Skip to main content

Full text of "Fundamentals of child study; a discussion of instincts and other factors in human development, with practical applications"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at jhttp : //books . qooqle . com/ 















All right* rturtid 



5 2 MM. 



R 1911 L 

CorracvT, 1903, 

Set up, electrotyped, sad published October, 1903. Reprinted 
April, October, 1904. 

• • • • •• 

Korisoott &wn 

J. S. Cuahing & Co. - Berwick * 8m1tn Co, 

Norwood, Mete., DJ9.A. 

To my lamented Friend 


whose generous and genial personality has gladdened 
and ennobled many lives, and whose broad views, 
stimulating presence, and suggestive conversations 
have often inspired and directed my thought and 
work as an individual and an educator 

Sfjfe Borit la Sttfectimtatelg BeMcateta 


This book is an attempt to present, in an organized 
form, an outline of the new science of child study for 
investigators, students, teachers, and parents. It is 
the fruit of fourteen years' experience in studying and 
teaching child study, and of seven years' experience 
as a father. Most of the work has been presented 
successfully, in nearly its present form, to normal 

The great task of the author has been to decide what 
to leave out of the book. Many paragraphs might 
easily have been expanded into chapters. It was the 
original intention to summarize all the principal child- 
study investigations that have been made. Lack of 
space and the fact that much of the literature of 
child study is in the nature of preliminary studies 
likely to be superseded by later investigations, caused 
this plan to be abandoned; hence only a few specific 
facts and figures are quoted, while prominence is given 
to the foundations of child study in other sciences, 
and to the more general, permanent, and practical 
truths thus far revealed by students of children. 

The treatment of each topic is, in a way, complete 
in itself, though related to every other and intended 
to be worked out more completely by reading, obser- 


vation, experiment, and discussion, so far as time will 
permit. To aid readers and students in assimilating 
and supplementing the text, exercises and references 
are given at the close of each chapter. In class work 
the recitation periods may well be taken up largely in 
discussions of these exercises and in reports of reading, 
though if preferred they may be ignored and the text 
alone studied and recited. It is hoped that the plan 
of the book will adapt itself to the use of intelligent 
parents and to classes in normal schools and univer- 
sities, with varying preparation and amount of time 
to devote to the subject. Many parents will prefer 
to begin with chapter five and to omit chapter four- 
teen and perhaps some of the chapters that follow. 

No attempt is made to give a complete bibliography, 
as there are already several good ones. A list of child 
study books for the benefit of those not familiar with 
the literature of the subject is given in the first of the 
book. Suggestions for reading will be found at the 
close of each chapter, and at the back of the book are 
given the full name of journals often referred to and an 
alphabetical list of all books named in the text. Since 
the references that will be most valuable in connection 
with each chapter depend upon what literature is acces- 
sible, the time that can be spent in reading, the maturity 
of the reader, and the phases of the subject which it is 
desired to emphasize, each teacher will, in part, wish to 
make his own reference list. A blank page is therefore 
left for this purpose. 

Acknowledgments are due to many earnest students 
of children, especially to G. Stanley Hall, the father of 
all child study in America; to J. Mark Baldwin, who 


has given us a theory of organic development; to 
Lloyd Morgan, who has described instincts and habits 
with such acuteness and clearness ; and to Earl Barnes, 
who has so intelligently studied the effects of social 
influences upon children; also to Mr. J. F. Reigart and 
to my wife for assisting with the proofs, and to my 
friend Rev. W. F. Greenman for suggestions. 

£• A. K* 

Fitchburg Normal School, 
July, 1903. 



Child Study Literature xix 



"Difference between Children and Adults i 

Origin of Child Study 2 

Period covered by Child Study 3 

Significance of Infancy 3 

Why Higher Animals have a Longer Infancy than the Lower . 4 

Human Infancy and Plasticity 6 

Inner and Outer Factors in Development .... 7 

The Problem to be solved 10 

Generality of Inner Forces of Development . . . .11 

Exercises for Students 12 

Suggestions for Reading 12 



General Phenomena of Growth 15 

General Truths regarding Growth of Children . . .16 

Factors determining Growth 17 

Growth of Parts 19 

Health and Growth 20 

Growth and Development . • . . .22 

Natural Order of Development in Relation to Exercise 24 

Exercises for Students 28 

Suggestions for Reading 29 






Kinds of Native Movements 32 

1 Instincts and Structure 34 

• Instincts and Consciousness 35 

Conditions affecting the Usefulness of Instincts ... 40 

Fixed and Indefinite Instincts 42 

Continuous, Transient, and Periodic Instincts ... 44 

Principles governing the Development of Instincts ... 44 

Causes of Differences in Individuals of the Same Species . 46 

Exercises for Students 48 

Suggestions for Reading 49 




Basis of Classification ".51 

I. Individualistic or Self-preservative Instincts ... 52 

. II. Parental Instincts 53 

III. Group or Social Instincts . . . . . 54 

IV. Adaptive Instincts 56 

Imitation 58 

Play 58 

Curiosity 59 

V. Regulative Instincts 60 

VI. Resultant and Miscellaneous Instincts and Feelings 62 

Exercises for Students 63 

Suggestions for Reading 63 



Early Movements 65 

Increase in Complexity of Movement 67 

Early Mental States 69 

contents xiii 


Development of Voluntary Control 72 

Learning to Walk 79 

Modes of Learning 81 

Relation of Instincts to Mental Activities .... 86 

Exercises for Students 88 

Suggestions for Reading 88 



Strength of the Instinct 91 

Prominence in the Young 92 

Development of the Individualistic Instincts into Motives . 94 

Individualism the Basis of Higher Development ... 96 

The Feeding Instinct 99^ 

Fear ' . . . 99 / 

The Fighting Instinct 104 

Exercises for Students 106 

Suggestions for Reading .107 



I. The Parental Instinct 109 

Lateness of Development 109 

Relation of the Parental Instinct to Other Impulses 

and Feelings . . 1 1 1 

Right Development of the Parental Instinct . . 113 

II. Development of the Social Instinct 118 

1. Gregariousness 119 

2. Sympathy 120 

3. Love of Approbation 121 

4. Altruism 123 

, v ^xeroses for Students 125 

o^hggestions for Reading 126 




Characteristics of Imitation in Children 129 

Classification of Imitative Acts of Children . . . . 131 

Development of Imitation 133 

1. Reflex Imitation 133 

2. Spontaneous Imitation 134 

3. Dramatic Imitation 136 

4. Voluntary Imitation 139 

5. Idealistic Imitation 141 

Exercises for Students 144 

Suggestions for Reading . • . ' • • • . 145 



Theory of Play 147 

Work, Play, and Amusement 148 

Changes with Age as regards Freedom in Play . . -151 

Changes with Age as regards Powers used in Play . • . 153 
Changes with Age as regards Instincts involved in Play . .156 

Play as a Factor in Education 158 

Exercises for Students 162 

Suggestions for Reading 163 



Function of Curiosity 166 

Curiosity, Attention, and Interest 168 

Changes in Curiosity with Age 171 

Curiosity and Education 174 

Exercises for Students . . • . . • • . itf* 

Suggestions for Reading 1769 







I. Moral Instincts 

Preparatory Stage of Moral Development . 
Moral Training during the Preparatory Stage 
Transition Stage of Moral Development . 
Moral Training in the Transition .Stage . 

II. Religious Instincts 

Preparatory Stage of Religious Development 
Religious Training in Childhood 
The Period of Religious Awakening . 

Exercises for Students 

Suggestions for Reading 






The Collecting Instinct 205 [ 

The Constructive Instinct 207 

The jEsthetic Instinct 209 

The Migratory Instinct 213 

The Rhythmic Instinct 214 

Relation of Instinctive Actions to Feelings . • • .215 
Relation of Fundamental Stimuli to Feelings . • • .217 

Exercises for Students 218 

Suggestions for Reading 219 



Origin, Nature, and Forms .... 

I. Auditory Language .... 

Factors concerned in its Acquisition 





Stages of Learning Oral Language . . . .226 

Instinctive Stage 226 

Playful and Imitative Stage .... 227 

Word-learning Stage 228 

Sentence-making Stage 233 

II. Visual Language 237 

III. Drawing 240 

Exercises for Students 243 

Suggestions for Reading 244 



General Principles 247 

Development of Discrimination 251 

Development in Rate of Mental Activity 253 

Increase in Mental Grasp 254 

Development of Perception . • 256 

Development of the Power to Image ..... 259 

Growth of Constructive Imagination 263 

Development of Creative Imagination 265 

Development of Memory 268 

J Development of Concepts 271 

,; Development of Reasoning 274 

Exercises for Students 282 

Suggestions for Reading 286 



. Meaning 289 

General Truths or Laws of Heredity 290 

General Theory of Heredity 293 

Social Heredity 297 

Exercises for Students 299 

Suggestions for Reading 300 




Significance of the Term 302 

Biological Value of Individuality 303 

Commonality and Individuality 305 

Factors Producing Commonality and Individuality . . . 307 

Time of Greatest Individuality 308 

General and Particular Truths regarding Children . . . 309 
Necessity of Recognizing Individuality in Children . .312 

How Commonality and Individuality may be developed . . 314 

Types of Individuality 315 

Exercises for Students 317 

Suggestions for Reading 318 



Fatigue 321 

Nature and Causes 321 

Laws of Fatigue 324 

Tests and Signs of Fatigue ...... 331 

Some Abnormal Brain States 332 

Nervousness 334 

Chorea 335 

Stuttering and Stammering 337 

Adenoid Growths 338 

Defects in Hearing 339 

Defects of Sight 341 

Exercises for Students 343 

Suggestions for Reading 343 



v Purpose of Child Study by Teachers 346 

l/ Studying and Managing a School as a Whole .... 347 




Study and Treatment of Individual Children .... 354 

Outlines for Observation 356 

Questions prepared for Normal Students .... 357 

Reports, Tests, and Records 360 

Suggestions for Reading 367 

Alphabetical List of Books 371 

Journals 376 

Index • 379 


Books treating op the First Three Years op Childhood 

Preyer: The Mind of the Child, 2 vols. ; Infant Mind, condensed 

from the above. Appleton. 
Shinn : Biography of a Baby. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 
Moore : Mental Development of a Child. Macmillan. 
Tracy : The Psychology of Childhood. D. C. Heath. 

The first three books are each studies of individual children, 
while the last is a summary of various studies. 
Pem : First Three Years of Childhood. 

This is an older and less critical work. 

Books containing Sympathetic Observations and Practical 
Suggestions regarding Young Children 

Harrison : A Study of Child Nature. Chicago Kindergarten College. 
Wiggin : Children's Rights. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 
Malleson : Early Training of Children. D. C. Heath. 
Proudfoot : Mother's Ideals. The Author, Chicago, Auditorium. 
Winterburn: From a Child's Standpoint, pp. 278, and Nursery 

Ethics, pp. 241. The Baker & Taylor Co., New York. 
Du Bois: Beckoning of Little Hands, pp. 166, and The Point of 

Contact, pp. 88. John D. Wattles, Philadelphia. 
Wtttse : Place of the Story in Early Education. Ginn & Co. 
Cbenery, Susan : As the Twig is Bent. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 
Oilman, C. P. (Stetson) : Concerning Children. Small, Maynard & 

Co., Boston. 

Books relating chiefly to the Study op Children m 


fiowe: The Physical Child. Macmillan. 

Groszmann : A Working System of Child Study for Schools. C. W. 

Bardeen, Syracuse, N. Y. 
Warner : The Study of Children Macmillan. 


Autobiographical and Literary Accounts op Children 

Aldrich : Story of a Bad Boy. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 

Howells : A Boy's Town. Harpers. 

White : Court of Boyville. Doubleday & McClure Co. 

Warner : Being a Boy. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 

Burnett : The One I Knew Best of All. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 

Martin : Emmy Lou. McClure, Phillips & Co. 

Loti : Romance of a Child. Rand, McNally & Co. 

Phillips : Just About a Boy. Herbert S. Stone & Co., N. Y. 

Laughlin : Johnnie. The Bowen Merrill Co., Kansas City. 

Keller : Story of My Life. Doubleday, Page & Co. 

Smith, W. H. : The Evolution of Dodd. Rand, McNally & Co. 

Canton : W. V., Her Book and Various Verses, pp. 150. Stone & 

Kimball, N.Y. 
Meynell, Alice: The Children, pp. 134. John Lane, N. Y., 1897. 

Books treating of Various Phases of Child Study 

Baldwin : Mental Development in the Child and the Race : Vol. I, 
Methods and Processes ; Vol. II, Social and Ethical Interpreta- 
tions; Vol. Ill, Organic Evolution and Development. Mac- 

Very valuable discussions of fundamental principles of organic 
and social development, but somewhat obscure and technical in 
Oppenheim : The Development of the Child, pp. 296, and Mental 
Growth and Control, pp. 296. Macmillan. 

Both books are interesting and valuable, the first dealing 
more with the physical nature is directly in the line of the 
author's specialty, medicine. 
Judo" : Genetic Psychology. Appleton. 

A very clear and valuable study of the modification produced 
in mind by experience and habit. 
Compayrt : Intellectual and Moral Development of the Child : Part 
I, Early Infancy ; Part II, Later Infancy. Appleton. 
A readable, psychological study of children. 


I : The Child, His Nature and Nurture- J. M. Dent & Co., 
An excellent little book. 
8uHy: Studies of Childhood. 

Especially valuable for its numerous illustrations of children's 
doings and sayings. 
Barnes : Studies in Education (Studies in Ed.), Vols. I and II, each 
consisting of a series of ten pamphlets describing the studies 
made by himself and assistants in England and America of the 
social ideas and ideals of children. The Author, Philadelphia. 
Chamberlain : The Child. W. Scott, London. 

A valuable summary of much of the literature of child study. 
Stableton : Diary of a Western Schoolmaster. Ainsworth & Co., 

A very interesting account of the individual development of 
twenty adolescent boys who were somewhat exceptional in 
their characteristics. 
Adler : Moral Instruction of Children. Appleton. 

A valuable discussion of the general problem of moral instruc- 
tion, with practical suggestions as to the teaching of various 
Hogan, Louise S. : A Study of a Child. Harpers. 

Not intended to be scientific or systematic ; simply a mother's 
record of the first eight years of her boy, with comments. 
Taylor: The Child. Appleton. 

Contains elementary truths of psychology, child study, and 





Physically and meptally, children differ from adults 
in other ways besides the obvious ones of size and 
knowledge. Physically this is evident from tile fact 
that we can form some idea of the age of a person .rep- 
resented in a picture or statue when there is nothing 
to show the scale upon which it was made. There 
must therefore be peculiarities of form and proportion 
of parts at different ages upon which we base our judg- 
ments. Most persons, however, who have not had their 
attention called to the matter, are unable to state in just 
what ways children and adults differ. Some even hesi- 
tate regarding the most obvious differences in relative 
size of head, body, and limbs, though the ratios are 
approximately as follows: — 

Height of head of adult to that of an infant . . . 2:1 

Length of body of adult to that of an infant . . . 3:1 

Length of arm of adult to that of an infant . . . 4:1 

Length of leg of adult to that of an infant . . . 5:1 

These differences in proportion of parts are probably 
greater than exist between some adult animals and 


adult human beings. They are only the more obvious 
of the many differences between children and adults, 
in proportion of parts, size of vital organs, and physio- 
logical processes such as those of circulation, respiration, 
and digestion. 

Mentally, every one recognizes marked differences 
between the mind of a child and of an adult, though 
when questioned as to the exact character of these 
differences, most persons are even more hazy and in- 
definite in their answers than they are regarding bodily 
differences. Those who have given the subject most 
attention, however, are sure that the mental differences 
are greater than the physical, though they are lesis easily 
stated in exact terms. 


These truths have received much more attention 
recently than in former times, and the result has been 
increased interest in child life in the home, in the 
school, and in literature, art, and science. This increas- 
ing interest with the consequent discovery of additional 
differences between children and adults has led to the 
attempt to determine definitely and accurately the pecu- 
liarities of childhood at various stages, and thus we 
have the beginning of a new science — the science of 
Paidology or Child Study. If children were merely 
adults in miniature, there would be no occasion for 
such a science; but as we have seen, they differ radi- 
cally from adults, hence a science of child study has 
arisen, quite distinct from the general sciences of physi- 
ology and psychology. Such a study is necessary to 
the completion of the circle of the sciences, and it is also 


indispensable as a basis for the science of education 
and the art of teaching. 


It is not easy to say when a boy or girl becomes a 
man or woman. Even in law there is variability; for 
a man is recognized as earlier mature or competent for 
certain purposes than he is for others, e.g. he can enter 
the army at eighteen and vote at twenty-one, but can- 
not hold the office of President till he is thirty-five. 
Again, the law recognizes the passing of the normal 
adult stage by providing for the retirement of officers 
after a certain age. Old age, as well as the period 
before maturity is reached, may therefore furnish a 
separate field for study. 

Child study is properly concerned with all the changes 
that usually take place in human beings before they 
reach maturity. Most of these changes occur before 
the age of twenty, but some may not appear until ten 
or fifteen years later. 

Roughly speaking, infancy and childhood last about 
a dozen years, adolescence or the transition period 
about a dozen years, vigorous maturity about three 
dozen, and old age or decadence, one dozen. Some 
powers mature and fail earlier and others later than at 
these periods. There are also great individual differ- 
ences as to the age at which maturity is achieved, and 
at which decadence begins. 


A fish has practically no infancy ; its form is nearly 
that of the adult ; it can do almost everything the adult 


fish can do, and it is possible to teach it little or nothing. 
A robin is helpless at birth, yet practically mature at 
two months. A chicken does not need to learn to walk 
and take food, is independent in a few weeks, and com- 
pletely mature before a year, though retaining con- 
siderable capacity for learning. The child is helpless 
for months, dependent for years, immature at least a 
7 & score of years, and capable of learning for three score. ^ 

/In general, the animals that are most helpless in infancy 
have the longest period of immaturity, and keep long- 
est their plasticity or power of learning, are more 
complex, more capable of variety of sensation and 
movement, and more intelligent. In other words, the 
longer the infancy of any species of animals, the-greater 
its ultimate power and intelligence. 


Looking upon an animal organism as a machine, 
the lowerjaiflaalauare more perfect, at Jairth than the 
highej^. They* are like a complex " nickle-in-the-slot*7" 
machine, which responds in an appropriate way not only 
to one, but to several coins (stimuli). The fish has an 
almost unchanging environment and needs to do only a 
few things in order to secure food and avoid enemies ; 
hence its mechanism from the first prepares it for most 
of the exigencies of life, and it need not and cannot 
learn much. It is sent out of nature's factory all ready 
to do the limited business of life necessary for its own 
preservation. Higher animals come into a much more 
complex environment, each phase of which requires a 
different response; hence infinite complexity of struc- 



ture is necessary for them to transact their life business 

Moreover, the environment varies according to the 
place in which the young animal is born, the season of 
the year, and its own movements ; hence it is nearly as 
impossible to prepare a higher animal by its original 
structure for a successful life as it would be to prepare 
a machine that would, from a single adjustment, per- 
form with accuracy and despatch all the functions of a 
clerk (including the answering of customers' questions). 

A machine may be constructed that will do part of 
the work of a clerk, but not all, for new situations arise 
which cannot be provided for by any fixed mechanism. 
This is especially true when he changes from one de- 
partment to another, or one kind of business to another, 
or adopts new and improved methods. In a similar 
way the higher animals, in order to do their life work 
and live, must have the power of adjusting themselves Q 
to the environment into which they are born, and of Vp V 
adapting themselves to changes in that environment _._ 
To do the first, they must be incomplete at birth and 
capable of being modified by experience till they fit their 
environment; and to do the second they must retain 
something of their plasticity or capacity for being modi- 
fied, so that if the environment changes they can again 
make the necessary adjustment to the new situations. 

Infancy is therefore the period during which the 
more complex organisms are perfected by further in- 
ternal development and by activities which prepare 
them to react appropriately to the various phases of 
their environment. In other words, it is the period for 
developing the native powers of the individual and for 



learning how to live in the environment in which he 
finds himself. 


Man is the most complex of animals and also the 
most capable of preserving himself in diverse cli- 
mates and conditions of life; hence it is not surpris- 
ing to learn that he is born with the greatest capacity 
for being modified to suit his environment. He is less 
mature, has fewer fixed modes of reaction to stimuli 
than other animals, and the period of his imma- 
turity lasts from five to a hundred times as long as 
in others of the higher animals. Clearly, therefore, 
infancy is of vast significance in a human being, and 
a man's characteristics at various ages are more largely 
due to modifications produced by his own and less to 
raceexgerignceg than is the case with any other animal. 
Man has more instincts than any other animal, but his 
instincts are all subject to greater modification by ex- 
perience. Plasticity is not only greater in man, but 
greatest in early life. The more fundamental physical 
characteristics of a man are fixed at twenty-five, and the 
mental at thirty-five; yet plasticity in minor details is 
retained till the period*"of decadence. 

Not only is the period of infancy longer in man than 
in animals, but it is longer in civilized than in savage 
people, and is constantly becoming longer. As life be- 
comes more complex, more special training is needed 
before a young man is prepared to make a living for 
himself. The age of entering upon business and pro- 
fessional life is therefore from five to ten years later 
than it was fifty years ago. 


Not only is the period of infancy or preparation for 
living longer, but there is more need for the preserva- 
tion of plasticity in every individual as long as possible ; 
for the environment is constantly changing with the 
invention of new machinery and methods, and advance- 
ment in knowledge and social relations. Men who 
have not sufficient plasticity to adapt themselves to. _ 
these changes quickly fail in the strug gle for existenceA^ U^^w, 
The function of education in 'a progressive nation is 
therefore not merely to develop habits suited to present 
conditions of life, but also to develop adaptability that 
will enable the individual to fit himself to new conditions 
as they appear. 

In the evolution of the race a long period of infancy 
has been of great significance. The helplessness of chil- 
dren kept parents together, and thus family life, which is 
the basis of all social life, had its beginning. Moreover, 
the task of caring for and training children gives an 
education that could be achieved in no other way, and 
contact with such enigmatic and variable creatures re- 
news the youth of a dults and helps them to preserve 
their plasticity. T Not only does man's superiority to 
animals depend I9!£kly upon his longer infancy, or, in 
other words, upon his greater plasticity, but the position 
of each nation as a civilized power and of each indi- 
vidual in society is also largely determined by ability to 
respond to new situations in new ways. 


We never know the nature of a material object until 
we bring it in contact with other substances and with j 

new forces. In a similar way, we do not know the 


nature of a child until we have observed his actions 
under various conditions. Not only do we not know 
what the child is until we have observed his actions 
under various circumstances, b ut he actua lly acquires 
new characteristipsia the presence of each new person 
and in thg-pgrlformance jaLflflch np;w action. . . 

What a child is, therefore, at any given time, is 
developed from what he was at the beginning, and 
what he has acquired by his reactions. What he may 
be is potentially present at first, and can become actual 
only after certain phases of his nature have been de- 
veloped by experience. A grain of corn has the poten- 
tial power of producing other grains of corn, but it 
cannot actually do so until it has been subjected to heat 
and moisture, and has developed leaves, stalk, tassel, 
and silk. In a similar way the child has various powers 
that cannot become actual until environment has devel- 
oped certain others. No C9nceivable environment can 
make corn develop characteristics of the oak, or make 
it produce grain before it produces leaves. J So the child 
must become a human being, develop in a certain way j 
each instincti just as truly as the beard, has a definite 
time for development 

, Since, however, man is the most plastic of all beings, 
the order of his development is subject to great modi- 
fication. This is especially true of his mind. Unlike 
other machines, the brain is always in process of con^ 
struction, always being modified and never completed. 
A machine may be used for threshing oats for several 
years, then it can be used with equal success for thresh- 
ing wheat; but a brain used in the botanical classification 
of plants must be changed by practice before it is cor- 


respondingly useful in the grammatical classification of 
words. Every time the mind does a thing it becomes a 
different mind ; hence the factors of nature and > nurture 
are almost inextricably mingled in psychical develop- 
ment, and this makes the natural order of development 
exceedingly difficult to determine. 

The question is often asked whether certain character- 
istics are native or acquired. The answer might be in 
nearly every case, "They are both." Native powers 
may lie dormant unless awakened and stimulated to 
activity by environment. On the 'other hand, nothing 
wholly foreign to one's nature can be acquired and 
madeja .permanent part of one's self. _ The relation of 
outer and inner factors in development is well illustrated 
by experiments on the optic nerve. The acquisition of 
a medullary sheath is supposed to mark the beginning 
of functional activity in nerve fibres. Does the acquisi- 
tion of the sheath make functional activity possible, or 
does the beginning of function cause the sheath to 
develop? Some kittens of the same litter were kept 
blinded so the optic nerves were not acted upon by 
light, while the eyes of the others were opened and thus 
early subjected to the influence of light. At varying 
intervals the kittens were killed and their optic nerves 
examined. It was found that those which were kept 
blinded acquired their medullary sheaths without the 
stimulus of light, but much less quickly than the others. 
In this case the inner tendency was finally effective, 
even when the outer stimulus was cut off. In many 
other cases, however, where the inner tendency is less 
strong, outer influences are probably necessary in order 
that the inner possibility may become an actuality. All 


acquisitions, therefore, have for their roots* inner ten- i 
dencies, and all inner tendencies remain undeveloped 
or develop slowly without the action of favorable outer 


To study the outer and inner factors in human devel- 
opment, and to determine how the inner factors are 
modified by the outer, is the work of child study. It 
must discover the natural order of physical and mental 
development and the modifying effect of various con- 
ditions and activities at different stages. It must find 
what characteristics are, or tend to be, the most promi- 
nent at each age by determining the time of emergence 
and greatest prominence of each of the numerous 

In order to eliminate the influence of environment, 
the test of generality must be applied and care must be 
taken that the instincts given form and intensity by 
special conditions are not confused with more funda- 
mental or normal instinctive tendencies. For example, 
if all the children of about four years, in a village by 
the seashore, play at making and sailing boats, the in- 
ference may be drawn that there is a natural tendency 
to engage in those occupations at that age. Further 
observations show that in other localities the play occu- 
pations of the children are in all cases characteristic of 
the neighborhood. Everywhere children of four years 
imitate, but what they imitate varies with their sur- 
roundings ; hence the correct generalization is that the 
tendency to imitate is strong at four years, because of 
inner laws of development, but th^t the particular form 
of imitation is determined by surroundings. 



In other lines of child study the problem is similar. 
In every case we ask what inner tendencies are prominent 
at each age, and how these tendencies are developed and 
modified by outer influences. Child stud^Js, therefore, 
concerned with all the characteristics that are present 
at birth in so far as they differ from those of adults, 
and with the general laws ot developments according to 
which changes in size, structure, and instinct take place 
between early infancy and complete maturity. 


The inner forces which determine the form, structure, 
and actions of each individual and the changes he shall 
undergo in reaching the adult stage are of three degrees 
of generality : (i) those determining what is character- 
istic of all animals of the species ; (2) those determining 
what is common only in a certain family or group of 
families, and (3) those producing the distinctive pecu- 
liarities of the individual. The first is the result of the 
whole history of the species and its ancestors in certain 
environment or environments ; the second, of a portion 
only of the species "and in a more limited environment ; 
while the third is the result of the union of slightly 
unlike parents and of influences acting upon the indi- 
vidual organism during the embryonic period. Bis- 
marck had the common characteristics of all human- 
beings, he had also the characteristics prominent in 
Germans, and the individual peculiarities that made him 
Bismarck, rather than any other German. 

The science of cKild study is chiefly concerned with 
the characteristic tendencies manifested by all children ; 
yet it throws light on the more special characteristics of 


nations and individuals in certain environments. The 
educator needs to know what is usually true of children 
at each age in order that he may find the activity best 
suited to that age. The teacher, however, needs to be 
familiar not only with the characteristics common to 
most children of the age she has in charge, but also 
with their national and individual peculiarities. 

Exercises for Students 

i . State physical differences between children and adults that you 
have noted or are able to discover. 

2. State mental differences between children at different ages. 

3. Mention various standards of maturity for men and women 
recognized by society as fitting for certain purposes. 

4. Tell what you have observed regarding the young of animals 
as to helplessness and length of infancy. 

5. Mention instances where men have succeeded because of 
plasticity where others failed. Is plasticity needed more or less in 
children than in animals ? Why ? 

6. Give illustrations of children showing different characteristics 
in new surroundings and to different persons. 

7. Can you tell what characteristics are common at a certain age 
by studying children of one locality and nationality only? Why? 

Suggestions for Reading 

On physical differences between children and adults, see Oppenheim, 
chaps, ii and iii. 

On the new science of child study, see Hall, Forum, Vol. XVI, pp. 
429-441 ; Chrisman, Forum, Vol. XVI, pp. 728-736; Ed. Rev., 
Vol. XV, pp. 269-284; O'Sheaj/r. Ped, Vol. XI, pp. 9-25, and 
Scripture, Ed. Rev., Vol. VIII, pp. 236-239. 

On old age, see Scott, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol VIII, pp. 67-84. 

On the stages of development, see Chamberlain, chap, iv, and San- 
ford, Am. Jr. Psych. Vol. XIII, pp. 426-449. 



On infancy of animals, Mills, Animal Intelligence, Part III, and 

Spaulding, Pop. Sci. Mo n Vol. LXI, pp. 1 26-1 41 (reprinted) ; 

Thorndike, Psych, Rev., Vol. VI, pp. 282-291. 
On meaning of infancy, see Fiske, Excursions of an Evolutionist, 

chap, xii ; Destiny of Man, chaps, iv and vi ; Butler, Ed. Rev., 

Vol. XIII, pp. 58-75, or Meaning of Education, pp. 3-34; 

Christopher, Trans. III. Ch. S. Soc., Vol. II, No. 2, pp. 1 09-1 14 ; 

Chamberlain, chap, i ; Pycroft, Pop. Set. Mo., Vol. LXI I, pp. 

On instincts and education, see Balliet, Physical Ed. Rev., Vol. 
, VIII, pp. 1-7. 












If we were introduced into a factory where little 
machines were taking into and making part of them- 
selves, wood, iron, and other manufacturing materials, 
and thus gradually becoming large machines, each of 
its own kind {e.g. locomotives, sewing machines), and 
that without stopping a cog, crank, or wheel during 
the enlargement, we should be astonished beyond meas- 
ure. Yet this is what organic machines (plants and 
animals) are doing in nature's factory all around us. 
Milk, grass, and grain are transformed into horses, 
cows, chickens, and children, with the proper character- 
istics of each ; and all the time bones, muscles, and blood 
vessels are enlarging without a pause in the working 
of the organism. Only familiarity prevents us from 
continual wonder at this miracle,«repeated in a thousand 
different forms each year. 

Every organism begins as a single cell, and by taking 
in and transforming nourishment, it grows into an indi- 
vidual of its species. All increase in size is the result 
of two processes: (i) increase in number of cells by 
division, and (2) enlargement of the cells thus formed. 
Growth during the embryonic peViod is due mainly to 
the first cause, and after birth to the second. The body 



of a child is composed of about as many cells as that 
of an adult; hence his growth is principally by the 
enlargement of cells. 

The importance of inner tendencies is well illustrated 
in physical growth and development. The law of motion, 
that a body once set in motion continues to move forever 
and at the same rate unless acted upon by some other 
force, does not apply to growth. An organism does 
not grow forever when once started, nor is IHe rate of 
growth uniform, but it grows at a varying rate till the 
size of its species is attained, then it stops. It is not 
even possible to change, except within narrow limits, 
the rate, amount, or direction of growth, by changes in 
food and surroundings. Evidently each species is so 
organized that it grows about so much during a certain 
time, and lives about so long. That size is determined 
largely by the number of elements in the germ cell is 
indicated by recent experiments upon the embryos of 
lower animals. It has been found, for example, that if 
the embryo of a frog is divided into two or four parts, 
each part will develop into a whole frog, but of a cor- 
respondingly fractional size and length of life. 


The most japid growth is before birth, for the infant 
at birth is §ye million times as large as the original 
germ cell. After birth the most rapid growth is during 
the first year, when it is nearly threefold. From this 
time on increase in size is less rapid, and in general the 
rate slightly decreases till about the eleventh year, when 
there is an acceleration in growth, first in height, then 
in weight The acceleration in growth begins earlier 


in girls, but lasts longer in boys. In both, the stage of 
rapid growth at puberty is preceded and followed by a 
period of slow growth, and again in both, rapid growth 
in height precedes rapid growth in weight. Since girls 
begin growing rapidly while boys are in the stage of 
slow growth, girls are for a year or two taller and 
heavier than boys. The age at which this occurs in 
girls is about twelve years, but varies a year or two in 
different countries. Growth is usually complete before 
twenty, at least as regards height. 

MeasurementsToF "TncBvIdual children show that in 
general a period of rapid growth in height or in length 
of limb is a period of slow growth in diameter, and, 
conversely, rapid growth in diameter occurs at the time 
of retarded growth in length. 


The truths regarding growth stated in the preceding 
topic apply not merely to the people of one race, or to 
those with the same habits of exercise and eating, but 
to all peoples from which statistics have been obtained ; 
hence these variations in growth must be the result of, 
or are due to, inner tendencies common to all of the 
human species. Heredity is another less universal 
inner tendency determining growth, as is shown by the 
fact that people of certain nations mature earlier or 
attain a greater size than those of others. There are 
also tendencies to certain accelerations of growth that 
are peculiar to individuals; for not all children, even of 
the same family, grow at the same rate at the same age. 
Neither do they all attain the same size when outer 
influences are the same. The amount and rate of 


growth of every child is thus largely determined by 
inner tendencies. 

Outer influences, however, such as climate, exercise, 
and nutrition may modify rate and amount of growth. 

Climate, especially temperature, may be a factor in 
growth, in as much as seasonal variations are marked ; in- 
crease in the height of children is greatest in the spring 
and early summer, while increase in weight is greatest 
in the fall or early winter. This may be interpreted as 
the result of an inner tendency to rhythmic seasonal 
growth, or to the effects of variation in temperature. 
People in warm countries mature more quickly, but do 
not reach a greater size than those in cold countries, 
hence we may infer that heat does not increase the 
ultimate size of human beings. People of the Arctics 
and the Tropics are as a rule not large, hence a tem- 
perate climate is probably more favorable to the great- 
est growth. 

Exercise may modify amount and rate of growth to 
some extent, but its greatest effect is probably in the 
substitution of muscular for fatty tissue in certain parts, 
without much change in ultimate size. The fact re- 
cently noted that children engaged in manual training 
during the summer showed less than the usual varia- 
tion in growth, with change of season, suggests that 
seasonal variations in growth may be due to change in 
occupation as much as to change in temperature. 

