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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

ELEVATION                                  235

This fact, in a fundamental manner, strikes at the intentions of
psychometry (and in general of all experimental psychology based
on tests),  because it displays in age the mental levels which it-
considered absolute as a natural variation in individuals.

This educational method may also be taken into consideration
by the advocates of experimental psychology who hope to estimate-
by means of instantaneous reactions the level of mental develop-
ment, almost making an absolute measure of the whole through
one detail, as one would do if one were to calculate the growth
of the body at various ages by measuring the height. Systematic
exercise of the senses would upset these proportions, showing
that they have not demonstrated an absolute feature in mental
growth.

If it is desired to obtain from experimental psychology a
practical application, wherever it may be attempted, to the reform
of educational methods in schools, then the, mistake in priijciple-
becomes all the clearer.

If scientific pedagogy is to be established it will have to take
as the starting-point active and modifying stimuli and not
measuring stimuli.

This standard constituted the very beginning of my researches.
In practice it succeeded in establishing an experimental pedagogy
for normal children, and at the same time, in revealing mental,
qualities which had not previously been known in children.

The psychology of the study, with its reactions and its tests,,
introduced into elementary schools to reform them, has not suc-
ceeded in influencing the practical work in the school itself or
changing its methods of education.

The logical consequence has merely been to catch a glimpse
of the possibility of modifying examinations, that is tests of the
scholar, and for a time English-speaking America seemed very
keen on considering seriously the substitution of the scientific-
examination of individual attitudes for the old examination
for testing of what had been learnt. There was thus placed
at the end of the studies the same examination as that adopted in.