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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

TEACHING METHODS                          73

It will be seen that the scheme is quite simple; that is because
I intend that the doctor and the teacher be guided by the condi-
tions in which they are carrying on their observations.

The anthropological investigations are carefully fixed in order
that the plan should be respected, and that the fundamental
anthropological research should be secured. I then advise that
every year the following measurements should be taken for every
child: the circumference of the head, the two maximum diametres
of the head, the circumference of the chest, the index figures for
head, weight and height, and such others, selected as opportunity
arises, as may be suggested by modern treatises on pedagogic
anthropology. The doctor is urged to carry out such investigations
within the week, or at least within the month in which the child
completes his first year, and if possible on the anniversary of his
birth. So, by observing this rule, the doctor lessens his task; in
the 365 days of the year only 50 children at the most complete one
year of their existence; this allows the doctor to make his observa-
tions from time to time without his being overburdened with work
in the slightest degree. It is the teacher's duty to inform the doctor
of the various birthdays of the children.

Conducted in this way anthropometry has also educational
applications.

Children, on leaving the Children's House, will certainly be *
able to answer the folio wing questions: On what day of the week
were you born? On what day of the month? When does your
birthday come?

And in addition to that they would have acquired orderly
habits, and above all they would get accustomed to observing
themselves. (I may say here that little children take great
pleasure in measuring themselves. At the first glance which a
teacher turns on a child and the word * height,' he kicks off his
shoes quickly with a joyful laugh, runs and places himself on the
machine, taking up of his own accord the correct position so per-
fectly that the teacher has only to lower the pointer and take the
reading.)