36 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD The new methods, if they were run on scientific lines, ought to change completely both the school and its methods, ought to give rise to a new form of education. The central fact in the scientific education of defectives had been that the idiots and those below normal did not respond to teaching and could not execute orders. Hence it was necessary to have recourse to other means which would be adjusted to the capacity of each individual. Education of this type had been a piece of research, a scien- tific experiment, an attempt to investigate the possibilities inherent in the scholar, and to offer him means, stimuli, which might awaken whatever energy was left in him and employ it in a perma- nent fashion, augmenting it with and co-ordinating it by individual exercises. The teacher when faced with a deaf person, with an idiot, as with a new-born child, is powerless. Only experimental science can point the way to a new practical education. My desire had been to experiment with the methods elabo- rated with so much success by Seguin on children in the first ele- mentary classes when they presented themselves in school, un- disciplined and illiterate, at the age of six. But I had never thought of applying them in infant schools. It was chance which shed a ray of light into my mind. We are generally hampered by habits and prejudices, and our logical power is left unused. Perhaps it was logical to apply methods used for defectives to little children when these also were regarded as being impossible to educate, inaccessible to teaching because the mind had not yet reached a high enough level of maturity. It is possible to draw comparisons between defectives and normal children if we consider children of different ages. Com- pare those who have not the power to develop (defectives) with those who have not yet had time to develop (very small children)* Backward children are judged mentally as being children whose mentality closely resembles that of normal children some years.