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Comenius - Didactica Magna - Abolish corporal punishment

Identifier

020659

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Comenius totally opposed any form of corporal punishment both on humanitarian grounds but also practical grounds:

A description of the experience

By application of force we are far more likely to produce a distaste for letters than love for them. 

Whenever, therefore we see that a mind is diseased and dislikes study, we should try to remove its indisposition by gentle remedies, but should on no account employ violent ones. 

The very sun in the heavens gives us a lesson on this point.  In early spring, when plants are young and tender, he does not scorch them, but warms and invigorates them by slow degrees……… the gardener proceeds on the same principle, and does not apply the pruning knife to plants that are immature.  In the same way a musician does not strike his lyre a blow with his fist or with a stick, nor does he throw it against the wall, because it produces a discordant sound; but setting to work on scientific principles, he tunes it and gets it in order. 

Just such a skilful and sympathetic treatment is necessary to instil a love of learning into the minds of our pupils and any other procedure will only convert their idleness into antipathy and their lack of interest into downright stupidity.

The source of the experience

Comenius

Activities

Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble