What do famed novelist Charles Dickens, British educator Charlotte Mason, and 19th-century Italian priest and canonized saint John Bosco have in common? For one, they all recognized and taught that physical violence does violence to education. For Dickens, one sees this most clearly in his autobiographical novel David Copperfield, where one easily perceives how Copperfield’s youthful education was stunted by the physical tyranny first of his stepfather, Mr. Murdstone, and then by his headmaster, Mr. Creakle. Although Copperfield was naturally gifted as a student, his studies could not flourish under the threat and actual use of force.
In a series of

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