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H          A          P          T           E          R          VII


OUR material for the development of the senses has a history of
its own. It represents a selection, based upon careful psycho-
logical experiments; from material used by Itard and Seguin in
their attempts to educate deficient and mentally defective children;
from objects used as tests in experimental psychology; and from a
series of material which I designed in the first period to my own
experimental work. The way in which these different means were
used by the children, the reactions they provoked in them, the
frequency with which they used these objects, and above all the
development they rendered possible, furnished us gradually with
reliable criteria for the elimination, the modification or the accept-
ance of these means in our apparatus. Colour, size, shape, all
their qualities in brief were experimentally established. As in this
book we do not deal with this phase of our work, it is worth while
to mention this fact.

To avoid jnisunderstanding and refute criticism expressed after
our Method became known all over the world, it may be equally
useful to state the aim of our sense training. There is the obvious
value of the training and refinement of the senses which, by widen-
ing the field of perception, furnish an ever more solid and richer