The fact that children of the well-to-do, and presum- 
ably better fed classes, are larger than those of the 
less favored class, seems to indicate that nutrition is 
another important factor in growth. In England this 
might be partially explained by heredity, but not in 


this country. The fact, however, that the rate of 
growth of children in both this country and in England 
is less in the well-to-do classes during school life from 
the ages of six to eighteen than it is in the poorer 
classes, shows that the effects of good or poor nutri- 
tion must be limited to the period preceding the school 
age. It is altogether probable that poor nutrition has 
the greatest effect during the embryonic period and the 
first year or two of life when growth is rapid ; hence, 
though both infants and adults of the poorer classes 
are smaller than of the more favored classes, yet the 
amount of growth from six to eighteen is greater in the 
former than in the latter. 

A temporary condition like sickness nearly always 
retards growth ; but if recovery is complete, there is 
usually a period of rapid growth in which the time 
lost is made up ; hence, though the time of growth may 
thus be modified, the total growth is probably affected 
only by prolonged illness or other unfavorable conditions. 


The facts previously mentioned as to the difference in 
the relative size of parts in children and adults are only 
some of the most striking instances of the general truth, 
each part increases in size according to an inner law of 
its own. Other facte equally striking are as follows : 
the brain increases in weight about four times, the 
heart thirteen times, and the lungs twenty times. The 
weight of the brain of boys at birth is 12.29 P er cent °f 
that of the body, while at twenty-five years it is only 
2.16 per cent qi the weight of the body. The changes 
of other organs are : heart, from .76 per cent to .46 per 


cent; right lung, .94 per cent to .77 per cent; liver, 4.6 
per cent to 2.8 per cent ; and kidneys, .75 per cent to 
.46 per cent. The shape of the organs also changes 
with age. For example, the Eustachian tube is not only 
relatively short in the child, but It is absolutely broader 
than in the adult; while the child's stomach is much 
more tubular in form and more nearly vertical in posi- 
tion than the adult's. 

The law governing the growth of each part must, 
however, be consistent with the general law governing 
the growth of the body as a whole^ otherwise the pro- 
portion of parts would vary to such an extent that 
organic processes would be disturbed, and life and 
health could not be maintained. Presumably it is 
advantageous for the proportion of parts to vary at 
different ages when there are different functions to be 
performed and when the physiological processes of 
respiration, circulation, and digestion are undergoing 


Normal growth is in general a sign of good health, 
while* very rapid or very slow growth is usually a sign 
of poor health. The period of rapid growth at the 
beginning of puberty is generally a critical period both 
physically and mentally. 

There is difference of opinion, however, as to the 
relation of growth to health at this time. It is held by 
some that health is likely to be interfered with by this 
rapid growth. This may be true in individual cases ; but 
the investigations of Hertel and others show that there 
is less illness among boys and girls during the period of 


rapid growth than in the years of slow growth imme- 
diately preceding and following. To this it is replied 
that though there is not actual disease, there is usually 
some debility that with a little overstrain may result in 
illness ; hence requirements, especially in school, should 
be lessened at this time in order that all the energy may 
be expended in growth. The facts, however, do not 
support this view, for most youths are more energetic 
and restless at this than at any other time (though some 
individuals are sluggish and listless), and experiments 
prove that at this time there is a great increase of mus- 
cular power and size of vital organs, especially the 
lungs. The argument that ill health often dates from 
this period is answered by the fact that recovery also 
often takes place at this time through what is called " out- 
growing the disease." 

There is no ground, therefore, for the view that in 
general either physical or mental work should be dis- 
carded during this period, though such is undoubtedly 
advisable in individual cases. Moderately rapid growth 
is always an accompaniment of health and vigor. The 
only difference is that at this time growth is normally 
more rapid than at other times. Abnormally rapid 
growth is likely to be accompanied at this as af other 
ages by poor health and imperfect development. 

Why, then, is the period of rapid growth at puberty a 
critical period ? Largely because health depends upon 
the equilibrium of all parts, and when growth is rapid 
there is more chance for unsymmetrical development 
and consequent disturbance of equilibrium.- A rapidly 
moving bicycle does not readily lose balance ; but if it 
does, the results are disastrous, and the same is true of a 


rapidly growing organism. The development of new 
functions at this age also complicates the situation. 
Although at this time a youth can often do more work 
and endure more hardships than at any other time, yet 
if an obstruction is not overcome, the results are more 
serious than at any other time. The rapid growth of this 
period calls not for less work but rather for more, yet 
care must be exercised that there be no overstrain. 
At this time is needed not stimulation or repression but 
direction, Itriwder that development may correspond to 
growth and be of a desirable kind. 


These two terms are often used interchangeably, proba- 
bly because the processes usually take place together. 
Their meaning is, however, different, and there is often 
a lack of correlation between the processes. 
^/ Growth, properly speaking, refers only to increase in 
size of parts, and the consequent change in size and 
shape of the body as a whole. It is the result of increase 
in the number or size (or both) of the cells composing 
the body. ^^Development more properly denotes changes 
in character and connection of cells. If an infant were 
to grow to adult size without any corresponding change 
in cells, he would be utterly incapable of sustaining his 
weight, with his cartiljjgj^us bones and flabby mus- 
cles not yet connected with controlling nerve centres. 
It is a fact well known to physicians that deficient or 
improper nutritive conditions often affect development 
more than they do growth. A child may be quite large 
for his age, but poorly developed because of lack of min- 
eral matter in the bone cells, just as a plant in a dark 


cellar may attain great size but be utterly lacking in the 
essential qualities of a healthy plant. 

Arrest or acceleration of growth and development 
together is probably less serious than of either alone. 
When they take place together, subsequent growth and 
development are not necessarily interfered with. Cells 
probably tend to change in character when increasing 
in size, and to change in size when being modified in 
character. Changes of one kind only are usually extreme 
and disturbing, hence it may be stated as a general rule : 
rapid growth should be accompanied or quickly followed 
by a \corresponding change in development in order that i 
arrest of development may not occur 

After the inner growth tendencies have worked them- 
selves out, and full normal size is attained, there is still 
some possibility of change in size of parts, especially of 
muscles. Sickness and lack of exercise decrease their 
size, while, in health, exercise increases it. Ordinary 
exercise during middle life maintains the size of mus- 
cles, while in old age the muscles are decreased rather 
than increased in bulk by special exercise. The old man 
of eighty who increased the size of his calves by bicycle 
riding, was an exception to the general rule. The term 
11 development " is sometimes applied to special increase 
in size of parts, produced by exercise, but the word even 
then usually implies also change in quality of the part 
A muscle, for example, when exercised, increases in 
hardness more than in size. 

What is true of muscles is true of nerve centres to a 
considerable extent. They are capable of less growth 
through exercise than muscles ; but they have greater 
capacity for development, or, in other words, for changes 


in cells and in connections between cells. Growth of 
the brain is nearly as complete at six as is growth of 
muscle at three times that age, whereas development 
of nerve cells is not complete at twice eighteen. Growth 
of the brain is due almost wholly to growth of the fibres 
connecting cells with each other, and this is an impor- 
tant phase of development, since the cells are thus 
brought into harmonious relation. The increased men- 
tal power that comes with age and training is the result, 
not so much of changes in individual cells, as of changes 
in those connections between cells which make possible 
the use of many parts of the brain in the accomplish- 
ment of a single purpose. 


Whatever m^y be true of the effect of exercise upon 
growth as a whole, it cannot be questioned that 
development is promoted by moderate exercise of the 
whole body. This is true during both the growing and 
the mature stage of life. As to particular parts of the 
body we know that changes in growth and development 
may be produced by prolonged exercise of certain parts. 
This is well shown in the various types of athletes with 
extraordinary leg, arm, back, or chest power. 

Again, occupations requiring the use of one arm or 
one leg only may produce over-development on one side. 
Such excess of development of one limb over the other 
is, however, limited. Experiments show that when the 
right arm is used, nervous impulses are sent to other 
muscles than those used, and also to the corresponding 
muscles of the left arm. Other muscles than those used 


of the right arm, and also the muscles of the left arm, 
therefore gain in size and strength from systematic 
exercise of certain muscles of the right arm only. * For 
this reason some degree of symmetry is preserved when 
the exercise is largely one-sided. The development of 
internal organs is also affected by exercise of other 
organs; hence the dangers of over-specialization are 
diminished by this partial diffusion of the effects of 
exercise. Yet it is not difficult to destroy bodily sym- 
metry by over-exercise of parts, while equilibrium of 
functions of different parts is still more easily disturbed, 
so that ill health and death are not infrequent results of 
extreme specialization in exercise, e.g. a man who devel- 
oped his muscles so that he could lift three thousand 
pounds died from nervous exhaustion. 

The effects of exercise on growth and development 
are practically the same for nerve cells as for muscle 
cells, except that the changes in size are not so great in 
nerve cells^ Nerve cells not exercised because of loss 
of a limb or of a sense at an early age, as in the case of 
Laura Bridgman, are not quite as large as other cells 
and much less developed, i.e. have fewer processes ex- 
tending out from them. 

Muscular ability depends not so mtrch upon the 
degree of development of muscles as upon the harmo- 
nious working of all the muscles concerned in a move- 
ment It is therefore more a matter of nervous 
connections than of muscular strength. This is per- 
haps best illustrated in throwing and in wrestling, where 
victory goes not to the strangest but to the one whose 
muscles work together to tne best advantage. A skilful 
thrower uses first the muscles of the tegs, then succes- 


sively those of the body, shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist, 
and fingers, and the ball, shot, or hammer leaves the 
hand with a force equal to the sum of the forces exerted 
by these muscles. An unskilled thrower, on the other 
hand, uses principally the muscles of shoulder and upper 
arm, and these not in harmony ; hence, though he have 
the arm of a blacksmith, he may be beaten by a strip* 
ling base-ball pitcher. 

It is evident that special exercise of parts may be in- 
jurious because it over-develops the parts exercised, and 
hinders rather than helps in the harmonious working of 
part with part. Extreme specialization is therefore to 
be avoided at all times. 

During the growing period when plasticity is great- 
est, extreme and permanent specialization is much more 
readily produced than in adult life when plasticity is 
less and parts are already normally developed. It 
may even be questioned whether, in growing children, 
all specialization is not over-specialization. Boys who 
specialize in one form of athletics at an early age in the 
secondary schools are likely to fail in college and uni- 
versity contests. 

On the general principle that development should 
accompany or follow growth, it is probably best for chil- 
dren to have more exercise of one part at one time and 
of others at another ; hence the tendency often noticed 
in children to specialize in one direction for a while, 
then in another, is probably a good thing. Such speciali- 
zation is directed by play and occupation interests, but 
is probably really determined largely by growth and 
development changes. Such specialization is usually 
temporary and in accord with the natural order of 


growth and development, hence it is not injurious or 

If we knew the natural order in which the nerve and 
muscle centres grow and develop, we could perhaps 
devise physical and mental exercises that would be most 
favorable to perfect development at each stage of life. 
In the absence of such knowledge any attempt at special 
training during the growing period may interfere with 
the natural order of development, and disturb instead of 
promote harmony of function. 

In all schools certain physical and mental activities 
are performed over and over every day ; hence with 
reference to all the child's powers there is a great deal 
of specialization, though the training is intended to be 
general tether than special. It is altogether probable, 
therefore, that in giving children the training they will 
need in later life, at a time when they are in an earlier 
stage of development, we are to a considerable extent 
interfering with their natural order of development 

The studies of Bryan, Hancock, and others have 
demonstrated what is evident to every close observer, 
that, in general, children use the larger muscle groups 
earlier than those concerned in finely adjusted move- 
ments. It follows, therefore, that the large number of 
finely adjusted movements required in making small 
letters accurately at an early age must result in a 
specialization of the smaller nerve and muscle centres 
long before their natural time of development. Poor 
writing and drawing, which nearly always appears in 
about the sixth grade, may be one of the effects of lack 
of harmony in development, produced by the premature 
or excessive training of the finer muscle centres. 


In the more purely mental sphere there is general 
agreement among students of children that children 
form crude, indefinite ideas involving only a few of the 
most obvious acts of analysis and synthesis. These 
ideas become more exact and definite with increased 
experience, just as movements become more accurate 
and definite with practice. 

There can be no doubt, therefore, that the detailed 
analyses and exact definitions so often required of young 
children are opposed to the natural order of brain de- 
velopment, and therefore destructive of interest and dis- 
turbing to the natural processes of mental growth. 

As the science of child study progresses, such inter- 
ference with the natural processes of physical and 
mental development should become less and less. In 
the meantime, children should have plenty of oppor- 
tunity to get an all-round physical and mental develop- 
ment from their plays and games, as a corrective of 
whatever injurious specialization is being produced in 

Exercises for Students 

1. Have pupils study growth tables and recall their observations, 
then decide whether rapid growth in individual children extends 
over a longer or a shorter period than that indicated in the tables, 
and whether growth in individuals is apt to be more or less rapid 
than is shown by the tables. If all children had their period of 
rapid growth at the same age, could the period of rapid growth be 
shorter in individuals than in the table? 

2. Have pupils mention individuals of large or small size, and 
give probable cause. 

3. From observations and tables, report as many marked changes 
in size or shape of parts with age, also as many changes in physio- 
logical processes as possible. 


4. Give illustrations of growth of parts due to special exercise, or 
lack of growth due to want of exercise. Why do insurance com- 
panies ask the height and weight of those they insure? 

5. Observe how very young children throw, and how they make 
the movements of scribbling when they first attempt to draw, as 
bearing on the question of what muscle centres develop first. 

Mention specifically school exercises that require too much fine 
muscular adjustment. Why is it more injurious to children than to 
adults to work in factories? At what age is it best to begin giving 
special training only? 

6. The body of an adult is 58.5 per cent water, that of an infant 
74.7 per cent, and of a foetus 94.5 per cent, while the amount of 
animal matter in the bones of an infant is 2.24 per cent, and in an 
adult 7.29 per cent. What do these facts signify as regards growth 
and development? Give others. 

7. May awkwardness and growing pains be explained by in- 
equality in growth of parts, as of bones and tendons, and by want 
of proper relation between growth and development? 

Can you see how growth changes might produce changes in such 
habits as writing? 

Suggestions for Reading 

On growth, read Donaldson, Growth of the Brain ; Porter, Am. 
Phys. Ed. Rev., Vol. II, pp. 155-173, or Trans. Acad. Sci., St. 
Louis, 1893, Vol. VI, pp. 161-181 ; Gilbert, Yale Studies, Vol. 
II, pp. 40-100 ; Mrs. W. S. Hall, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. II, pp. 332-342 ; 
Christopher, Reports on Child-Study Investigations, reprints 
from the reports of the Chicago Board of Education for 1898- 
1899, 1 899-1900, 1 900-190 1 ; Hastings, Manual, chaps, iii and 
iv, or N. E. A., 1899, pp. 1 076-1084, and Burke, Growth of 
Children in Height and Weight, pp. 73, reprinted from Am. Jr. 
Psych., Vol. IX, pp. 253-326, and, if desired, other references 
given by Burke. 

On growth in relation to health, see Key, Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. 
XXXVII, p. 107 ; Christopher, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. Ill, pp. 324- 
335? J r ' Cn * and Ad., July, 1902, pp. 190-199; O'Shea, Jr. 
Ped., Vol. XI, pp. 299-3x6. 


On diffusion of impulses and the effects of exercise, see Davis, Yale 
Studies, Vol. VI, pp. 6-50, or Science (N. S.), Vol. X, p. 20; 
Johnson, Yale Studies, Vol. VI, pp. 51-103; Scripture, Yale 
Studies, Vol. II, pp. 114-119. 

On the natural order of development in relation to exercise, see 
Burk, Ped. Sent., Vol. VI, pp. 5-64; JV. E A., 1899, pp. 1067- 
1076; Patrick, Pop. Set. Mo., Vol. LIV, pp. 382-391, and 
Gulick, Pop. Set. Mo., Vol. LIII, pp. 793-805 ; Bryan, Am. Jr. 
Pysch., Vol. V, pp. 125-2049 and Hancock, Ped. Sent., Vol. Ill, 
pp. 9-29; Sargent, Physical Ed. Rev., Vol. VIII, pp. 57-69; 
Gulick, Physical Ed. Rev., Vol. VIII, pp. 70-74. 

On arrest of development, see Dawson, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XI, 
pp. 188-197 ; Harris, Education, Vol. XX, pp. 453-^466. 




Man can make machines that move about and d* 
various kinds of work, but they all need a person to 
start and direct them. Nature, however, makes animal 
machines that move around and do various things with- 
out any one to superintend their movements. To do 
this safely, they must be self-running, self-repairing, 
and capable of moving so as to secure food and avoid 

The movements necessary to change food into force 
and keep the internal machinery in running order are 
carried on almost wholly within the body, and are there- 
fore called automatic. All the movements of the mus- 
cles of the lungs, heart, blood-vessels, and intestines 
concerned in the processes of respiration, circulation, 
and digestion are of this continuous, rhythmic, and self- 
perpetuating character. They depend mainly upon the 
relation of different parts of the organism to each other, 
and very slightly upon the relation of the organism to 
its environment. 

The movements involved in securing food and 
escaping danger, on the other hand, are partially or 



wholly originated by contact of the body with something 
in the surroundings. In other words, they are called 
forth by an external stimulus. Some are simple or 
reflex, and others complex or instinctive. 

The simple or reflex movements are, as a rule, the 
response of a single part of the organism to a simple 
stimulus to that part. Examples are, the winking of the 
eye when the lid is touched, or jerking the hand away 
when it is pricked. Such movements occur whenever 
the appropriate stimulus is given, whatever the internal 
condition of the animal. The mechanism controlling 
them is very accurate, for just as the nickel-in-the-slot 
machine will not respond to a penny, so the hand will 
not be jerked away when touched, but only when 
injuriously stimulated, as by a prick or burn. All parts 
of the body are thus protected by reflex movements. 

The complex or instinctive movements are a response 
of the whole, or a considerable part of the organism to 
some external stimulus, such as taking, chewing, and 
swallowing food, and the movements of avoiding dan- 
ger by hiding, running, or fighting. These movements, 
though initiated by an appropriate stimulus, are to some 
extent dependent upon internal conditions or stimuli. 
An infant will suck whenever his lips are touched, if 
there is also the internal condition or stimulus of hunger, 
but not if the stomach is full or out of order ; and a hen 
will sit on a nest if she is in a broody condition, but 
not otherwise. Instinctive movements differ from reflex 
movements also in the fact that they are for the good of 
the whole body instead of for some one part. Winking 
the eye and jerking away the hand protect only the eye 
and hand, while taking food benefits not the mouth but 


the whole body, and running saves not merely the legs 
but the whole animal from danger. 

Instinctive movements, such as sucking, are probably 
in reality nothing but a combination of reflexes. When 
the tongue and lips of an infant are rendered sensitive 
by hunger, contact with any object causes them to close 
around it reflexively. This movement affects the breath- 
ing reflex and causes sucking movements. The stimulus 
of milk on the tongue and the throat calls forth the reflex 
movements of swallowing. Loeb has thus analyzed a 
number of instincts into a series of reflexes, and it is 
probable that all instincts are merely a combination of 
reflexes in which the reaction of one part excites others, 
with the result that the animal acts as a whole and for 
the good of the whole. 


The relation of instinct to intelligence or reason has 
long attracted wondering attention, but until recently 
little notice was taken of the relation of physical struc- 
ture to instinct. When the matter is once suggested, 
however, no extended observation is needed to show 
that the instincts of any animal correspond to its struc- 
ture. Cats do not try to fly or dive when chased by 
dogs, nor ducks to climb trees or fight with their claws. 
Turtles do not attempt to run from danger, or rabbits 
to curl up in their skins for protection. The peculiar 
structure of teeth and stomach in cows goes with a 
strong instinct to eat grass, and in the lion with an 
equally strong instinct to eat meat. 

Even in the life of the same animal new instincts 
develop as new structures are formed or perfected. 



Birds do not show the flying instinct until their wings 
develop, nor the nesting instinct until they are ready to 
produce young. Before their teeth and claws are devel- 
oped, young lions run from large animals instead of 
attacking them. 

There is good reason, therefore, for believing that 
every instinct of each species of animals has its basis 
in some peculiarity of structure. A slight difference in 
beak, claw, or wing of birds often makes a vast differ- 
ence in the form in which the instinct to catch food, 
sleep, build nests, or escape danger, shall be manifested. 
A bird with the bill of a humming-bird and the instinct 
of a flycatcher, or one with the instinct of a woodpecker 
and the beak of a grosbeak, would be at a serious disad- 
vantage in securing food. 

Sometimes the difference in the actions of two species 
of animals is not easily accounted for by observation of 
external differences in structure, but in those cases a 
fuller knowledge of the internal anatomy of the animal, 
and especially of the nervous system, would probably 
reveal the basis of the difference. Every instinctive act 
must therefore have a mechanism appropriate to its 
performance, and in young animals this mechanism 
must be developed before the instinct appears. 


We all know that the automatic movements are car- 
ried on without consciousness. The apparatus for these 
movements works best when not interfered with by con- 
sciousness. A little attention to the matter will also 
show us that the reflex movements of the eye and the 
withdrawal of the hand are the results of a definite 




mechanism which works without being started by con- 
sciousness. In fact, it is almost impossible for conscious- 
ness to prevent such movements. It is true that the fact 
of a stimulus being received and responded to by the 
hand or eyelid, is usually reported to consciousness, but 
that is after rather than before the movement begins. 

That instinctive movements are also dependent upon 
mechanism rather than consciousness is not always so ^ 
readily admitted. Yet the person who jumps at a loud 
sound or the sudden appearance of a frightful object, 
often says he cannot help it, and a moment after the 
fright may laugh at his own foolishness. When a cat 
races after a ball or a mouse, he does not think he wants 
it before trying to catch it, but the sight of the moving 
object sets the chasing apparatus in motion at once. In 
the same way the sight of a hawk excites the mech- 
anism for making danger signals in the hen, and this 
sound causes the crouching and keeping-quiet apparatus 
to work in the young chicks. Persons and animals do 
not have to learn to do these things any more than they 
have to learn to breathe, and when performed suddenly 
they are just as independent of consciousness. 

The mechanical character of reflex and instinctive re- 
actions is well illustrated by the fact that a decapitated 
snake will coil around a red-hot iron as readily as around 
a stick. In this, as in other cases, there is evidently a 
definite mechanism which is set in operation by a 
certain stimulus or any stimulus sufficiently like it. The 
dependence of instinctive movements upon structure 
rather than consciousness is also shown with remarkable 
clearness by Jennings's experiments upon paramecia, 
one of the simpler forms of animal life. Their great 


activity in moving around, taking particles of food, 
gathering in companies, approaching CO a and avoiding 
acids, gives the impression that their movements are 
directed by consciousness, and that they exercise choice. 
Careful experiment and observation, however, show that 
it is all a matter of mechanism. Their cilia are in 
almost continual motion, and thus their bodies are driven 
forward. If they approach acid, the cilia reverse, and 
thus they back off from that injurious substance. If, 
however, the acid is made to approach them from behind, 
the effect is the same upon the cilia, and instead of 
moving away from the fatal substance they enter it. 
CO a has the opposite effect upon the cilia, consequently 
when moving forward they enter and remain in drops of 
that. Choice of food is also lacking, for they take in 
every small particle they touch, whether it has food 
value or not. Careful observation thus shows that all 
their actions are purely mechanical. 

Loeb has in a similar way analyzed the instincts of 
a number of animals into mechanical reflexes. For 
example, the apparatus for stinging is in the last seg- 
ment of the abdomen of a bee, since when separated 
from the rest of the body the usual movement of sting- 
ing is made when the under side is touched. 

Fixed instincts, like habits in man, work almost 
mechanically. Not only does consciousness not direct 
the activity, but so long as everything goes smoothly, 
there is little or no consciousness. Where acts are to be 
repeated over and over, and the same kind of movement 
made in response to the same stimulus, consciousness is 
unnecessary. It is only when several modes of response 
are possible that consciousness is of any use. Con- 


sciousness can then distinguish the different possibilities 
and choose the one that past experience has shown will 
give the most desirable results. When a new animal is 
seen by another, the possibilities of friendly advance, of 
hasty retreat, or of vigorous pursuit are suggested, and 
consciousness decides in the light of past experience 
with similar animals which form of reaction shall be 
made. If, however, the animal that appears is a 
hereditary enemy, the action of fleeing is mechanically 
performed with very little consciousness, unless flight is 
in some way impeded, when other possibilities, such as 
fighting, hiding, or feigning death, are suggested. 

An animal that had only one possibility of response 
in a given situation could make no use of consciousness. 
Only those animals that are sufficiently complex to have 
more than one mode of response to a given stimulus 
can profit by conscious intelligence. It is reasonable, 
therefore, to suppose that instead of consciousness mak- 
ing new movements possible, the acquisition of new 
possibilities of movement makes conscious intelligence 
possible and useful, especially in animals and children. 
With much truth, therefore, we may say that man makes 
many movements, not because of his great intelligence, 
but that he has great intelligence because of his many 
possibilities of movement. The marvellous skill of the 
bee in constructing his comb according to the best 
engineering principles is due, not to his intelligence, 
but to his mechanical structure, which renders it less 
easy or perhaps impossible for him to build otherwise. 

Instincts, in as far as they are purely instinctive, are 
always blind. Only when two instinctive tendencies are 
aroused by a stimulus is the eye of conscious intelli- 


gence opened to choose by the aid of the light of a past 
experience the most favorable reaction. 

In the case of animals like fishes and insects with 
only a few fixed instincts, the light of experience re- 
veals to the dim eye of consciousness no other mode of 
response, and the baited hook is again taken or the 
sizzling light again approached. 

In higher animals, like chickens and children, a single 
flash of past experience, such as the unpleasant feeling 
of a furry caterpillar to the bill, or of a hot stove to the 
hand, reveals to the clearer eye of consciousness another 
more desirable mode of reaction when the same tactile 
or visual sensation associated with it is again experi- 
enced. The fewer the experiences necessary to pro- 
duce the change in the reaction necessary to secure 
the most favorable results, and the longer the time 
before the light enkindled by past experience is extin- 
guished, the greater is the intelligence in animal or 

Not extraordinary skill in doing the same thing in 
the same way all through life, by one generation after' 
another, as in the case of animals with fixed instincts, 
but ability to act in a variety of ways and to learn by 
experience, is evidence of intelligence. Man has more 
instincts than any other animal; but the variety of 
action thus made possible, and the modifications pro- 
ducecLby experience, make it seem as if he had none. 
We must remember, however, that his purely instinctive 
actions are just as blind as those of the bee, and that 
consciousness is useful only after there has been ex- 
perience, and when there is a possibility of more than 
one reaction. 



Evidently every species of animal that does not in 
general act for its own good would, in the struggle for 
existence, soon become extinct, hence instincts are in 
general useful. What is for the good of a young ani- 
mal depends upon (i) structure of the animal, (2) its 
surroundings, (3) its temporary bodily condition, (4) its 
age, and (5) the instincts of its parents. 

(1) If dogs had the instinct to dive when threatened 
with danger, and fish to jump out on dry land, neither 
would long survive as a species. If the puny rabbit 
had the fighting instinct of the bulldog instead of the 
running instinct of the deer, his career would have been 
cut short long before this. This merely emphasizes the 
truth already stated, that instinct must conform to struc- 
ture in every species of animal 

(2) What form of action is favorable depends upon 
the environment. Birds in the south need to go north 
when it gets warmer ; but if they are in the north, they 
need to go south when it gets colder. If the climate is 
too wet for an animal, he needs an instifet that impels 
him to seek dry places ; but if it is too di^he should 
have an instinctive tendency to seek water. Some 
animals have two fixed types of instincts with action 
suited to the two kinds of environment with which they 
are likely to come in contact All muskrat houses 
built in pools are on the same general plan, while a dif- 
ferent, but equally constant, form is used when the nests 
are built in streams. 

Instincts of animals that are useful to them in their 
natural environment may become destructive to them 


when the environment is changed suddenly by geologi- 
cal agencies or by the entrance of man. Thus lights 
destroy countless insects and birds, and man makes use 
of the curiosity of animals concerning strange motion- 
less objects, in luring them to destruction, and of the 
feeding instinct, to attract them by baits to his hooks , 
and traps. Animals that most quickly adapt themselves 
to these changes in environment are the ones that sur- 
vive in spite of man's cunning attacks. Every instinct 
must have developed in an environment where it was 
useful; but if the present environment is different, the' 
instinct may be useless or injurious, and thus handicap 
or destroy instead of help preserve. 

(3) The condition of the animal at the moment also 
determines the usefulness of his actions. An animal 
that would turn away from food when his stomach was 
empty, and eat it when his stomach was already filled, 
would not long survive. A deer that had a strong im- 
pulse to fight when shedding his horns instead of when 
they were well grown and firm, would be at a disad- 
vantage in preserving himself and his species. 

(4) It is evident that an animal when young and 
helpless and with parents to care for it, needs a dif- 
ferent course of action from that required when well • 
grown and dependent upon its own exertions for food N 
and safety ; while if it has young to care for, its instinc- 
tive action must be such that the species will be per- 
petuated. It follows, therefore, that to be useful, 
instincts must be adapted to different ages, as well 
as to differences in structure, bodily condition, and 

(5) It has been found that in general an animal at 


its birth has just enough instincts to preserve its life 
with the aid of the complementary instincts of its par- 
ents. For example, parent robins have an instinctive 
tendency to carry food and put it into the mouths of 
their young, hence young robins need only to open the 
mouth when the parent robin approaches. The young 
chicken, however, has the instinct to approach and peck 
at food, for the mother hen has only the instinct to find 
and show food to her young. The human infant needs 
and has at birth fey instincts, because the human 
parent has the instinctive tendency to care for it strongly 


Evidently instincts are useful just so far as they suc- 
cessfully adjust the action of an animal to the condition 
imposed by its environment, so as to preserve the indi- 
vidual and produce descendants. The actions that are 
always or nearly always useful to an animal of a certain 
structure in all environments, as, for example, those of 
gathering honey and building combs by bees, and web 
spinning and fly catching by spiders, are usually fixed 
and unchangeable ; while actions whose usefulness de- 
pends upon special circumstances are usually general 
and indefinite in character. The young chicken has the 
general instinct to follow any moving object, and this 
instinct is usually specialized by experience into a ten- 
dency to follow the mother hen, but may at the proper 
time be just as readily specialized, as Spaulding has 
shown, into a tendency to follow a person or a dog. 
The general instinct of fear is usually manifested in the 
form of fear of any strange object that is in any way 


exciting, and experience specializes this into fear of 
particular animals, as cats of dogs and chickens of 

Through the experience of the ages and natural selec- 
tion, nature has prepared her children to act in such a 
way that in a majority of cases they and their descend- 
ants will be preserved, though in exceptional cases the 
action may prove fatal Where the chances are nearly 
equal as to what forms of reaction to certain stimuli will 
be favorable, the instinct is plastic, so that the best 
mode of reaction in the present environment may be 
developed by imitation and by the individual's own 
experience. Even quite fixed instincts need to be 
plastic, so that there may be ready adaptation to 
changes in environment In past ages it was universally 
advantageous for fish to take all worms and grasshop- 
pers dropping into the stream ; but when man came on 
the scene with hooks, the instinct often had bad results. 
Probably the native instinct to snap at every worm has 
not been destroyed ; but the more intelligent fish have 
the instinct modified by experience, as many fishermen 
can testify. 

We therefore find some instincts that are perfect at 
birth, and unchanging throughout thousands of genera- 
tions of the species, and others so imperfect at first and so 
variable in form that they can scarcely be distinguished 
from habits developed by individual experience. In 
general, the fixed instincts are the most prominent in 
lower animals, and the indefinite in the higher. This 
is not so much because the higher animal has no definite 
instincts, as it is because he has so many partially or 
wholly indefinite or undeveloped ones. 



Since the structure of an animal and the usefulness 
of any form of action varies with age, we should expect 
that the instincts of any given species of animals would 
not be equally strong at all times. Observation confirms 
this view. <*Some instincts, like the feeding and fear 
instincts, are present at birth and last all through life, 
though usually they are more prominent at some times 
than at others. 

Other instincts, like that of play, are not present at 
birth, but after they appear, continue to be manifested 
all or nearly all through life, though perhaps in a dimin- 
ishing degree. The instinct of chickens to follow is a 
transient instinct, entirely disappearing in a short time if 
not developed by experience. 

Other instincts appear only at certain times, as at the 
migrating season or when caring for young, and are 
therefore in a certain degree rhythmic or periodic. 

The chief problem which child study has to solve is 
to determine the time at which each instinct of man is 
naturally most prominent. This being done, the prob- 
lem of the educator is to apply the right stimuli at the 
right time, so as to produce the most perfect and rapid 
development according to his ideas of what is desirable. 


In the plant world the order of development — leaves, 
stalk, blossom, fruit — is very definite and fixed. In 
the animal world the growth of parts of the body and 
the appearance of hair, horns, etc., are nearly as fixed 



and unvarying. Since structure and instinct are closely 
related, we should expect to find a definite order in 
which the instincts of each species of animal tend to 
develop. Observation confirms this view in a general 
way, as young animals do not show the mating, migrat- 
ing, nest-constructing, and care-taking instincts of adult 
animals, nor adult animals the same degree of playful- 
ness as the younger ones. When, however, we attempt 
to determine exactly the order in which instincts develop, 
many doubts and difficulties arise. 

The most common theoretical statement of the order 
in which instincts develop is that they appear in the 
order in which they have been. acquired in the history 
of the race, from the lowest forms up. This view is 
supported by the general biological law discovered in 
the study of embryology, that in the embryonic state 
each animal goes through stages of development in 
which it is successively similar in form or proportion of 
parts to a higher and still higher animal, till it attains 
the form of its species, and also by numerous parallel- 
isms that can be pointed out in the development of a 
child 'after birth with that of the human race since it 
has become human. This law is supposed to apply not 
so much to the first appearance of the various instincts 
as to the time of their greatest prominence. 

