Skip to main content

Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS                     3

to it, for we cannot educate anyone unless we possess direct
knowledge of them."

The authority of Sergi gave rise to the conviction that once
the individual was known through the medium of experiments
the art of education would come into existence almost naturally,
and, as often happens, that gave rise in his followers to con-
fusion of ideas, namely of confusing the experimental study
of the pupil with his education. And since the one was made to
appear as the way to reach the other, which ought to spring from
it naturally, pedagogic anthropology founded by Sergi was there-
fore called in Italy Scientific Pedagogy. The converts to the
new term carried as their standard the " Biographical Chart,"
supposing that once the flag was boldly raised on the school
battlefield, the victory would be won.

Hence the school of Scientific Pedagogy taught the teachers
to make anthropometric measurements, to use instruments
for ascertaining tactile sensibility, to collect data for case histories.
In this way the body of scientific masters was formed.

Certainly, in other countries, nothing better or more extensive
was done.

In France, in England and especially in America, there
were attempted studies in anthropology and pedagogic psycho-
logy in the elementary schools, inspired by the illusion of ex-
tracting from anthropometry and from psychometry the reform of
the school. Following this came the study of the individual,
extending from the psychology of Wundt to the tests of Binet,
but all the theories were vitiated by the same mistake. Besides,
scarcely ever was it the teacher who carried out such research,
but doctors who were more interested in their own special science
than in education, and who sought to make experimental con-
tributions to psychology and anthropometry rather than to organize
their work and their objects for the building tip of scientific peda-
gogy. Finally, the anthropology and the psychology were never
applied to educating the children in the schools; never did the
teachers in their practice rise to the level of the theoritical scientist.