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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

THE HISTORY OF METHODS                     35

the individual to be educated, but on permanent treatment
which is capable of modifying them. Hence Itard's education
was scientific, because the measurement of hearing was only a
means leading up to the transformation of the partially deaf into
individuals who could hear. In the case of the " Savage of Avey-
ron," scientific methods very similar to those used by the founders
of experimental psychology had succeeded in restoring to social
life an individual so far removed from society that he appeared
as a deaf-mute, an idiot; and in changing him into a person who
heard and understood language as we speak and write it.

Similarly Seguin, with analytical methods very similar to
those of Fechner, but more ample, not only studied hundreds of
defective children assembled in the mad house in Paris, but trans-
formed them into men able to do useful work in the community,
fit to assimilate mental and artistic instruction.

I myself, using only what was called the study of the indivi-
dual by means of scientific instruments and mental tests, *had
transformed the defectives expelled from the schools as being
unfit for education, into individuals who entered into competi-
tion with the normal pupils in the schools. They were changed
into persons socially useful and educated like intelligent children.
Scientific education, therefore, was that which, while based on
science, modified and improved the individual

Scientific education, depending on objective research on the
fundamentals of psychology, ought to be capable of transform-
ing normal children. How? Certainly by raising them-above the
normal level, making them better men. A science of education
has not the purpose of merely " observing," but that of " trans-
forming " children.

These were the conclusions I arrived at: not only to observe,
but to transform. Observation had founded a new psychological
science, but it had transformed neither the schools nor the scholars*
It had added something to the ordinary schools though it had left
those schools in their original condition, neither the methods of
instruction nor those of education having varied.