Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “Discipline, Education and Democratic Spirit” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “Discipline, Education and Democratic Spirit” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Passages with Solved Precis

Our aim is to train up human being for freedom, for justice for peace. How shall it be done? In his recent book, Which Way to Peace? Bertrand Russell has written a significant paragraph on this subject. ‘Schools’, he says, have very greatly improved during the present century, at any rate in the countries which have remained democratic. In the countries which have military dictatorship, including Russia, there has been a great retrogression during the last ten years, involving a revival of strict discipline, implicit obedience, a ridiculously subservient behaviour towards teachers and passive rather than active methods of acquiring knowledge.’

Dr. Maria Montessori has developed the same theme in a recent pamphlet: ‘The child who has never learned to act alone, to direct his own actions, to govern his own will, grows into an adult who is easily led and must -always lean upon other. The obedience which is expected of the child both in the school-an obedience admitting neither of reason nor of justice; prepares the man to be docile to blind forces. The punishment, so common in schools, which consists in subjecting the culprit to public reprimand almost tantamount to the torture of the pillory, fills the soul with a crazy, unreasoning fez:- of public opinion. In the midst of these adaptations, and many others which set up a permanent inferiority complex, is born the spirit of devotion; not to say of idolatry—to the condottieri, the leaders’. Dr. Montessori might have aided that the inferiority complex often finds expression in compensatory brutality and cruelty. The traditional education is a training for life in a hierarchical militaristic society, in which people are abjectly obedient to other superiors and inhuman to their inferiors. Each slave ‘takes it out of the slave below.

In the light of these two citations we are able to understand more clearly why history should have taken the course it, actually has taken in recent years. The intensification of militarism and nationalism, the rise of dictatorship, the spread of authoritarian rule at the expense of democratic government – these are phenomena which, like all other events in human history, have a variety of interacting causes. Most conspicuous amongst these, of course, are the economic and political causes. But these do not stand alone, there are also emotional and psychological causes. Among these must be reckoned the fact that, for the last sixty years, all children have been subjected to the strict, authoritarian discipline of State schools.

In the second half of the nineteenth century primary education was made universally compulsory. For the first time all children were subjected to strict, systematic, unremitting discipline — the kind of discipline—”‘That produces a militaristic mentality, at once obedient and domineering”. The decline of democracy has coincided exactly with the rise to manhood and political power of the second generation of the compulsorily educated proletariat. This is no fortuitous coincidence. By 1920 all the Europeans who had escaped compulsory primary education were either dead or impotently old. The masses had gone through, first, six or seven years of drilling in school, then, in most countries, anything from one to three years of conscription, and finally the four years of the war. Enough military discipline to make them at once obedient and domineering.’ The most actively domineering once climbed to the top, the rest, obeyed and were given, as a reward, the privilege of bullying those beneath them in the new political hierarchies.


Discipline, Education and Democratic Spirit

Authoritarian discipline in school education had killed democratic spirit. Consequently militarism, nationalism and dictatorship are intensified. Though there were economic and political causes also, yet psychological reasons for argurnenting anti-democratic forces were more important. Education provided the psychological causes. Primary education, which made students almost slaves, was made compulsory in the latter half of the 19th century. Masses had developed slavish mentality because of 6 to 7 years of this type of education followed by 4 years’ compulsory service in the army. As this generation of compulsorily educated grew up the other generation was either old or dead. When the new generation rose to power democracy declined. But it was not a coincidence. In fact, human beings are to be trained for freedom, justice and peace. Russell thinks, in democratic countries education has improved though under dictatorship students are the slaves of the teachers and education is passive. Dr. Montessori also held that obedience to teachers and punishment at schools develop inferiority complex and cruelty.


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