even name. Thus they will come to understand life; they will
have aspirations and hopes; they will believe; they will pray. The
conceptions of religion, love, and art, all these must be revolutionised
so radically, that one now can only surmise what new forms will be
created in future generations. This transformation can be helped by the
training of the present, by casting aside the withered foliage which now
covers the budding possibilities of life.

The house must once more become a home for the souls of children, not
for their bodies alone. For such homes to be formed, that in their
turn will mould children, the children must be given back to the home.
Instead of the study preparation at home for the school taking up, as
it now does, the best part of a child's life, the school must get
the smaller part, the home the larger part. The home will have the
responsibility of so using the free time as well on ordinary days as on
holidays, that the children will really become a part of the home both
in their work and in their pleasures. The children will be taken from
the school, the street, the factory, and restored to the home. The
mother will be given back from work outside, or from social life to the
children. Thus natural training in the spirit of Rousseau and Spencer
will be realised; a training for life, by life at home.

Such was the training of Old Scandinavia; the direct share of the child
in the work of the adult, in real labours and dangers, gave to the life
of our Scandinavian forefathers (with whom the boy began to be a man at
twelve years of age), unity, character, and strength. Things specially
made for children, the anxious watching over all their undertakings,
support given to all their steps, courses of work and pleasure specially
prepared for children,--these are the fundamental defects of our present
day education. An eighteen-yearold girl said to me a short time ago,
that she and other girls of the same age were so tired of the system of
vigilance, protection, amusement, and pampering at school and at home,
that they were determined to bring up their own children in hunger,
corporal discipline, and drudgery.

One can understand this unfortunate reaction against an artificial
environment, the environment in which children and young people of the
present grow up; an existence that evokes a passionate desire for
the realities of life, for individual action at one's own risk and
responsibility, instead of being, as is now the case, at home and in the
school, the object of another's care.

What is required, above all, for the children of the present day, is
to be assigned again real home occupations, tasks they must do
conscientiously, habits of work arranged for week days and holidays
without oversight, in every case where the child can help himself.
Instead of the modern school child having a mother and servants about
him to get him ready for school and to help him to remember things, he
should have time every day before school to arrange his room and brush
his clothes, and there should be no effort to make him remember what
is connected with the school. The home and the school should combine
together systematically to let the child suffer for the results of his
own negligence.

Just the reverse of this system rules to-day. Mothers learn their
children's lessons, invent plays for them, read their story books to
them, arrange their rooms after them, pick up what they have let fall,
put in order the things they have left in confusion, and in this and
in other ways, by protective pampering and attention, their desire for
work, their endurance, the gifts of invention and imagination, qualities
proper to the child, become weak and passive. The home now is only a
preparation for school. In it, young people growing up, are accustomed
to receive services, without performing any on their part. They are
trained to be always receptive instead of giving something in return.
Then people are surprised at a youthful generation, selfish and
unrestrained, pressing forward shamelessly on all occasions before their
elders, crudely unresponsive in respect of those attentions, which in
earlier generations were a beautiful custom among the young.

To restore this custom, all the means usually adopted now to protect the
child from physical and psychical dangers and inconveniences, will have
to be removed. Throw the thermometer out of the window and begin with
a sensible course of toughening; teach the child to know and to bear
natural pain. Corporal punishment must be done away with not because
it is painful but because it is profoundly immoral and hopelessly
unsuitable. Repress the egoistic demands of the child when he interferes
with the work or rest of others; never let him either by caresses or by
nagging usurp the rights of grown people; take care that the servants do
not work against what the parents are trying to insist on in this and in
other matters.

