Rewards and punishments, to speak frankly, are the desk of the soul, that is, a means of enslaving a child’s spirit, and better suited to provoke than to prevent deformities.
The child must see for himself what he can do, and it is important to give him not only the means of education but also to supply him with indicators which tell him his mistakes……The child’s interest in doing better, and his own constant checking and testing, are so important to him that his progress is assured. His very nature tends toward exactitude and the ways of obtaining it appeal to him.
The best instruction is that which uses the least words sufficient for the task.
The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practised to perfection only when working among children.The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practised to perfection only when working among children.
Under the urge of nature and according to the laws of development, though not understood by the adult, the child is obliged to be serious about two fundamental things … the first is the love of activity… The second fundamental thing is independence.
The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned.
During this early period, education must be understood as a help to the unfolding of the child’s inborn psychic powers. This means that we cannot use the orthodox methods of teaching, which depends on talk.
The child is truly a miraculous being, and this should be felt deeply by the educator.
In the mysterious period which follows immediately after birth, the child-who is a psychic entity endowed with a specially refined form of sensitiveness – might be regarded as an ego asleep. But all of a sudden he wakes up and hears delicious music; all his fibers begin to vibrate. The baby might think that no other sound had ever reached his ears, but really it was because his soul was not responsive to other sounds. Only human speech had any power to stir him.
This system in which a child is constantly moving objects with his hands and actively exercising his senses, also takes into account a child’s special aptitude for mathematics. When they leave the material, the children very easily reach the point where they wish to write out the operation. They can thus carryout an abstract mental operation and acquire a kind of natural and spontaneous inclination for mental calculations.