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excessive. It is the excess which is wrong.
If I knock my knuckles against a door I probably utter some impatient word, and I confess I think none the worse of myself for doing so. I should be ashamed, however, of myself if I gave any sign of pain even when I burnt my finger if there were sufficient reason for concealing my suffering. So with children. Let us be reasonable and not exaggerate acts which in themselves are truly of little importance, of great importance only when higher considerations enter. By just and rational treatment we shall, nay we cannot but, form the highest character. Artificial pretences are out of place.
On the subject of cruelty, Locke thinks that the tendency which many children have to inflict pain on the lower animals should be carefully watched, and in connexion with this he animadverts strongly on the manners of wealthy children towards servants.
(6) Sauntering or Idleness.
First make sure whether it be at his lessons only that the boy is idle. If he is active in other things there is hope of him, and by counsel or severe measures you may get him to reform.
If, however, the idleness be constitutional the case is more difficult. The only remark of Locke's of any value with respect to such cases is to watch the boy and see whether he has a liking for any one thing and encourage this. For the main object is to get him to overcome the constitutional tendency, by getting him to work at something; be it what it may--beetlecollecting or carpentering, if not Latin or French.
The above question naturally suggests again to Locke's mind the question of compulsion, and he finds the means of getting children to attend to lessons by making their play a task. Order a boy to whip his top and not to stop for a certain time, and the boy will at once get disgusted with the amusement and gladly accept his reading or writing, as a change. Whatever elder people choose to make a reward or a task can be made so.
Playthings. As to playthings : let the children have very few, and invent what more they want for themselves. Nothing is more hurtful than an excessive abundance of toys. It tends to create luxurious habits and immoderate desires.
(7) Lying § 131. “Lying is so ready and cheap a cover for any miscarriage and so much in fashion among all sorts of people that a child can hardly avoid observing the use which is made of it on all occasions, and so can scarce be kept without great care from getting into it. But it is so ill a quality and the mother of so many ill ones that spawn from it and take shelter under it, that a child should be brought up in the greatest horror of it imaginable.” The first lie, he thinks, should be treated with surprise and astonishment that such a thing should be possible. The second with coldness and displeasure of all about him. If this fail, the lying may be held to be deliberate and therefore a sign of obstinacy. In accordance with his fundamental idea, beating must now be resorted to. When children commit faults they will “like the rest of the sons of Adam be apt to make excuses. This borders on untruth and they must be urged to be ingenuous. But when they confess ingenuously they must be commended for this, and not punished for the fault which they have confessed. And this condonation of the fault should be thorough ; no allusion should afterwards be made to it. If sometimes there be a few slips in truth do not be too ready to take notice of them, lest the boy should feel that he has lost his reputation with you, than which nothing can be more
hurtful. When you have once detected him in a lie you must be most vigilant and severe.
(8) Truth and Good Nature. Having laid the foundations of virtue in a true knowledge of God, the next thing is to keep him exactly to speaking the truth and to cultivate his “good nature." By this Locke means his benevolence, for as he truly remarks “injustice generally springs from too great love of ourselves and too little of others."
(9) Wisdom. Wisdom is the managing of one's affairs ably and with foresight in this world. It has however a moral side. In its full sense it can only be learned from experience and observation, but we can at least guard the young, with a view to wisdom, against that “ape of wisdom” cunning, resorted to by those who cannot gain their ends by direct ways. Accustom them in truth and sincerity to a submission to reason, and as much as may be to reflection on their actions.
(10) Good-breeding. On the subject of good-breeding Locke has some good observations. He speaks at length and with such wisdom and knowledge of the world that I would recommend teachers to read what he says. Indeed it is to young men and women alone that his remarks can be serviceable. In the case of mere boys, I think we have only to cultivate good-nature and a moderate estimate of themselves. The rest will come from the experience of life, and above all from the society they keep: for as Locke truly says, “the tincture of company sinks deeper than the outside.” The breaches of good breeding he says may be all avoided by observing this one rule, “Not to think meanly of ourselves and not to think meanly of others.”
(11) Religion. Religion being ($ 136) “ the foundation of all virtue, there ought very early to be imprinted on a child's mind a true notion of God as of the independent Supreme Being, Author and Maker of all things, from Whom we receive all our good, Who loves us and gives us all things”: but this without any attempt to enter into the subtler questions of Deity. Simple prayer, night and morning, should be practised.
Knowledge or Learning,-(a) Method,—() Materials,
Locke is a utilitarian in this sense that he holds that a boy should learn what will be useful to him as a man in intercourse with his fellows and in the conduct of ordinary affairs. He is also cyclopaedic, because he advocates the learning of the elements of many things. In both these respects Locke is in accord with almost every thinker in these days. It is only a gradually decreasing number of secondary schoolmasters who differ from him. Were it not however for the argument of the treatise on the Conduct of the Understanding we should quarrel with him as to his restricted use of the term useful.” Next to moral principles and a religious habit of mind, nothing surely is so “useful” to a man as a vigorous and sound judgment. The materials and methods of instruction have to be considered in view of this supreme end—what Locke himself would call Wisdom. The great merit of Locke is that he denounced the rigid classicism of his time which led to instruction exclusively in the instruments of knowledge and of thought-not in knowledge and thought themselves. As regards materials of instruction Locke was a Realist as opposed to the Formalists, but this does not mean that he waa