We must begin in doing for the child in certain ways a thousand times
more and in others a hundred thousand times less. A beginning must be
made in the tenderest age to establish the child's feeling for nature.
Let him live year in and year out in the same country home; this is one
of the most significant and profound factors in training. It can be held
to even where it is now neglected. The same thing holds good of making
a choice library, commencing with the first years of life; so that the
child will have, at different periods of his life, suitable books for
each age; not as is now often the case, get quite spoilt by the constant
change of summer excursions, by worthless children's books, and costly
toys. They should never have any but the simplest books; the so-called
classical ones. They should be amply provided with means of preparing
their own playthings. The worst feature of our system are the playthings
which imitate the luxury of grown people. By such objects the covetous
impulse of the child for acquisition is increased, his own capacity for
discovery and imagination limited, or rather, it would be limited if
children with the sound instinct of preservation, did not happily smash
the perfect playthings, which give them no creative opportunity, and
themselves make new playthings from fir cones, acorns, thorns, and
fragments of pottery, and all other sorts of rubbish which can be
transformed into objects of great price by the power of the imagination.

To play with children in the right way is also a great art. It should
never be done if children do not themselves know what they are going
to do; it should always be a special treat for them as well as their
elders. But the adults must always on such occasions, leave behind every
kind of educational idea and go completely into the child's world of
thought and imagination. No attempt should be made to teach them
at these times anything else but the old satisfactory games. The
experiences derived from these games about the nature of the children,
who are stimulated in one direction or another by the game, must be kept
for later use.

Games in this way increase confidence between children and adults. They
learn to know their elders better. But to allow children to turn all the
rooms into places to play in, and to demand constantly that their elders
shall interest themselves in them, is one of the most dangerous species
of pampering common to the present day. The children become accustomed
to selfishness and mental dependence. Besides this constant educational
effort brings with it the dulling of the child's personality. If
children were free in their own world, the nursery, but out of it had
to submit to the strict limits imposed by the habits, wills, work,
and repose of parents, their requirements and their wishes, they would
develop into a stronger and more considerate race than the youth of the
present day. It is not so much talking about being considerate, but the
necessity of considering others, of really helping oneself and others,
that has an educational value. In earlier days, children were quiet
as mice in the presence of elder persons. Instead of, as they do now,
breaking into a guest's conversation, they learned to listen. If the
conversation of adults is varied, this can be called one of the best
educational methods for children. The ordinary life of children, under
the old system, was lived in the nursery where they received their most
important training from an old faithful servant and from one another.
From their parents they received corporal punishment, sometimes a
caress. In comparison with this system, the present way of parents and
children living together would be absolute progress, if parents could
but abstain from explaining, advising, improving, influencing every
thought and every expression. But all spiritual, mental, and bodily
protective rules make the child now indirectly selfish, because
everything centres about him and therefore he is kept in a constant
state of irritation. The six-yearold can disturb the conversation of the
adult, but the twelve-year-old is sent to bed about eight o'clock, even
when he, with wide open eyes, longs for a conversation that might be to
him an inspiring stimulus for life.

Certainly some simple habits so far as conduct and order, nourishment
and sleep, air and water, clothing and bodily movement, are concerned,
can be made the foundations for the child's conceptions of morality. He
cannot be made to learn soon enough that bodily health and beauty must
be regarded as high ethical characteristics, and that what is injurious
to health and beauty must be regarded as a hateful act. In this sphere,
children must be kept entirely independent of custom by allowing the
exception to every rule to have its valid place. The present anxious
solicitude that children should eat when the clock strikes, that they
get certain food at fixed meals, that they be clothed according to the
degree of temperature, that they go to bed when the clock strikes, that
they be protected from every drop of unboiled water and every extra
piece of candy, this makes them nervous, irritable slaves of habit. A
reasonable toughening process against the inequalities, discomforts, and
chances of life, constitutes one of the most important bases of joy of
living and of strength of temper. In this case too, the behaviour of the
person who gives the training, is the best means of teaching children
to smile at small contretemps, things which would throw a cloud over the
sun, if one got into the habit of treating them as if they were of great
importance. If the child sees the parent doing readily an unpleasant
duty, which he honestly recognises as unpleasant; if he sees a parent
endure trouble or an unexpected difficulty easily, he will be in honour
bound to do the like. Just as children without many words learn to
practice good deeds when they see good deeds practiced about them; learn
to enjoy the beauty of nature and art when they see that adults enjoy
them, so by living more beautifully, more nobly, more moderately, we
speak best to children. They are just as receptive to impressions of
this kind as they are careless of those made by force.

