Scout, who has been talked to in adult fashion by her father in which one person reasons with another, does not understand why Miss Caroline punishes her when she simply tries to help her understand the social order in Maycomb. As a very intelligent child who has been taught to reason, Scout is nonplussed by Miss Caroline's instructions that she stop reading the Mobile Register with her father because he does not know how to teach. Miss Caroline vows that she will undo the damage that Atticus has made:
"It's best to begin reading with a fresh mind. You tell him I'll take over fro her and try to undo the damage--"
After school is over, Scout talks with her brother Jem, complaining of Miss Caroline's remarks. Jem tries to explain to her that Miss Caroline has learned teaching methods from the educational reformer John Dewey, and she is introducing the new method to Scout's class, but humorously he confuses this with the library system of arranging books:
"I'm just trying to tell you, the new way they're teachin' the first grade, stubborn. It's the Dewey Decimal System."
In addition to Scout's competency in reading, Miss Caroline has "caught" Scout writing, and scolds her for another activity not meant for first grade, Scout finds her teacher's thinking that a student should be prevented from learning something simply because of grade or age inane and completely illogical.