托福口语素材：On education of Character
来源 :中华考试网 2018-08-16中
托福考试口语素材：On education of Character
Some people believe that one’s personality changes as they grow older while others believe that one’s personality remains the same over the time. What is your opinion and why?
On education of Character论性格的教育
When it is sought to produce a certain kind of behavior in a child or animal, there are two different techniques which may be followed. We may, on the one hand, by means of rewards and punishmentscause the child or animal to perform or abstain from certain precise acts; or we may, on the other hand,seek to produce in the child or animal such emotions as will lead, on the whole, to acts of the kind desired.
By a suitable distribution of rewards and punishments, it is possible to control a very large part of overt behavior. By this method boys who are naturally timid can acquire physical courage, and children who are sensitive to pain can be taught a stoical endurance. Good manners, if not imposed earlier, can be learnt in adolescence by means of no worse punishment than the contemptuous lifting of an eyebrow. What is called ‘good form’ is acquired by almost all who are exposed to it, merely from fear of the bad opinion incurred by infringing it. Those who have been taught from an early age to fear the displeasure of their group as the worst of misfortunes will die on the battlefield, in a war of which they understand nothing, rather than suffer the contempt of fools.
As a social force, the behaviorist method of ‘conditioning’ is therefore very powerful and very successful. It can and does cause men to act in ways quite different from those in which they would otherwise have acted, and it is capable of producing an impressive uniformity of overt behavior. Nevertheless, it has its limitations. (之前全部是让步，这里Nevertheless 后面才开始进入文章要探讨的核心)
It was through Freud that these limitations first became known in a scientific manner, though men of psychological insight had long ago perceived them in an intuitive way. For our purposes, the essential discovery of psycho-analysis is this: that an impulse which is prevented, by behaviorist methods, form finding overt expression in action, does not necessarily die, but is driven underground, and finds some new outlet which has not been inhibited by training. Often the new outlet will be more harmful than the one that has been prevented, and in any case the deflection involves emotional disturbance and unprofitable expenditure of energy. It is therefore necessary to pay more attention to emotion, as opposed to overt behavior, than is done by those who advocate conditioning as alone sufficient in the training of character. (文章主旨在这里：需要对情感给予更多的关注)
There are, moreover, some undesirable habits in regard to which the method of rewards and punishments fails completely, even form its own point of view. (进一步论述，仅仅使用赏罚的手段去培养习惯是失败的)One of these is bed-wetting. When this persists beyond the age at which it usually stops, punishment only makes it more obstinate. Although this fact has long been known to psychologists, it is still unknown to most schoolmasters, who for years on end punish boys having this habit, without ever noticing that the punishment does not produce reform. The cause of the habit, in older boys, is usually some deep-seated unconscious psychological disturbance, which must be brought to the surface before a cure can be effected.
The same kind of psychological mechanism applies in many less obvious instance. In the case of definite nervous disorders this is now widely recognized. (进一步举证无法通过奖赏和惩罚的手段来处理的，由心理机制引发的问题)Kleptomania, for example, is not uncommon in children, and, unlike ordinary thieving, it cannot be cured by punishment, but only by ascertaining and removing its psychological cause. What is less recognized is that we all suffer, to a greater or less degree, from nervous disorders having an emotional origin. A man is called sane when he is as sane as the average of his contemporaries; but in the average man many of the mechanisms which determine his opinions and actions are quite fantastic, so much so that in a world of real sanity they would be called insane. It is dangerous to produce good social behavior by means which leave the anti-social emotions untouched. So long as these emotions, while persisting, are denied all outlet, they will grow stronger and stronger, leading to impulses of cruelty which will at last become irresistible. In the man of weak will, these impulses may break out in crime, or insome form of behavior to which social penalties are attached. In the man of strong will, they take even more undesirable forms. He may be a tyrant in the home, ruthless in business, bellicose in politics, persecuting in his social morality; for all these qualities other men with similar defects of character will admire him; he will die universally respected, after having spread hatred and misery over a city, a nation, or an epoch according to his ability and his opportunities. Correct behavior combined with bad emotions is not enough, therefore, to make a man a contributor to the happiness of mankind. If this is our criterion of desirable conduct, something more must be sought in the education of character.