There are two other theoretical considerations, how- 
ever, that should be given almost equal weight with this 
theory of correspondence in the development of the 
child and the race. In the first place, the strongest 
instincts should be those that have been most univer- 
sally useful to all species of animals in all ages, rather 
than the oldest For example, the swimming instinct 


is probably one of the oldest instincts, but it has been 
of little use among many species of animals, hence it 
is not strong in all young animals. The instinct to 
withdraw from an unfavorable stimulus has, however, 
been useful to all animals in all stages of development ; 
hence it is universally present and prominent in young 

Again, we have noted the truth that different instincts 
are needed at different stages of development; hence if 
instincts developed in the same order in the individual 
as in the race, in any species of animals, that species 
probably would not long survive, since the reproductive 
and care-taking instincts are useful to the species only 
when they appear in mature animals. Hence, though 
the parental instinct is one of the oldest instincts, it is 
yet one of the latest to become prominent in individual 



Besides these fundamental, theoretical principles to be 
considered in applying the main theory of correspond* 
ence between race and individual development, there are 
others, depending upon special conditions and upon the 
laws governing the development of instincts. Since 
the appearance of instincts depends upon structure and 
physiological conditions, especially nutritive, an animal 
must be in good normal condition to show forth at 
the proper time feeding, playing, fighting, and sexual 

Sitice instincts depend also upon outer stimuli, the 
appropriate stimulus must be presented at the time 


when, because of the internal bodily conditions, the 
instinct is ripe, or the instinctive reaction may never 
appear. For example, the swimming instinct does not 
appear in ducks except in the presence of water, and 
perhaps not without actual contact of the whole body 
with it For this reason environment may favor the 
development of some instincts at certain times much more 
than at others. If the proper stimulus is never given, or . 
if the instinctive tendency is transient, as is sometimes 
the case, the instinct may never appear. For example, 
the instinct of burying bones shown by most dogs either 
does not appear, or appears only a few times if, while 
young, they are kept all the time on boards. It is 
doubtful if chickens would scratch if kept all the time 
on a smooth floor with no unevenness as stimulus to their 
feet Certainly they will not follow unless the instinct 
has exercise during the first few weeks. 

Although most instincts are stronger at certain ages 
or at certain times of the year than at others, yet most 
of them continue to exist in some degree during the 
whole life of the animal, both before their evident appear- 
ance, and after the instinctive tendency ceases to play 
a prominent part in the actions of the animal. Some 
instincts vary but little in strength all through life ; yet 
even these may develop in quite different ways in dif- 
ferent animajs of the same species because of early 
experience. For example, the feeding instinct is always 
present, but animals and persons in certain localities get 
into the habit of eating certain things and no longer 
have an impulse to try any other kind of food when it is 
presented, though when young they would have taken 
it as readily as what they now feed upon exclusively. 


The feeding instinct is specialized, yet, if very hungry and 
unable to get their habitual food, such animals and persons 
take new foods which ordinarily they would not touch. 

It is evident that with all these complications, the 
most common and natural order of development of 
instincts in animals is very difficult to determine. The 
problem is still harder in children, who have so many 
instincts, most of which are during a long period 
easily modified by special conditions. Something, how- 
ever, 4as been determined, as will be indicated later. 

Exercises for Students 

i . As a machine, how does an animal differ from other machines ? 

2. Do acquired movements ever become nearly as automatic as 
breathing ? Illustrate. 

3. Give examples of instinctive and of reflex movements. 

4. Illustrate the fact that structure and instinct correspond not 
only in different animals, and also in the same animals at different 
times. How can naturalists tell the instincts of extinct animals by 
examining their bones | 

5. Are there any acts that you can perform better when not 
thinking of them ? What kind of acts are they ? 

6. Why does an architect need to be more intelligent than a 
mason, or a squirrel more intelligent than a fish ? 

7. When is a deer probably most conscious and fearful, when 
fleeing from danger or when cornered ? 

8. Give several illustrations of learning from few experiences by 
animals or children as evidence of intelligence. 

9. Give illustrations of the various conditions affecting the use- 
fulness of instincts. 

10. Give examples of fixed and of indefinite, instincts. 

11. Give illustrations of transient or periodic instincts. 

12. Give some parallels between the development of the chUd 
and the race. -* 

13. Illustrate how the instincts of individuals may be mobUfied 
by accidental causes. 


Suggestions for Reading 

The best chapter on instinct is in James's Psychology, and one 
of the best popular books on the subject is Chadbourne's 
Instinct, All books on animals treat on the subject. 

The following chapters bear on the nature and use of instincts: 
Morgan, Animal Life and Intelligence, chap, xi; Romanes, 
Mental Evolution in Animals, chap, xi ; Wundt, Human and 
Animal Psychology, chaps, xvi and xvii ; Marshall, Instinct and 
Reason, chap, iii; Baldwin, Vol. I, chap, viii; Jordan and 
Kellogg, Animal Life, chaps, xiv and xv. 

The relation of instinct to consciousness and intelligence is dis- 
cussed ably in Morgan, Animal Life and Intelligence, chap, 
xii, and Comparative Psychology, chap, xii, and Minot, Pop. 
Sci. Mo., Vol. L&I, pp. 289-303 ; Baldwin, Vol. I, pp. 208-214; 
Watkins, Am. Jr. i Psych., Vol. XI, pp. '166-180. 

The mechanism of reflex and instinctive movements are discussed 
by Jennings, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. X, pp. 503-515, and in Loeb's 
Physiology of the Brain. 

On the general order of development read Vincent, The Social 
Mind and Education, pp. 66-90 ; Swift, Jr. Ped., March, 1900, 
pp. 295-303; Guillet, Ped Sent., Vol. VII, pp. 397-445- 


In attempting to classify instincts it is not possible 
to classify them according to the nature of the stimulus 
or the kind of movements made, or the bodily or mental 
states of the animals, for these are all so various that 
they cannot be grouped under a few heads. Again, 
those features are not of universal significance, since 
what is a useful stimulus or movement to one animal is 
harmful to another. Since all instincts owe their exist- 
ence to their usefulness, the uses subserved by the vari- 
ous instincts should be the basis of classification. To a 
considerable extent all animals have the same general 
needs, hence a classification based on the ends gained 
by instinctive acts will apply to all forms of animal life, 
including man. 

From the amoeba, which can only contract and ex- 
pand, up through the Paramecium, which has cilia that 
can move in two ways, and the duck, which may in the 
presence of danger shrink into hiding or use its legs in 
running or swimming or diving, or its wings in flying, 
to man, who may hide, run, swim, dive, fight, or make 
use of the voice in calling help or intimidating an assail- 
ant, or of artificial means of getting away, attacking, 



or intimidating, we have increasing variety of means of 
securing what is substantially the same end, that of 
escaping danger. All actions, therefore, that are clearly 
designed for the accomplishment of the same end may 
properly be grouped together, though differing greatly 
in complexity, kind of motions involved, and nature of 
stimuli calling them forth. Movements about equally 
useful in accomplishing several ends are harder to clas- 
sify, but % may best be put in a group by themselves. 


All tendencies to action which have for their primary 
end the good of the individual belong under this head. 
The most fundamental and universal form of this in- 
stinct is shown in the tendency to contract the body 
and withdraw from unfavorable stimuli, and expand or 
approach toward favorable ones. 

In its most primitive form the tendency to approach 
favorable and recede from unfavorable stimuli is found 
only in the tendency to move so as to increase favorable 
or decrease unfavorable stimuli already being received. 
For example, all animals, and even plants to some 
extent, move toward or away from light, heat, chemical 
and mechanical stimuli, so as to get more or less of 
them according to the nature of their organism. Even 
headless worms move so as to secure more of the kind 
of heat and light stimulations most favorable to them. 
It is not improbable that the migration of fish into fresh 
water, before spawning, is the result of activity that in- 
creases the thermal and chemical stimulation most favor- 
able to the fish in the condition in which they are at that 
season of the year. The movement of a fox toward a 


partridge which he scents is of this nature, though 
probably supplemented by conscious expectation. 

Besides this tendency, which is universal in all ani- 
mals, from the highest to the lowest, most animals have 
a tendency to move about and to react in certain ways 
to certain stimuli, before there is any chance to experi- 
ence their favorable or unfavorable character in even a 
slight degree. The chief ends subserved by the indi- 
vidualistic instincts are the securing of food, and the 
avoidance or defeat of enemies. The chief forms of 
this instinct may be designated as the feeding, fearing, 
and fighting instincts. 

The amoeba simply wraps itself around the food 
which it touches, while the lion stalks, kills, bites, 
chews, and swallows its prey. In both cases the same 
end is subserved. All movements made in taking, 
chewing, and swallowing food are examples of indi- 
vidualistic instincts, and the same is true of all move- 
ments used exclusively in escaping enemies by fighting, 
shamming death, or getting away. It is evident that 
means of locomotion, such as swimming, crawling, run- 
ning, and flying, are useful both in obtaining food, 
escaping enemies, lighting, and in obtaining other ends. 
There is little doubt, however, that they were originally 
developed and are now most used in self-preservation. 


If animals (except the lowest, which are without sex 
and multiply by division) had no instincts except those 
connected with self-preservation, there would be only 
one generation of each kind. To live as a species, 
animals must have instincts impelling them to produce 


and care for young, as well as instincts impelling them 
to preserve their own lives. Not only must they have 
these instincts, but in most animals at certain times the 
parental instinct must be stronger than the individualistic 
instinct, so that animals with young will deny themselves 
food and risk their lives to feed and defend their off- 
spring from danger, otherwise the species would not 
continue to exist. 

In the lower animals, such as fishes and insects, 
which produce thousands and even millions of young, 
there is need only for instincts leading to fertilization 
and laying of eggs in favorable places ; while in higher 
animals, such as mammals and birds, where only a few 
young are produced each year, and they helpless and 
in a complex and dangerous environment, it is neces- 
sary that parents shall have the instinct of caring for 
their young highly developed. 

All actions, therefore, that have for their primary end 
the producing of young, and preparing for and taking 
care of them, are classed under "Parental Instincts." 
Hence under this head we may include, with the more 
obvious actions, those less directly related to the per- 
petuation of the species, such as singing, self-exhibition, 
fighting for mates, and nest building. \ 


Many lower animals, such as bees and ants, always 
live in colonies, and have instincts that impel them to 
act primarily for the good of the group to which they 
belong, and only indirectly for the good of themselves 
or their species. In many instances there are in each 
group several different types of individuals with corre- 


sponding differences in instincts. In the case of bees 
and ants there are nearly always three or more types 
in each community. Some of the higher animals, such 
as wolves and cattle, go in groups a part or all of the 
time, and cooperate in securing food and -escaping dan- 
ger. In so doing they act not merely for their own good 
and for the good of their species as represented in their 
young, but for the good of the group to which they 

This instinct is closely related to, and possibly the 
outgrowth of, the parental instinct. It is especially 
prominent in rilan, where the tendency is fostered 
by the family life resulting from the long period of 
infancy. Association and cooperation in family life pre- 
pare individuals for association and cooperation with 
other individuals not of the same family. The predomi- 
nance of man over other animals is due in no small 
part to the greater tendency of men to arrange them- 
selves in groups, and cooperate for the common good 
in attack and defence. In the history of the world 
those tribes and nations that have had this tendency 
most strongly developed are the ones that have won 
in the struggle for existence. The lack of this 
instinct is the weakness of the Chinese, who would 
otherwise be one of the strongest, if not the strongest, 
of nations. 

This social instinct in man, and probably in some 
animals, leads not only to seeking companionship and 
acting with others of the species, but to desiring the 
approval of the group which one joins. This .in man 
develops into pride and ambition, and may also give 
rise to rivalry, jealousy, embarrassment, and shame. 



Since all the higher animals come into the world in 
an unfinished state, they need to be and are very plastic 
to surrounding forces which develop and mould them 
so that they become capable of surviving and making 
their own living in the environment into which they 
are born. Mere clay-like plasticity to outsjde impres- 
sions, however, is not sufficient. The ymng animal 
not only adapts himself to his environment by respond- 
ing to the stimuli he receives in ways most favorable 
to himself, but he actively seeks stimuli and repeats 
actions when their former stimuli are not affecting him. 
/This inner tendency to actively increase the number of 
stimuli and reactions is the basis of the adaptive instincts. 

Two phases of this tendency are more properly 
physiological laws than instincts. One is the tendency 
to spontaneous movement, £* v movement without any 
discernible external stimulus. Such movements proba- 
bly originate in the chemical changes involved in nutri- 
tion of the organism, especially the nerve centres. 
They begin in the embryonic stage ; young chicks, for 
example, before hatching, make frequent movements 
when there is no perceptible change in the surround- 
ings that could serve as a stimulus. These spontaneous 
or random movements are very numerous in early life, 
and hence there is greater opportunity to select and 
perfect such of these chance movements as prove use- 
ful. Such movements have the same place in the 
development of individuals that variation has in the 
development of the species, i.e. they furnish material 
for natural selection. 

> jt <'- ' claSSWKation of instincts / 57 

The other physiological principle is the tendency for 
nervous energy to take the same course that has just 
been taken. This not only favors the development of 
habit through the performance of the same act when 
the conditions are reproduced, but may, when there 
is a surplus of energy or a tendency to action because 
of some other stimulus, result in one or more repeti- 
tions of the act without the repetition of the originating 
stimulus. This tendency causes a child to respond in 
the same way to several stimuli, as answering "yes" 
to various questions, and to repeat a number of times 
any act that he performs, as saying such a syllable as 
" da," waving with the hand, or jumping up and down. 
This tendency to what Baldwin calls the "circular 
form of reaction," is so strong that it often seems 
almost impossible for children to stop with one per- 
formance of an act Painful and unfavorable results 
may inhibit this tendency, and pleasure or favorable 
results increase it; but it does not owe its existence 
wholly to the results of movements. Clearly with this 
tendency the power of movement must develop much 
more rapidly than it would if a movement were repeated 
only when the same inner or outer conditions happened 
to call it forth again. 

These two physiological tendencies to random move- 
ment and to repetition of movement are not, however, 
properly speaking, instincts ; for though they favor 
varied and rapid development of powers, they do not 
favor those that are useful to the organism any more than 
those that are harmful. They are the basis, however, of 
the three following tendencies which may more properly 
be called instincts, — imitation, play, and curiosity. 


Imitation may be defined in a general way as the 
tendency to repeat what has been perceived, especially 
the sounds and movements made by others of the 
same species. There is an outer stimulus in imitation 
that calls forth a movement producing to some extent 
the same stimulus. It is evident Jhat this tendency^*- 
often of direct use to an animal in adapting itself to its 
surroundings; for the young animal that imitates his 
elders (which are already adapted to their environment), 
in seeking shelter, selecting food, and avoiding enemies, 
is much more likely to survive than the one who must 
learn what is good for him from his own chance ex- 
periences, any one of which may result fatally. The 
advantages to the child who has so much to learn are 
still greater, hence he is the most imitative of all young 

Play, or the tendency to perform acts for their own 
sake rather than for the ends to be gained by them, 
is of direct use to all immature animals because it gives 
practice in performing acts before there is any serious 
need for their performance, or any dangerous results 
from imperfect performance. It is evident that animals 
that play at chasing and fighting when young will have a 
great advantage in the struggle for existence, when they 
have to make their own way in life, over those that have 
not played in youth. Sometimes play is not distinguish- 
able from the tendency to spontaneous movements, or 
the circular form of reaction, or from imitation. /"Playful 
acts are always performed for their own sake, usually 
prepare for future usefulness, and are the outcome of 
inner tendencies of development resulting from past] 
experiences of the race. 


Since playful acts are always performed for their 
own sake, they are always suited to the powers of the 
performer, neither too easy nor too difficult This is 
not denying the well-known fact that plays once started 
are often continued too long, so as to produce extreme 
fatigue and exhaustion of powers. In such cases, how- 
ever, as a rule, the tendencies that give zest to the game 
are not exhausted, though some powers needed in carry- 
ing it out are. 

Play, in general, is not completely determined either 
by chance nutritive changes within the organism or by 
stimulation from the outer environment, but by the ten- 
dency to certain forms of action which have been useful 
to the race, and which are not being used in a serious 
way. Surplus energy tends to flow out along these old 
racial channels as fast as their beginnings are developed 
in the young animal. Every instinctive tendency is there- 
fore manifested in play, and is thus perfected for future 
use. Surplus energy is a favorable condition for play, but 
what is played at any time is determined largely by the 
degree of development and the relative prominence of 
the instincts which are not needed for serious purposes. 

Curiosity, unlike imitation and play, is concerned 
more with the securing of sensations than with modes of 
action. It is an intellectual hunger, an impulse to se- 
cure and test new sensations. v v An animal that possesses 
it soon comes in contact with all phases of his environ- 
ment, and examines every new thing as it appears, before 
attempting to eat, attack, or run away from it. Under 
ordinary conditions this instinct helps an animal to 
adapt itself to its environment, and to more quickly dis- 
cover dangerous or advantageous changes in its sur- 


roundings. Since man has come on the scene, however, 
he has learned to use this instinct to the destruction 
of many animals, as, for example, the deer. It is quite 
evident, however, that under natural conditions a young 
animal with curiosity will become adapted to its environ- 
ment much sooner than one without such an instinct. 
The prominence of the instinct in the rat has thus far 
prevented his complete destruction by the traps and 
poisons of man. 

It is not too much to say that curiosity is the basis 
of all intellectual development in animals and in man. 
Imitation and play lead to the development of powers 
and the acquisition of subjective knowledge of observed 
acts, by causing the individual to perform them himself, 
while curiosity leads to objective knowledge of all kinds 
and is also a stimulus to the acquisitioh of subjective 
knowledge by imitation. Every new thing introduced 
into a familiar environment is a stimulus to curiosity, 
and every new relation of object or idea to other familiar 
ones is equally effective in man ; hence curiosity is to the 
intellect what appetite is to the body — a cause of growth 
and development 


It is not easy to demonstrate clearly the existence of 
these instincts, though good general grounds for affirm- 
ing their usefulness and their existence in man are 
easily found. Evidently, every species of animal that 
is to survive must conform to the laws of nature and the 
environment in which it lives. Every organism must 
conform to the laws of rhythmic, seasonal changes im- 
posed by the sun ; hence a tendency to conform to con- 


stant environing conditions, or, in other words, to act 
according to law, has naturally developed. Again, the 
several varieties of instincts often impel to opposing 
actions, and the tendency is for the strongest and most 
quickly acting instinct to determine action, although 
safety for the individual and species may lie in the 
direction of the action suggested by a more slowly act- 
ing instinct. In such cases a tendency to pause before 
acting and give slower instincts time to awaken and 
exercise their rightful influence would be of advantage. 
Something to make the instincts work together for the 
good of the animal and its species would evidently be 

Such an instinct probably exists, in man at least, in 
the moral tendency to conform to law and to act 
for the good of others as well as self, and in the 
religious tendency to regard a Higher Power. This 
instinct gives rise to feelings that one ought to act in 
conformity with certain laws fixed by the experience 
of the race, or by customs and habits of groups of 
individuals, and to a feeling of reverence and awe in 
the presence of the Power back of these laws. 

The constancy of law in preserving uniform conditions 
or producing rhythmic variations tends to develop the 
moral instinct of obedience, while the power manifested 
in irregular changes in nature, as in the case of storms, 
tends to stimulate the beginnings of the religious emo- 
tions of awe and reverence. For these reasons, probably 
the people of northern countries, where seasonal varia- 
tions are great, and if not conformed to, destructive, 
have the sense of duty much more highly developed 
than in tropical countries, where active conformity is 


not called for to any great extent. The difference 
between the gods and mythologies of northern and 
southern peoples cannot be wholly accounted for by 
social heredity, but must have originated in the natural 

Since every race and tribe of people has some form of 
morality and worship, there is good reason for saying 
that the tendencies to conform to law, and to worship 
unknown sources of power, are instinctive ; though what 
kind of law is obeyed, or source of power worshipped, is 
a matter of local surroundings and social traditions. 


Actions for the attainment of the various ends already 
enumerated, and numerous combinations and oppositions 
of ends and means of attainment, give rise to many ten- 
dencies to action and feeling that are not easily classi* 
fied under any of the previously named heads. Among 
the most prominent of these impulses and associated 
feelings are : (i) the tendency to collect objects of various 
kinds and to enjoy their ownership ; (2) the tendency to 
construct or destroy, and the pleasure of being a power 
or a cause ; (3) the tendency to express mental states to 
others of the species, and to take pleasure in such 
expression ; (4) the tendency to adornment, and the 
making of beautiful things, and the aesthetic pleasure of 
contemplating such objects. 

A careful study of the social life of various tribes and 
nations of this and other ages will show that these 
instincts and feelings are, in every man, nearly if not 
quite as important sources of action as the more f unda- 


mental and necessary instincts, which impel to the acqui- 
sition of food, clothing, and shelter, or the means of 
getting them. Museums, apparatus and buildings of all 
kinds, languages, and works of art are in a large measure 
the results of these instincts in man ; and there is not an 
individual, civilized or savage, who is not sometimes 
influenced more by them than by his instinctive desire 
for food and shelter. 

Exercises for Students 

1. Give illustrations of different instinctive modes of getting 
food, escaping danger, and fighting. 

2. Describe specific instances of animals acting according to 
the parental instinct even in opposition to the individualistic. 

3. Describe various instinctive modes of nesting by birds and 

4. Give illustrations of spontaneous movements, and the ten- 
dency to repeat movements that you have observed. 

5. Give illustrations of each form of the adaptive instincts. 

6. Give illustrations showing the need of regulative instincts. 

7. State evidence for or against the view that morality and 
religion are instinctive. 

8. Give illustrations of each of the resultant instincts named, 
and mention other actions that you think may be instinctive. 


Suggestions for Reading 

All the books on animal psychology and instinct will furnish illustra- 
tions of the various instincts. 

A good discussion of classy of instincts is to be found in Mar- 
shall's Instinct and Reason, chap, v, and of their relation to 
the emotions in Ribot's Psychology of the Emotions, especially 
pp. 194-198 and 260-274. • 




The human infant is a very helpless being. This is 
in accordance with the general law that young animals 
have just enough power of movement so that when 
their instincts are supplemented by those of their 
parents, they are able to live. 

The automatic movements of independent respiration, 
circulation, and digestion begin as soon as the child is 

At or soon after birth, reflex movements may be 
called forth by stimulating any of the senses, and most 
of these reflexes, such as closing the eye when the lid is 
touched, pushing out with the tongue unfavorable 
objects, and withdrawing a hand or foot that is painfully 
stimulated, are from the first, useful; while others, such 
as clasping with toes and fingers an object touching 
them, were probably at one time in the race history use- 
ful in helping the mother to carry the child. 

The instinctive movements are very few, for human 
parents are prepared to do almost everything except 
breathe and digest for the child. Even the necessary 
and important instinct of sucking is sometimes not well 
performed at first. Usually, however, it is. A strong 
f 6 S 


infant held in a certain position and lightly touched on 
the cheek will, when hungry, also make movements of 
the head favorable to the finding of the source of nourish- 
ment. There is also in strong infants early evidence 
of rudimentary attempts at maintaining equilibrium of 
head, and a little later of body also. 

The expressive mechanism for crying is well developed 
from the first, because this is needed to call the parents 
to relieve unfavorable conditions; while smiling and 
laughing do not appear till much later, because such 
movements are of little biological value. 

Starting at sudden sounds, especially when they are 
accompanied by a jar (as the sound of the slamming of 
a door), is very marked. This is perhaps the first 
evidence of a general instinctive fear of strange and 
strong stimuli. A more specialized reaction which was 
perhaps useful in an earlier period of race history is 
shown in the tendency, beginning in the first month 
and lasting several weeks, of shrinking together and 
clasping as if afraid of falling, when lowered suddenly. 
Sometimes when clothes are removed so that there is 
lack of their supporting contact with most of the body, 
the same instinctive fear is manifested. 

The tendency to bring the hands to the mouth, so 
prominent almost from the first, may be the result either 
of the habitual inter-uterine position, or of an instinct 
which was useful in the earlier history of the race. 
The tendency is certainly very helpful to the child in 
obtaining touch sensations, since objects are by this 
movement brought to the mouth for closer examination 
by tongue and lips. 

Since ability to use the sense organs is useful to the 


child, we find a partially developed reflex tendency to 
turn the eyes and possibly the ears into the most favor- 
able position for use. Some weeks or months of time, 
and possibly some experience, are necessary before any 
but the first of these reflexes are perfect Before the 
beginning of the second quarter, however, the eyes 
close at a threatened blow, move together, fixate, and 
follow moving objects; while a little later there is an 
accurate turning of the head toward the source of sound, 
and also a marked tendency to use the skin of lips, 
fingers, and toes in getting sensations of touch. 

From the first, the infant makes numerous spontaneous 
and random movements of almost every part of the body, 
independently of external stimuli. These movements,* 
resulting from organic conditions, growth changes, and 
the consequent outflow of energy, are important means 
of developing the muscles and preparing by expert- 1 ; 
ence for the voluntary contraction of the muscles thus' 


During the first few weeks the movements of an infant 
seem to depend more upon general bodily conditions 
than upon outward stimulation of any of the special 
senses, and the movements of the different parts of the 
body seem to have little relation to each other. Soon, 
however, outward and special stimuli become more 
effective, so that crying and restless movements, due 
to bodily condition, may frequently be checked by 
auditory, tactual, or visual stimulations, such as singing, 
patting the child, or shaking something before his eyes. 

In the second quarter, many combinations of move- 


ment take place. The eyes not only turn toward and 
follow a moving object, but turn toward a sound or 
toward a portion of the body that is touched, thus 
bringing more than one sense into action. The lips, 
hands, and often the feet also, not only move when 
touched, but move into contact with objects seen, which 
are then tested by other tactile surfaces and perhaps 
by eye and ear. In the meantime, the first reactions 
against the tipping of head or body have developed so 
that equilibrium is maintained against the tendency of 
head and body to move out of balance. Not only this, 
but equilibrium is maintained while grasping, and head 
and body usually move with the hand in reaching for 
an object. The movements of different parts of the 
body are therefore no longer independent of each other, 
but very closely connected. 

In this and the next quarter a new kind of movement 
becomes very prominent Random and meaningless 
movements of parts change to those repeated rhythmic 
and partially coordinated movements of various muscle 
groups which we designate as play. Certain movements 
of limbs or vocal organs are produced over and over for 
several days, then anew one is practised for a while. 
Various combinations of movements are made, and the 
muscles and the senses are thus exercised and associ- 
ated in countless ways, as the child amuses himself. 

In the latter part of the first year not only are move- 
ments previously made, repeated in play, but movements 
seen and sounds heard are often playfully imitated and 
repeated over and over. 

The process of combination goes still further, and the 
child begins to move toward things by crawling or other- 


wise, or to stand, holding with one hand and reaching 
with the other, and at about a year to maintain equilib- 
rium while standing and walking, and in getting up and 
down when he grasps something on the floor. 

Looked at in a purely objective way, the most marked 
change in the movements of a child during the first 
year is, therefore, not in number, but in complexity, co- 
ordination, and definiteness. From the use of one sense 
and one or two groups of muscles at a time, the child 
has progressed to the combined use of muscles of legs, 
body, arms, fingers, head, and eyes, in getting objects 
and obtaining visual, tactual, and auditory sensations from 
them. The early movements were unconnected and un- 
coordinated, and ended in nothing but movement ; while 
at the close of the first year they are combined and 
correlated with each other, and end in the changing of 
the position of the child or of some object. These changes 
toward more complex and unified movement are doubt- 
less preparatory to, and correlated with, corresponding 
changes in the conscious states of the child. 


"What is the baby thinking about?" is one of the 
most fascinating and puzzling of questions. Sympathetic 
imagination endows him with a thousand adult feelings 
and ideas, or dimly remembered childish states. Yet 
no one can represent the baby's ideas except in terms 
of his own present or former mental states. The im- 
portant epoch included in the first year or two of life, 
to which the memory of man goeth not back, cannot 
therefore be pictured in its true colors by the mo?t 
gifted child lover. 


The scientist is almost equally impotent in attempting 
to discover and describe the real mental states of an 
infant He is perhaps strongest on the negative side ; for, 
reasoning from general principles, he can say with con- 
siderable assurance what is not in the baby's mind, just 
as he can affirm that a planet without atmosphere has 
no animal life like our own, or that in a certain age 
in the world's history there could have been no animal 
life of a certain kind because it was too hot or too cold, 
or because there was an absence of appropriate food. 
When, therefore, the psychologist finds that the greater 
part of the cortex of the brain (which there is good 
reason to believe is the seat of consciousness) is not 
active during the first three months of life, and when he 
observes that nearly everything that the child does is 
sometimes done equally well, or even better, when asleep 
than when awake, and that in children born without a 
brain, the movements are nearly the same as in normal 
children, and when he remembers that the child cannot 
have any knowledge gained from experience that the 
adult has, he is warranted in saying that there is 
nothing in the young infant's mind sufficiently like what 
is in the adult's mind to warrant the use of the same 
terms. If he makes any positive suggestion as to the 
child's mental states, he will say that if there is any 
consciousness at first, it is most like, yet much more 
indefinite than, the vague feelings, almost without ideas, 
that are sometimes experienced by adults when in a 
drowsy state. 

The child sleeps most of the time at first, and is prob- 
ably conscious of only the more intense stimuli. The 
field of consciousness, soon to become a fairy land of 


new experiences, is at first a half-f ormed, barren desert, 
with only an occasional rock of bodily pain or oasis of 
comfort clearly discernible. 

Since the only key to the mind of the young child, 
who cannot speak for himself, by which his movements 
may be interpreted, is a mental state like his own at the 
time of making the movements, the door to his inner 
mental states is forever closed to adults. To us every 
sensation has a meaning; it is related to and calls up 
sensations like it or associated with it in past experience. 
The infant, however, has no past experience, and even 
when its movements are significant, the various sensa- 
tions are not related to each other, but merely each to 
its appropriate, separate reflex. The first sound heard 
carries with it no suggestion of sounds of its class, or of 
an object to be seen or touched. It is probably only a 
more vivid something in the mild chaos of organic and 
movement sensations. 

The child is at first simply a wonderful mechanism 
whose parts are not all finished or connected, beginning 
to feel and become conscious of what it does. It is 
distinctly conscious of only the more intense or newer 
things that it does, and learns how things are done only 
after it has done them a number of times. Conscious- 
ness probably has no influence whatever upon what is 
done for several months, but is merely an imperfect 
report of what is being done and has been done — a log 
book of the first voyage of the vessel^of life, in which 
appear only the regular food watches and the unusual 
events of the voyage. 

It is probable that there is very little unified conscious- 
ness during the first quarter ; but in the second quarter, 


when movement becomes more complex, so that the 
stimulations of one sense are connected with those of 
another, consciousness probably becomes unified in a 
corresponding degree, and every experience becomes 
associated with others like or contiguous to it. Every 
sensation soon has a background of general bodily 
sensation and a fringe of past sensations. As con- 
sciousness thus becomes unified and related, it begins to 
assume its rightful place as general director of affairs, 
and chooses that certain agreeable experiences shall be 
continued or repeated, and a little later, exercises some 
influence in determining how this shall be done. 

Thus does the semiconscious and utterly helpless 
being acquire a definite and unified consciousness, and 
gradually take possession of its developing self. The 
functioning of reflex and instinctive mechanisms that 
are perfect at birth, and of other mechanisms after 
they become perfect, has little influence on the con- 
scious self. The processes of perfecting mechanisms, 
developing them for new purposes, and combining them 
in various ways, are the chief exciters of conscious 
activity, and the means by which the mental self grows. 
Every new experience illuminates and enlarges the field 
of consciousness, and extends the control of the growing 


In the acquisition of voluntary control there are most 
interesting combinations of motor and mental processes. 
To understand them we must consider the ends gained 
by movements, both objectively and subjectively. 

Many, but not all, reflex and instinctive movements 


accomplish definite ends, while spontaneous and random 
movements occasionally do so. Every voluntary move- 
ment must have a purpose ; but the fact that some objec- 
tive end is gained, does not make it voluntary. To be 
voluntary there must be some idea of the end previous 
to the act by which it is gained. In complex volitions 
there is consciousness of several ends, or several means 
of attaining ends, and a choice as to which shall be 
secured or used. 

It is evident, therefore, that voluntary efforts can be 
made only after considerable experience in non-volun- 
tary movements, which gives a basis for forecasting the 
possible and probable results of movements in response 
to familiar stimuli. The muscular and nervous mechan- 
ism is, in part, the same, whether a motion is voluntary 
or involuntary ; but in one case the results are antici- 
pated and perhaps chosen from among several possibili- 
ties, while in the other they are not. Whether will is 
an actual force in consciousness or only the resultant of 
the various tendencies to action, it is at any rate a new 
state of consciousness, and an utterly impossible one to 
a young child whose motions consist only of separate 
random and reflex movements. 

The first anticipation of the results of movements 
probably arises in connection with movements of the 
head in search of the nipple, and the next, in turning 
the eyes toward the source of a sound. Such move- 
ments, however, never lead to the more complex acts of 
voluntary control, as do those of the limbs. They are 
so simple and reflex in character that unless the 
process is interfered with or delayed, there is little 
consciousness of any kind, and certainly no choice of 


movement or of end. The hand, however, can move in 
so many ways, each differing in character and difficulty, 
and for so many different ends, that consciousness of 
hand movements readily becomes intense, anticipatory, 
directive, effortful, selective, and hence voluntary. The 
acquiring of voluntary control of the hand is therefore 
a good type of all volitional progress. The way in 
which this takes place may best be indicated by notes 
on how my own little girl learned to grasp objects. 

" Sixty first day, noticed her own hand and looked at it 
for a number of seconds. Seventy-third day, put hand 
in her mother's mouth several times, her eyes being fixed 
on her mother's face, and her other hand nearly still. 
Her hand often went higher or lower or to one side, but 
the movement was successful and seemed to be called 
forth by the object in that position. Eighty-first day, 
held a book placed in her hands and looked at it for 
some time. One hundred and eleventh day, movements 
of scratching and pulling at things her hands touched 
became frequent, and there were some instances of reach- 
ing toward and scratching at objects, such as a magazine 
held before her. Also scratched at table-cloth and at a 
plate, and when her hand slipped off and came to her 
mouth, she uttered a dissatisfied grunt as if disappointed 
in not getting what she expected in the way of tactile 
sensation on the lips. 

"When lying on a lounge, has often got her hand 
against a curtain, grasped and shaken it back and 
forth for a long time. One hundred and twelfth day, 
got her fingers caught in a ribbon tied around the cur- 
tain and jerked at it till it came loose, and finally got 
it in her mouth. Later in the day drew her father's 


thumb into her mouth. He removed it, and she suc- 
ceeded several times in getting hold of it and bringing 
it to her mouth. When not successful, gave a fretful 
cry, but renewed the effort Sometimes her hand 
slipped over the thumb and came into her mouth, 
and she seemed disappointed and tried again. This 
seemed like a clear case of voluntary movement, though 
of the simplest kind, for there was probably no repre- 
sentation of the end to produce expectation of a certain 
tactile sensation and cause signs of disappointment and 
renewed effort when she got a different sensation. 

