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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

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H          A          P           T          E          R           IV


As soon as I knew that I had,at my disposal a school of little chil-
dren, I made up my mind to study their education from the
scientific point of view, and to abandon the methods followed
more or less by others who confused the study of children with
their education, and who gave the name of scientific pedagogy to
the study of children taught in the ordinary schools which remain
unaltered by it. The new pedagogy, founded on precise and
objective studies, ought, on the contrary, to transform the school
and act directly on the scholars, bringing new life to them.

As long as science confined itself to getting to know the
children better, without rescuing them in a practical manner from
the many evils which it has been discovering in the ordinary schools
and in the old methods of education, no one had any right to pro-
claim the existence of a * scientific pedagogy'. As long as research
did nothing beyond propounding new problems there was no
ground for declaring that a scientific pedagogy had been evolved,
since it is the solution of problems which it ought to accomplish,
not just the exposition of the difficulties and the dangers which
exist in the ordinary schools, both those which are hidden and
those which obviously permeate the education of children in these