Since this is my alpha and omega in the art of education, I repeat now
what I said at the beginning of this book and half way through it. Try
to leave the child in peace; interfere directly as seldom as possible;
keep away all crude and impure impressions; but give all your care and
energy to see that personality, life itself, reality in its simplicity
and in its nakedness, shall all be means of training the child.

Make demands on the powers of children and on their capacity for
self-control, proportionate to the special stage of their development,
neither greater nor lesser demands than on adults. But respect the joys
of the child, his tastes, work, and time, just as you would those of an
adult. Education will thus become an infinitely simple and infinitely
harder art, than the education of the present day, with its
artificialised existence, its double entry morality, one morality for
the child, and one for the adult, often strict for the child and lax for
the adult and vice versa. By treating the child every moment as one does
an adult human being we free education from that brutal arbitrariness,
from those over-indulgent protective rules, which have transformed him.
Whether parents act as if children existed for their benefit alone, or
whether the parents give up their whole lives to their children, the
result is alike deplorable. As a rule both classes know equally little
of the feelings and needs of their children. The one class are happy
when the children are like themselves, and their highest ambition is
to produce in their children a successful copy of their own thoughts,
opinions, and ideals. Really it ought to pain them very much to see
themselves so exactly copied. What life expected from them and required
from them was just the opposite--a richer combination, a better
creation, a new type, not a reproduction of that which is already
exhausted. The other class strive to model their children not according
to themselves but according to their ideal of goodness. They show their
love by their willingness to extinguish their own personalities for
their children's sake. This they do by letting the children feel that
everything which concerns them stands in the foreground. This should be
so, but only indirectly.

The concerns of the whole scheme of life, the ordering of the home, its
habits, intercourse, purposes, care for the needs of children, and their
sound development, must stand in the foreground. But at present, in most
cases, children of tender years, as well as those who are older, are
sacrificed to the chaotic condition of the home. They learn self-will
without possessing real freedom, they live under a discipline which is
spasmodic in its application.

When one daughter after another leaves home in order to make herself
independent they are often driven to do it by want of freedom, or by
the lack of character in family life. In both directions the girl
sees herself forced to become something different, to hold different
opinions, to think different thoughts, to act contrary to the dictates
of her own being. A mother happy in the friendship of her own daughter,
said not long ago that she desired to erect an asylum for tormented
daughters. Such an asylum would be as necessary as a protection against
pampering parents as against those who are overbearing. Both alike,
torture their children though in different ways, by not understanding
the child's right to have his own point of view, his own ideal of
happiness, his own proper tastes and occupation. They do not see that
children exist as little for their parent's sake as parents do for their
children's sake. Family life would have an intelligent character if each
one lived fully and entirely his own life and allowed the others to do
the same. None should tyrannise over, nor should suffer tyranny from,
the other. Parents who give their home this character can justly
demand that children shall accommodate themselves to the habits of the
household as long as they live in it. Children on their part can ask
that their own life of thought and feeling shall be left in peace at
home, or that they be treated with the same consideration that would be
given to a stranger. When the parents do not meet these conditions they
themselves are the greater sufferers. It is very easy to keep one's son
from expressing his raw views, very easy to tear a daughter away from
her book and to bring her to a tea-party by giving her unnecessary
occupations; very easy by a scornful word to repress some powerful
emotion. A thousand similar things occur every day in good families
through the whole world. But whenever we hear of young people speaking
of their intellectual homelessness and sadness, we begin to understand
why father and mother remain behind in homes from which the daughters
have hastened to depart; why children take their cares, joys, and
thoughts to strangers; why, in a word, the old and the young generation
are as mutually dependent as the roots and flowers of plants, so often
separate with mutual repulsion.

