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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

2                 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

so-called scientific pedagogy has never yet been either worked out
or defined. It is something vague about which one talks, but
which, in reality, does not exist.

Some years ago, there arose in Italy, under the directions of
practical doctors, some so-called Schools of Scientific Pedagogy
which had for their object the training of teachers in the new
trend of pedagogy. These schools were a great success, and gathered
together, it may be said, all Italian teachers. The teachers,
before the new ideas had come to us from Germany and France,
had already been interested by the Italian schools of anthropology
in. the methodical observation of children during the various
periods of growth and in measurements made with exact instru-
ments. Sergi, for example, for about thirty years had been
spreading assiduously among the teachers the idea of seeking through
scientifically directed observation a source for reforming educa-
tion. "Today in social life," said Sergi, " there exists an urgent
need—that of reforming methods of education and instruction,
and whoever strives to reach this goal is striving for the regene-
ration of man."

In his pedagogical writings collected in one volume—Edu-
cazione de Istruzione1 (Pensieri)—in which he gathers together
his propaganda lessons and lectures, he indicates as a path leading
to the desired reform the methodical study of the person being
educated, conducted under the guidance of pedagogic anthropo-
logy and experimental psychology.

" For several years I have struggled with an idea which, the
more I think of it, the more do I find right and useful for human
instruction and education; it is that, if we are to have natural
methods to attain these objects, it is necessary that we have
numerous exact and reasoned observations made about man,
and particularly about. the stage of infancy, in which there must
be laid the foundations of education and culture.

** Measuring the head, the height, etc. does not, it is true,
constitute pedagogy, but it means following the way which leads

* Trevesini Publishers, 1892.