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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"


IF at the publication of the third Italian edition I felt compelled
to justify the reprinting of a book written at the beginning of my
work, I must do so even with greater reason at the publication of
the present edition, 42 years later. My motives are still the same,
but the development of my work and the conclusions drawn from
the revelations given by the children in our schools far exceed our
most legitimate expectations. It was impossible to bring this
book up-to-date without re-writing it completely, not only as far
as its contents, but also as far as the wording is concerned. Cir-
cumstances did not permit this and what would be needed is a
complete series of specialized publications dealing with the various
psychological and didactic aspects of our extensive experience afl
over the world. Some works have already been published (cf. The
Secret of Childhood, The Absorbent Mind, Education for a New
World, Educating the Human Potential Psycho-Arithmetic, Psycho-
Geometry, etc.), others are in preparation.

In the present edition I have tried merely to clarify certain
matters and especially to stress the fact that the result of our
work has been more than the creation of a new method of educa-
tion. The conclusions reached are expressed in the new title:
THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD. After some chapters I have given
a short survey of more recent developments. The reader is
requested, therefore, to bear in mind that the greater portion of
this book was written at the very beginning of our experiments
and often refers to scientific theories and experiments then preva-
lent or to situations of those days. The times have changed,