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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

THE HISTORY OF METHODS                     33

who will never be able to adapt himself to his social surroundings.
" Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off from
our parts."

The principle that the teacher must undergo a special training
which touches her sentiment and does not consist merely in an
intellectual study, and again that education is fundamentally a
" contact of souls " and that the teacher must feel " respect and
sympathy " for the children she educates, is the characteristic con-
tribution given by Pestalozzi in his schools. This, however, is
only a first step essential in order that the child's soul be awakened.
Afterwards the activity of the child must find means (and scien-
tific means for that matter) which lead to development. This
second part is the contribution of scientific pedagogy. That is
why we affirm today, in virtue of our experience, that the teacher
is the trait'd'imion between the child—distracted, lulled or re-
pressed—and the educative environment prepared for his activity.
Very often this contact between the child and the environment
cannot be established, unless he be delivered first from the burden,
of previous repression and its fatal consequences. In that case
a healing, or as we say, a normalizing process has to be initiated
before the means of development can be offered. Many of our
teachers suffered great disappointment at their lack of success,,
because they started their work as if this process had taken place,
and overlooked the necessity of this readjustment.

Seguin's wearisome method, however, was laid aside, because
this enormous expenditure of effort was not justified by the poverty
in the final results.

Everyone said the same thing: there was still so much to

be done for normal children!

*                  *                   *                   *

Having acquired faith in Seguin's method through my expe-
rience,, after I had retired from active work among defectives,.
I set myself to study the works of Itard and Seguin. I felt the
need for meditating over them. So I did what I had never done,
and what very few perhaps repeat—I copied out in Italian, from
3