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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

INAUGURAL ADDRESS                        55

the whole life of the teacher in the accomplishment of her high
mission.

This idea of the collective ownership of the school is new and
very beautiful and profoundly educational.

The parents know that the " Children's House " is their pro-
perty, and is maintained by a portion of the rent they pay. The
mothers may go at any hour of the day to watch, to admire or to
meditate upon the life there. It is in every way a continual stimulus
to reflection, and a fount of evident blessing and help to their own
children. We may say that the mothers adore the " Children's
House," and the directress. How many delicate and thoughtful
attentions these good mothers show to the teacher of their little ones!
They often leave sweets or flowers upon the sill of the schoolroom
window as a silent token, reverently, almost religiously, given.

And when after three years of such a novitiate, the mothers
send their children to the common schools, they are excellently
prepared to co-operate in the work of education, and will
acquire a sentiment rarely found even among the best classes,
namely the idea that they must merit through their own conduct
and with their own virtue, the possession of an educated son.

Another advance made by the " Children's House" as an
institution is related to scientific pedagogy. This branch of peda-
gogy, heretofore being based upon the anthropological study of
the pupil whom it is to educate, has touched only a few of the
positive questions which tend to transform education. For a man
is not only a biological but a social product, and the social environ-
ment of individuals in the process of education is the home.
Scientific pedagogy will seek in vain to better the new generation
if it does not succeed in influencing also the environment within
which this new generation grows. I believe, therefore, that in
opening the house to the light of new truths and to the progress
of civilization we have solved the problem of being able to modify
the environment of the new generation, and have thus made it
possible to apply, in a practical way, the fundamental principles
of scientific pedagogy.