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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

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On the psychological side, it is known that to enhance any
single quality, it is necessary to isolate the senses as far as possible.
A tactile impression is clearer if it is confined to an object which
does not conduct heat, that is, which does not at the same time
give rise to sensations of temperature, and if the subject stands in
.a dark, silent place, free from ocular or auditory impressions which
disturb the tactile impressions, the process may be doubled—in the
subject isolated from all other impressions arising in the surround-
ings; in the material with its system graduated in respect of one
quality only.

This precision, which serves as the standard of perfection at
which we must aim, renders possible a work of internal and
external analysis fitted to bring order into the mind of the child.

The little child, who is by nature an eager explorer of his
•surroundings because he has not yet had time or means for getting
to know them intimately, willingly * closes his eyes' or is blind-
folded in order to shut out the light when he is exploring shapes
with his lands, or willingly accepts darkness in order to listen to
slight noises.


To the above-mentioned characters, others have to be added;
these, however, do not refer exclusively to sense-objects, but must
be made to include everything which surrounds the child. They
are as follows:

1. The Control of Error. In several cases the materials offered
to the child involve in themselves the * control of error,* as is
instanced by the solid insets; these have wooden bases which are
provided with holes into which are fitted cylinders of graduated
dimensions, ranging from narrow to wide, or from tall to short,
or from small to large. As the hollows correspond exactly to the
cylinders to be deposited in them, it is not possible to place them
Tvrongly, since at the end there would remain one without a
place; this indicates that an error has been made.