" One hundred and thirteenth day, repeatedly put her 
father's finger in her mouth, having no difficulty in doing 
so after she got hold of it. She was not, however, always 
successful in getting hold of it, sometimes one or two 
fingers clasped it and sometimes all slipped past. One 
hundred and fourteenth day, reached the finger several 
times without trying to put it in her mouth. One hun- 
dred and nineteenth day, carried watch to her mouth a 
number of times, used both hands most of the time, 
sometimes merely getting them behind the watch and 
pushing it, at other times clasping it with one or more 
fingers. The arms are controlled, but the fingers show 
little more than the original reflex. Head usually moved 
toward objects before and while reaching for them. 

"One hundred and twenty-ninth day, control of 
fingers not perceptibly better. She uses both hands 
when object is directly in front, and the nearest hand 
when it is on one side. Reached for watch four or 
five inches beyond reach, but not as certain to try as 
when closer. Slipped her fingers along her mother's 
when her own instead of her mother's fingers touched 


her lips. This may have been accidentally successful, 
but it showed dissatisfaction in not getting the desired 
sensation. One hundred and thirty-second day, seemed 
to be reaching behind the mirror for the face. One 
hundred and thirty-fourth day, can move her hands 
with considerable accuracy and rapidity within a small 
space directly in front of her, and in that space gen- 
erally uses both hands. When the object is on one 
side, she generally uses the hand on that side. Has 
little control in reaching up high or down low. 

" One hundred and fifty-first day, tries to grasp nearly 
everything within reach, and seems to be more accurate 
when she does it very quickly than when she reaches 
slowly. One hundred and fifty-third day, spent some 
time in catching a swinging watch and letting it go. 
Reached for it only when it was near, and naturally 
was more frequently successful when it was swinging 
toward her than when it was swinging out One hun- 
dred and sixty-eighth day, has now sufficient control of 
her movements so that toys give more pleasure than 
vexation. One hundred and seventy-first day, persist- 
ently reached for a red bow, though it was nearly or 
quite hidden from view part of the time. One hundred 
and seventy-fifth day, does not keep things in her mouth 
so much, and apparently shakes the rattle not simply for 
the movement, but also for the sound, though this is not 
certain. Often grasps things very quickly. 

" One hundred and eighty-second day, can now grasp 
and hold in one hand a ball an inch or more in diameter. 
Two hundred and second day, has been able to take a 
handkerchief off her head for some time, and to-day suc- 
ceeded a number of times in taking my stiff hat off her 


head, having difficulty only when she took hold too far 
forward and pulled it against the back of her head before 
getting it high enough. Two hundred and thirteenth 
day, if anything is held just out of reach in front or 
over her head, she will try one hand awhile, then the other, 
then give a discontented cry and try again. Two hun- 
dred and fourteenth day, took hold of my mustache and 
drew my mouth down to hers, but drew back when she 
felt the prick of the mustache. This wfts repeated sev- 
eral times, but the last time she did not bring my mouth 
down quite close to hers. Two hundred and fifteenth 
day, pulled my mouth down toward hers, but not closer 
than three inches. 

" Two hundred and seventeenth day, looked intently 
at a bell as she struck it repeatedly, evidently associating 
sight, sound, and motion. Two hundred and thirty- 
fourth day, reached with one hand, then the other, a 
dozen times for toys held just up out of reach before 
stopping to protest angrily. Two hundred and thirty- 
sixth day, reaches for tassels on her carriage, when she 
cannot see them, and sometimes cries when some one 
approaches to remove them as has been done before." 

Summing up these facts, it is clear that in obtain- 
ing voluntary control of the hand in grasping, various 
non-voluntary movements are grouped together and 
repeated until they can readily be continued in various 
ways. These combinations are produced at first in 
response to the stimulus of some object which calls 
forth various movements, one of which has desirable 
results. At first the effective stimulus is some visual 
object, and the desired result a tactile sensation on the 
lips. Soon representation of the result is sufficiently 


clear to produce disappointment when it is not obtained, 
and the attempt is repeated. The act then has the 
essential characteristics of a voluntary movement. This 
usually occurs between four and five months, while a 
month or two later there is shown the more complex 
voluntary state of representing the exciting stimulus, as 
well as the end to be secured, as when the child reaches 
for what is not in sight. At about the same time the 
end to be gained is often changed to tactile sensations on 
the hand instead of on the lips, or to muscular sensations 
as the hand is moved, or auditory sensations as the ob- 
ject is made to strike something else. When a move- 
ment is stopped because the consequence has proved 
disagreeable (as when the mustache was brought to the 
lips), we have a further complication of desired move- 
ment and undesirable consequence. 

The muscles first brought under control are the larger 
ones of the whole arm, while the space in which control 
is first exercised is directly in front and near the level 
of the mouth. 

Other movements than those of the hand come under 
voluntary control in a similar way ; first the eyes and 
head in turning toward sights and sounds, then the body 
in sitting, then the hands in grasping, and finally near 
the close of the first year, the legs in creeping, standing, 
and walking, and the vocal organs in repeating sounds. 
The first of these is so largely provided for by inherited 
mechanisms that the movements soon come under the 
possible control of consciousness, while the last involves 
the coordination of so many simpler non-voluntary move- 
ments that the whole series is often looked upon as 
acquired by experience. 



The tendency to locomotion, though primarily devel- 
oped in the race as a means of nutrition and escape, is 
fostered in the individual child more by the instinct of 
curiosity or the desire for the sensations to be obtained 
by coming in contact with various objects than by the 
desire for food and escape. 

The fact that children are a long while learning to 
walk, and that various movements such as rolling, crawl- 
ing on stomach, or on hands and feet, hitching along in 
some form of sitting position, pushing one's self back- 
ward, or rapid running from one support to another, 
may be used as means of approaching objects, before 
the child attempts ordinary walking, seems to indicate 
that there is in human beings no instinctive mechanism 
for walking as there is in the case of chickens or pigs, 
which can walk almost perfectly from the first. 

On the other hand, the fact that the walking reflex 
(the tendency to move one foot forward when the other 
touches the floor) develops in the first or second quarter, 
and that the rudimentary tendency to maintain equilibrium 
appears even earlier, shows that part of the mechanism 
of walking is in working order at an early date. Walk- 
ing becomes possible when its reflex elements can be 
properly combined. Such an instance as the following 
shows that the whole mechanism for walking may be 
developed and its parts connected without experience, 
and that consciousness hinders rather than helps, all of 
which indicates that walking in children is more instinc- 
tive than is usually supposed. 


The instance is thus described by the father, Super- 
intendent Hall of North Adams, Mass. 

" In reply to yours of March 25th, I give you the fol- 
lowing account of how my little daughter Katherine 
learned to walk. She was the youngest of a family of 
five. The other children had learned to walk soon after 
they were a year old, and in the normal fashion — by 
being encouraged to put forth a series of efforts until 
they were able to go alone. Katherine was a normal 
child in other respects, bright, active, and healthy, yet 
unable to walk a step when she was seventeen months 
old. Of course we were anxious, fearing the cause of 
this inefficiency might be physical, especially as she 
persisted in crawling and absolutely refused to try to 
help herself under the encouragement of any assistance. 

" At last we referred the matter to a physician who 
said : * It is a peculiar case, and I can hardly tell whether 
the difficulty is physical or mental. If there is no im- 
provement in a short time, call me again.' Shortly 
afterward I came home one day at noon, and placing 
my cuffs on a table in the sitting room threw myself on 
a lounge to rest. Katherine happened to notice the cuffs 
from where she sat on the floor, and crawling across 
the room pulled herself up by one leg of the table, and 
reaching out with one hand, while she held on to the 
table with the other, took a cuff off from the table 
and slipped it on over her wrist. Of course to do this 
she had to stand alone. I noticed it at once and was 
surprised when she reached out her other hand for the 
other cuff and slipped that on, and then stood looking 
in a very interested way at the cuffs on both wrists. 
Then, to our great surprise, she turned toward me with 


a very pleased expression on her face and walked as 
confidently and easily as any child could. Not only 
this, but she immediately ran across the room, through 
another room, and around through the hallway, not 
simply walking, but running as rapidly as a child four 
or five years of age would. What surprised us most 
was that she did not seem to be wearied by her effort 
at all. 

"We allowed her to keep the cuffs on for ten minutes 
or more, and she was on her feet all the time. At last 
she sat down a moment, rested, and then, strange to 
say, got up on both feet without assistance, and com- 
menced to run around the room again. As an experi- 
ment I took the cuffs off, and she was as unwilling to try 
to walk as before. We could not possibly induce her to 
take a single step without the cuffs. When, however, 
we allowed her to put them on, she seemed to be greatly 
delighted and walked and ran as before. The result 
was that I gave her an old pair of cuffs and allowed 
her to wear them for two days. This was the only 
way we could keep her from crawling. After that 
time she seemed to be able to get along without the 
cuffs, and has not crawled any since." 

Since publishing this account other similar cases have 
been reported to me. 


The child comes into the world not only with reflex 
and instinctive tendencies to special movements, but 
also to general movements. This is shown in the ten- 
dency to spontaneously exercise all of his muscles. He 
also tends to mo^e every part of the body in response 


to any strong stimulus. Young babies twist and turn 
and call into action nearly all of their muscles. When 
a little older, a bright object causes them to throw up 
hands, feet, and head, and perhaps to quiver with fear 
or spring up and down in delight 

A large proportion of these general or spontaneous 
movements are useless, but some of them, especially 
when combined with the special instinctive or reflex 
movements, secure favorable results. Such move- 
ments, according to a fundamental principle of organic 
life, are selected (not necessarily consciously, but in- 
evitably as the plant grows toward the light) for repe- 
tition. For example, a little girl who threw up her 
feet in disgust when the milk ceased to flow, happened 
to tip the bottle so that it flowed. This was repeated 
several times; after that for several months she used 
her leg to hold the bottle. Later the hand was found 
to be more convenient for the purpose, and the habit 
was dropped. In similar ways mechanisms for secur- 
ing various ends are developed, and the will thus soon 
has a chance to choose ends or means of attainment, 
or both. 

In spite of the fact that mechanisms for obtaining 
many ends are thus developed, the child does not know 
how to use them, and must learn how. He usually 
needs also to effect some modification, refinement, or 
new connection of mechanisms of movement in order 
to gain his conscious ends in the new situations which 
he constantly meets. He may have clearly in mind the 
end of getting a red ball suspended near him; but if 
it is up high, or far to one side, he may miss it a 
number of times before he succeeds in getting hold of 


it. With further experience he can reach it accurately 
the first time. If, however, the ball is placed beyond 
his reach, he must keep trying till he finds some mode 
of approaching it, such as rolling or creeping toward it 

In all such instances the marked feature of the child's 
attempts is the large number of useless and inaccurate 
movements made before success is attained and expert- 
ness gained. It is, therefore, very properly called the 
" trial and success method" of learning. The first 
success being determined largely by chance, the more 
movements that are made the sooner is the right one 
likely to occur. 

Of course the dice are always loaded to some extent 
by inheritance and acquired coordinations of sensations 
and movements, hence success is attained much sooner 
than it would be if it were a matter of pure chance as 
to which of the more than four hundred muscles should 
contract, and in what order and degree. 

Another way by which mechanisms for obtaining 
ends are developed is by imitation. When a child sees 
an interesting movement or hears an interesting sound, 
he has not only a tendency to move all his muscles, but 
a stronger special tendency to move the muscles neces- 
sary to reproduce the perceived movement or sound. 
In this way he soon perfects the mechanism for making 
many movements that are useful to others, and which 
will be useful to him some day. Some children early 
learn all the sounds of the language in this way, later 
using the ability thus acquired in uttering words as a 
means of expressing their wants. 

In a large number of instances the child sees others 
getting what he wishes to get, and by observing their 


movements his own are modified in the direction of the 
movements necessary to success. Imitation is therefore 
especially valuable in complex acts involving the use of 
several mechanisms which have never been used together 
in the required way. Almost all kinds of games and 
occupations may be learned by this method. 

There is still another and higher method of learning — 
that of learning by means of the understanding or 
reason. In its simplest form this means of learning 
merely supplements the other methods. By the " trial 
and success method/' for example, a young and active 
cat gets the door of its cage open sooner than an older 
and less active one; but the older cat drops useless 
movements much quicker in subsequent experience, and 
therefore sooner learns to open the cage by the one 
necessary movement. In the older cat conscious in- 
telligence probably aids in selecting and " stamping in " 
the right movement. In a similar way the process of 
learning by imitation may be hastened by conscious 
selection of the portions of an act necessary to success, 
and the proper modification of them to suit the powers 
of the learner. In its higher forms the understanding 
may be used in learning to do entirely new things, by 
selecting from various observations and past experiences 
the elementary acts required, and combining them in 
the proper way. This mode of learning is in its highest 
manifestations really a kind of discovery, invention, or 

These three methods of learning are used by both 
adults and children whenever ends are to be gained by 
new means. The " trial and success method " is espe 
dally useful in perfecting the simpler mechanisms of 


actions, the " imitation method," in learning the simpler 
processes, or, in other words, in connecting elementary 
movements with each other ; while the method of " under- 
standing or reasoning" is best in learning to perform 
complex acts or in coordinating several processes for 
the accomplishment of one end. In learning to touch a 
point accurately the " trial and success method " is best, 
in learning to knit, the "imitation method," and in learn- 
ing to play chess, the " understanding method," though 
each method may be supplemented by one or both of 
the other methods. 

Animals and young babies learn almost wholly by 
the "trial and success method," and by unconscious 
imitation, young children by more or less conscious imi- 
tation, and adults by understanding. This is partly 
because the things children are learning are, as a rule, 
of a different kind from those that adults are learning, 
and partly because the adult's mind is better suited to 
learning by means of ideas. It is absurd to have adults 
try to learn acts of manual skill, such as bicycle riding, 
by the method of understanding, and simply outrageous 
to depend upon such methods in teaching children to 
write and draw. 

Conscious knowledge of the exact movements in- 
volved in complex acts is of less significance than is 
usually thought. It is generally recognized that there 
is little or no consciousness of the details of familiar 
acts like walking, writing, catching a ball, etc., but it is 
usually supposed that we had to become conscious of 
all the details when we learned the movements. This 
is a mistake, however, for many things are learned with 
little or no consciousness of the elementary movements 


involved. This is especially true of movements learned 
when young. All movements largely reflex and instinc- 
tive in character, and most of the elements of movements 
gained by the " trial and success method " and by imita- 
tion have never been known as means to ends, except 
when more than one way of gaining an end is suggested 
at the same time. Children, and even adults, are often 
checked rather than aided in their efforts to gain an 
end, by attempting to teach them exactly what motions 
they must make in order to succeed. In general, con- 
scious knowledge and understanding have been given 
too prominent a place in the early stages of manual 
training, especially in the case of children. 


The chief difference between a man and a photo- 
graphic plate is that man has active instincts which 
impel him to do something else besides receive and 
reproduce impressions. Of course he responds to a much 
greater variety of stimuli ; but the chief point is that he 
is not passive, but reaches out into the world for stimuli 
and responds to them in many self-determinate ways. 

The chief differences in a human being at different 
stages of development are due not merely to experience, 
but to different instincts which are present or prominent 
at different periods of life. 

As we have already seen, impulsive movements are 
the basis of voluntary control, since by no possibility 
can the mind know how to make a motion or what will 
be the result until the motion has been made and the 
result experienced. The different ways in which a child 
responds to the various stimuli that he receives are 


important means of distinguishing one sensation from 
another, and the chief means of associating them in cer- 
tain ways, hence our intellectual life is based ultimately 
upon our reflex and instinctive movements. The emo- 
tions of a child also depend upon the ways in which he 
reacts to various objects, the modes of expression used, 
and the internal bodily changes that occur. His emotions 
are therefore largely the consciousness of his own re- 
actions to his surroundings. It is just as impossible to 
experience an emotion previous to its corresponding 
instinctive reaction as it is to voluntarily make a 
particular movement that has never before been made. 
Nothing surprises us so much as new emotions that 
suddenly come into our lives, as novelists have often 
shown in one sphere of instinctive development. 

In the higher forms of action, involving not merely 
control of movement but complex ideas and feelings, 
emotions seem to be the conscious determinants of 
action. It is really instinct and habits, however, that 
determine what feelings shall be experienced under 
present conditions and that render possible the pictur- 
ing of the feelings that may be experienced through 
the proposed actions. 

Our whole mental life, intellectual, emotional, and 
volitional, is developed from our instincts. All activities 
of conscious life have for their root, unconscious, blind, 
instinctive tendencies. The silking of growing corn is 
not more entirely determined by the laws of organic 
development than is the emotion of love in the youth, 
by the emergence of a new instinct from the depths of 
his unconscious nature. 

In our further study of instincts and their develop- 


ment, therefore, we are really studying the fundamental 
yet unrecognized basis of all intellectual, emotional, and 
volitional development 

Exercises for Students 

i . Report observations or printed records of the early reflex and 
instinctive movements of infants. 

2. Describe instances of an infant of less than a year, using many 
parts of the body in a coordinate way for a single end. 

3. Mention several specific movements of an infant less than six 
months old, and give reasons for thinking them either unconscious, 
conscious, or voluntary. 

4. Report early instances of volition observed by yourself or 
found in reading. 

5. Report from observation, hearsay, or reading as fully as you 
can how one child learned to walk. 

6. Report from observation or reading, instances of animals 
learning by the " trial and success method." 

7. Give illustrations of the three methods of learning in the case 
of persons. Name two or three things that may best be learned by the 
" trial and success method," by the " imitation method," and by the 
" method of understanding," indicating in each case whether the age 
of the person makes any difference as to the prominence of the pre- 
ferred method. 

8. By which method should children learn to sing ? 

9. May we expect a child to know how to control a new feeling ? 

10. Should we strive to control a child's actions by his feelings or 
his feelings by his actions ? Why ? 

11. Is it better to do a kind act for a child or let him do one for 
you ? Why ? 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the general subject of infant development, read Preyer, Moore, 
Shinn, Tracy, Compayre, Vol. I, and the following articles: 
G. S. Hall, Ped. Sen., Vol. I, pp. 127-138 ; Mrs. W. S. Hall, 
Ch. S. Mo., Vol. II, pp. 33°-342> 458-473> 522-537, 586-6)8 ; 
Darwin, Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. LVII, pp. 197-205. 


On the development of voluntary control and learning to walk, see 
Spence, Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. XIII, p. 444; Kirkpatrick, Psych. 
Rev., Vol. VI, pp. 275-281 ; Baldwin, Science Vol. XVII, p. 113, 
or Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. XLIV, p. 6o6» and Science, Vol. XXII, 
p. 286, or Mental Development, Vol. I, pp. 47-103, 367-430 ; 
Dexter, Ed. Rev., Vol. XXIII, pp. 81-91 ; Judd, Genetic Psy- 
chology, chap, vi ; Trettein, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XII, pp. 1-57 ; 
Compayre, Vol. II, chap. iv. 

On methods of learning, see Thorndike, Human Nature Club, chap, 
iii, or Pop. Set. Mo., Vol. LV, pp. 480-490. 

On relation of instincts and emotions, see James, Psychology, chapter 
on " Emotions, 11 and Ribot, Psychology of the Emotions, chap, 
vii; Baldwjn, Vol. II, pp. 185-220. 




The usages of polite society all tend to suppress and 
cover up this instinct, but it remains as a powerful 
underlying force, directing the feelings, thoughts, and 
actions of men and women. In times of excitement it 
bursts into view in a most surprising way. In a 
moment, a company of courteous ladies and gentlemen, 
apparently intent only on giving each other pleasure, 
may be transformed into a pack of wild beasts, strug- 
gling and trampling under foot their helpless com- 
panions in the effort to escape from a burning building. 

Even when reflective consciousness has attained to 
the view that life is not worth living, and decides upon 
suicide, a sudden change in conditions will arouse the 
all-powerful instinct to live, and the individual then 
struggles for life as frantically as if it were the most 
desirable of all things. For example, a Frenchman 
who was on his way to drown himself, promptly climbed 
a lamp post and clung to it with desperate energy 
when death appeared in the form of a tiger escaped 
from his cage. In a similar way, a young lady wading 
into Lake Michigan to drown herself avoided destruc- 
tion by running to shore when threatened with being 
shot if she did not do so. Each had suppressed in 



one form only the instinctive tendency to avoid death, 
hence impending destruction in another form produced 
the usual instinctive reaction. 

So strong is the self-preservative instinct that few 
sane persons commit suicide. It is also very difficult 
for any one to voluntarily injure himself. Considerable 
determination is necessary to prick one's own finger in 
order to get blood for examination under a microscope. 
It is also almost impossible to refrain from instinctive 
movements when injury seems to be threatened. The 
man who offered a prize to any one who would hold his 
finger against a gla$s without flinching, while a rattle- 
snake struck at it from the other side was quite safe in 
doing so. In all sudden emergencies, where blind 
instinct rather than reason controls, action is nearly 
always governed by the individualistic instinct. 

In deliberate action other instincts may temporarily 
attain ascendency in consciousness, yet none of them, 
as a rule, maintain their prominence for long periods of 
time. Many cooperative and communistic experiments 
have failed because they were opposed to the all-power- 
ful individualistic instincts. Cooperative institutions, 
which appeal to other instincts and to the individual- 
istic also without opposing the one to the other, are, on 
the other hand, grand successes. 


The instinct of self-preservation is not only the oldest 
instinct, but one that has been mo&t uniformly useful to 
all species from the earliest beginnings of animal life, 
hence we should expect it to be strong in the young 
child. There is, however, a still more important reason 


for expecting it to be strong in the young of all animals, 
including man, viz. because it is the only instinct that 
can be of any use in this stage of early helplessness. 
Any tendency on the part of a young animal or child 
to act for the good of any other being than itself would 
be futile, and in many cases injurious to itself and indi- 
rectly to its species, hence the individualistic instinct 
must be dominant in the young of all species that 

The dominance of this instinct in the child is due, 
not so much to its greater intensity in childhood as 
to the fact that he has neither the power nor the 
tendency to use any other instinct (except the social 
and adaptive, and these only for his own advantage). 
When older, other instincts develop in a form that make 
it possible to act for the good of others. The individual- 
istic instinct is then less prominent because it is no 
longer the only source of action. It is doubtful, how- 
ever, whether the individualistic tendency is really de- 
creased very much in adults, though its influence is 
partially counteracted by other instincts and by training. 

The child needs not only to act for his own good, but 
to act so as to make his necessities and desires known 
to his parents that they may be supplied, hence the 
instinctive and acquired powers of expression are made 
to take the place of powers not yet developed. Activity 
in forcing his wants upon the attention of adults is more 
helpful to him in securing the means of subsistence, 
safety, and develppment than activity on his own 
account in trying to get them. The child is, therefore, 
a natural and persistent beggar. He not only makes 
his wants known and forces them continually upon the 


attention of parents till his desires are satisfied, but 
often seems to assume command over his elders as his 
servants, and to demand of them what he wants. This 
tendency is natural and unmoral, not immoral; but both 
for the child's own good and that of his elders, it needs 
to be kept within bounds and directed. Even mother 
birds, cows, and dogs find it necessary, as their little 
ones grow up and become able to care for themselves, 
to refuse their demands and perhaps drive them away 
to look out for themselves. In a similar way parents 
should continue to do things for a child only so long as 
he is unable to do them for himself. Even before that, 
social training should be begun by requiring him to 
indicate his wants quietly and politely. 


The individualistic instincts, like all others, are at first 
blind. All the child's early movements are for his own 
well-being, hence the ideas, emotions, and volitions that 
develop from these movements are concerned with 
obtaining desirable things for self, though he has, as 
yet, no clear idea of self . 

In the second and third year, when the adaptive in- 
stincts and the lower forms of the social instinct are very 
prominent, and the self is only partially distinguished 
in consciousness from others, whose acts and mental 
f states are so frequently reflected in the child himself, 
(action is less directly individualistic. The child does 
and feels as others around him, and sometimes seems 
equally well pleased whether he or some one else gets 


or does a thing, though in otter instances he is very 
strenuous about being the one to do, taste, see, etc. 

In the fourth and fifth years, when the child has be- 
come more of a self-conscious being, he looks ahead to 
the favorable or unfavorable results of actions, and 
recognizes the fact that favorable results to another 
often mean that they shall not come to him. The 
charming appearance of unselfishness in desiring others 
to eat, see, hear, etc., then disappears, and he, as a mat- 
ter of course, tries to get all good things for himself. Re- 
flex sympathy, and the desire for approval, influence his 
motives and actions ; but usually he tends to choose con- 
sciously that which will bring pleasure to himself, regard- 
less of how it will affect others (except as their pain is 
reflected back upon himself). Sometimes he schemes 
to both gratify selfish impulses and to secure social 
approval, as did a little girl who had been taught to 
take the smaller piece, when she insisted on giving her 
brother his choice of two parts of an apple, instead of 
taking her choice first. 

In general, the question which the child mentally asks 
of every object and every person is, " What are they 
good for ? " meaning by " good," " What can I get out 
of them ? " He is the centre of the universe, and every- 
thing and everybody is for his pleasure. Persons, as 
well as things, are valued in proportion to the amount 
of pleasure he can get from them. 

The first few years of school life are preeminently the 
period of selfness or individualism. The chief motive 
in life is to get everything possible for himself, — objects, 
sensations, knowledge, privileges, and honors. It is the 
period in which individual rivalry is least checked by 


altruistic impulses. The interests of the child's family 
and special friends are looked after, largely because 
they are his. The prowess of a big brother, or the 
possessions of a father, or the goodness of a friend, are 
merely a part of the young monarch's treasures, to be 
exhibited to those outside of his dominion. Their inter- 
ests are to be advanced as a means of self-enlargement 
If, however, their advantage should conflict with his, 
they at once become of secondary importance. Every 
new acquisition of possessions, friends, knowledge, ex- 
perience, and power is enjoyed as an enlargement of 
the kingdom of self. 

To be thoughtful of the interests of others, or to be 
interested in anything not concerned with the advance- 
ment of this kingdom of his, would be to be something 
other than a healthy, normal child. He cares as little 
for things outside of his domain as did the people of 
ancient nations. The way in which the child mind re- 
lates everything to self is beautifully shown by asking 
children to give sentences containing such common 
words as cat, house, book, and noticing what a large 
proportion of the sentences bring self in (e.g. " My cat 
is white," " My uncle has a bull dog," "This is my book ") 
as compared with corresponding sentences written by 
older children or adults. 


The extreme egoism or selfness of a child from six to 
ten is not to be deprecated (though it may need some 
mitigation) for it is an important and valuable phase of 
development. The usefulness of any individual depends 
upon what he is, the knowledge and power that he pos- 


sesses, and the use he makes of them. It is therefore 
necessary that the first law of life should be one im- 
pelling to self-enlargement and development. If the 
law of service to others were the dominant one in early 
life, there would never be a self capable of efficient 
service. It is fortunate, therefore, that no training 
can entirely suppress or overshadow the individualistic 
instincts in early life, otherwise many children would 
soon be so good they would be good for nothing as 
men and women. 

Modesty is undoubtedly a most admirable thing in a 
man, especially one who has already developed a great 
personality, but it is very disadvantageous in a child. 
The more pride and ambition a child has, so long as it 
is connected with active effort rather than passive enjoy- 
ment, the better for his future development. If praise 
and reward prompt to fresh effort (within the limits 
of his strength), a child can scarcely have too much 
recognition of his achievements. What would be insuf- 
ferable egotism in an adult is perfectly proper in the 
child. If the child has companions who are his equals, 
and is held to standards of attainment which require his 
best efforts, he may be freely encouraged in the belief 
that he is accomplishing wonders. 

Every parent and teacher should frankly recognize 
that the all-powerful motive to the child is gain to self. 
The gain to self may take the more refined forms of 
securing the approbation of others or of demonstrating 
his power to do things for them ; but it most contribute 
in some way to the enlargement of the child's self, in 
the minds of others and to his own consciousness. 

Intelligent training, either for good or evil, will be 


based on the individualistic instinct. If it is good train- 
ing, it will lead the child to discover that he can get the 
most for himself in the long run by being kind and 
helpful to others, because of the return favors, rewards, 
and approbation thus gained. If the training is bad, it 
will lead the child to the belief that he gets the most 
when he disregards others, and gets all he can for self. 
The worst possible training is the fond and foolish kind 
which appeals to unselfish motives (without success, of 
course), inflicts no punishment, and guards from the 
natural consequences of acts. 1 A parent who guards a 
child from the natural results of his wrong acts, and a 
teacher who makes many rules that only the good chil- 
dren take the trouble to obey, while the bad ones enjoy 
the forbidden privileges, form the worst conceivable 
combination, especially if the child has no chance to 
play with children of his own age. The rough com- 
panionship of the playground without any attempt at 
control by parent or teacher would be much better. 
If he strikes another child, he gets a blow in return 
which teaches him that such actions are not profitable ; 
while if he strikes a fond parent he gets no blow, and by 
a little crying in addition he may get some jam. 

Even sympathy, gratitude, and all the higher virtues 
are based on regard for self. Only one who has 
experienced an unpleasant mental state and felt a strong 
desire to be freed from it, can appreciate such mental 
states in others and experience gratitude for relief. The 
golden rule is of most significance to him who cares 
most for himself. 

1 For illustration, see Tanner, Journal of Childhood and Adolescence^ 
VoL II, pp. 91-99, 229-246. 


This is one of the three most distinct forms of the 
individualistic instinct and one of the first to be mani- 
fested. Physically, the feeding instinct is the essential 
one in early childhood, but mentally it is of no great 
importance. The apparatus for satisfying the instinct 
is so nearly perfect at birth, and the sensations given by 
the first food — milk — are so mild, that the act of nursing 
produces little consciousness. When the instinct is not 
satisfied, the sensations arising from hunger and from 
the act of crying are, however, probably among the 
first vivid conscious experiences of the child. The 
sense of taste proper plays a small part in the mental 
life of the child during the first two years. His 
curiosity, playfulness, and interest are much more 
readily excited by tactile, visual, and auditory stimuli 
than by taste proper. The pangs of hunger rather 
than the pleasure of satisfaction are what render the 
feeding instinct prominent in early life. 

Variety in food develops the instinct of eating in a 
positive way, so that by the time a child is three or four 
years old sensations of taste occupy a prominent place 
in his consciousness. This continues for several years, 
and there is probably no time in life when gustatory 
pleasures and pains are more intense than at five or six 
years of age. To be able to gratify the desire for agree- 
able food and avoid disagreeable tastes is at this time 
one of the chief motives in life. 


Next to feeding, the most fundamental instinct is that 
of escaping pr avoiding danger, or fear. To be more 



exact, fear is the emotion experienced when such actions 
are performed, and especially when they are interfered 
with. Starting at loud sounds is one of its earliest 
manifestations in children. Another early and striking 
evidence of this instinct is shown in the fear of falling 
that appears between one or two months, and lasts only 
a few weeks. This form of the instinct may never be- 
come conscious, since it dies out so quickly. The fear 
of falling, a number of months later, is largely the 
result of experience. 

The modes of manifesting fear are various, such as 
running, hiding, screaming, keeping silence, changing 
color, etc., but they are all largely instinctive, and at one 
time in race history, were connected with self -preservative 

All new, sudden, and strong stimuli are likely to 
call into action the fear expressing apparatus. Sounds 
are more frequent causes of fear than sights, probably 
because such stimulation may be more strong or 
sudden. Aside from strength, suddenness, and new- 
ness it is doubtful whether the one kind of object is 
in itself more fear-exciting than another. The dangers 
to young animals are so various that it is doubtful 
if any one kind of danger could have developed a 
specific kind of fear such as fear of hawks by chick- 
ens, of cats by mice, or of snakes by children. The 
important thing for a young animal is that he shall 
respond as his parents do to new stimuli, or if they are 
not present, that he hide or get away from possible 
danger. The chicken crouches when a hawk appears 
because its mother crouches and gives the danger signal, 
or if alone, because a sailing bird like a hawk is a new 


object. The mouse avoids the cat because its mother 
does, or as it avoids all moving things that are new to it. 
The child fears a snake because of the shudders, excla- 
mations, and stories of adults, or possibly because of the 
strange form and movements of the reptile. 

Probably the only specialized fear that is instinctive is 
that excited by the danger call of parents. If there is 
any other it is fear of darkness, but that is a condition 
in which fear may readily be excited rather than a 
specific object of fear. All animals and persons are 
more easily frightened in strange surroundings as well 
as by strange objects. Darkness makes the surround- 
ings strange and unknown, hence in darkness fear is 
readily excited. 

In the case of children in the dark no external object 
is necessary to excite fear ; imaginary objects are suffi- 
cient Unless children have been accustomed to a light, 
they never become frightened at the dark until their 
imagination develops. When a child is capable of 
picturing events, the recall of any fearful experience 
while in the dark where the eyes do not contradict the 
imagining is sufficient to excite fear. Thus a little girl 
about two, who had been told the story of the " Three 
Bears," with realistic imitations of the large bear, 
suddenly developed fear of being left in the dark. 

After a child has once experienced fear in the dark, 
he has a tendency to fear whenever left in the dark. 
His imagination makes various vague or vivid pictures, 
and often the more vague and indefinite the picture, 
the greater the fear, for it has the element of strange- 
ness and he has no means of demonstrating that it 
has not objective reality. Where some definite visual 


object is feared, especially if it is something new, the 
fear may often be allayed by bringing a light and 
showing what it is, or that nothing is really there. 

There are few children who do not, for a consider- 
able time, suffer tortures in the dark, often without the 
knowledge of their parents. An unsympathetic or ridi- 
culing adult does not invite confidence, hence even if 
the child's fears are of sufficiently definite things to be 
expressed (as they are not usually), he does not make 
many attempts to explain. He often either suffers in 
silence with head covered or finds all sorts of excuses 
for getting adults to come to his room or strike a light 
in it. 

The period of greatest fear, though it varies with 
special experiences, is usually at about three or four 
years of age. No matter how careful parents may be 
about having their children frightened by stories or 
otherwise, they usually become at this time virtually 
little "'fraid cats." Biologically, this is the time when 
they begin to act for themselves to some extent away 
from parents, and consequently the time at which readi- 
ness to become frightened and run home would be most 
useful. Psychologically, it is a time when the imagina- 
tion is very active, and when its action is not limited 
by any fixed laws of possibility or probability. Children, 
however, who are unimaginative, or who are fortunate 
enough to escape fearful experiences, are often at this 
time literally without fear. Never having experienced 
it they do not know what it is. A single experience, 
however, in which the child is really frightened (not 
merely hurt), may transform him into an arrant coward. 

