Friday, March 17, 2017

Inspiring the Love of Reading

Wherein Gerdil shows himself to have a better understanding of how children learn than many do:

It is a charming speculation to pretend to lead children through the whole course of their studies by always amusing them. The most necessary studies require hard work and self-denial. We may partially mitigate the coercive quality of study, but we cannot entirely remove it, and still hope to make solid progress. And therefore it is not by means of these kinds of studies that we will inspire children with a love for reading. But we will succeed with reading that is amusing and instructive, so long as we take care not to propose it as part of their studies, -- for the very word will ruin everything, -- but rather as a reward for applying themselves to their studies.

[H. S. Gerdil, The Anti-Emile, Frank, tr. St. Augustine's Press (South Bend, IN: 2011) p. 111.]

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