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from the psychological observation of the child and his relationship
to his environment to a study of the origins of lines and figures
" and of their connection with the plane surface.

He says that the child will draw a vertical line easily but the
horizontal will very often become a curve because * nature orders
it*; and that this command of nature is represented by the fact
that man sees the horizon as a curved line!

Seguin's example is valuable as being an illustration of the
necessity for special education fitted to train man in observation
and to direct logical thought. Observation ought to be absolutely
objective, free from all .preconceptions. Seguin's perception
in this case is that geometrical design must prepare for writing,
and that prevents him from discovering the truly natural method*
necessary for such preparation. Another of his preconceptions is
that the deviations of the lines or the inexactitute with which the
child draws them, is due to the mind and the eye, not to the hand;
therefore he wearies himself out for weeks and months in explain-
ing the direction of the lines and in directing the vision of the

Seguin's idea seems to be that a good method ought to start
from above; geometry, the intelligence of the child, and certain
abstract relationships are alone worthy of being taken into

. Is this not a common mistake?

A great deal of time and intellectual energy are lost in the
world because falsehood seems to be great and truth small.

Seguin's method of teaching writing illustrates the tortuosity
of the paths which we follow in teaching, and that because of an
innate tendency to complicate things, analogous to that which
makes us attach value only to complicated things. So we haver
Seguin teaching geometry in order to teach writing, and making
the child-mind undertake the great effort of understanding geo-
metrical abstractions in order to relieve him from the much simpler
task of drawing a printed Z>, Further, will the child not have to
make the effort of forgetting the printing, in order to learn cursive