Fear should be and usually is a waning instinct, yet 


one that never entirely dies out As the child becomes 
better able to take care of himself, and more familiar 
with his surroundings, fear in the sense of a sudden and 
strong emotion becomes less, though perhaps fear in the 
sense of caution or prudence is increasing. With prog- 
ress in civilization, and knowledge which makes the 
conditions of life safer, and leads more and more to 
the belief that even the unknown is governed by known 
laws, fear should gradually die out 

Undoubtedly, there is less fear than formerly, but 
many people suffer all their lives from fears which are 
usually quite unreasonable. Some of these fears of 
natural forces and forms, such as thunder, fire, water, 
caves, reptiles, and insects, may be survivals from more 
primitive conditions of life ; but they are probably merely 
transmitted from one generation to another by social 
heredity. Others of them, such as of guns, engines, 
knives, etc., cannot possibly be instinctive. 

Fear in the sense of prudence, which leads one to 
avoid what is likely to bring unpleasant results, or in 
the sense of caution in regard to incurring unknown 
consequences, is a good thing; but fear, in the sense* 
of a sudden, strong, paralyzing emotion, is injurious 
physically, stupefying mentally, and degenerative mor- 
ally. It makes one's life miserable, weak, unworthy. 
Every effort should therefore be made to eradicate it. 
Fear is so powerful an instinct in children that by 
means of it they may be made to do almost anything. 
It should not, however, be used as a motive except in 
the milder forms, which develop prudence and caution 
rather than terror. 

As to modes of dealing with the fear of children, a 


few general principles only are clear, (i) Occasions of 
fear should be avoided as far as possible, and when it 
is excited, reassurance given as quickly as possible. To 
compel children to endure terrors is decidedly cruel, and 
utterly useless as a corrective. If their fears can be 
allayed by temporarily bringing a light or otherwise re- 
moving the cause of fear, or if the child can be induced to 
be "brave" and face it himself, much is gained. (2) Un- 
reasonable fears, which are the most common and least 
dependent upon experience, cannot, as a rule, be dissi- 
pated by reasoning ; but one can only trust to quieting 
assurances, time, and experience, and the growth of 
courage and self-control, to effect a cure. 

Fears caused by unfortunate first experiences with a 
class of objects may usually be dissipated by reasoning 
and favorable experiences. The quicker such cure can 
be applied, the better. For example, a two-year-old boy 
was frightened by a thunder-storm; but at his first call, 
suggesting rising terror, his father went to him and 
talked to him, comparing it to the lighting of great 
matches, and remained with him awhile, admiring the 
beauty of the storm. The result was that he never 
afterward showed fear of a thunder-storm. 


The fighting instinct and its accompanying emotion, 
anger, are early aroused by anything interfering with 
the child's activities or wishes. It is first manifested by 
crying, turning away the head, pushing away an offend- 
ing object, and later in kicking and striking, and not 
infrequently by stamping with the feet or striking the 
head against the floor. 


In general, this emotion is more intense and easily 
aroused in children than in adults, but also very much 
shorter lived. Within a space of less than half a minute 
a boy of two fondly stroked his mother, then jumped 
from her lap in anger when she refused to let him do 
something, then burst out laughing at something he saw. 

In dealing with this emotion care should be taken to 
avoid occasions of anger, especially when the child is 
hungry or otherwise in an irritable mood, and equal care 
taken that he gains nothing by his outburst, but rather 
loses something. Under no circumstance should the 
parent or teacher meet anger with anger, for nothing 
will more surely make the matter worse. Indifference, 
isolation, or a calm resistance that makes the child real- 
ize the utter uselessness of his passion are usually more 
effective. The reaction following a futile outburst of 
anger is likely to arouse reflections that lead to future 
efforts at self-control 

As to the fighting instinct, and the much mooted ques- 
tion whether boys should be allowed to fight, it may be 
said that the instinct is a natural and legitimate one if 
not carried to excess. A boy with no tendency to fight 
under any circumstance, or with the tendency under full 
control, would be a monstrosity as a child, and a nonen- 
tity as a man. Nothing can be more unwise than to tell 
a child he must never fight. It is not only unwise but 
wrong to absolutely prohibit a child from fighting — 
wrong to his nature, and to that of other boys, who will 
thus be tempted to impose upon him. Fighting is a 
crude form of social action adapted to the early stage 
of human development, and usually results in valuable 


On the other hand, as a rule, the tendency to fight 
needs no encouragement The best corrective for ex- 
treme pugnacity is, however, an encounter with a supe- 
rior in the art, rather than the words or blows of some 
one in authority. 

Competition is a form of fighting that is very promi- 
nent all through life. The tendency to individual com- 
petition is very strong the first half-dozen years of school 
life and may very properly be utilized in school. Care 
should be taken to make it fair to all, and after a time it 
should take the form of competition of groups rather 
than of individuals. 

Exercises for Students 

i. Give illustrations of the strength of individualistic instincts in 

2. Give proof showing the uaelessness to the species of any other 
than individualistic acts by children. 

3. Give a number of observations you have made, showing how 
children are governed by individualistic motives. 

4. It will be well to make the experiment of having children and 
adults write sentences containing common words, and note to what 
extent self is brought in. 

5. Two children of four and six, who went to buy a present for 
baby sister and for grandma, could hardly be prevented from buy- 
ing things that neither baby nor grandma could use, though attrac- 
tive to children of their own age. Why was this ? 

6. Mention a number of ways of using rivalry in school. 

7. Women are more personal in their relations than men, they 
are also better primary teachers. Is there any relation between 
these two qualities ? 

8. Which should a teacher praise, perfectness of results or indi- 
vidual effort and achievement ? Why ? 

9. Which would you rather have, a child with too much or too 
little regard for and confidence in self ? Why ? 


10. Illustrate how a child may be led to see that he can get more 
pleasure by obedience and kindness than by the opposite. 

11. A little girl who had often been reproved for not persisting in 
her tasks, showed a great deal of gratitude when her father worked a 
long while to make something for her. Why was this ? 

12. Give illustrations of sympathy and gratitude of children. 

13. Report observations or reminiscences of the prominence of 
the desire in children for good things to eat. 

14. Give a full report of your own fears at different ages, also 
report observations that you have made. 

15. Give evidence for and against the view that there are special 
instinctive fears. 

16. Illustrate the importance of first experiences in giving rise to 

17. Show how caution may be developed without exciting fear. 

18. Report from observation and reading, modes of treating 

19. Discuss evils and advantages of fighting among boys. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the instinct of self-preservation, see Drummond, Ascent of Man, 
chap, vi, and Ribot, Psychology 0/ Emotions, pp. 199-206, and on 
egoism and altruism, consult psychologies, especially Hoefding. 

On the early emotions and their expression, see Compayre, Vol. I, 
chap, v ; also Preyer, Tracy, ei al. 

On fear, read Ribot, pp. 207-217 ; Hall, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VIII, 
pp. 147-249 ; Stanley, Psych. Rev., Vol. I, pp. 241-256 ; Am. Jr. 
Psych., Vol. IX, pp. 418-419 ; Barnes, Studies in Ed., Vol. I, pp. 
18-21 ; Calkins, Ped. Sem n Vol. Ill, pp. 319-323 ; Sitwer, Kg. 
Mag., Vol. XII, pp. 82-87 ; Tracy, pp. 44~47 » Preyer, Part I, 
pp. 164-172 ; Sully, Studies in Childhood, chap, vi ; Rowe, Out- 
look, Sept. 2, 1898, p. 232. 

On anger, read Hall, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. X, pp. 516-591 ; Ribot, 
pp. 218-329 ; Tracy, pp. 47-49- 



I. The Parental Instinct 


The term parental instinct includes all native ten- 
dencies to produce and care for the young. Since 
sexual reproduction is the rule in all animal life except 
possibly in a very few of the lowest forms ; and since it 
has been necessary among all species that have survived, 
it might be supposed that the parental instinct would 
appear in man at a very early age. This instinct, how- 
ever, does not, as a rule, appear with any prominence 
until more than a dozen years after birth ; hence primi- 
tiveness and universal usefulness cannot, in this case at 
least, be the most important factors governing the order 
of the development of instincts in the individual. Evi- 
dently the principle of usefulness, as determined by 
degree of maturity of the young animal, and the con- 
ditions under which he must live, is the factor of greatest 
significance here. 

All physical and mental tests show that the differ- 
ences between boys and girls are slight up to ten years 
of age. Sexual feelings are probably experienced 
before this only in abnormal children. As a rule, boys 



and girls exercise very little sexual influence upon each 
other until just before puberty, though there are of 
course many exceptions. Most of the little "love 
affairs " between small boys and girls are not greatly 
different from the chumming of those of the same sex. 

At puberty, however, there is a change. At first it is 
manifested in a slight shyness in each other's presence, 
or in repugnance to the companionship of the opposite 
sex. A little later there is a subtle attraction toward 
persons of the opposite sex, and a marked tendency to 
dress and act differently in their presence. This ten- 
dency soon becomes very strong. In the meantime, 
distinct sexual feelings have been experienced in con- 
nection with dreams or otherwise. 

In the ideal normal development the sexual feeling 
and impulse are unconsciously the basis of the attrac- 
tion toward the opposite sex, and of the desire to attract 
the notice of its members and please them. The age of 
love and romance has come, and well for the youth is it 
if in loving he is conscious only of the physical beauty 
and moral and intellectual worth of his love, while the 
unconscious sex passion remains an unrecognized but all- 
powerful force, impelling him to devote himself body 
and soul to the object of his regard. 

After marriage and the birth of a child, the other 
form of the instinct, that of protecting and caring for the 
young, appears in its full intensity, especially in the 
mother. There are, however, earlier manifestations or 
premonitions of this instinct in caring for pets and 
younger children by both sexes, and in doll play, chiefly 
by girls. It would seem, therefore, that the impulse to 
care for young appears in at least a rudimentary form 


before the impulse to produce young, though the latter 
instinct must be much older in the history of the race. 
It may be, however, that these care-taking impulses 
are the result of social influence and imitation, or as 
Hall suggests, of fetichism rather than of the develop- 
ment of the parental instinct. 

The genuine care-taking or parental instinct of adults 
is by no means confined to those who are parents. 
Maiden aunts and bachelor uncles often seem to have 
more of it than the parents themselves. The best pri- 
mary teachers have it in a marked degree, and a strong 
parental instinct may be regarded as essential to all who 
try to influence children and young people. 


Since the parental instinct is and has been in all ages 
absolutely necessary to the continuation of the species, 
and is in its very nature both individual and social, it has 
become associated with all forms of action. 

On the one hand, it has developed the fighting ten- 
dency, since fighting for a mate is the most common 
form of combat. The tendency to competition is thus 
increased, courage is developed, and ambition aroused. 
On the other hand, it has developed the opposite ten- 
dency of seeking the favor of a mate. Most male 
animals engage in some kind of courtship in which 
they exhibit their powers and charms to the best advan- 
tage, and strive to please her. 

The tendency to certain forms of play and to adorn- 
ment is also increased by the sexual impulses. Darwin 
and others hold that there is a close relation between 


the development of the aesthetic sense and sexual selec- 
tion. It is significant that love is the most frequent 
inspiration to artistic productions in poetry, painting, 
and music. Lancaster finds that the appreciation of 
beauty is greatly increased at puberty. There is good 
reason, therefore, for holding that the aesthetic feelings 
and impulses are closely related to this instinct. 

It is evident, without discussion, that the social in- 
stinct and feelings are only an extension of the parental 
instinct from the family to larger groups. 

Moral impulses and feelings are evidently related to 
the parental instincts, since one of the first and most im- 
portant forms of ownership is the ownership of a mate, 
and resulting from such ownership are certain rights and 
duties. In this instinct we find the first impulse to 
please, help, and guard others instead of to act wholly 
for self. The virtues of diligence in seeking food, and 
courage in fighting rivals and defending offspring, are 
developed in the males, and those of patience and ten- 
derness in the females. 

The relation of the parental instinct to the religious 
was long ago suggested by the fact that revivals and reli- 
gious excitement were frequently accompanied by many 
engagements and marriages. Modern research has 
confirmed this view and shown that in all ages and 
among all peoples, religion and the sexual impulse are 
related in some way. The exact causal relations are not 
yet clear, but both instincts involve something of the 
same feeling of love, reverence, and self-devotion to the 
object of one's love. Hence religious awakening fre- 
quently results in love for some one of the opposite sex, 
and love often leads to religious interest. For similar 


reasons sexual and religious excesses and abnormalities 
are frequently associated. 

It is evident that the parental instinct is not only 
necessary to the life of the species, but also to the health 
and life of the individual physically and spiritually. No 
other instinct, therefore, exercises such a profound and 
far-reaching influence upon character. 


Since the parental instinct is one of the most powerful 
of instincts, and in man is related to all phases of his 
nature, it is especially important that it develop along 
right lines. In order that this take place there must be 
avoidance (1) of an excessive or perverted development, 
and (2) of unfortunate associations in consciousness. 

(1) Sex feelings and perverted functioning of the 
instinct sometimes occur in young children and even in 
infants, but most commonly at puberty. Looking at the 
matter from the physiological side, we note that not 
infrequently some physical defect is the^ause of sex 
excitement and perversion in childhood. I Circumcision 
is often helpf ul 4 in preventing such premature develop- 
ment in boya. Uncleanness and irritation produced by 
clothing are to be avoided as frequent exciters of the 
organs. The ganglion especially concerned in the sex 
instinct is located in the lumbar region of the spinal 
cord, and heat is a most potent stimulus ; hence the sleep- 
ing of a child with back to a feather bed or to a com- 
panion, especially in a warm room or under thick covers, 
should not be permitted. Stimulating food should be 
avoided, and as puberty is approached it is especially 


important that the child have plenty of outdoor exercise 
and something to occupy mind and body. 

From the social side it is desirable that boys and girls 
should play together freely without sex distinctions 
being made prominent Social customs usually demand 
different conduct on the part of girls, but it were well 
to make the differences as slight as possible, before ten 
at least. / Joking young boys or girls about their beaux 
is as objectionable as pulling at buds on the rose-bush 
long before they are ready to open. Boys and girls 
should be permitted to remain good comrades and 
chums as long as possible without any thought of love. 

There is no reason whatever for separating boys and 
girls in primary schools. In secondary schools and 
colleges there are many arguments on both sides. 
There is no doubt, however, that sexual development is 
more normal and healthy when the sexes are together a 
great deal than when they are separated. This, and the 
fact that the best education for life is most like the life 
to be lived, are strong arguments for coeducation in this 
country, where men and women meet so much on equal 
planes after they leave school. 

(2) The question of greatest practical importance 
regarding the parental instinct is, " What conscious asso- 
ciations with the impulse shall be formed ? " The asso- 
ciations may be low and vile, or high and pure. In the 
one case, selfish sensualism is likely to result, and in the 
other, altruistic devotion and social service. 

This matter is closely connected with the question of 
how boys and girls shall acquire a knowledge of sex 

It may be asserted that in the case of this as in other 


instincts it is best to let the instinct gradually and natu- 
rally come into consciousness as it begins to function. 
This would be a good way to do were it not for a few 
very practical reasons against it. 

In the first place, social customs and moral principles 
do not permit the functioning of the instinct except in 
a very limited and prescribed way, and that not until 
long after the instinct has become very strong ; hence 
the necessity of controlling the instinct must be learned 
artificially rather than by the natural social punishment 
following indulgence. 

Second, ignorance of sex functions cannot be pre- 
served in boys or girls who associate with others. 
They inevitably acquire some knowledge, and that 
usually of the filthiest sort. 

In the third place, the sex instinct, not having oppor- 
tunity for its natural functioning, is likely to produce 
unnatural modes of gratification, whose evil effects are 
unknown to the youth. Recent studies indicate that 
this is the case among nine-tenths of the best boys. 
Such unnatural gratification is injurious physically when 
carried to excess as it often is, and always more or less 
damaging morally even if not carried to excess. This is 
especially true where the imagination plays a large part 
in the indulgence. The fountains of pure love, man- 
hood, and decency are often forever befouled. The youth 
is thereby unfitted for the highest type of love, the most 
perfect union with one of the other sex, and the purest 
fatherhood. His social, aesthetic, moral, and religious 
capacities are also almost inevitably undeveloped or 

The importance of giving the sexual impulse right 


associations is very much emphasized by recent studies 
of sexual abnormalities. It seems that, on the one hand, 
almost anything, as an old shoe or the sight of blood, 
may become a stimulus to the sexual orgasm; while 
on the other hand, the unexpended sexual energy may 
be utilized in almost any line of physical, emotional, or 
intellectual life. Science, religion, and philanthropy, as 
well as art, literature, and industry, may be promoted, 
therefore, by the use of the unexpended energy of the 
all-powerful sexual impulse, diverted by appropriate 
associations into these channels. 

It is surprising how long civilized people have con- 
tinued to believe in the idea that children may be kept 
innocent sexually by keeping them ignorant of sex 
functions. It has always been a double failure, for the 
attempt to keep children ignorant has almost universally 
failed, hence on that score the choice is necessarily 
between half knowledge reeking with secret filth and 
evil suggestions, and full satisfying knowledge drawn 
from the pure fountain of parental wisdom accompanied 
with and suggestive of high feelings and holy im- 

It is generally acknowledged that the sexual impulse 
is inevitably one of the most powerful inner life ten- 
dencies, especially during the adolescent period. This 
instinct may be the basis of all manly and womanly 
virtues, stimulating to love, tenderness, devotion, cour- 
age, and high aspiration in social, aesthetic, moral, and 
religious life, or the foul source of hate, brutality, self- 
indulgence, weakness, and low desires, in a purely sel- 
fish and beastly life; yet as a rule, young people are 
allowed to remain ignorant of all this. 


No parent who loved his children would permit them 
to go out from his care into new surroundings, sure to 
make or mar them morally, without seeking to prepare 
them for avoiding dangers and securing benefits in 
the new conditions of life. The adolescent is enter- 
ing such a life ; hence there is no excuse for allowing 
him to enter it without some foreknowledge of the facts, 
possibilities, and dangers to be faced. 

The imperfect knowledge gained from companions is 
both unsatisfactory and misleading. Lancaster found in 
the possession of one advertising firm, seven hundred and 
five thousand letters from boys who had thus consulted 
quacks regarding their perverted habits and real or sup- 
posed diseases. Some had paid hundreds of dollars for 
treatment, when the symptoms described were perfectly 
normal (such as sexual dreams). Many of the boys 
were suffering untold agonies because they supposed 
they were ruined physically, socially, and morally. 
They dared not speak to parent, family physician, or 
adult friend, but poured out their whole souls to these 
distant and unworthy strangers. 

As to when the knowledge should be given, the an- 
swer is plain, i.e. when the child first questions regard- 
ing it and whenever further questions call for fuller 
explanations. An unanswered question is insistent; 
curiosity once aroused, grows by attempts of others to 
suppress or divert it, and the matter is almost surely 
dwelt upon secretly, and frequently knowledge is sur- 
reptitiously sought. If one waits till the advent of 
puberty, the mind of the youth is probably already 
befouled, and in any case, very much directing of atten- 
tion to the matter at this time may stimulate undesirable 


subjective states. To speak frankly for the first time 
to a child of this age, is also so embarrassing that not 
one parent in a thousand dare attempt it, though he 
knows it to be his duty. On the other hand, the per- 
fect and unconscious innocence of the child of four 
who asks where he came from or about parts of his 
body, makes plain, unabashed speaking comparatively 
easy to adults who ordinarily cannot free the subject 
from its, to them, evil suggestions. Further and fuller 
information should be given as the child grows older. 
The tendency on the part of the child to go to the 
parent for information on this subject as frankly and 
freely as on other subjects, instead of seeking it secretly 
or of evil companions, should be carefully preserved. 

Perfect truthfulness and frankness is the one essen- 
tial, though much is gained by giving this truth sacred 
associations. Books written for the purpose of giving 
sex information may be useful, but should not wholly 
take the place of frank talks between parent and child. 
Teachers may sometimes be very helpful to young 
people whose parents have neglected their duty in this 

II. Development of the Social Instinct 

Men are preeminently social beings. Among all 
races of men are to be found, not only families, but 
larger aggregations, living in close proximity and asso- 
ciation with each other. This is necessarily so, since 
solitary individuals have little chance of survival in the 
struggle for existence with nature and with groups of 
men. Desire for companionship is the natural inherit- 
ance of an ancestry that must have sought it in order 


to survive. Hermits are therefore rare exceptions, 
while to most persons solitude is the greatest of punish- 

This instinct is manifested (1) in the tendency to 
seek the companionship of others, or gregariousness ; 
(2) in the impulse to feel as others do, or sympa- 
thy i (3) in efforts to please others, or love of appro- 
bation ; (4) in action with others for a common end, and 
for the good of others, or altruism. 

(1) The gregarious instinct needs to be prominent in 
the young, as their life depends upon^their associations 
with adults. Most children manifest a desire foiTthe 
presence of adults before they can walk. A little later, 
though ordinarily shy of strangers, they seek the pro- 
tection of any human being, if frightened by an animal. 
As early as the second year they manifest great pleasure 
in the company of children near their own age. Evi- 
dently they feel the greater likeness to themselves, and 
this "consciousness of kind" produces a relationship 
different from that with adults. Young children not 
only enjoy the company of other children as they can- 
not that of older people who are so different, but they 
also often understand each other much better than 
adults understand them. 

Association with persons who are older, and with 
those who are younger, gives pleasure and valuable 
social development ; but these are produced in greatest 
measure by association with those of one's own age, 
where there is both give and take, coupled with a better 
understanding and efforts for common ends. Children, 
even as early as the second year, receive an education 
from being with children of their own age that can be 


obtained in no other way. The child who is never 
allowed to be with other children is deprived of a valu- 
able birthright, and can never be quite the same socially 
as he would have been had he associated fully with 
other children. A child may be better in some ways 
and learn more by being kept with adults, but never can 
his whole nature be so fully developed. 

Chums exercise a powerful influence over each other 
where the relation is continued for a long time, and 
this more or less complete sharing of life with another 
is a valuable experience. If, however, the relation 
is long continued, and is so close that there is no asso- 
ciation with other persons, the effect is narrowing, 
because both are cut off from a wider social life. Again, 
if one of the chums is a leader and the other a follower, 
the results are unfortunate, for every child should have 
experience in both capacities. 

(2) Sympathy is closely related to, and probably, to 
some extent, the product of, reflex imitation. The child 
reflects the emotional expression of others, and as a 
result feels somewhat as they do. Children, therefore, 
readily cry in terror, or laugh with glee, when those 
around them do so. 

Real sympathy, of course, appears only when the 
child not only feels somewhat as others do, but con- 
sciously represents them as having feelings like his own. 
This is likely to occur in the third year. When the 
idea is once developed it is likely to be extended not 
only to persons, but to animals, flowers, and even sticks 
and stones. The child does not clearly distinguish him- 
self from other things, hence his mental states are 
readily projected into them. He thinks of other things 


as feeling as he does, hence all nature seems to rejoice 
or weep with him. When something in which he is 
interested is injured, he also feels the injury much as 
if it were himself. The child is thus, in a way, the most 
sympathetic of beings, because he is identified with 
everything that he knows. He begs that relief may be 
given as if he himself were the sufferer, as indeed he 
isrto a considerable extent. 

On the other hand, when interested in himself and 
his own actions, it is often hard to get him to think of 
any one elsA. As he gets a little older, and distinguishes 
more clearly between his own experiences and those of 
others, the individualistic instinct takes the lead, and 
rarely indeed does he feel an impulse to take suffering 
in place of another. 

Again, the basis of a child's sympathy is his own 
experience, hence he is often indifferent to the deepest 
joys and sorrows of adults, though very sympathetic 
toward those who are annoyed by what is to him a 
cause of keen suffering. 

In order to have sympathy aroused, one must not 
only have had experience of the kind concerned, but his 
imagination must be excited so that he puts himself in 
the place of the sufferer. Boys are often cruel, not 
because they wish to cause suffering, but merely because 
they enjoy seeing the victim make queer motions with- 
out once thinking how it feels. Sympathy, therefore, 
depends not only upon experience, but also upon the 

(3) Love of approbation has its origin in the race, per- 
haps in the fact that approbation of mates must be 
sought, since the animals that do not make themselves 


agreeable to the group they have joined are likely to be 
driven out to die. At any rate, the desire for appro- 
bation is very strong in young children, even when not 
developed by experience. The tendency to reflect the 
emotional signs and feelings of others, and thus to share 
the pleasure or disgust of the one observing him, is 
perhaps the basis of the child's desire to be looked upon 
with favor. The desire for approval never dies out, 
even in the breast of the most hardened criminal, who 
is often a hero to members of his own gang. 

Even before a child can talk, he seems to be affected 
by words of approval or disapproval, if they are uttered 
in the appropriate tone of voice and with the fitting 
gestures and expression of face. When the fighting or 
competitive instinct is not aroused, the child is very 
sensitive to expressions of approval or disapproval from 
any one against whom he feels no antagonism at the 
moment At first he cares most for approval of parents, 
later of teachers, then of companions. At puberty his 
ambitions are stirred and he wishes for the approval not 
merely of individuals, but for that of the world ; in other 
words, he wishes to make a name and become famous. 
In middle life most men care more for their reputation, 
or, in other words, for the opinion others have of them, 
than for their own personal needs and individualistic 
desires. So strong is this instinct that what we eat, 
wear, read, and do, are largely determined by it 

Children are not only greatly influenced by praise 
and blame ; but they act, to a considerable extent, as 
parents, teachers, and others expect them to act Chil- 
dren thus often become what their teachers believe 
them to be, and many a boy has been saved by the 


faith reposed in him by teacher, parent, or friend. It 
is therefore very important that educators should see 
the good in children. No one who has not a large faith 
in humanity, and in the possibilities for good in every boy 
and girl, should ever enter the schoolroom as a teacher. 

The approval of companions as compared with that of 
parents and teachers gains in influence with advancing 
years. The approval desired is not merely personal 
approval of individuals, but of the social group as a 
whole. In other words, the child comes to have more 
and more regard for the public sentiment of the social 
group to which he belongs. After a few years in school 
the public sentiment of a group of boys, as expressed 
in taunts, such as, " girl's work," or " tied to mother's 
apron string," is a more powerful stimulus than the 
words or even the blows of the parent or teacher. 

In the early years parents and primary teachers who 
have the love of their children may get them to do 
almost anything by appealing to the desire for personal 
approval; but as children get older they care more and 
more for the public sentiment of their social group. 
The successful grade teacher must therefore learn to 
understand, mould, and use public sentiment in govern- 
ing her school ; while the high school teacher must do 
the same, but may also rely upon the general principles 
of conduct accepted by the world. 

(4) Altruism, the highest form of the social instinct, 
is shown in the tendency to act for the good of the 
social group of which one is a part, instead of merely 
seeking their companionship, feeling as they do, or 
seeking their approval. This tendency appears more 
or less prominently in the early teens. 


At this time, when the youth first becomes capable 
of contributing to the life of the race, and of actually 
doing something for the group to which he belongs, his 
ambitions are aroused, and he dreams and plans for 
great deeds and great honors. The desire for approval 
is strong, but there is also a genuine impulse to self- 
sacrifice. Youths in all ages have been ready to risk 
life, limb, and reputation, not chiefly because they are 
ignorant and rash, but because they have an instinctive 
tendency to disregard self and act for others. 

Youths are then also for the first time genuinely 
selfish, since if a selfish act is done now it may be in 
opposition to an altruistic impulse, while before this 
it had involved only a choice between immediate and 
remote pleasure to self. True selfishness emerges only 
when both the lower individualistic and the higher 
altruistic impulses are felt. The adolescent may there- 
fore be the most selfish or the most self-sacrificing of 
beings, and is often each by turns. 

The development of the impulse to social service is 
greatly favored by experience of all kinds in working 
with others for common ends. In such activities the 
individual's life is enlarged, and in contests of group 
with group, he subordinates his personal interests to 
the success of his party, thus securing the broader 
pleasures of the social life. 

We find, then, the development of the social instinct 
marked by increased regard for the interests of others 
atad for law. ) Laws come to mean not merely the rules 
of action which bring to the child the most favorable 
results, but standards of conduct to be conformed 
to, whether agreeable to self or not, because they are 


for the good of the social group. This tendency is 
shown at the beginning of the teens, in class spirit in 
the school, in group games on the playground, in chil- 
dren's societies, and in the formation of gangs on the 
streets. Rivalry of group with group may be even more 
fierce than ever was individual rivalry at the height of 
the individualistic stage of development. The greater 
the rivalry, however, between groups, the greater the 
class spirit within the groups. 

The social group, whose interests are regarded and 
promoted sometimes by self-sacrifice, is at first very 
small. Only slowly does the social impulse broaden 
into general philanthropy and feeling of human brother- 
hood. Class spirit is a phase of social development that 
needs to appear in a radical form and in connection with 
rivalry as a preparation for the higher phases of social 
development. It sh ould therefore be encouraged, but 
care should be taken trlaf there shall beTrequent change 
and enlargement of the social groups engaged, other- 
wise there is arrest of development, narrow prejudice, 
and partisanship, rather than broad sympathy and 
philanthropic effort. 

Exercises for Students 

1. Give illustrations showing the strength of the gregarious in- 
stinct in adults, children, and animals. Report instances of showing 
effect of shyness as illustrations of the social instinct in children. 

2. Give examples showing desire for companionship with those 
of one's own age, and the advantages of such companionship. 

3. Describe one or more instances of chumming you have known, 
and the effects upon each of the chums. 

4. What are the characteristics of a leader ? Should every child 
have some experience as a leader ? How may he get it ? 

5. What kind of chums do children desire ? Report observa- 
tions or readings. 


6. Does being an only child, or the eldest or youngest of the 
family, have any special influence on development ? What ? 

7. Describe instances of sympathy on the part of children. 

8. Show that experience and imagination are necessary to sym- 

9. Show how large a part love of approbation plays in social life 
and morals. 

10. Show how the teacher may utilize the love of approbation of 

11. In what grades has personal approval most influence ? And 
in what grades is public sentiment more potent ? 

12. Discuss the kinds and degrees of self-government that may 
best be used at different ages. 

13. Illustrate the prominence of altruistic ideals in the teens from 
experiment or observation. 

14. Discuss the social value, to yourself and others, of member- 
ship in societies of various kinds to which you or they have belonged. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the significance of the parental and social instincts, read Drum- 
mond, Ascent of Man, chaps, viii and ix ; Ribot, Psychology of 
the Emotions, pp. 248-259, 275-289 ; Small, Fed, Sem., Vol. VII, 
pp. 13-68. 

On the general problem of sex, see Geddes and Thomson, Evolution 
of Sex; Ellis, Man and Woman; Clark, Sex in Education. 

On the sexual and social characteristics at puberty, see Lancaster, 
Ped. Sem., Vol. V, pp. 61-128, and any other articles on " Adoles- 
cence." See also Bell on " Love between the Sexes," Am. Jr. 
Psych., Vol. XIII, pp. 235-254; Brockman, Ped. Sem., Vol. 
IX, pp. 255-276. 

On information regarding sex functions, see Hart,/r. Ch. and Ad., 
April, 1902, pp. 1 07-1 16; Barnes, Studies in Ed., Vol. I, pp. 
301-308, and the best of the books described in the latter article. 

On boys 1 clubs and other social activities of childhood, see Shel- 
don, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. IX, pp. 425-448 ; Forbush, Ped. Sem^ 
Vol. VII, pp. 307-346 ; The Boy Problem, chaps, ii and iii ; Buck, 
Boys' Self Governing Clubs ; Riis, Children of the Poor 7 chap. 


xiii ; Gladden, "The Junior Republic at Freeville, Outlook, Oct. 
31, 1896; Shaw, "Vacation Camps and Boy Republics," Rev. 
of Rev.) May, 1896 ; Johnson, " Rudimentary Society Among 
Boys," Johns Hopkins Univ. Studies, republished in Teachers 
College Record, 1901. 

On chums, see Bonser, Fed. Sent., Vol. IX, pp. 221-236; and on 
leadership, Barnes, Studies in Ed., Vol. I, pp. 295-298, and 
on only child, see Bohannon, Fed. Sent., Vol. V, pp. 475-496. 

On social ideals and attitude toward law, see Barnes, Studies in 
Ed., Vol. I, pp. 213-216, 254-258, 259-263, Vol. II, pp. 5-30, 
37-40, 124-140, 141-150, 203-217, 218-230; Sully, Studies in 
Childhood, chap. viii. 

On the development of the social consciousness and social training, 
read Monroe, AT. E. A., 1898, pp. 921-928, or N. W. Mo., 
Vol. IX, pp. 31-36; Boone, Ed., Vol. XXII, pp. 395-401, 
Vol. XXIII, pp. 83-89, 270-276, 617-621 ; Wiggin, Children's 
Rights, pp. 109-138, 171-186. 

On pity and sympathy and other social feelings, see Hall and 
Saunders, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XI, pp. 534-591, and Ribot, 
Psychology of Emotions, 230-234, Baldwin, Vol. II, pp. 220- 
246) Tracy, pp. 55-59. See also Hugh on a Animism of Chil- 
dren," N. W. Mo., Vol. IX, pp. 45°-453> Vol. X, pp. 71-74? 
Hall and Smith, Fed. Sem., Vol. X, pp. 159-199; Jones, Psych. 
Rev. Supple., Vol. V, No. 5. 





In general, we think of acts as imitative when they 
reproduce acts that have been observed by the performer. 
The psychological basis of imitation is the general ten- 
dency of the idea of an action to result in the action. 
In imitation the idea of the act comes more or less 
directly from the perception of the act as performed by 
another. It is imitative just in proportion as the idea 
and the impulse are derived from the perception of the 

If a hungry child begins eating when he sees some one 
else eating, the act is not properly imitative, for the 
child knows what eating is, how to eat, and has a ten- 
dency to eat, while the sight of some one else eating 
does nothing but suggest the idea, which would probably 
be aroused just 'as effectually by the sight of food or 
even by the utteranceof the word " dinner " or the sound 
of the dinner bell. If, however, a child tries to eat 
like some one else, the mode of eating is imitative be- 
cause the ideU of how to act is gotten from the observa- 
tion of the act If a child eats when not hungry \ or eats 
something he does not like because he sees another 
eating, the act is imitative, because the impulse to per- 
form it results from observing its performance. When 
k 129 



a child makes a new sound that he has heard, or tries 
to pack a trunk after seeing for the first time some one 
else do it, the act is imitative in a greater degree than in 
the preceding ; for the idea of the act, how to do it, and 
the impulse to perform it are all the result of observing 
its performance. 