This is as true of highly cultivated fathers and mothers as of simple
bourgeois or peasant parents. Perhaps, indeed, it may be truer of the
first class, the latter torment their children in a naive way, while the
former are infinitely wise and methodical in their stupidity. Rarely
is a mother of the upper class one of those artists of home life who
through the blitheness, the goodness, and joyousness of her character,
makes the rhythm of everyday life a dance, and holidays into festivals.
Such artists are often simple women who have passed no examinations,
founded no clubs, and written no books. The highly cultivated mothers
and the socially useful mothers on the other hand are not seldom those
who call forth criticism from their sons. It seems almost an invariable
rule that mothers should make mistakes when they wish to act for the
welfare of their sons. "How infinitely valuable," say their children,
"would I have found a mother who could have kept quiet, who would have
been patient with me, who would have given me rest, keeping the outer
world at a distance from me, with kindly soothing hands. Oh, would that
I had had a mother on whose breast I could have laid my head, to be
quiet and dream."

A distinguished woman writer is surprised that all of her
well-thought-out plans for her children fail--those children in whom
she saw the material for her passion for governing, the clay that she
desired to mould.

The writer just cited says very justly that maternal unselfishness
alone can perform the task of protecting a young being with wisdom
and kindliness, by allowing him to grow according to his own laws. The
unselfish mother, she says, will joyfully give the best of her life
energy, powers of soul and spirit to a growing being and then open all
doors to him, leaving him in the broad world to follow his own paths,
and ask for nothing, neither thanks, nor praise, nor remembrance. But to
most mothers may be applied the bitter exclamation of a son in the book
just mentioned, "even a mother must know how she tortures another; if
she has not this capacity by nature, why in the world should I recognise
her as my mother at all."

Certain mothers spend the whole day in keeping their children's nervous
system in a state of irritation. They make work hard and play joyless,
whenever they take a part in it. At the present time, too, the school
gets control of the child, the home loses all the means by which
formerly it moulded the child's soul life and ennobled family life.
The school, not father and mother, teaches children to play, the school
gives them manual training, the school teaches them to sing, to look at
pictures, to read aloud, to wander about out of doors; schools, clubs,
sport and other pleasures accustom youth in the cities more and more
to outside life, and a daily recreation that kills the true feeling for
holiday. Young people, often, have no other impression of home than that
it is a place where they meet society which bores them.

Parents surrender their children to schools in those years in which they
should influence their minds. When the school gives them back they
do not know how to make a fresh start with the children, for they
themselves have ceased to be young.

But getting old is no necessity; it is only a bad habit. It is very
interesting to observe a face that is getting old. What time makes out
of a face shows better than anything else what the man has made out
of time. Most men in the early period of middle age are neither
intellectually fat nor lean, they are hardened or dried up. Naturally
young people look upon them with unsympathetic eyes, for they feel that
there is such a thing as eternal youth, which a soul can win as a prize
for its whole work of inner development. But they look in vain for this
second eternal youth in their elders, filled with worldly nothingnesses
and things of temporary importance.

With a sigh they exclude the "old people" from their future plans and
they go out in the world in order to choose their spiritual parents.

This is tragic but just, for if there is a field on which man must sow a
hundred-fold in order to harvest tenfold it is the souls of children.

When I began at five years of age to make a rag doll, that by its weight
and size really gave the illusion of reality and bestowed much joy on
its young mother, I began to think about the education of my future
children. Then as now my educational ideal was that the children
should be happy, that they should not fear. Fear is the misfortune of
childhood, and the sufferings of the child come from the half-realised
opposition between his unlimited possibilities of happiness and the way
in which these possibilities are actually handled. It may be said that
life, at every stage, is cruel in its treatment of our possibilities of
happiness. But the difference between the sufferings of the adult
from existence, and the sufferings of the child caused by adults, is
tremendous. The child is unwilling to resign himself to the sufferings
imposed upon him by adults and the more impatient the child is against
unnecessary suffering, the better; for so much the more certainly will
he some day be driven to find means to transform for himself and for
others the hard necessities of life.

