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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

H           A  :        P          T           E           R

NATURE IN EDUCATION

ITAKD, in his classic book, Des premiers developments du Jeune
Sauvage de VAveyron (Of the first developments of the young
Savage of Aveyron), describes in detail the drama of the extra-
ordinary education which was directed towards dispelling the
mental darkness of an idiot and rescuing a man from a state of
savagery.

The savage of Aveyron was a child who had grown up in a
state of abandonment in the environment of Nature. After being
abandoned in a wood by assassins who thought they had killed
him, the boy was cured by natural means and -lived for many
years in a state of freedom and nakedness in the forests. At
last he was captured by hunters and was carried into the civilized
life of Paris; the scars on his small body were evidence of his
struggles with wild beasts and of the wounds sustained in his
falls from heights.

The child was mute when found and remained a mute; his
mentality, diagnosed by Pinel as that of an idiot, proved almost
incapable of assimilating intellectual education.

Yet scientific- pedagogy owes to this child the first advances
made in -it. Itard, a physician specialising in the infirmities of