Many of the child's acts are imitative in this sense, 
but it is doubtful whether this is true of many animals. 
Chickens, cats, rats, and dogs may run toward food or 
away from danger, or begin searching for food at sight 
of companions doing the same, or make noises in re- 
sponse to noises made by their kind, and such acts are 
often called imitative ; but the animals know how to do 
these things and have a tendency to do them, and per- 
ceiving them done by another merely suggests the idea 
without modifying its form or giving it much impulsive 
force. Thorndike and Small found that animals which 
observed their mates do new things, such as opening a 
cage, did not learn more quickly to do them than those 
that had no such chance for observation. Trainers of 
dogs and horses for show purposes also depend but very 
little upon imitation. It seems, therefore, that the imi- 
tative tendency is not strong enough in most animals to 
cause them to perform new acts they have observed, 
but only to suggest the doing of things to which they 
already have a tendency, and perhaps to modify the 
mode of doing (as in the case of birds learning to sing). 

Children, however, have a strong tendency to observe 
and perform new acts ; hence imitation is an important 
means of widening their experience and fitting them for 
various activities and conditions. In most animals imi- 
tation does little more than specialize and develop ten- 


dencies already possessed in some degree, in ways that 
will favor survival; while in children it leads to an 
almost infinite variety of action and adaptation to vary- 
ing conditions. 


(1) Reflex imitation is shown when a child is caused 
to do something he has a physiological tendency to do 
by perceiving the act performed by another. Yawning, 
crying, laughing, an(TdfKeremotional expressions, which 
may be reproduced by children in the first half year, are 
of this class. The stimulus to reflex imitation is largely 

(2) Spontaneous imitation is shown when acts not 
provided for by other instincts are reproduced without 
any purpose other than the all-sufficient and uncon- 
scious one of an impulse to reproduce and to experience 
subjectively what has been observed objectively. Th^ 
stimulus is usually a perception of some kind. Eyery r 
thing, from the crowing of chickens to the whistle of 
a locomotive, from the wriggling of a snake to the 
preaching of a sermon, is imitated. Nothing in his 
environment, physical or social, escapes the child ; he 
absorbs and makes it all a part of himself by reproduc- 
ing, and thus getting a subjective knowledge of it. 
For three or four years this form of the instinct is 

(3) Dramatic or constructive imitation is closely 
allied to the spontaneous, and differs from it chiefly in 
that the child now finds his own mode of reproducing 
or representing ideas. Images of previous perceptions 
are the usual stimuli. As in spontaneous imitation, 



there is no purpose outside of the act itself. Things 
heard or read, as well as those observed, are imitated ; 
but the reproductions are not literal. Persons, animals, 
stones, and blocks are transformed in various ways by 
the imagination, and made to aid in the representations. 
• Symbols and images thus take the place of real person- 
alities and acts.- 

(4) Voluntary imitation or imitation for a purpose 
appears when a child reproduces an act, not for its own 
sake, but to gain some end, as when a child imitates a 
word he has heard in order to get what he wants, or 
tries to walk like some one else to make people laugh, 
or tries to handle a spoon or pencil as some one else 
does, in order that he may eat or write successfully. 
This form of imitation is concerned merely with how to 
imitate or represent. The impulse depends upon the 
end to be gained, and not upon the mere perception of 
the act. Voluntary imitation is always more or less 
analytic and synthetic, attention being directed to the 
parts of the process, and to the order of combination or 
synthesis. Memory images are the guides in voluntary 
imitation. When a child imitates spontaneously the 
act of writing, he simply takes the pencil and scratches 
around with it; but when he voluntarily imitates the 
drawing of another, he watches his successive move- 
ments and tries to reproduce them. 

Voluntary imitation is a different act from spontane- 
ous imitation, as was most strikingly illustrated in the 
case of a child who, before the close of the first year, 
reproduced with phonographic exactness every word 
she heard ; but later, when she tried to use words 
voluntarily as a means of expressing thought, she went 


through the usual stages of mispronunciation. Not 
often is this so marked ; but every observer of children 
knows that children who spontaneously imitate the 
tones of those they hear speak and read, often find it 
difficult or impossible to do so voluntarily in response 
to a request Every one can laugh or cry spontaneously, 
but few can do so voluntarily. 

(5) Idealistic imitation is that form of imitation in 
which there is an attempt to act according to a copy 
or standard conceived as correct and desirable. It is 
guided by conceptsT It is an attempt, not to reproduce 
or represent any one act or object, but to produce an 
ideal derived from these numerous particulars. / Such / 
ideals, whether social, aesthetic, moral, or reHgtmis, are 
naturally formed and imitated' not from a study of their 
expression in the form of general truths, but as shown 
in concrete acts and objects.^ 


The different varieties of imitation combine and over- 
lap so that detailed and exact statements cannot be 
made ; but the general order of prominence is evidently 
that in which they have been named, 

(i) Reflex imitation is the only form of imitation . 
until the second half of the first year. Later it is 
obscured, but remains all through life as an important 
form of suggestion. It is for this reason that good 
humor and bad humor, politeness and rudeness, careful- 
ness and carelessness, are "catching." All persons, 
but especially children, are like mirrors reflecting back 
what they observe, responding to smiles with smiles, 
and to irritable words with similar words and actions. 


The personality and mood of each person is mani- 
fested in some degree in his face, voice, and actions, 
and the child reproduces reflexly to a greater or 
less extent every such manifestation, and is himself 
modified by it. If several children are together, each 
acts reflexly on the others. The teacher who comes 
into the room in the morning in an irritable mood, soon 
infects some of her children, and these others. She is 
therefore confronted ere long by an irritable and irritat- 
ing school ; while the teacher who has entered the room 
with cheerful good humor and kindly feeling, is soon 
surrounded by a joyous group of children eager to follow 
her leading and respond pleasantly to her slightest 

(2) Spontaneous imitation usually becomes very promi- 
nent the latter part /of the first year. Although con- 
cerned with new acquisitions, reflex imitation is often 
combined with it, as when the tone in which a new 
word is uttered is reproduced as well as its pronuncia- 
tion. In fact, the early imitations of words are often 
merely imitations of tones and inflections of voice rather 
than of specific sounds. This is probably due to the 
early development of reflex emotional expression. 

Sometimes the early spontaneous imitations are of 
single sounds and gestures, and sometimes of more 
complex acts. My little girl imitated acts at first, as 
poking the fire, packing a box, driving a nail, but never 
gestures, such as raising the hand, nodding the head. 
Neither did she imitate words as such, but only the 
act of speaking on occasion. Children frequently repro- 
duce sounds like a phonograph, and gestures, like a 
shadow, sometimes without ceasing their play to do so. 


In no case, however, is spontaneous imitation analytic 
and synthetic. It is always of wholes, large or small. 

The value of spontaneous imitation lies in the great 
amount of material accumulated in the form of knowl- 
edge and power of movement, which may be used or 
analyzed and combined, then used in future actions for 
a purpose. The knowledge thus acquired is of immense 
extent and of the most fundamental character, for it is 
subjective as well as objective. The child learns to 
know movements and sounds not only as they are seen 
and heard, but also as they are felt when performed or 
uttered, and he can not only recognize them, but also 
control them. Thus by spontaneous imitation he makes 
the world his own and obtains control of it. 

Although so various, spontaneous imitations are not 
the result of chance. Nothing is imitated that does 
not a ttract the atte ntion. AttenHonTs'determiiied by the 
prominent instincts pr experiences as they appear in 
the life of the developing child ; hence, the spontaneous 
imitations of each age are indications of the stage of 
development that has been reached. The investigations 
of Frear indicate that young children spontaneously 
imitate animals and children, while in the majority of 
cases older children voluntarily imitate older persons. 

At about three years of age contrary suggestion often 
appears, and at more or less frequent intervals, controls 
the child's action. The child seems to be surfeited 
with taking into himself and reproducing from his sur- 
roundings. He therefore asserts his own individuality, 
which has heretofore been merged in whatever he 
imitated, and refuses to follow the copy set before him. 
He not only refuses to do what others do, and what it is * 


suggested that he shall do, but as far as possible does 
just the opposite of what the imitative impulse would 
impel him to do. Usually these attacks are inter- 
mittent ; but if unsuccessful attempts are made to forci- 
bly suppress them, they may become chronic, especially 
if the child is not in perfect health. If no notice is 
taken of such attacks of contrary suggestion or self- 
assertion, or if they are vigorously suppressed instead 
of combated just enough to develop them, they are 
likely to soon yield to the more fundamental impulse 
of positive suggestion or imitation. 

Spontaneous imitation develops not only by becoming 
more complete, and being concerned with more com- 
plex acts, but by appearing in response to mental images 
as well as to direct perceptions. Words, gestures, and 
processes observed yesterday are reproduced to-day as 
spontaneously and accurately as if just perceived. 

(3) When the above stage of spontaneous imitation 
is reached, dramatic imitation usually begins. Dramatic 
imitations are not clearly differentiated in the mind of 
the child, or easily distinguished by the adult observer 
from spontaneous imitations. In purely spontaneous 
imitation the child reproduces literally, as well as he 
can, what he has observed, while in dramatic imitation 
he does not. Sometimes, however, he forgets that he 
is only making believe, and screams with terror at the 
attacks of a make-believe bear or weeps ovei\ the mis- 
haps of the make-believe baby or kitty, or actually chews 
the make-believe bread, or is really worried by the idea 
that he is going to be left by the imaginary car, or cries 
with the pain of an imaginary burn or stomach ache. 
Usually, however, there seems to be a sort of under- 


consciousness of the make-believe character of it all, 
which, as long as it remains, heightens the pleasure of 
trying to make it seem real. jf 

Dramatic imitation greatly increases the possibilities 
of varied development, for much of what the child 
observes or hears involves actions or objects unattain- 
able to him. There is nothing, however, from the 
noises and movements of a locomotive to the silent art 
of Jack Frost, or from making a pie to constructing a 
church, from burglary to a fashionable tea-party, that 
the child cannot imitate by the use of make-believe 
objects and symbolic movements. The essentials of 
every process and action in the heavens above and the 
earth beneath, of which the child sees or hears, are made , 
familiar to him in his dramatic imitations. He learns 
something of every custom of society, and every trade 
and profession, by the short-cut application of that most 
important of all pedagogical laws, " learning to do by 
doing," which is also^the only sure way of learning to / 

What a change would result if this dramatic power 
and tendency to imitation could be more frequently, 
sensibly, and effectually utilized in the kindergarten 
and school. In its very nature, dramatic imitation is 
spontaneous and original ; hence any attempt at syste- 
maticTontrol of it must, in the nature of the case, almost 
inevitably prove artificial and ineffective. The wise 
teacher merely stirs the imagination, supplies the mate- 
rial for dramatic representation, and gives occasional 
suggestions as they are needed. For example, some 
sixth-grade children, who were taught geography in 
such a way that with very little help and suggestion 


they eagerly presented in character the different races, 
in costumes which they had made, gained more of real 
development than in a term of formal memorizing. 

Froebel did well to recognize the dramatic tendency 
in children ; but his followers have often done ill to use 
the particular processes and occupations given by him, 
at stated times, instead of those most common and inter- 
esting in the child's environment, and at the most favor- 
able times. 

The dramatic tendency usually begins in the third 
year and continues all through life, but is at its climax 
from -ahoi&jfoiurjo seven. During this time the child 
not only transforms objects, but persons, including him- 
self, into whatever his fancy dictates or his dramatic 
play demands. He assumes the part of some other per- 
son, or of an animal, and perhaps for days at a time 
acts out the character to some extent, and insists upon 
being called by the name of the person or animal repre- 
sented. So great is the tendency to represent by sub- 
stitution, that even words are made to serve new purposes, 
as "yes " to mean "no." Sometimes the child at once 
forgets the arrangement he has made; then again he 
adheres to it for days or weeks, and insists that others 
do so. 

This is the age also for the creation of imaginary com- 
panions, and a careful study of the matter will probably 
show that not only do a few lonely and highly imagina- 
tive children have these companions, but nearly all chil- 
dren have them in some form, for a greater or less period 
of time. It is only one step from representing persons 
by blocks to representing them in the mind without any 
tangible object. These imaginary companions frequently 


In using voluntary imitation educationally it is not 
best to merely give models for imitation. On the con- 
trary, vol untary imitation should be simply a means of 
accomplishing, successfully something that the child 
already has a desire^to perform. The great defect in 
teaching has been too much analysis of processes into 
elements, and too wide a separation of processes from 
the ends they are fitted to secure, so that the natural 
motives for learning are destroyed. 

Unquestionably it is the function of the school in pre- 
paring the child for the work of life to develop the 
power of voluntary effort, and this means at first chiefly 
the power of voluntary imitation ; but it does not follow 
that spontaneous imitation should not be utilized, or that 
the child should be required to Voluntarily imitate what 
he has, as yet, no motive for learning to do. The child 
acquires the power and tendency to persistent effort by 
the act of persisting in what he attempts ; and if he can 
be held to a task by the desire to learn how, in order 
that he may do something that he wishes to do, the 
motive is a natural one and far more effective than 
those arising from artificial punishments or rewards. 

(5) Idealistic imitation, which is a sort of generaliza- 
tion from all other kinds, begins perhaps in the third or 
fourth year when a child has formed some idea of objects 
and acts that are "pretty" or "nice." A little girl of 
four who admired a little girl in a story who always 
walked and talked quietly and nicely, imitated her and 
apparently thought of her as an ideal. In a similar way, 
a boy of three seemed to have a pretty good idea of 
" Papa's Jolly Boy," and sometimes when not feeling 
well made considerable effort to smile and look pleasant 


under the inspiration of that ideal. Such idealistic imi- 
tation is, however, largely a matter of training till the 
teens are reached. 

Spontaneous imitation leads the child to imitate every- 
thing that attracts his notice, whether profanity or prayer, 
caresses or cruelty, rudeness or politeness. There is little 
or no selection of the more admirable for imitation except 
as it is presented more often or made attractive by the 
approval, cooperation, or help of others. In the home, 
at school, and on the playground some selection of ideals, 
leading to their imitation, is brought about by the attitude 
and actions of parents, teachers, and companions ; but 
for the most part children imitate certain ideals of con- 
duct not so much because the ideal itself appeals to them, 
as because adherence to it secures the approbation of 
others, and ignoring it, their disapproval and perhaps 
punishment. These ideals are built up and strengthened 
by stories of persons performing admirable actions and 
receiving praise and reward, and of the opposite results 
from the performance of bad actions. The ideals 
admired and imitated by the child are not his own, but 
those of his people and his times. 

This remains true, in large measure, till the child 
reaches his teens, when he begins to find that within 
himself which responds with admiration or disgust, 
to certain deeds, acts, and objects. It is no longer 
merely his own interests or the opinion of others that 
arouse the feelings, but something within himself that 
reaches out toward or draws back from certain objects 
and acts, regardless of consequence. This is emphati- 
cally the age of ideals and of hero-worship. Now, if 
ever, the individual is stirred by ideals of the strong and 


true, the beautiful and the good. Spontaneous imitation, 
and past and present example and training, still have 
their influence upon the selection of ideals for imitation, 
but not, as formerly, entire control. In this stage of fer- 
ment and change from which is to emerge a more or less 
unified and permanent individuality, there is developed 
an inner principle of selection that results in the forma- 
tion of ideals for imitation. It is not a mere selection, 
as formerly, of certain objects, persons, and acts for 
imitation, but a selection, from various sources, of quali- 
ties that appeal to the individual, and a combination of 
them into standards and rules of conduct. 

Often the youth forms ideals without at once imitating 
them. He feels their worth, but has not the force of 
will to realize them in his acts. Usually, after a period 
of variable action, the ideals or the habits are modified 
so as to bring them more nearly into harmony, and the 
character of the developing man is pretty firmly estab- 
lished at a higher or lower level, according to the kind 
of ideals formed and imitated. Sometimes, however, 
the gulf between approved ideals and practice results in 
a permanent division of personality, in which one phase 
of it, then the other, dominates, as in " Dr. Jekyll and 
Mr. Hyde." This condition is much more likely to 
result when children have either been led to form high 
ideals without being induced to imitate them, or when 
they have been compelled to act according to certain 
standards which they have not been led to approve. 
If the child has learned to both admire and imitate his 
ideals, and if these ideals are merely deepened and 
broadened but not fundamentally changed during the 
transition period, then there is no break in the develop- 


merit ; but the new element that comes into the youth's 
life merely perfects and completes what was begun 
before the age of transition. 

Exercises for Students 

i. Describe instances of imitation and indicate in each case how 
far perception of what is imitated gives any or all of these : (i) the 
idea of the act ; (2) of how to do it ; (3) the impulse to perform it. 

2. Give examples of imitation in animals and compare with imi- 
tations of children, showing the difference. 

3. Show how imitations by children lead to many adaptations. 
Or, in other words, to the gaining of much valuable knowledge and 

4. Give original illustrations of each class of imitations. 

5. State the order and the ages at which the different kinds of 
imitation become prominent. 

6. Show the importance of reflex imitation in school. Is there 
any reason for objecting to the presence of stammering or nervous 
children in school ? Can a noisy, unsystematic teacher teach 
children to be quiet and orderly? Why? 

7. Show how spontaneous imitation prepares for the doing of 
useful acts in the future. 

8. Give illustrations of contrariness as opposed to imitativeness 
in children. 

9. Give examples of dramatic imitation that you engaged in as 
a child or have observed in other children. 

10. Give examples of the ways in which dramatic imitation may 
be utilized in school. 

11. Describe imaginary companions that you have had or that 
you know of other children having. 

12. Give illustrations of symbolism that children have or have 
not appreciated. 

13. Show how voluntary imitation may best be used in gymnastics, 
drawing, writing, word building, etc., indicating parts that need spe- 
cial practice, and the motives to imitate, that may be appealed to. 
Should a teacher seek to secure good vocal expression in reading 


by much use of voluntary imitation, or should she depend on spon- 
taneous imitation and natural emotional expression ? Why ? 

14. Describe your idealistic imitations at different ages. 

15. Show why ideals are especially important during the adoles- 
cent period, and indicate a variety of means that may help in the for- 
mation of high ones. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On imitation in animals, see Thorndike, Animal Intelligence, pp. 
47-64; Monograph Suppl. to Psych. Rev., No. 15; Mill, Ani- 
mal Intelligence, pp. 163-164; Small, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. II, 
pp. 160-164; Kinnaman, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XIII, pp. 196-200. 

On the nature and significance of imitation, see Baldwin, Century, 
Vol. XLIX, pp. 160-164 ; Mental Development, Vol. I, pp. 263- 
278; Royce, Century, Vol. XLVIII, pp. 137-145 ; Psych. Rev., 
Vol. II, pp. 217-235 ; Ellwood, Am. Jr. Sociology, Vol. VI, pp. 

On suggestion and early imitations, see Baldwin, Vol. I, pp. 104- 
134; Preyer, Senses and Will, chap, xii; Tracy, pp. 102-103; 
Compayre, Vol. II, pp. 1-17. 

For descriptions and discussions of what children imitate, see 
Haskell, Ped. Sent., Vol. Ill, pp. 30-^45, or Child Observations, 
Freu,Ped. Sent., Vol. IV, pp. 382-386; Sudborough, N. W. 
Mo., Vol. VII, pp. 99, 136, 162, 226, 300, 352; Waldo, Ch. S. 
Mo., Vol. II, pp. 75-87. 

On choice and imitation of ideals, see Barnes, Vol. I, pp. 243-253, 
Vol. II, pp. 243-270; Chambers, Ped. Sent., Vol. X,pp. 101-143, 
and references given by the latter. 

On imaginary companions, see Barnes, Studies in Ed., Vol. I, pp. 
98-101 ; Learoyd, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VII, pp. 86-90. 

On imitation in relation to education, Deahl, Imitation in Education, 
Columbia Univ. Contrib. to Philos., 1900, pp. 103 ; Van Liew, 
N. W. Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 320-327 ; Ledyard, AT. E. A., 1899, 
PP- 547-55 1 J Harris, JV. E. A., 1894, pp. 637-641. 



The older theory set forth by Spencer considers 
play to be the activity by which surplus energy is 
used. If we conceive of surplus energy as meaning 
superabundance of enetgy, the theory is not true to the 
facts, for children must be very sick or tired before the 
play impulse disappears. If, however, the word " sur- 
plus " is taken to mean, in a general way, the energy 
which is most easily set free, then play may properly 
be looked upon as the activity by which such energy 
is most likely to be utilized. 

The more recent discussions of play, especially those 
of Groos, have emphasized its instinctive character. 
It is shown that young animals of all kinds have the 
play impulse, and that the form of the play is related 
to the instincts of the animal. In general, the animal 
uses the same powers that his ancestors have used in 
gaining food, avoiding enemies, and securing the per- 
petuation of the species, and thus exercises the powers 
he will himself need to use when no longer protected 
by paternal care. Each instinct as it appears is thus 
developed and perfected by playful activity before it 
needs to be used seriously. 



These two theories need to be combined. In play 
there must always be some energy that is surplus in 
the sense that it may be used in other ways than to 
obtain necessary ends. The activities that are most 
readily initiated are of parts that have most available 
energy, either because they are growing and developing 
or are less fatigued than other parts. The way in which 
the active parts are used, depends upon the openness 
of certain "paths" connecting them, which is deter- 
mined largely by the instincts that are coming into 
prominence at the time. The plays of young ajpimals 
are therefore greatly influenced by the order in which 
their powers and instincts develop, and, in turn, play 
directly promotes, the development of powers that will 
be needed in adult life. 

In the case of adults, play is influenced by fatigue, 
and is a means of developing powers not used in daily 
work ; hence it aids all-round development and furnishes 
a means of recreation. Play and necessity are the chief 
means of learning. In children, who are largely 
shielded from necessity, play in its various forms is 
the more important factor in development. 


Objectively, work and play cannot be distinguished, 
though the results of playful activity are usually of 
little importance or prominence, while work usually 
has results that are more or less valuable and perma- 
nent. Subjectively, an act is play in so far as the 
activity itself is enjoyed ; while it is work in so far as 
the end gained is the chief thing desired. A playful 
act is freely chosen for its own sake, while work is 


performed because it is a means to some end which 
one feels bound for one reason or another to secure. 

Physiologically \ work requires the use of the same 
parts of body or brain in the same way, for a con- 
siderable time ; while play exercises many parts of the 
body in a variety of ways, and usually no one part for 
very long without change. In work, the least avail- 
able energy is often used, and the activity is always 
directed; while in play, parts having the most utiliz- 
able energy are freely active. For this reason work 
is much harder and more wearisome even when the 
amount of activity is less. 

Many acts involve elements of both work and play. 
Some of the elements may be disagreeable, and involve 
the continued use of parts that have little disposable 
energy ; but if the complex act as a whole is freely 
chosen and enjoyed, aside from the ends secured, the 
act is play. 

To the child play is natural, but he needs to learn to 
work. In so doing, however, it is not necessary that 
he cease to, play. On the contrary, play is one of the 
most effective means of learning to work. Obstacles 
are met in most plays, and the child must do many things 
that in themselves are disagreeable, in order that he 
may perform the desired action. The act, as a whole, 
is play, though parts of it are work. The more complex 
a child's play becomes, the more does he work in per- 
forming parts of it. Materials must be collected before 
a tea-party can be held ; bait must be dug and a long 
tramp taken before fishing is possible ; bases must be 
mariced out before the ball game begins, and forts must 
be built before the snowball battle opens. The boys 


who cleared a field of stones in dramatic play, by repre- 
senting the stones as water, and the pile where they 
were dumped as fire, were playing, though doing with 
much more than their usual working vigor what would 
have been very hard and tiresome without the playful 
exercise of the dramatic instinct to lighten it and make 
it enjoyable. 

Nearly every adult must of necessity work, yet his 
work may be to him a most enjoyable play if it is well 
chosen and carried on in the proper spirit. If it is so 
well suited to his powers, and he takes ^uch a pride and 
pleasure in it that he would continue to perform it if 
relieved of the necessity of thus making a living, then he 
is really playing while he works. This is perhaps more 
often the case with artists, authors, and inventors, but 
it may be equally true of a farmer, business man, me- 
chanic, motorman, or of a teacher. 

Games are intermediate between free play and work 
because they involve more or less direction of activity 
according to rule, and more or less repetition of the 
same acts ; yet they are always chosen and played for 
their own sake, and not for results to be gained. Pro- 
fessional players, who are after the rewards rather than 
the pleasures of the game, are not playing but working. 

Amusement is a mild and passive form of play, a 
name of which it is scarcely worthy because it involves 
so little activity on the part of the one being amused. 
Some one else does the work (though perhaps in the 
form of play), while the seeker after pleasure enjoys it 
if he can. Here, as in other cases, there is little to be 
gained without earning it. One who has been working 
hard may get a great deal of enjoyment and rest from 


amusements; but one who devotes his life to amuse- 
ments, ceases to enjoy them. To amuse, a thing must 
be novel or appeal to phases of one's nature not affected 
by one's occupation. To hard-working people, with little 
surplus energy, amusements are a valuable means of rest 
and sometimes a source, of general culture. To those 
whose available energy is used in their daily tasks, 
amusements are almost indispensable, and play scarcely 
necessary ; while for all others active play is essential, 
and mere amusement of secondary importance. Chil- 
dren, in general, need play rather than amusement 

In these days of urban life and specialization, in which 
not one per cent of a man's powers is used in his oc- 
cupation, play is of far more importance than formerly. 
The man who does not play in some way soon degen- 
erates, because so few of his powers are used. 


The first plays of children are wholly free, i.e. follow 
no rules. Attempts to direct a child's activity by show- 
ing him how to pound or build are often resented in the 
first year or two. During the next three or four years, 
customs which serve the purpose of rules of the play 
may be established through imitation ; but any attempt 
to dictate when, what, or how a child shall play is met 
with opposition. Suggestions other than imitative must 
also be given with care. 

Upon entering school the child is ready for games 
with very simple rules, but quickly loses his interest in a 
game having many rules, because too much voluntary 
effort is required to play it. For example, drop the 
handkerchief is enjoyed very much when there is no 


rule except to pick up the handkerchief and choose the 
dropper, then to leave it behind some one else ; but if the 
more complex form is tried, in which the one behind 
whom it is dropped must discover it for himself, or go 
inside the ring, or must run in a certain direction while 
the dropper, if caught, goes inside the ring, and those 
inside get out by being the first to seize the handker- 
chief when dropped behind some one in the circle, very 
young children find it puzzling and irksome, though 
older children, familiar with the game, enjoy it more 
than the simpler form. 

During the first five years the child's activities belong 
almost wholly to the kind called play, while in the 
period from five to ten, games become more and more 
prominent, and after twelve, plays, as ordinarily under- 
stood, have almost wholly given place to games and 
* — ^Sports. 

Play must always be free in the sense of being en- 
gaged in because the individual wants to perform the 
acts for their own sake and their immediate results, 
such as satisfying the instinctive desire to win in a 
contest. [ If a person is forced to play, or paid for play- 
ing, the act is at once transformed into work. Tennis 
played only for the benefits of the exercise is not play 
but work. 

Play becomes less free with age, in the sense that 
activity is directed in definite lines by the requirements 
of the rules of the game. This conformity to law does 
not decrease the freedom of the individuals engaging 
in the more complex group games, but rather increases 
freedom by restricting the action of each individual as 
to kind, time, and place, so that one may not interfere 


with another. Children enjoy playing with an older 
person who leads according to rules, and they thus learn 
to appreciate the value of rules, so that they become 
indignant with the companion who interferes with the 
game, and consequently with the freedom of each player, 
by refusing to conform to rules or by trying to cheat. 

The great lesson of law as a means of freedom is 
nowhere so well taught as in well-directed and orderly 
play. In no other place can a child so fully realize for 
himself the value of law as on the playground. A 
teacher who can successfully lead children to play hap- 
pily in accordance with whatever rules are necessary, is 
not only forming a public sentiment in favor of orderly 
and fair play, but she is also preparing the children for 
good citizenship more effectually than she can possibly 
do in the schoolroom, where the children have not so 
keen a personal interest in what is being done. 


Children begin playing in the second quarter of the 
first year, and long before the close of that year have 
engaged in a great variety of plays. Almost every sen- 
sation and movement that comes under their control is 
repeated again and again as play. Objects are scratched, 
rubbed, pounded, rolled, and tossed about almost con- 
tinually. If in doing so the eye and ear are variously 
stimulated, the pleasure is all the greater. Not only 
objects, but parts of the child's own body, are used as 
instruments of play. This is perhaps most marked in 
the case of the mouth and vocal organs, which during 
the first year or two are endless sources of amusement. 
The powers most exercised in this early play are evi- 


dently those of the sense organs and the muscles. 
There is no attempt to use them accurately or in any 
definite way, but merely to use them freely over and 
over, yet as it happens with infinite variations. In 
shaking brightly colored balls or a rattle it is hard to tell 
which is the greater source of pleasure, — the varied 
and repeated muscular sensations, or the changing and 
recurrent visual and auditory sensations ; but either alone 
is sufficient to call forth the play* instinct, for the sight 
of waving ribbons or dancing sunbeams is a visual play, 
as are sound jingles auditory play, and movements of 
limbs muscular play. 

For two or three years the child's play is almost 
wholly physicaj^and perc eptional. Great progress is 
made, however, during this timeTfor the movements be- 
come much more complex, so that all parts of the body 
are used at once, and they are not merely used but 
exercised in doing specific things involving some ac- 
curacy, as in preserving the balance when jumping or 
throwing something, or in hitting objects or piling them 
up so they will stay. 

On the mental side, also, there is great change, for it 
is not mere sensation that is exercised, but perception of 
relation and likeness, difference and space, as the child 
pounds objects and puts one inside of or on top of 
another and arranges (or scatters) them to his satisfac- 

In the third year the representative powers are de- 
veloped sufficiently to be exercised in play. The child 
begins to find amusement in reproducing or represent- 
ing acts and events that have been observed on previous 
occasions. He delights in reproducing phrases, rhymes, 


and actions, and in representing events, as a visit to a 
neighbor or a ride. Soon nearly all of his play is trans- 
ferred to the field of imagination, where his freedom is 
complete ; and no object is so remote, rare, or costly that 
he cannot have it in the form of a representation, and 
no process so difficult that it is not readily performed (in 
his mind) by the manipulation of a few simple objects. 
Feasts and tetes are provided on short notice, and with- 
out the hitches that so often trouble adult dispensers of 

Imagination, as the important factor in the child's 
plays, usually reaches its climax in the fifth and sixth 
years, but continues to be an important though decreas- 
ing element in his plays and games till puberty. Fairy 
stories are interesting largely because they give playful 
exercise to the imagination. 

As the child grows older, mere exercise of physical 
powers becomes a less important element, though 
any new movement, as standing on the head, turning 
somersaults, skinning the cat, walking on the hands, 
etc., always appeals to the ever-developing instinct 
of play. After five or six years, familiar movements 
are not made in play merely to use the power, but 
to use it in some definite way, involving quickness, 
strength, endurance, or accuracy. From six or seven 
years to puberty, testing exercises of physical powers 
are important elements in the plays and games of chil- 
dren, especially of boys. The latter part of this period 
there is not only desire to do what companions can or 
what they cannot do, but to reach certain standards, to 
"make records." 

On the mental side the changes from six to twelve are 



of a corresponding nature. Perceptive and representa- 
tive powers are not merely used, but tested. Thought 
power has been used to some extent before this time in 
connection with the imagination, in judging and reason- 
ing as to the proper and logical mode of representing 
persons and events (e.g. the larger stick must be papa 
and he must sit at the head of the table or must drive 
the horse, or the yellow block must be the car and the 
black one the engine and the latter must be in front). 
Thought power as a distinct element in the pleasure of 
play is not, however, very prominent till about seven or 
eight, when guess games and riddles begin to have a 
great fascination. A little later, games especially exer- 
cising thought power, such as morris, checkers, cards, 
authors, come into favor, and later the most intellectual 
of all games, chess. 

In general, we may say that every power, physical and 
mental, as it appears, is playfully exercised, and thus its 
development is hastened, and after each power is de- 
veloped to some extent, it is tested .and perfected in 
contests and games. 



The early stages of almost all instincts are manifested 
in play, and after they are used for the serious purposes 
of life they are still important factors in more or less 
playful activities outside of one's vocation. 

Perhaps the earliest instinct to be shown in play is 
that form of curiosity which delights in changes. For 
this reason, peek-a-boo and other sudden transforma- 
tions are enjoyed, when repeated over and over again. 


A certain interval of preparation before making a final 
movement which effects the change seems to add to the 
pleasure. This indicates that the rhythmic tendency is, 
from the first, an important element in children's play. 
The early enjoyment of recurrent sensations, movements, 
and jingles is further evidence of the early prominence 
of this instinct 

The movements of emotional expression in attitude 
and voice are often made playfully in the third year, 
though the expressive instinct has a serious use for 
them from the first. 

The feeling of personal power which can effect 
changes is an important element in play, as soon as 
the child gains control of his hands. 

As soon as a child attains any form of locomotion, 
whether rolling, creeping, or walking, he delights in 
being chased. This, one of the most universally useful 
of all instincts, appears in play at all ages and is the chief 
element in nearly all the more popular games, at least 
before puberty. 

Imitative acts, when repeated over and over without 
purpose, may be considered as playful ; hence imitative 
and dramatic plays are very popular from three to seven, 
and dramatic play continues in favor much later. 

It is hard to say just when the fighting and competi- 
tive instinct is first manifested, either seriously or play- 
fully ; but competition is the most prominent element in 
the play of children from seven to twelve. It continues 
to be a prominent feature in games all through life, but 
is often subordinated to the group instinct which devel- 
ops at puberty. Such games as baseball and football, 
which involve cooperation and subordination of individ- 


ual prowess and honor for the sake of the greater 
prowess and honor of the group (which represents the 
youth's larger self), are then most favored. This co- 
operative or tribal tendency is also manifested in con- 
nection with predatory instincts at the beginning of 
puberty, in the formation of gangs for such purposes as 
hunting, fishing, robbing, teasing policemen, or fight- 
ing boys of another neighborhood. Other instincts 
taking the form of play or involved in play are the 
constructive, collecting, and aesthetic instincts, all of 
which begin early and continue all through life, but so 
far as is known, without any clearly marked period of 
prominence except that they change their form with age. 


Necessity is not only the " mother of invention," but 
also of a great deal of knowledge of all kinds. Animals, 
nations, and individuals must learn something of their 
environment, such as how best to secure food, escape 
danger, and preserve their species. This is true of 
adults, but not in so great a degree of young animals 
and children, for they are, to a considerable extent, 
screened from the necessities of life by parental care 
and protection. Without this protection, necessity 
would be to the young, iiMheir weakness and ignorance, 
an executioner rather than a teacher. 