同样的心理机制也适用于许多不那么显著的例子。在明确的神经失常的情形中，这一点已得到广泛的认同。 例如，盗窃癖在孩子中并不少见;它与通常意义上的盗窃的不同之处在于，治愈它不能通过惩罚，而只能通过查明和消除它的心理诱因。人们认识不足的是，我们都或多或少地有点神经失调，这种失调有着情感上的根源。如果一个人与他同时代的普通人一样甚至健全，他就会被认为是神智健全的人;但在一个普通人那里，决定他言行的许多机制也是非常莫名其妙的，所以这样的人在一个真正神智健全的世界里仍要被认作是神智不健全的人。想不触动反社会的情感而产生良好的社会行为，是很危险的。 只要这些情感还存在，就不能堵死他们的所有出口，否则他们将会越来越强烈，最终导致无法抗拒的残酷冲动。在意志坚强的人那里，这些冲动可能爆发为犯罪，或其他社会必须予以处罚的行为。在意志坚强的人那里，则可能表现为更坏的形式。他可能在家中是个暴君，在商业中是个无情者，在政治上是个好斗者，在社会道德的意义上是个迫害狂;所有这些品格都会使他受到与他具有相似性格缺陷的人们的羡慕;他播下的仇恨和不幸遍及一座城市，一个国家，甚至一个时代---这取决于他的能力和机遇;他在死亡时会受到普遍的尊重。因此，一个人光有适当的行为，如果他有一颗坏心，是不足以对人类的幸福有所贡献的。如果衡量好的行为的标准是人类的幸福，就需要在性格教育中作出更多的努力。
Experience of children shows that it is possible to operate upon feeling, and not only upon outward behavior, by giving children an environment in which desirable emotions shall become common and undesirable emotions rare. (从情感的培养的角度谈，对儿童心理状态的影响)Throughout childhood, though to a continually diminishing extent, there is need of the feeling of safety. For this purpose, kindness and a pleasant routine are the essentials. The relation with adults should be one of play and physical ease, but not of emotional actresses. There should be close intimacy with other children. Above all, there should be opportunity for initiative in construction, in exploration, and in intellectual and artistic direction. The child has two opposite needs, safety and freedom, of which the latter gradually grows at the expense of the former. The affection given by adults should be such as to cause a feeling of safety, but onto such as to limit freedom or to arouse a deep emotional response in the child. Play, which is a vital need of childhood, should be contributed not only by other children, but also by parents, and is essential to the best relation between parents and children.
I am not an advocate of absolute freedom, but I am an advocate of certain forms of freedom which most adults find unendurable. There should be no enforced respect for grow-ups, who should allow themselves to be called fools whenever children wish to call them so. We cannot prevent our children from thinking us fools by merely forbidding them to utter their thoughts; in fact, they are more likely to think ill of us if they dare not say so. Children should not be forbidden to swear—not because it is desirable that they should swear, but because it is desirable that they should think that it does not matter whether they do or not, since this is a true proposition. They should be free entirely from the sex taboo, and not checked when their conversation seems to inhibited adults to be indecent. If they express opinions on religion or politics or morals, they may be met with argument, provided it is genuine argument, but not if it is really dogma: the adult may, and should, suggest considerations to them, but should not impose conclusion.
Given such conditions, children may grow up fearless and fundamentally happy, without the resentment that comes of thwarting or the excessive demands that are produced by an atmosphere of hothouse affection. Their intelligence will be untrammeled, and their views on human affairs will have the kindliness that comes of contentment.
(education and social order, 1932)