A poet, Rydberg, in our country who had the deepest intuition into
child's nature, and therefore had the deepest reverence for it, wrote as
follows: "Where we behold children we suspect there are princes, but as
to the kings, where are they?" Not only life's tragic elements diminish
and dam up its vital energies. Equally destructive is a parent's want
of reverence for the sources of life which meet them in a new being.
Fathers and mothers must bow their heads in the dust before the exalted
nature of the child. Until they see that the word "child" is only
another expression for the conception of majesty; until they feel that
it is the future which in the form of a child sleeps in their arms, and
history which plays at their feet, they will not understand that they
have as little power or right to prescribe laws for this new being as
they possess the power or might to lay down paths for the stars.

The mother should feel the same reverence for the unknown worlds in
the wide-open eyes of her child, that she has for the worlds which like
white blossoms are sprinkled over the blue orb of heaven; the father
should see in his child the king's son whom he must serve humbly with
his own best powers, and then the child will come to his own; not to the
right of asking others to become the plaything of his caprices but to
the right of living his full strong personal child's life along with
a father and a mother who themselves live a personal life, a life from
whose sources and powers the child can take the elements he needs for
his own individual growth. Parents should never expect their own highest
ideals to become the ideals of their child. The free-thinking sons of
pious parents and the Christian children of freethinkers have become
almost proverbial.

But parents can live nobly and in entire accordance to their own ideals
which is the same thing as making children idealists. This can often
lead to a quite different system of thought from that pursued by the

As to ideals, the elders should here as elsewhere, offer with timidity
their advice and their experience. Yes they should try to let the young
people search for it as if they were seeking fruit hidden under the
shadow of leaves. If their counsel is rejected, they must show neither
surprise nor lack of self-control.

The query of a humourist, why he should do anything for posterity since
posterity had done nothing for him, set me to thinking in my early youth
in the most serious way. I felt that posterity had done much for its
forefathers. It had given them an infinite horizon for the future beyond
the bounds of their daily effort. We must in the child see the new
fate of the human race; we must carefully treat the fine threads in the
child's soul because these are the threads that one day will form the
woof of world events. We must realise that every pebble by which one
breaks into the glassy depths of the child's soul will extend its
influence through centuries and centuries in ever widening circles.
Through our fathers, without our will and without choice, we are given a
destiny which controls the deepest foundation of our own being. Through
our posterity, which we ourselves create, we can in a certain measure,
as free beings, determine the future destiny of the human race.

By a realisation of all this in an entirely new way, by seeing the
whole process in the light of the religion of development, the twentieth
century will be the century of the child. This will come about in
two ways. Adults will first come to an understanding of the child's
character and then the simplicity of the child's character will be kept
by adults. So the old social order will be able to renew itself.

Psychological pedagogy has an exalted ancestry. I will not go back to
those artists in education called Socrates and Jesus, but I commence
with the modern world. In the hours of its sunrise, in which we, who
look back, think we see a futile Renaissance, then as now the spring
flowers came up amid the decaying foliage. At this period there came
a demand for the remodelling of education through the great figure of
modern times, Montaigne, that skeptic who had so deep a reverence for
realities. In his Essays, in his Letters to the Countess of Gurson, are
found all of the elements for the education of the future. About the
great German and Swiss specialists in pedagogy and psychology, Comenius,
Basedow, Pestalozzi, Salzmann, Froebel, Herbart, I do not need to speak.
I will only mention that the greatest men of Germany, Lessing, Herder,
Goethe, Kant and others, took the side of natural training. In regard to
England it is well known that John Locke in his Thoughts on Education,
was a worthy predecessor of Herbert Spencer, whose book on education in
its intellectual, moral, and physical relations, was the most noteworthy
book on education in the last century.

It has been noted that Spencer in educational theory is indebted to
Rousseau; and that in many cases, he has only said what the great German
authorities, whom he certainly did not know, said before him. But this
does not diminish Spencer's merit in the least. Absolutely new thoughts
are very rare. Truths which were once new must be constantly renewed by
being pronounced again from the depth of the ardent personal conviction
of a new human being.