How shall these helpless and ignorant young ones 
become strong and wise ? Partly through physical 
development as determined by inner laws governing 
the growth of the species, and partly through occasional 
touches of necessity in spite of the screen of parental 
care, but chiefly through Nature's jolly old nurse, Play, 


who charms children into using every power as it devel- 
ops, and into finding out everything possible about their 
environment from the heavens above to the earth 

Practically all education among animals and savages 
is carried on by " Mother Necessity " and " Nijrse Play," 
but among civilized people there is a third teacher which 
we may designate as " Stepmother Authority." All civ-*- 
ilized people select certain truths and activities that they 
regard as valuable, and induce the children, by various 
more or less artificial means, to learn and thus prepare 
for the life they are to live as adults. Such education, 
if consistent and wise, may be very valuable, but it is 
artificial. It often does not make use of natural im- 
pulses, and is therefore a source of a large amount of 
waste on the part of teachers and pupils. If the natural 
educators, necessity and play, were properly utilized, it 
would be like travelling with the wind and tide, instead 
of by wearisome rowing in dead calms or against ad- 
verse winds. 

Since the conditions of life are now quite different 
from what they were in a savage state, we need a special 
preparation for life as it has to be lived now. Activities 
which would develop all the powers possessed by our 
ancestors in a proper degree would not give the best 
preparation for the life of to-day. It is necessary, there- 
fore, that truths and activities suited to modern life shall 
be selected, to the end that children may be properly 
educated. If the child comes in contact with this arti- 
ficial environment, necessity and playful imitation Will 
induce him to choose many, perhaps most of the truths 
and activities that will be of greatest value to him in 


life. Yet it is still necessary for authority to do some- 
thing in the way of selecting and arranging educative 
truths and activities for the young. 

The teacher, in presenting this educative material to 
the children, may act as a servant of authority and sim- 
ply require, by rewards and punishments, that children 
shall take it, or she may try to present it in such a way 
that the greater portion of the time the child recognizes no 
other teachers than stern " Mother Necessity " and joy- 
ous " Play." If she succeeds in the latter method, play 
is the chief factor in education during the early years ; 
but gradually more and more place is given to Necessity, 
until she is the honored director of activity in manhood, 
or perchance both give place to the twin sisters, Doing 
and Achievement, who smile alike on work that is as 
joyous as play, and play that is as valuable as work. 

In school, where what is to be done and learned is 
determined by the course of study, there are yet so 
many ways of doing and learning that it is often possi- 
ble for the teacher to arrange exercises so that the domi- 
nant powers and instincts of the children at each age 
shall be called into activity in a playful way. Curiosity 
supplies all the interest necessary in learning newthingS ; 
but something else is required in drilling on what has 
been learned, to produce accuracy, speed, permanency, 
and facility in using. It is in this part of school work 
that the play impulse may be utilized to the best advan- 
tage. With a little ingenuity every such exercise may 
be so conducted that it will really be play. It will also 
be work, in that the child will be induced to perform 
again and again the same act ; but without weariness, 
because the act is variously associated, and always 


agreeably, in new combinations with powers and in- 
stincts that are being playfully exercised. All school 
exercises in which repetition to secure skill and accuracy 
is necessary, including word drill, numbers requiring 
rapidity in fundamental operations, factoring, etc., and 
fixing facts of geography, history, and grammar, may be 
conducted as games rather than as formal drills. 

In conducting such exercises the teacher may or may 
not call them games, and she must not make them too 
easy. Most games owe their charm to their difficulty, 
and nothing is more tiresome and destructive of real 
interest and ambition in children than doing easy things 
only. On the other hand, there is nothing so stimu- 
lating and inspiring to children as to be allowed to do 
things that are supposed to be difficult. The more 
difficult an exercise can be made to appear to children 
the better, providing they are not deterred from trying, 
and that it is not really so difficult that they cannot 

The other essential to the success of such exercises is 
that there shall be frequent changes to give variety. 
Except for very young children, these changes may 
consist largely of slight modifications in the exercise 
that make it more difficult in one way, then in another, 
as they acquire facility in one phase of activity after 
another. By such changes interest is maintained through 
variety and by the constant re-adaptation of the exercise 
to the growing powers of the child. Adaptations to 
new powers and instincts are also desirable as the child 

In planning educational games for younger children, 
the muscular, perceptive, and imaginative powers must 


be called into action and tested. For children a little 
older, thought power may be exercised and imagination 
and memory power tested. As children grow older, 
the tests of power may be made more difficult and 
complex, resulting finally in tests of various powers 
combined, including thought power. The rhythmic, 
imitative, and dramatic instincts may be chiefly appealed 
to in the younger children, then from seven to twelve 
the competitive instincts, and from ten years on, the 
cooperative, group, or class spirit. The chief points to 
be recognized are that the drill be neither too difficult j 
nor too easy, that there be some element in it that ! 
appeals to the children, and that variety be introduced 
in order that there may bfe no fatigue or loss of interest 

Exercises for Students 

i. Mention some plays of animals and children that you think 
develop their instincts and prepare them for adult life. 

2. Describe the recreations of some adults jrou know, and explain 
on the theory of play. Why do brain workers engage in manual 
labor and city people go to the country for recreation ? 

3. Why is a mason piling up brick, working, and a child piling up 
blocks, playing ? 

4. Is one who engages in billiards or bowling to secure a prize 
of value, working or playing ? Why ? 

5. Is drawing or singing work or play for you ? Why ? Is any 
of your work really play to you ? 

6. Mention games and sports that are especially valuable in 
preparing for work, giving reasons. 

7. Yoder, in his study of the boyhood of great men, found that 
most of them were noted players when boys. How do you interpret 

8. Mention several amusements as distinguished from play, and 
indicate their value, if any. 


9. Does the statement, " A teacher should interest her pupils,* 1 
mean she should amuse them, or what does it mean ? 

10. What plays and games did you most enjoy at different ages ? 
What games are most popular among children you have observed 
at different ages ? Determine as well as you can what character- 
istics of various games make them popular, taking into account the 
freedom of the game, the powers used, and the instincts involved. 

11. Mention things some animals you know learned by necessity. 
Mention things you and other individuals learned because it was 
necessary. Mention differences in knowledge possessed by the 
people of different regions, produced by conditions under which 
their life must be maintained. 

1 2. Which has been the larger factor, necessity or the play impulse 
in developing practical knowledge ? The sciences ? The arts ? 

13. What connection is there between the statements that we 
should utilize the play impulse of children and that we should 
appeal to their interests ? 

14- Mention indoor gymnastic plays that are good for recreation 
and physical development. When the teacher directs each move- 
ment, are gymnastics a rest or another form of work ? 

15. Describe games that may be used in numbers, arithmetic, 
geography, and history in certain grades, and indicate changes that 
may be made as the children progress. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the general theory and value of play, read Spencer, Psychology, 
Vol I, sec. 50, and Vol. II, chap, ix ; Groos, Play 0/ Animals, 
especially pp. 1-81, and the preface by Baldwin ; Stanley, Psych. 
Rev., Vol. VI, pp. 86-92 ; Allen, Univ. of Colo. Studies, Vol. I, 
pp. 59-72 ; Carr, Univ. of Colo. Studies, Vol. I, No. 2, pp. 1-47 ; 
Blow, Symbolic Education, chap, v; Chamberlain, The Child, 
chap. ii. and on kinds of play, Groos, Play of Man. 

On development of the play instinct, besides records of the play of 
infants in Preyer, Moore, Shinn, Tracy, and of young animals 
in Mills and Groos, see Monroe, N. E. A., 1899, pp. 1 084-1 090 ; 
Crosswell, Ped. Sem., Vol. VI, pp. 314-371 > Gulick, Ped Sem., 
Vol. VI, pp. 135-150 \ Burk, AT. W. Afo.,Vol IX, pp. 349-355 5 


Hall and Allen, Ped. Sem. y Vol. IV, pp. 129-175 ; Hall, Scrib- 
ner's Mag., Vol. Ill, pp. 689-696; Barnes, Studies in Ed., Vol. 
I, pp. 171-174. 

On the use of play in education, Johnson, Ped. Senu, Vol. Ill, pp. 
97- I 33> Vol. VI, pp. 513-5 22 > Felker, N. E. A., 1898, pp. 624- 
630 ; Powe and others in N. E. A., 1901, pp. 502-532 ; Wiggin, 
Children's Rights, pp. 25-67 ; Harrison, Child Nature, chap. Hi. 

For descriptions of games to be played, see Lucas, What Shall We 
Do Now? Newell, Games and Songs of American Children; 
Chesley, Indoor and Outdoor Gymnastic Games. \ 




From the moment that the sunlight dancing on the 
wall, or the little hands waving before the eyes hold the 
infant's gaze, till the time when the latest discoveries in 
science are eagerly examined by the savant, curiosity in 
some form is daily and hourly a factor in human action 
and thought. 

Curiosity is even more omnivorous than imitation. It 
is at first almost entirely unselective, except as stronger 
stimuli force themselves upon the attention. It may be 
described as an appetite for new experiences. In in- 
fancy everything is new, hence everything is interesting. 
Curiosity is early manifested in a tendency to prolong a 
sensation, as by gazing at a new object ; or to reproduce 
it, as when a sound is made again ; or to act so as to get 
one or more additional sensations, as when an object 
seen is felt of ; or to find the relation of one sensation 
to others, as when a child discovers that touching an 
object being struck, deadens the sound. Later, similar 
things are true of ideas. 

By means of curiosity a child is brought into intimate 
relation with various phases of his environment, instead 
of simply those that minister to his existence. Every- 

166 * 


thing around him is made a^pfirt of himself. The trees, 
the hills, the birds, the people of his home surroundings, 
are compared and related to what he finds in new sur- 

The greater the knowledge of environment gained 
through curiosity, the greater the possibility of. adapta- 
tion to environment, as occasions arise involving appli- 
cations of knowledge that have hitherto been useless. 
Thus a child who has learned a word through mere 
curiosity may be able to use it as a means of getting 
what he wants, or one who has learned through mere 
curiosity that wood floats, wasps sting, plants grow, fire 
burns, etc., may on occasion use the knowledge in a 
practical way. Other instincts tend to produce the 
proper response to present stimuli, while curiosity is 
continually preparing for the right response to condi- 
tions that may be met in the future. It lays up great 
stores of knowledge that serve as a basis for useful 
reactions. If man never learned anything before he 
had occasion to use it, he would suffer in countless ways 
from improper and delayed action. Necessity is a 
great teacher, but curiosity is a greater teacher in early 
life, because even in early infancy it gives lessons that 
prepare for life. It does not inflict immediate and severe 
punishment as does necessity, but it gives present joy 
and prepares for great rewards in the future. 

The race as well as the individual has learned by 
means of curiosity. In its highest form curiosity has 
led to many scientific discoveries that were of no imme- 
diate practical value. Sooner or later, however, these r 
abstract scientific truths nearly always find valuable ' 
practical applications. 



Curiosity, as an instinct or impulse, produces in con- 
sciousness a concentration of activity called attention, and 
a feeling accompanying the act, called interest. Study- 
ing attention and interest is therefore the chief means 
of studying curiosity, since they are largely the result of 
curiosity, though other instincts and much experience 
may also be involved. The simple mental state of 
attention to the act of eating, or of drawing back from 
a dangerous object, is the result of the feeding and the 
fear instincts ; but attention to the taste, feeling, or 
appearance of food, or the characteristics of the object 
of fear, is due mainly to curiosity. Often there is a pro- 
longed period of attention and interest, before action in 
the way of eating the food, or backing away from the 
fearful object, or of approaching for closer investigation 
results. Curiosity may, therefore, either support or 
oppose the attention and interest excited by other in- 
stincts. For most instincts, however, especially for play 
and imitation, it is a forerunner and supporter in the 
sense of leading to a closer examination of objects, 
though this often results in checking the usual instinc- 
tive mode of reaction to those objects. 
, The essential characteristic of a stimulus that arouses 
/tte instinct of curiosity is that of novelty. Since, how- 
ever, a stimulus must have a certain degree of intensity 
tp**!^ effective, and as everything is at first new, it is 
the louder sounds, the brighter colors, and stronger con- 
trasts, as, for instance, the dark hair and white forehead 
of the mother, that secure the infant's attention when he 
begins to take notice in the latter part of the first 


quarter year. The sensations that are repeated, how- 
ever, soon cease to be noticed, through loss of novelty. 

Close observation shows that certain objects, sounds, 
or colors are attended to longer and a greater number of 
times than others of equal or even greater intensity, 
objectively speaking. This suggests the well-known 
fact that stimuli are effective according to the sensitive- 
ness of the organism to them, rather than according 
merely to their objective strength. A slight touch on 
a boil or a corn is a stronger stimulus than a hard blow 
on some other part ; in a similar way individuals differ 
greatly in sensitiveness to the same sounds, colors, and 
objects. As a child's instincts develop, he becomes more 
sensitive to certain stimuli, consequently his curiosity is 
more readily excited in some directions than in others. 
When a child's competitive instincts are strong, he likes 
to hear of contests ; and when he has been flying kites, 
he likes to hear how children in other countries *and ~ 
scientific men fly them. Children's interest or curiosity, 
therefore, changes with the development of new instincts 
and with new experiences. v 

The tendency to imitation and play heightens the 
interest for a time by helping to disclose new charac- 
teristics of the object, then decreases it by effectii^lly 
removing the essential element — newness. Though 
curiosity is thus continually destroyed by the results of 
its own action assisted by play, the knowledge thus ac- 
quired becomes the basis for a fresh growth of curiosity f 
and play a little later. For example, colored cubes lose . 
their interest when played with a great deal, only to 'V 
regain it again and again as increased experience with * 
other things prepares for new uses and the consequent 


observation of new characteristics. The child, after 
losing his interest in looking at and touching them, 
enjoys placing them in rows, or on top of each other, in 
building houses of them, counting their sides and curves, 
comparing them with other solids, and noting their 
weight and material as compared with other cubes, and 
finally in studying geometrical relations of all kinds. 
Thus familiarity with the shape and composition of the 
first cubes prepares the way for noticing the character- 
istics of blocks differently shaped and composed, and 
also lays a foundation in experience for a study of 
mathematical relations. 

Since nothing is noticed as new except as it differs 
from the familiar, every familiarity prepares for a fresh 
novelty. The materials produced by the self-destruc- 
tive acts of curiosity therefore furnish a rich soil for 
the growth of a more vigorous interest. This growth 
of interest through increase in knowledge may be illus- 
trated mathematically. If you know but two character- 
istics of an object, you can compare these with two of 
another object ; but if you know four, you can compare 
with four and thus make sixteen comparisons ; while if 
you know eight, you can make sixty-four comparisons, or 
thirty-two times as many as when you knew only two. 
The increase is therefore in a geometrical ratio. To him 
who gains knowledge more interest and knowledge is 
continually given. 

Curiosity has therefore two means of growth: (i) 
through new stimuli gained by changing or enlarging 
one's environment, and (2) through increasing knowledge 
of familiar objects by the discovery of new relations. 
From the psychological point of view the problem of in- 


terest is concerned chiefly with the effects of experience. 
Psychology shows how interest may be promoted by a 
changing or enlarging environment, and by increasing 
the knowledge of things already in the environment. 
From the child-study point of view, however, the prob- 
lem is one of development. It is not to find how any 
particular kind of desirable interest may be increased 
by external influences, but to discover at what stages 
of organic and instinctive development the child is espe- 
cially sensitive to certain phases of his surroundings, or, 
in other words, to determine what interests, if any, are 
naturally strongest at each stage of development. This 
is a very difficult matter because, as we have already 
seen, previous experience is such a large factor in 
interest that it is hard to tell what is interesting because 
of inner conditions of development, and what is interest- 
ing because of experience and training. 


Curiosity has so many forms, and the impulse toward 
the new so frequently alternates in children with the 
love of the familiar, as shown in love for old stories, 
games, etc., that the general course of development is 
hard to trace. There are times when nothing but some- 
thing new will satisfy the child, then again, he wants 
nothing but the old, the familiar. Such changes, though 
irregular, are frequent enough to suggest that curiosity 
impels to the acquiring of a system of knowledge of 
certain phases of the environment, then to a reaching 
out after a new environment. Play and imitation make 
the more obvious characteristics of this new territory 
familiar ; curiosity then leads to a fresh excursion into 


the new, but there is often a return to the old, which is 
then reviewed in the light of the new experience. 

Early in life, and whenever a new object is introduced, 
the kind of curiosity or interest excited by the mere fact 
of newness may be called empirical. Later, the same 
object excites curiosity, not because of the new sensations 
or ideas it gives, but because of the desire to trace the 
relation of some of its characteristics to those of other 
objects. The curiosity or interest thus excited may be 
called speculative or relational. 

There can be no doubt that the curiosity of children 
is largely empirical, partially because there are more 
new things for them to experience, while adults who 
have more knowledge to relate to whatever they per- 
ceive are more concerned with speculative interests. 

Before a child begins to talk, his interest is mainly in 
getting new sensations and noting their relations; but 
when the instinct of expression awakens, names for 
experiences are sought in the constant question, " What 
is that?" which is satisfactorily answered by a name. 
After various objects and acts and the names for them 
become familiar, the interest changes to their relations, 
and the constant questions are: " What is that forf " (use), 
and " How do you do that ? " or " What do you do that 
for ? " (how and why). Again, for a time, interest goes 
from objects and acts to their origin, and the constant 
question is, "Where did that come from?" Later, 
"Why?" questions predominate, but often with a little 
different meaning. They refer less to subjective reasons 
for doing a thing and more to common laws or general 
truths, e.g. " It is dark because the sun has gone dowfL" 
Interest now is often concerned with the applications of 


truths that have previously been learned. " Is the sun 
down j " — " No." — " What makes it dark thrfi ? " This 
stage is reached in the third or fourth year. At about 
this time every question regarding a general truth is 
succeeded by another "Why?" till the puzzled adult 
reaches what the persistent little questioner accepts as 
an ultimate reason, or (he circle is completed and the 
first answer is given, or in exasperation the child is told 
to "keep stills 

From the earliest days of taking notice, movements 
and actions are the strongest stimuli to curiosity. This 
remains true all through life, but investigation shows 
that it is less so in the later than in the earlier years of 
school life, and most so before entering school. Chil- 
dren of two years use nearly twice as large a proportion 
of action words as adults. Professor Shaw found that 
in school the younger children, when asked to tell what 
they thought when certain words were named, mentioned 
actions more frequently than the older ones; Barnes, 
that they were more interested in the use of things; 
and I have found that if asked to give a list of words 
younger children give more action words than older 
children and adults. Vostrovsky found that actions were 
prominent in children's own stories, and Kohler, that 
they remembered the action of stories told them better 
than descriptive details. 

As to other interests, Vostrovsky found that in chil- 
dren's stories names, appearance, time, place, and pos- 
session are prominent; while Barnes found that in 
history they questioned most about cause and effect, 
who, why, personal detail, general detail, and least 
about time and truth. 


As to objects of interest, various studies of children's 
reading and of their spontaneous drawings indicate 
that they are interested, in the earlier grades, in colors 
rather than in form, and in animals and children rather 
than in adults. 

As to the mental powers appealed to, Barnes found 
critical inferences most numerous at twelve and thirteen, 
and Lindley, interest in reasoning and puzzles greatest 
at twelve. 

At about twelve, interest in history greatly increases, 
as all studies of reading interests show, probably be- 
cause history supplies in a representative form new 
environment and experience, but more particularly be- 
cause the social instincts direct curiosity to the study 
of groups of people. A little later, moral and religious 
questions have a great fascination, probably because the 
regulative instincts are developing. ^Esthetic interest 
also increases at this time. 

Since curiosity is modified by every new instinct, 
changes in curiosity may serve as signs of the develop- 
ment of new instincts. Curiosity serves as a guide by 
giving complete knowledge of everything connected 
with satisfying the instinct that excites it The boy's 
interest in fables prepares him for wise action in the 
pursuit of his individual ends, and the youth's historical 
interest in groups of men, for performing his part as a 
social being. 


Long ago Plato said, " Curiosity is the mother of all 
knowledge;" but too often since then she has been 
regarded as merely the mother of gossip and scandaL 


The latter, however, are illegitimate children, resulting 
from poor feeding and union with small and unworthy 
passions. \^The legitimate offspring of curiosity are 
interest, learning, science, and love of truth. 

Children enter school as animated interrogation points, 
and instead of having their mental hunger gratified, 
they are stuffed with knowledge they have not asked 
for, and required to answer instead of being led to ques- 
tion, until their intellectual appetite is dulled and only 
the most stimulating diet appeals to them. They are 
led to study only by the desire for approbation, or by 
some form of compulsion or reward. It is not the truth 
they are after, but the words and acts that will satisfy 
the teacher, hence the slightest change in her expres- 
sion or tone of voice often leads them to modify their 

Unfortunately, curiosity and interest, like play, are 
often identified with amusement, by many teachers, when 
as a matter of fact, healthy curiosity is one of the strong- 
est stimuli to effort. Of the two ways of exciting 
curiosity, that of giving new experiences by showing or 
describing something never seen before, and that of 
directing attention to unobserved qualities or relations 
of familiar objects, the first is unfortunately the mode 
more often used by those who try to interest children in 
their lessons. In many cases, therefore, teaching has 
become nothing more than the art of amusing. The 
result is that all the sweetness is taken out of a subject 
before there is anything of value learned about it, and 
subsequent teachers find it almost impossible to interest 
the children in these unpalatable and half-chewed mate- 
rials. Not only has the delightful flavor of newness 



been removed from the subject, but the mental habit of 
taking rich food instead of working for daily bread has 
been cultivated, until in many ways the children are, 
intellectually, pampered weaklings. Their curiosity is 
aroused only by intellectual doses highly seasoned with 
the new and marvellous, administered by teachers who 
know of no other way of appealing to interest. 

The old-fashioned discipline of rod and ferule, wielded 
according to fixed rules, compelled the scholastic pris- 
oners to learn their trade, and thus effective intellectual 
workmen were often turned out, who had performed 
difficult and unpleasant tasks till they had no thought of 
hesitating at any drudgery. Unwise attempts to carry 
out the imperfectly understood doctrine of interest have 
developed intellectual laziness and repugnance to effort. 

Properly understood and applied, however, the doctrine 
of interest will emancipate, not enervate, children intel- 
lectually. Just as a free laborer does a vast deal more 
work than the most closely watched slave, and does it 
with a pleasure and self-respect the slave can never 
feel, so does the child, working under the stimulus of 
interest, accomplish far more intellectually and morally 
than the uninterested urchin who slaved at his task 
under the watchful eye of the old-time teacher. 

Interest that is educationally valuable is not that 
which pleases and amuses (though a little such interest 
is helpful, especially with young children), but that 
kind of interest which causes effort to be put forth in 
order to satisfy the hunger for knowledge. The real test 
of interest is not how much tyfcasure do the children get 
out of the study, but how much^^r/ do they put forth 
in pursuing it Curiosity, like play, may be the stimu- 

> i 


his to an immense amount of what would otherwise be 

The conditions mos^favorable for rendering curiosity 
a strong motive to Mort are (1) the perception of the 
relation of what is being studied to familiar and interest- 
ing experience and knowledge, (2) receptivity to the 
kind of knowledge peing gained because it is suited to 
the stage of development the individual has reached. 
Many other things are helpful, but these are the most 
important essentials. >,How to bring about the first 
condition is the problem of psychology and pedagogy, 
while the second condition can only be secured through 
child-study investigations. 

The purposes of education must determine what shall 
be taught ; psychology, how or in what order subjects 
shall be taught, that each subject and part of subject 
may form a basis of interest for the next ; while child 
study must say when and how certain teaching shall be 
given, in order that the natural curiosity and interest of 
each age may be utilized. The teacher should use her 
skill in associating studies with the child's instinctive 
tendencies at the time, and with his more recent activi- 
ties, that there may be no lack of natural, healthy 
interest regarding every subject as it is pursued. 

If properly appealed to, curiosity alone is a sufficient 
motive for the invasion of every fresh field of knowledge ; 
while imitation and play, will supply the practice and 
drill necessary to insure continued possession of it 
These instincts may very properly be supported by 
others, especially the desire for approbation in the 
earlier years, the pleasures of competition, and the 
desire for results, in the later years of school life. 


Exercises for Students 

1. Has the search for scientific truths usually been carried on in 
order that they might be directly applied in practical life, or merely 
that the truth may be known ? Mention some such truth that has 
proved useful. 

2. Give illustrations of knowledge of environment, gained by 
yourself or by children through mere curiosity, that will prove or 
has proved useful later. 

3. Illustrate how stronger or newer stimuli excite curiosity. 

4. Give examples of children who are especially curious regarding 
certain objects, acts, or lines of thought. 

5. Give illustrations of the relation of curiosity (a) to other 
instincts, (b) to past experience. 

6. Illustrate from your own experience or observation how 
increase in knowledge develops new phases of interest 

7. Show how interest may be increased through new experience 
gained by enlargement of mental environment, without changing 
one's location. 

8. Illustrate further how increased knowledge of familiar things 
has increased the interest of yourself or of others. 

9. Give illustrations of children's interest (a) in the old, (6) in 
the new. (c) of fresh interest in the old, after study in other lines. 

10. Can you determine what were the causes of your interest in 
certain kinds of reading at different ages ? 

1 1 . Give instances in which children seek to give the answers the 
teacher wants, rather than to find out and state the truth. 

12. Illustrate what children will sometimes do of themselves in 
the way of investigation and study when curiosity is excited. 

13. Give illustrations of how teachers may or have connected 
topics with recent experiences and interesting activities outside of 

Suggestions for Reading 

On curiosity as an instinct, see Lindsay, Mind in the Lower Animals, 
pp. 252-256 ; Ribot, Psychology of the Emotions, pp. 368-379 ; 
Groos, Play of Animals, pp. 214-222; Morgan, Comparative 
Psychology, pp. 297-298. 


For researches and discussions of the interests of children, read, 
besides the observations on infants, Barnes, Studies in Ed., 
Vol. I, pp. 15-17, 43-52, 83-93, 203-212, 222-227, Vol. II, 
pp. 338-351 ; Shaw, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. II, pp. 152-167; Taylor, 
Ped. Sem.y Vol. V, pp. 497-511 ; Laing, Ed. Rev., Vol. XVI, 
pp. 281-390; Wissler, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. IV, pp. 139-146; Ped. 
Sem.> Vol. V. pp. 523-540 ; Clapp, Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. XLIV, 
pp. 799-809 ; Griffith, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. IV, pp. 285-287 ; O'Shea, 
Ch. S. Mo., Vol. II, pp. 266-278, or N. E. A., 1896, pp. 873- 
881 ; Luckey, N. E. A., 1897, pp. 284-288; jV. W. Mo., Vol. 
VII, pp. 67, 96, 133, 156, 221, 245, 306, 335 ; Harrison, Child 
Nature, chap, ii; Compayre, Vol. II, pp. 17-28. 


I. Moral Instincts 


The child's instincts are nearly as independent of 
each other as are individuals in the social organism. 
Each instinct stimulates to action for its own gratification, 
just as each man seeks his own interests. The indi- 
vidual in society learns that certain actions are undesir- 
able, because they result in other persons performing 
acts that are unpleasant to him. Out of such experi- 
ences grow the laws governing society. The child finds 
that some instinctive acts are more pleasurable than 
others, or that one kind of act interferes with another, 
and thus learns to regulate his conduct He i^also 
impressed less directly with their undesirability by the 
attitude of other people. For example, a child who was 
drinking water in such a way as to get his dress wet, 
said, " I don't care if it does run down on me." Mamma, 
" But I care ; it isn't nice, and if you do it any more I 
shall take your glass away." Child, " I won't do it any 
more then, never." 

cThe child is at first neither moral nor immoral, but 
unmoral. He is acting according to his natural instincts 
when biting and striking his mother as much as when 
he is hugging and kissing her, and no more. In both 



cases he acts as his instincts and feeiings prompt, 
and to him one act is just as good as the other. Expe- 
rience, however, soon teaches him that one kind of act 
brings pleasant results in the way of approbation and 
favors, while the other brings him disapprobation and 
perhaps punishment He thus learns that some acts 
are better than others. "Better," however, means to 
him merely more pleasurable in results to himself, not 
morally better, for of that he has no conception. He is 
not kind or cruel in a moral sense, neither is he truthful 
or untruthful, honest or dishonest ; but he readily learns 
to be whichever secures him the most advantages. 

What habits of action he shall form, or what he shall 
come to regard as right or wrong, is wholly a matter of 
experience and training. The law of his nature at this 
time impels him to conform to his environment in such 
a way as to get as much pleasure and as little pain as 
possible. For about a dozen years this individualistic 
law of life holds almost complete sway; hence this is 
the period during which the child is naturally unmoral. 
It is distinctively a preparatory stage of moral develop- 
ment ; yet it is not for that reason any the less important. 
The foundations of a future less individualistic and more 
altruistic moral life are being laid. 


In this stage should be developed: (i) regularity of 
physical and mental processes, (2) the consciousness 
that it pays to do right, (3) the tendency to inhibit im- 
pulses, (4) to endure hardships, (5) to wait for future 
good, (6) to take pain before pleasure, (7) to seek the 
satisfaction of higher instincts, (8) to form right habits, 


(9) to act from increasingly higher motives, (10) to form 
right ideals, (n) to obey, (12) to exercise self -control 

(1) Since regulation of action is an important phase 
of moral training, and since unconscious actions influ- 
ence conscious choices, the preparation for a moral life 
may begin in infancy. The foundations of morality 
should be laid by the development of regularity in the 
more or less unconscious organic processes of sleep- 
ing, eating, and eliminating waste materials from the 
body. Parents should therefore seek to establish regu- 
larity in these respects, not only as a condition of health, 
but as a solid basis for the development of a stable, 
moral character. 

(2) As soon as the infant notices the results of his 
actions, consciousness may be utilized in the develop- 
ment of moral habits and the acquisition of moral truths. 
In doing this one must see to it that right actions are 
followed sooner or later by pleasurable results to the 
child, and wrong actions by disagreeable results, be- 
cause both blind instinct and acute intelligence impel 
to the repetition of actions having pleasurable results, 
and the avoidance of those whose results are painful. 
The child should come to realize that most fundamental, 
though not the highest, of moral truths, " It pays to do 

(3) The first step in self-control may be taken by get- 
ting children to inhibit, for a short time, organic and 
instinctive impulses. An assuring word that causes a 
child to stop crying for food till preparations for giving 
it to him are completed, may become a sign to him that 
if he is quiet his wants will soon be satisfied, and the 
time of waiting may be gradually lengthened. Care 


must be taken, especially at first, that the interval be- 
tween assurance and satisfaction is short, or crying will 
be renewed, and the word intended to quiet will become 
instead the signal for a period of crying. The cry of 
the infant is a most useful, instinctive mode of obtaining 
parental help, but its function is to attract attention of 
parents, rather than to force them, by its continuance, 
to respond. The latter function is, however, very read- 
ily taken up if a long period of crying is allowed to pre- 
cede the satisfaction of wants. Moral development is 
promoted by getting the child to inhibit the crying 
impulse as soon as possible, by quieting words and 
prompt relief, if they are to be given at all. 

(4) Repressing impulses and doing disagreeable tasks 
should also be encouraged by desirable results follow- 
ing such actions. The child who can be induced to 
stop crying when hurt, face danger when afraid, or to 
continue carrying a heavy load when tired, by desire 
for the approval he will get as a " brave boy," is gaining 
in moral development? When a child can be induced 
to put forth effort to control self or accomplish any task 
through the desire to satisfy the competitive instinct by 
winning, he is also developing morally. If, however, 
he gains advantages over another, not by effort, but by 
yielding to the natural impulse to cry and fret about the 
success or advantages of others (as when jealous), there 
is a development of undesirable impulses instead of 
control, and the effect is demoralizing. 

(5) As children grow older they should learn that it 
often pays to delay the gratification of an impulse for a 
time, in order that a greater pleasure may be experienced 
later. " If you eat now you can have bread only, while 


if you wait until dinner is ready you may have other 
things." " If you will keep quiet till I get through, you 
may then look at this and ask as many questions as you 
wish." " If you do not buy candy to-day but save your 
pennies, you can get a doll next week." " If you rest 
awhile and wait till the others are ready, I think you 
will enjoy your game more." 

(6) " Work before play and pain before pleasure" 
is a good motto. If a disagreeable task is to be per- 
formed or pain suffered, in connection with a pleasure 
or reward, it is always better to have the pleasure or 
reward last, since anticipation lightens the pain and 
effort, perhaps even making the act pleasurable, while 
the pleasure afterward is enjoyed all the more because 
of the effort by which it was obtained. If the order is 
reversed, pleasure is lessened by dread, and pain increased 
by thought of previous pleasure. If every child were 
led to form the habit of enjoying reward only after 
earning it, the world would be vastly happier and 
better. The pampering and demoralizing tendency to 
get what has not yet been earned, by going in debt, gam- 
bling, or speculating, is the natural result of a childhood 
that has been allowed to take the sweet first, then dodge 
the bitter or to take it with much fussing and grumbling. 

(7) The conscious states or motives preceding action, 
as well as those succeeding, are significant from the 
dawn of volition, and increasingly important as an essen- 
tial element in moral acts. As soon as an action be- 
comes purposive rather than blindly impulsive, the aim 
is the satisfaction of soirte instinct Since the kind of 
instincts whose satisfaction is most sought, determines 
in a large measure the moral character of an individual, 


it is important that the habit of seeking to satisfy the 
higher instincts should be developed as far as possible 
even in early childhood. If a child chooses to gratify 
the higher social impulse of desire for approval by 
offering the best to others, instead of gratifying the 
lower individualistic impulse to take the best for himself, 
he is forming a most excellent moral habit. If, however, 
his desire for approval leads him to say what he does 
not believe, in order to secure the favor of others, the 
effect is demoralizing. 

