The Window of Negligence

Battista Guarino, de Ordine Docendi et Studendi (5):

One must take care in every way not to beat students severely and harshly on account of their literary study. There is something servile in that, and a noble mind will wex so wondrous wroth that it hates literature because of the beatings, at a time when it has not even begun to taste the fruits of literary study. Furthermore, because they fear the beatings, they do not compose the declamations set to them with their own mind, but they bring forth things secretly composed by others. This is a capital crime, and most dangerous, because it deceives both parties: the teacher, who takes up false hope for the student; and the student, who does not understand that he lies about what they have done. It will therefore be more noble and more useful either to coax them with flattery or occasionally to introduce the fear of beatings in such a way that they fear that they are on the verge of being beaten straightaway. If the student lives without fear, that license will offer a wide-open window for negligence.

Image result for medieval schoolroom

Omnino danda erit opera, ne pueri propter litterarum disciplinam graviter et acriter verberentur; habet enim ea res servile quiddam, et generosus saepenumero animus ita indignatur, ut plagarum causa iam tum litteras oderit cum necdum gustare coeperit. Adde quod metu verberum declamationes eis propositas non ingenio proprio componunt, sed ab aliis occulte compositas afferent; quod capitale et perniciosissimum est, nam utrumque vehementer fallit: et praeceptorem, qui spem falsam praesumit; et discipulum, qui id non intelligit quod a se factum mentitur. Honestius igitur et utilius erit, vel blanditiis agere, vel interdum solo verberum terrore, ita ut plagae statim subsecuturae videantur; nam si securus fuerit, maximam neglegentiae fenestram licentia illa praebebit:

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