That rational thoughts on the subject of pedagogy as on other subjects,
are constantly expressed and re-expressed, shows among other things
that reasonable, or practically untried education has certain principles
which are as axiomatic as those of mathematics. Every reasonable
thinking man must as certainly discover anew these pedagogical
principles, as he must discover anew the relation between the angles of
a triangle. Spencer's book it is true has not laid again the foundation
of education. It can rather be called the crown of the edifice founded
by Montaigne, Locke, Rousseau, and the great German specialists in
pedagogy. What is an absolutely novel factor in our times is the study
of the psychology of the child, and the system of education that has
developed from it.

In England, through the scientist Darwin, this new study of the
psychology of the child was inaugurated. In Germany, Preyer contributed
to its extension. He has done so partly by a comprehensive study of
children's language, partly by collecting recollections of childhood on
the part of the adult. Finally he experimented directly on the child,
investigating his physical and psychical fatigue and endurance,
acuteness of sensation, power, speed, and exactness in carrying out
physical and mental tasks. He has studied his capacity of attention in
emotions and in ideas at different periods of life. He has studied the
speech of children, association of ideas in children, etc. During the
study of the psychology of the child, scholars began to substitute for
this term the expression "genetic psychology." For it was found that the
big-genetic principle was valid for the development both of the psychic
and the physical life. This principle means that the history of
the species is repeated in the history of the individual; a truth
substantiated in other spheres; in philology for example. The psychology
of the child is of the same significance for general psychology as
embryology is for anatomy. On the other hand, the description of savage
peoples, of peoples in a natural condition, such as we find in Spencer's
Descriptive Sociology or Weitz's Anthropology is extremely instructive
for a right conception of the psychology of the child.

It is in this kind of psychological investigation that the greatest
progress has been made in this century. In the great publication,
Zeitschrift fur psychologie, etc., there began in 1894 a special
department for the psychology of children and the psychology of
education. In 1898, there were as many as one hundred and six essays
devoted to this subject, and they are constantly increasing.

In the chief civilised countries this investigation has many
distinguished pioneers, such as Prof. Wundt, Prof. T. H. Ribot, and
others. In Germany this subject has its most important organ in the
journal mentioned above. It numbers among its collaborators some of the
most distinguished German physiologists and psychologists. As related to
the same subject must be mentioned Wundt's Philosophischen Studien, and
partly the Vierteljahrschrift fur Wissenschaftlichie Philosophie. In
France, there was founded in 1894, the Annee Psychologique, edited
by Binet and Beaunis, and also the Bibliotheque de Pedagogie et de
Psychologie, edited by Binet. In England there are the journals, Mind
and Brain.

Special laboratories for experimental psychology with psychological
apparatus and methods of research are found in many places. In Germany
the first to be founded was that of Wundt in the year 1878 at Leipzig.
France has a laboratory for experimental psychology at Paris, in the
Sorbonne, whose director is Binet; Italy, one in Rome. In America
experimental psychology is zealously pursued. As early as 1894,
there were in that country twenty-seven laboratories for experimental
psychology and four journals. There should also be mentioned the
societies for child psychology. Recently one has been founded in
Germany, others before this time have been at work in England and

A whole series of investigations carried out in Kraepelin's laboratory
in Heidelberg are of the greatest value for determining what the brain
can do in the way of work and impressions.

An English specialist has maintained that the future, thanks to the
modern school system, will be able to get along without originally
creative men, because the receptive activities of modern man will
absorb the cooperative powers of the brain to the disadvantage of
the productive powers. And even if this were not a universally valid
statement but only expressed a physiological certainty, people will some
day perhaps cease filing down man's brain by that sandpapering process
called a school curriculum.

A champion of the transformation of pedagogy into a psycho-physiological
science is to be found in Sweden in the person of Prof. Hjalmar Oehrwal
who has discussed in his essays native and foreign discoveries in
the field of psychology. One of his conclusions is that the so-called
technical exercises, gymnastics, manual training, sloyd, and the like,
are not, as they are erroneously called, a relaxation from mental
overstrain by change in work, but simply a new form of brain fatigue.
All work, he finds, done under conditions of fatigue is uneconomic
whether one regards the quantity produced or its value as an exercise.
Rest should be nothing more than rest,--freedom to do only what one
wants to, or to do nothing at all. As to fear, he proves, following
Binet's investigation in this subject, how corporal discipline, threats,
and ridicule lead to cowardice; how all of these methods are to be
rejected because they are depressing and tend to a diminution of
energy. He shows, moreover, how fear can be overcome progressively,
by strengthening the nervous system and in that way strengthening
the character. This result comes about partly when all unnecessary
terrorising is avoided, partly when children are accustomed to bear
calmly and quietly the inevitable unpleasantnesses of danger.

Prof. Axel Key's investigations on school children have won
international recognition. In Sweden they have supplied the most
significant material up to the present time for determining the
influence of studies on physical development and the results of
intellectual overstrain.

It is to be hoped that when through empirical investigation we begin to
get acquainted with the real nature of children, the school and the home
will be freed from absurd notions about the character and needs of the
child, those absurd notions which now cause painful cases of physical
and psychical maltreatment, still called by conscientious and thinking
human beings in schools and in homes, education.

By Helen Key

The Century of the Child

Cr. 8vo. With Frontispiece. Net, $1.50

CONTENTS: The Right of the Child to Choose His Parents, The Unborn Race
and Woman's Work, Education, Homelessness, Soul Murder in the Schools,
The School of the Future, Religious Instruction, Child Labor and the
Crimes of Children. This book has gone through more than twenty German
Editions and has been published in several European countries. "A
powerful book."--N. Y. Times.

The Education of the Child

Reprinted from the Authorized American Edition of "The Century of the
Child," With Introductory Note by EDWARD BOK.

Cr. 8vo. Net 75 cents

"Nothing finer on the wise education of the child has ever been brought
into print. To me this chapter is a perfect classic; it points the way
straight for every parent, and it should find a place in every home in
America where there is a child."--EDWARD BOK, Editor of the Ladies' Home

Love and Marriage Cr. 8vo

Ellen Key is gradually taking a hold upon the reading public of this
country commensurate with the enlightenment of her views. In Europe and
particularly in her own native Sweden her name holds an honored place as
a representative of progressive thought.

New York G. P. Putnam's Sons London

Clever, original, and fascinating The Lost Art of Reading Mount Tom
Edition New Edition in Two Volumes

I. The Child and the Book

A Manual for Parents and for Teachers in Schools and Colleges

II. The Lost Art of Reading or, The Man and The Book

Two Volumes, Crown 8vo. Sold separately. Each net, $1,50

By Gerald Stanley Lee

"I must express with your connivance the joy I have had, the enthusiasm
I have felt, in gloating over every page of what I believe is the most
brilliant book of any season since Carlyle's and Emerson's pens were
laid aside. The title does not hint at any more than a fraction of
the contents. It is a highly original critique of philistinism and
gradgrindism in education, library science, science in general, and life
in general. It is full of humor, rich in style, and eccentric in form
and all suffused with the perfervid genius of a man who is not merely
a thinker but a force. Every sentence is tinglingly alive, and as if
furnished with long antennae of suggestiveness. I do not know who Mr.
Lee is, but I know this--that if he goes on as he has been, we need no
longer whine that we have no worthy successors to the old Brahminical
writers of New England.

"I have been reading with wonder and laughter and with loud cheers. It
is the word of all words that needed to be spoken just now. It makes
me believe that after all we have n't a great kindergarten about us
in authorship, but that there is virtue, race, sap in us yet. I can
conceive that the date of the publication of this book may well be the
date of the moral and intellectual renaissance for which we have long
been scanning the horizon."--WM. SLOANE KENNEDY in Boston Transcript.

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