(8) It must never be forgotten that the formation of 
habits is the important thing in the preparatory stage of 
moral development, since they will ultimately determine 
motives and ideals. If none but the lowest motive will 
produce right action, that motive should be appealed to 
in order that the right action may be performed. Again, 
no motive, however high, should be appealed to, if it is 
certain to fail to call forth right action, because the 
separation of habits and ideals thus produced is sure to 
disintegrate moral character. The general rule to be' 
followed is, be sure to secure right action even if a low 
motive must be appealed }o, but always appeal to the 
highest motive that will be effective. If children are 
forced, without arousing* too much antagonism on their 
part, to do as they should for a sufficient length of time, 
the tendency to act in that way becomes stronger than 
to act in any other way. They also come to take pleasure 
in doing what they have developed a tendency to do, 
though at first it was not agreeable. On the other hand, 
if matters are so arranged that right doing always has 
pleasanter results than wrong doing, right actions are 
consciously chosen and more quickly become habitual 


Moral progress is measured, not only by increase 
in the number of right acts, but by increased tendency 
to perform acts from higher motives. A child who is 
polite for a long time, through fear of punishment, may 
remain polite because of the social advantages thus 
secured. Later, he may be polite to one outside of his 
circle from the kindly motive of encouraging him, or 
from a genuine feeling of brotherhood. In this, as in 
other cases, a habit formed from a low motive may 
make it possible for a higher motive to be effective. 
On the other hand, the habit of politeness may be more 
quickly and firmly established by appeal to the imitative 
instinct and the desire for approval. 

(9) In general, the motives to action may be ranked 
as follows : the pleasurable, as higher than the dis- 
agreeable of the same general kind, and the instincts 
to be satisfied, in this gradation — individualistic, adap- 
tive, parental, social, regulative. Of course some forms 
of each of these instincts are higher than some in a class 
above them, for instance, the social desire for approba- 
tion is not only lower than the social desire to be helpful 
to others, but also lower than the parental desire to care 
for children ; hence the ranking given above is subject 
to many changes, according to the form of each instinct 

Any substitution of a lower motive for a higher that 
has hitherto been effective, is demoralizing. A man is 
therefore degraded by voting his party ticket for money 
or by receiving pay for granting justice. Personal ser- 
vice is often unjustly regarded as one of the lowest 
occupations, probably because those engaged in it are 
supposed to be actuated wholly by individualistic motives, 


in performing acts that are, in their nature, serial. 
Keeping a boarding-house is not dishonorable, but it is 
often hard for one who has hospitably entertained friends 
a great deal, to receive guests for paj^ without feeling 
that she is in part doing for a lower motive what she 
has been in the habit of doing only for a higher motive. 
Ministers, doctors, and teachers are retrograding morally 
if they are thinking more of the pay they are to receive, 
and less of the good they are trying to do. Mechanics 
and merchants are advancing morally as they think 
more and more of doing their work well and of render- 
ing good service to the world. 

Undoubtedly, most acts are performed from mixed 
motives, but usually one stands out in the individual's 
mind as the controlling factor. When an individual 
is consciously acting from a high motive, it is either 
insulting or degrading to try to make a lower one 
prominent in his consciousness. To offer for social 
favors similar favors is all right, but to let another 
understand that he will gain financially by social favors 
or by philanthropy is either insulting or demoralizing. 

To impute a higher motive to an act that is really 
being performed from a lower, is sometimes almost 
equally bad in its effects, because the individual is often 
thus led to believe that he is really acting benevolently, 
when his act is wholly selfish. Men who pay a low price 
for a good supper, therefore, often pride themselves on 
their benevolence to the church or other cause. 

(10) Ideals are helpful in childhood in forming habits, 
but are not usually strong enough to be depended upon 
to produce right action, except as they are founded on 
well-established habits or supported by expectation of 


desirable consequences. For example, a little girl, with 
clear ideals as to being helpful, thoughtful, and pleasant, 
and a genuine desire to be so, rarely holds herself to 
those ideals a whole day, but did so for over a week, 
when she thought a promised hammock was not likely 
to come till she had been pleasant for some time. Un- 
conscious habits of right action, as well as pleasurable 
results of acting from higher motives, are important 
factors in the building of effective moral ideals. The 
training given in the preparatory stage should not be 
concerned so much with the formation of conscious 
ideals, which at this time are usually very changeable, 
as with the habits and feelings that underlie them and 
make them prominent and effective forces in the next 
stage of moral development. 

(11) Obedience, which is regarded by many as the 
chief virtue of childhood, is important not for its own 
sake, but for what it involves. It necessarily involves 
inhibiting and controlling impulses of all kinds, and 
produces habits of acting according to law. This is 
important, since in a state or an individual any kind of 
government or law is likely to be better than anarchy. 
These advantages result only when the one who enforces 
the obedience is entirely consistent, for otherwise the 
advantages of occasional inhibitions are neutralized by 
the fact that no settled habits of action are formed. 

Obedience to personal authority is in reality con- 
forming to a more or less artificial environment, and 
it fits for a useful and effective life in proportion as 
this artificial environment, which inflicts pain and pleas- 
ure for the various acts performed, is in accordance 
with natural laws and moral ideals. If it results in 


making good acts painful and evil ones pleasurable, 
and in hatred for law, it is distinctly demoralizing in 
its effects, as is also the case when only lower motives 
for obedience are appealed to. If, on the other hand, 
the personal authority is consistent and natural, so 
that obedience involves little more than conformity 
to the natural environment of the child, the effects 
are decidedly good, because right habits are more 
quickly and effectively developed, and natural results 
that would be too intangible or remote to be effective 
are made real and immediate by substitution. Authority 
should prevent the child from performing acts whose 
consequences would be very serious or fatal. If they 
are immediate, but not serious, he should be warned, 
then allowed to perform the act and receive the natu- 
ral consequences. For example, a child should not 
be prevented from touching something hot, but he 
should not be allowed to eat poison. 

The person who exercises authority is also an impor- 
tant addition to the child's environment, and exercises 
great influence for good or ill by his personality, as 
well as by the way in which he exercises authority and 
calls attention to higher or lower motives of conduct. 

(12) It should be clearly recognized by every one in 
authority that obedience is only a means to an end, 
the end always being self-control. Strict control by 
another, till habits of action are formed, is often, 
for a young or perverted child, the best preparation 
for self-control, for it makes his habits his allies, so 
that he has what he lacked before — the power of 
controlling himself. Arrest of development, however, 
always results if the power of self-control is not given 


a chance for exercise soon after it is developed. Au- 
thority should enforce obedience in one field of action 
after another, and then leave the child free to control 
the field that has been conquered. Obedience is a 
temporary and immature virtue, which becomes mature 
and lasting only when it grows into free self-control, 
by appropriating outer laws and making them inner 
standards of conduct 


Up to about twelve years of age the moral condition 
is almost wholly the result of environment and train- 
ing. These may make the child into the semblance 
of an angel or an imp, yet he can be neither. He is 
not essentially good or bad, because though his actions 
have that form, they have not that spirit Every action 
is the result of an impulse, a habit, or a choice, that 
has for its end the pleasure or advantage of self in 
some way. This is the one law governing the child's 
conscious action, whatever instinct or motive is in- 
volved, and however remote or concealed the advan- 
tage to self may be. If well trained, the child has 
learned to find his pleasure in acts of politeness and 
kindness, and if ill trained, in rudeness and cruelty ; 
but in either case the action is fundamentally for his 
own ends, not for the good or hurt of another. 

With the dawn of pubescence, however, a new instinct 
— the parental — emerges. In its very nature this in- 
stinct impels to action for others rather than for self. 
The inner law that says, " Act for yourself," is now for 
the first time opposed by the law that says, " Act for 
others." The choice is no longer merely between possible 


advantages for self, or ways of getting them, but between 
acting for self or for others. Kind and selfish acts are 
now, for the first time, morally kind or selfish, for they 
represent the free choice of actions for self or for others. 
The individual has begun to live the life, not merely of 
the individual, but also of the race. 

If he has been prepared for this by cooperative games 
in which he acts for the good of the group rather than 
for his own exaltation, and if his training has been such 
that he already has the habit of acting for the advan- 
tage of others, then there is no break in the moral 
progress. Figuratively speaking, the parental instinct 
infuses life into the moral mechanism, the wheels revolve 
more rapidly, and the engineer begins to direct its course 
according to his own judgment, instead of merely obey- 
ing orders or following impulses. The youth is no longer 
merely an individual, but one of the world's forces, and. 
he feels the obligation, not merely to live, but to do. It 
is no longer himself and the world, but himself as a part 
of the world. He begins to feel as never before his 
own responsibility for that self. The old impulse to get 
all he can for self is partially replaced by the impulse 
to be all that he can for himself and to do all that he can 
for the world. 

This is the age of idealistic imitation and of ideals. 
Works of art, heroic lives, and religious ceremonies take 
on a new meaning. Ambitions and ideals are no longer 
dependent on the immediate environment, but the most 
beautiful, noble, and high are chosen from the larger 
world of history, literature, and art. In the earlier 
stage of this wider life, the most attractive ideals are 
frequently very crude. Boys are most appealed to by 


action, power, and courage ; hence not merely history, 
but all kinds of stories of adventure in which marvels 
of skill and bravery are shown are their delight. Such 
types of character are sometimes imitated regardless of 
the moral character of the actions in which they appear. 

With girls, there is something of the same attraction 
toward the strange and wonderful, but the more passive 
virtues of love and devotion under trying circumstances 
are most interesting; hence romantic stories are much 
in favor with girls at this age. 

This is a period of change in attitude toward ideals, 
which are for a while often contradictory and variable. It 
is a time of transition from personal authority to abstract 
law, during which there may be considerable lawlessness, 
especially in cases where control has been entirely ex- 
ternal. The rules of the game and the unformulated rules 
imposed by the customs and public sentiment of the class, 
school, gang, or society, are usually observed with the 
greatest care. The social customs of polite society and 
fashion in dress are often first despised and flagrantly 
violated, then respected and most slavishly followed. 
Laws of state come to be regarded in a different light, 
and principles of morality take on an entirely new mean- 
ing. Laws of all kinds are viewed, not simply from the 
standpoint of personal interest, but as a part of the 
larger life of the world now revealed. 


There can be no moral action where the individual 
does not have the chance to choose for himself ; hence 
if genuine morality develops at this period, it must be 
through self-direction. The second essential is plenty 


of ideals for imitation ; the third, good companions ; and 
fourth, wholesome public sentiment in school, class, and 
social circles. 

(i) Self-direction does not mean that no authority 
shall be exercised over the youth, but that the authority 
shall not be merely a person arbitrarily dictating and 
enforcing what the youth shall do. Personal authority, 
however valuable in a previous stage, especially in the 
early years, must now be relaxed, and example and 
advice, preferably in the form of suggestion, substituted. 
There is never a time when personal authority of parents 
and teachers counts for so little, and personal character 
for so much. Arbitrary authority is ridiculed, evaded, 
defied, or shame-facedly yielded to as unworthy the 
developing man. At the same time the youth is a 
most ardent hero-worshipper and imitator of what to 
him is ideal. 

Commands and rules should be based on general 
principles, and should not be numerous or cover minute 
details of conduct This is the time of all others when 
outer laws should be adopted as inner standards of 
action, and are likely to be, if they are founded on broad 
general principles and prepared for by previous training. 

Under wise guidance, this is also a favorable time for 
giving practice in making and executing laws, or, in 
other words, for the introduction of some measure of 
self-government. At this age, when personal authority 
is losing its power, when the attitude toward law is chang- 
ing, and when principles of action for life are being 
chosen, nothing will help more in producing regard for 
laws and a feeling of obligation to obey them than expe- 
rience in making and executing them. Responsibility 


of some kind in which the youth has perfect freedom of 
choice, but must take the consequences, is the kind of 
freedom needed, rather than that in which he is free 
to choose, but is at the same time shielded from the 
results of his choice. 

(2) The ideals, early in this stage, must be personal. 
Reading is the great source of them at this time, espe- 
cially for boys. Nearly every boy, however, finds one 
or more heroes in his local environment, usually in an 
older man or sometimes in a woman. Some of these 
may be partial ideals, as of strength or skill or beauty 
or knowledge ; but one is likely to be a moral ideal, the 
embodiment of all that is noble and worthy. Girls are 
almost sure to find some such ideal in an older woman, 
and often the feeling inspired is not unlike that felt 
later for a lover. 

The choice of such personal ideals by youths and 
maidens cannot readily be directed and controlled, and 
one can only hope that it will be fortunate. The actions 
of such chosen demi-gods and goddesses are often, un- 
consciously to themselves, the source of keenest joy and 
grief to their admirers, whose whole future life is not 
infrequently moulded by them. 

Training in the choice of moral ideals is best given 
by presenting instances of heroism and virtue in history 
and story, and dwelling on them long enough to stir 
admiration but without any preaching. Formal state- 
ments and discussion of general principles of morality 
are also often valuable as giving youths clearer and 
better standards of action. Care must be taken not to 
interfere with freedom of choice by exhortation and 
urging ; for in their very nature ideals must be freely 


chosen by the individual because they appeal to some- 
thing within him, and not because somebody else finds 
them good. The teacher's art consists in presenting 
them in a form likely to be attractive. If principles of 
conduct are stated by a hero, or given as having been 
practised by a hero, they are more likely to be accepted. 
Every youth should have opportunity and encourage- 
ment to do something toward carrying out his ideals. If, 
to do so, he must sacrifice self to some extent, all the 
better. This is preeminently the time for developing 
altruism in deed as well as in thought. The youth 
should now attain to the higher stage of doing right 
even when it seems sure not to pay. 

(3) Companions, especially chums, are chosen by 
youths and maidens themselves, and only incidentally can 
the educator determine these choices. Boys more often 
have a group of companions, and girls a single chum, 
with whom they wish to be every moment while the 
intimacy lasts, which may be for days or for years. 
Associations with these companions may exercise greater 
moral influence on young persons than association with 

(4) The public sentiment of school and class, which 
may be regarded as an emanation from companions, 
is to some extent under the control of the wise teacher. 
He should not only know what it is, and make use 
of it in governing the school, but he should mould it 
into a finer and nobler form. The general moral 
tone of a neighborhood, a school, or a society should 
also be one of the most important considerations in 
placing a youth, for nothing more surely determines 
his future character. 


II. Religious Instincts 


The credulity and trustfulness of children, and their 
dramatic and symbolic tendencies during the period of 
childhood, make it possible to impart to them the 
forms of any religion. Any kind of religious instruc- 
tion, especially that which involves observing and taking 
part in religious ceremonies during childhood, leaves a 
permanent impression upon the mind and heart. The 
theological beliefs taught may later be utterly rejected 
by the intellect, as are fairy and ghost stories ; but the 
forms, phrases, and ceremonies still stir the heart. 

It is perfectly evident that there can be no compre- 
hension of abstract theology during this period, though 
some sort of crude doctrine or cosmology is needed to 
satisfy the child's questions regarding causes and reasons. 
That the deeper religious feelings cannot be aroused 
during childhood is less evident, but scarcely less cer- 
tain. The child has great capacity for fear and faith, 
which are important elements in reverence and wor- 
ship. He also has a strong tendency to love whatever 
brings him pleasure. What he lacks is the vital element 
of religion in its higher form, the impulse to self- 
surrender — the spirit that says, "Do with me as thou 
wilt." Every instinct of the child says, " Do for me as 
I wish, and I will love and serve thee." This sentiment, 
however, is not greatly different from much of that 
shown forth in the Old Testament, though it is from 
the deeper sentiment of the Old and New Testament, 
and of the sacred books of other great religions. 



The training should not be predominantly intellec- 
tual, for the child is incapable of forming abstract reli- 
gious conceptions, and the ideas that he does form are 
almost sure to change later. An element of mystery 
in forms and ceremonies also makes them far more 
fascinating and impressive to the child than any acts 
which he thinks he understands. In general, there- 
fore, training during this period should be of the heart 
rather than of the head, and perhaps even more of the 
hand, i.e. a training in doing, or, in other words, taking 
part in religious forms. 

The training must vary according to the kind of 
religion for which the child is being prepared. As a 
preparation for all kinds of religion, however, the moral 
training previously described and the cultivation of the 
spirit of reverence are distinctly helpful. 

The religious training of Catholics is a most admi- 
rable preparation for that religion which is based on 
authority. The large number of symbols and the cere- 
monies suggesting unexplained mysteries, in which the 
children take some part at stated times, are woven into 
their life in a way that makes them an indestructible 
part of it. They are thus prepared for accepting what- 
ever is taught by the embodiment of all this mystery — 
the church and its priests, who are beings apart from 
other men. 

The religious training of Protestantism is often far 
less effective, because it seeks to be more intellectual 
and to teach absolute truths instead of symbols of 
unexplainable mysteries. It appeals far less to the 


symbolic and dramatic tendencies of childhood, which 
are then strongest. Authority of person or book is 
the basis of teaching, because most of what is taught 
cannot be brought within the child's experience. Since, 
however, religion is usually taught as a personal 
matter, reason is continually appealed to. The child 
is almost compelled to think and feel, if taught that 
not the things he does, but his mental states when 
doing them, are the important factors in religion. In 
thus ignoring the strongest instincts of childhood (sym- 
bolic and dramatic tendencies), and in enforcing author- 
ity while appealing to reason and in trying to make the 
child subjective instead of objective, Protestantism has 
a difficult task, and it is a wonder that it succeeds as 
well as it does. The changes needed to make Protes- 
tant religious instruction more effective during this 
period are, on the negative side, to cease trying to give 
children much theological instruction at this time or to 
make them consciously and subjectively religious, and 
on the positive side, to give more opportunity for chil- 
dren to take part in whatever religious forms and cere- 
monies are practised, to inculcate reverence for sacred 
things, and to develop moral habits. 

For this period, the cruder and more objective reli- 
gion of the Old Testament, and some of the narratives 
of the New Testament, are far more suitable than the 
finer and more subjective teaching of Christ and his 
apostles and of the psalms. Few stories in all litera- 
ture can be compared with those of the Old Testament 
as instruments of moral and religious instruction, and 
their moral value is not lost even though later they 
come to be regarded as legends or myths. 


Without entering into details, the great thing in reli- 
gious training before twelve years of age is not to 
make children religious in the fullest sense of the 
word, but to prepare them for becoming religious by 
cultivating feelings and habits that will be in accord- 
ance with the religious impulse when it is felt. In 
doing this, religious conceptions should be left in a 
crude, plastic form, that they may be moulded to fit 
the broader life of the individual, instead of having to 
be torn out of the mind and replaced by others, to 
which early feelings and habits do not so readily attach 


During the adolescent period, when the dawning 
parental instincts impel the youth to act not merely for 
self, but as a part of the world and for the good of 
the world, he is driven to consider not merely laws, 
people, and institutions, but also the Power and Intelli- 
gence that lies back of it all. At this stage, when 
idealistic imitation is so strong, and impulses of self- 
sacrifice are stirring the nature of the youth, the Supreme 
Ideal of power, wisdom, and goodness can scarcely fail 
to attract him and arouse aspiration and devotion. 
The vital breath has come, and this is the time of all 
others for the development of genuine religion ; hence 
it is not strange that this is the period during which 
by far the larger number of people become consciously 
religious. Space does not permit a full treatment of 
this topic, hence it must be omitted, or studied in the 
references cited below. 


Exercises for Students 

i. Give illustrations of difference among various nations and 
among different children, as to ideas of right and wrong. 

2. Should children be allowed to do a great deal of lunching 
between meals ? Why ? Mention several habits not usually con- 
sidered moral, that may be a basis for moral action. 

3. Illustrate how children may be taught that it pays to do right. 

4. Is there any moral value in having a child wait until others 
have been served at the table ? Why ? Illustrate further how the 
power to inhibit impulses may be developed. 

5. Have hard work and difficult games a moral value ? Why ? 
Give specific illustrations. 

6. Do children's savings banks have any moral effects ? Why ? 

7. Is there a good psychological basis for the custom of having 
dessert at the close instead of at the beginning of the meal ? A 
teacher said, " I will read you a good story, then I shall expect you 
to study very hard the rest of the afternoon. 11 Was she wise ? 

8. A little girl ate very slowly because she did not wish a visitor 
to think her greedy. What instinct was uppermost in that case ? 
Give other examples of the conflict of instinctive impulses. 

9. Mention some cases in which you think it best to get right 
habits of action even by means of low motives, and other cases in 
which higher instincts may be aroused. 

10. Indicate whether the following acts were elevating or degrad- 
ing morally, (a) Mrs. Burnett, when a little girl, would not say a 
certain name was pretty, though she thought the lady asking her 
would be very much hurt if she did not. (&) A boy took from a 
dish the largest and reddest apple before passing it to a visitor. 

(c) A little girl who carefully covered a younger sister who had 
fallen asleep was, upon the return of her parents, given ten cents by 
her father. Tl)e next time her parents went away she got her little 
sister to lie down and be covered, hoping to get another ten cents. 

(d) People who have been very hospitable, frequently after their 
neighborhood has become a summer resort, show kindness to 
strangers for pay only. 

Children who are working well in school are sometimes offered a 


valuable prize for the best work. Is the effect the same when the 
prize is money as when it is opportunity for further study ? 

What is the effect of offering a half holiday for good attendance? 
What of offering a treat such as candy? 

Sometimes a child is induced to tell of the misdemeanors of others 
by threats of punishment or offers of reward, and in other cases the 
attempt is made to get a child to tell by showing him that the good 
of the school makes it necessary. What is the moral effect in the 
two cases ? 

Bring up for discussion other cases of substituting or mixing of 
motives, and the moral effects of the same. 

1 1 . Illustrate the fact that ideals, only, cannot usually be depended 
upon to govern the actions of young children. 

12. Give instances in which natural results are best for children, 
and others in which authoritative punishment or reward is best. 

Give illustrations of temporary authority leading to self-control 
and of too long continued authority leading to arrest of develop- 

13. Report from your own experience or observation changes in 
feeling and attitude toward moral questions early in the teens. 

14. Describe the results of experiments in self-government of 
which you have known, also the effects of having to bear responsi- 
bility of any kind either at home or in school. 

15. Recall as many as you can of the moral ideals that you 
formed from the people around you or from reading. 

16. Give illustrations from experience or observation of the moral 
influence of companions upon a child. t 

17. Indicate some of the ways in which sentiments of honor, 
truthfulness, and kindness, or other sentiments, may be developed 
in a school. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On moral and religious instincts and their prominence at puberty, 
see Marshall, chaps, ix, x, and xiv; Chadbourne, chaps, xi and 
xii ; Ribot, pp. 289-377 ; Leuba, Am. Jr. Psyche Vol. VII, pp. 
309-385; Coe, Trans. III. Ch. S. Soc.> Vol. Ill, pp. 97-108; 
also « The Spiritual Life," Gale,/r. Ch. and Ad., September, 1900, 
pp. 17-25 ; Jr. Ch. andAd n January, 1902 ; Starbuck, Psychology 


of Religion, or Am, Jr. Psych., Vol. VIII, pp. 268-314; James, 
Varieties of Religious Experiences ; Dawson, Am. Jr. Psych., 
Vol. VII, pp. 151-178, Vol. XI, pp. 181-224; Stanley, Psych. 
Rev., Vol. V, pp. 254-278. 

On early moral and religious development and training, see Com- 
payre, Vol. II, chaps, v and vi ; Harrison, chaps, iv, vi, vii, and 
viii ; Wiggin, pp. 141-165 ; Sully, chaps, vii and viii ; Chrisman, 
Ch. S. Mo., Vol. Ill, pp. 516-528; Van Liew, N. E. A., 1899, 
pp. 551-559; also Malleson, Winterburn, and Proudfoot. 

For investigations of children's moral and religious ideas, see Barnes, 
Studies in Ed., Vol. I, pp. 270-271, 299-300, 33 2 -337> 344-35*> 

366-367, Vol. 11, pp. 62-70, 203-217, 283-307, 308-313, 323-337 ; 

Schallenberg, Ped. Sem., Vol. Ill, pp. 87-96; A. G. Spencer, 
Century Mag., Vol. XIX, p. 238 ; Barnes, Ed., Vol. XVIII, pp. 
387-395> Vol. XIX, pp. 72-75 ; Osborn, Ed. Rev^ Vol. VIII, 
PP- H3-146; Sears, Ped. Sem., Vol. VI, pp. 159-187; Street, 
Ped. Sem., Vol. V, pp. 5-40; Brockman, Ped. Sem., Vol. IX, 
pp. 255-273 ; Swift, Ped. Sem., Vol. VIII, pp. 65-91 ; Sud- 
borough, N. W. Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 327-333; Hall, Am. 
Jr. Psych., Vol. Ill, pp. 59-70; Kline, Ped. Sem., Vol. X, 
PP- 239-266. 

On moral and religious training, see Adler, Moral Instruction of 
Children; Forbush, The Boy Problem-, Koons, The Child's 
Religious Life; Hall, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. Ill, pp. 59-70; Ped. 
Sem., Vol. II, pp. 72-89, Vol. VIII, pp. 439-469; Luckey, 
J\T. E. A., 1899, pp. 127-136; De Garmo, AT. E. A., 1894, pp. 
165-173; Dinsmore, N. W. Mo., Vol. X, pp. 74-8o; Spencer, 
Moral Education; White, School Management, chapter on 
« Punishments"; Wolfe, N. W. Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 43*-435 \ 
Hinsdale, Studies in Education, Chap. ii. 

See also Morrison, Juvenile Offenders; Royce, "The Social Basis 
of Conscience," AT. E. A., 1898, pp. 196-204. 




This instinct is clearly manifested in both animals and 
men. When food and materials for nests and homes 
are collected and used or stored for future use, the act 
is of advantage to the individual, and often to the spe- 
cies, as a means of preserving the young. When, how- 
ever, objects of all kinds are collected and hidden or 
stored and played with, as is the case with many kinds 
of animals, there appears to be nothing of immediate 
value gained by the act It seems as if the usefulness 
of certain acts of collecting has led to an unspecialized 
tendency to collect objects of all kinds. 

In human beings the instinct is very strong, and as a 
result not only have we museums of all kinds, but nearly 
every individual has at least one collection of some sort. 

This instinct unites with other instincts in a way that 
makes it impossible to determine its actual strength. 
The amassing pf wealth, which is an indirect way of 
collecting food and shelter for self and descendants, is 
probably often due as much to the blind impulse to 
busy one's self in collecting, as to the desire for money 
and what it will buy. The instinct is often associated 
with the play instinct, since the objects collected are 



frequently an important source of amusement Curios- 
ity not infrequently contributes to the impulse, as does 
also the tendency to construct The aesthetic tendencies 
are also often gratified in the objects collected and their 

In children the instinct is manifested to some extent 
in the second year, especially in connection with play ; 
sticks, stones, etc., being collected and kept as play- 
things. It continues all through life, and varies not so 
much in intensity at different ages as in the objects 
with which it is concerned and the conscious motives 
with which it is associated. In children, especially 
when there is no conscious motive for the act, the im- 
pulse is extremely variable. Objects of a certain kind 
may be collected and guarded with the greatest eager- 
ness, as if life depended upon their possession, then in 
a few days, or perhaps a few hours, they may be aban- 
doned, thrown away, or destroyed. The sight of some 
one else appropriating objects, or anything that suggests 
the idea of securing possession of objects, is sufficient 
to awaken the collecting impulse, while the awakening 
of another interest changes the form of the impulse or 
causes its disappearance for the time being; yet en- 
tirely useless collections of glass, stones, etc., are some- 
times preserved for years. 

When the instinct is associated with some other in- 
stinct, such as the individualistic, the competitive, the 
imitative, the aesthetic, or that of curiosity, the impulse 
manifested in a certain line in childhood may continue 
for months or years, or even all through life. Thus a 
passion for collecting may develop into love of money 
or even miserliness, or into love of winning in any kind 


of contest, or into the pursuit of an artistic or a scientific 

The elements that make collections, or objects in a 
collection, desirable are, according to the reminiscences 
of Barnes's pupils, variety, quantity, rarity, beauty, and 
personal association or ownership. The reasons given 
for making collections are emulation, imitation, pleasure 
of ownership, and of classifying or arranging. 

The instinct has already been utilized to some extent 
in school, but there are undoubtedly much more exten- 
sive and fitting uses yet to be made of it. The educa- 
tional value is not so much in what is collected as in 
the physical, mental, and volitional activity called forth 
directly or indirectly while collecting. 


The general tendency to construct things is largely 
the outgrowth of that form of the parental instinct which 
causes suitable places to be prepared for the shelter and 
protection of the young. Some constructions, however, 
are means of promoting individual ends, such as obtain- 
ing food or shelter for self, e.g. webs by spiders, holes 
by ground-hogs. In animals the tendency does not seem 
to be generalized, but is manifested only in constructions 
that are characteristic of and useful to the species. In 
man, however, there seems to be an impulse to construct, 
independently of any end to be gained. 

From the time the child begins to pile up sand or 
blocks, through the ages when boys construct tools and 
dig caves, and men design temples, bridges, business 
blocks, and balloons, the constructive instinct is promi- 
nent. There is a peculiar pleasure accompanying these 


acts of construction, perhaps because one feels and per- 
ceives in concrete form the evidence of his power to do, 
to modify and change. 

The destructive tendency is probably only a modified 
form of the constructive, for it gives the same evidence 
of power to change. The destruction or displacement 
of something is also often merely a preliminary to the 
construction of something else of the parts or frag- 
ments that are being made. Children frequently break 
or take apart complex toys and make some crude thing 
in which they take great pleasure. 

The constructive instinct naturally associates itself 
with the adaptive instincts of imitation, play, and curi- 
osity, with the aesthetic and expressive instincts, and 
sometimes with various other instincts and motives. 

Imitation and suggestion are the natural stimuli to 
this impulse. Like other forms of play, it needs to be 
spontaneous and free. Definite directions as to what 
shall be constructed, and how it shall be done, often 
effectively inhibit the constructive impulse. 

The order of development of the impulse is from the 
more concrete and tangible to the more immaterial and 
symbolic. Making things, therefore, naturally pre- 
cedes making pictures of them or compositions about 
them. In general, the manual element is naturally 
most prominent in early constructions, and the artistic 
and literary, in later. At present, children are often 
guided and drilled in artistic and literary creation be- 
fore they care much about that phase of construction, 
and are not given sufficient opportunity for manual 
work till many of them have partially or wholly lost 
their interest in making things. 



The biological value of this instinct is not easily dis- 
cerned. It is most satisfactorily explained as a result- 
ant tendency rather than as a primarily useful instinct. 
The idea that insects select flowers that are beautiful 
for fertilization, and hence such flowers survive, and 
that females select the mates most beautiful in appear- 
ance and action, and thus promote the development of 
the beautiful, leads to the rather absurd conclusion that 
all the beauty of organic life is the result of the good 
taste of the lower animals. The more reasonable view 
is, that the qualities of plants or animals that attract in- 
sects and mates, or favor avoidance of enemies, are pre- 
served by natural selection. In other words, the useful 
survives. It becomes agreeable according to the gen- 
eral law of accommodation by which every organ of every 
animal comes to respond in the most favorable way to 
every impression that is often repeated. Leaves and 
grass are green because the elements favoring plant 
growth give them that color, and green is pleasant and 
restful to the eye because in the course of ages the 
eye has become accommodated to green. For a similar 
reason we find grace and beauty in nearly all forms of 
life and action. 

Although the aesthetic reaction is in a large measure 
playful (the product of the excess of life above what is 
necessary to its maintenance), yet it is always closely 
associated with the useful from which it has evolved. 
Anything suggesting want of equilibrium or strength 
fails to appear beautiful because such objects have not 
been useful, and hence not numerous and permanent 


enough to result in favorable accommodation to them. 
Symmetry and a position in accordance with the law of 
gravity are therefore universal elements of beauty. For 
similar reasons harmony of parts and unity of the 
whole is a universal requisite of beautiful objects. 
The elements of beauty that are associated with uni- 
versal laws of existence and permanency are therefore 
responded to in approximately the same way by all 
nations of people. 

Those that are associated with local characteristics 
and customs, on the other hand, are responded to dif- 
ferently by each nation, tribe, and community. For 
example, the peculiar blues of Scandinavian art are not 
so much enjoyed by people of other countries where 
they are rarely found in nature. Our music, also, is as 
painful to the Chinese as is theirs to us. 

Recent experiences make wonderful changes in the 
aesthetic reaction. Even in the same community the 
beautiful sleeves or hats of last year are "horrid" a 
year or two later. What is common for temporary 
reasons, as well as what is common because constantly 
useful, comes to be regarded as beautiful ; hence beauty 
is in part a matter of style or custom. 

Since the experience of each individual differs from 
that of every other, each person has also, in a measure, 
his own standards of beauty. Purely personal associa- 
tions aroused by an object sometimes have more influ- 
ence upon one's judgment than the more universal and 
fundamental elements of beauty. 

Standards of beauty are therefore partially determined 
by universal laws of use and beauty, partially by local 
surroundings, customs, and style, and partially by indi- 


vidual peculiarities of temperament, experience, and 

The aesthetic instinct is closely connected with several 
other instincts. Whenever certain forms of the play 
impulse are clearly marked, either in animals or chil- 
dren, there is good reason for believing that there is a 
crude form of aesthetic appreciation. This is especially 
true of all playful exhibitions by animals, of form, color, 
movement, and voice, by which they and their compan- 
ions, especially mates, are pleased. Such acts of show- 
ing off and of adornment are common among all savage 
tribes and are very characteristic of children. 

The aesthetic impulse is thus a form of the play in- 
stinct and closely associated with the parental and social 
instincts. It is not less closely associated with the rhyth- 
mic, dramatic, constructive, and expressive instincts. 
The joy of doing always culminates in the pleasure 
of contemplating the beauty of the product or the per- 
formance. The impulse to express mental states also 
reaches its climax when the expression itself is beautiful 

The development of the aesthetic impulse is greatly 
influenced by the development of the instincts with 
which it is associated. It cannot, therefore, reach its 
deepest and broadest development until after puberty. 
In early childhood the aesthetic sense is largely sensory; 
color, sound, and rhythm being the most effective stimuli. 
Beauty of form, harmony, and unity become more im- 
portant as the mind develops and standards are formed 
by habit and training. Colored pictures and those with 
subjects interesting to young children therefore appeal 
more to them than the most artistic black and white 


Vocal skill and auditory appreciation develop much 
earlier than manual skill and visual appreciation (except 
in the case of colors). Children enjoy rhythm, melody, 
and the act of singing much sooner than they ap- 
preciate symmetry of form, unity of design, and the 
power to make beautiful forms. Lancaster's investi- 
gations show that, on the average, great musicians 
achieved their first success at nine or ten years of age ; 
while artists have not obtained corresponding success 
until about eighteen years of age. 

That the aesthetic instinct should be developed is 
admitted by all, but there is difference of opinion as to 
the best method. Should only the highest art be shown 
children, even though they do not appreciate it, or 
should they be allowed to revel in bright colors and 
sharp contrasts until their aesthetic appreciation be- 
comes less crude ? It is of no use to place before them 
high art that excites no interest or feeling, and, on the 
other hand, continued association with crude and imper- 
fect art develops wrong standards. Nature gives the 
best models because universal laws of beauty are shown 
in every flower, leaf, and twig. Other models for chil- 
dren should be chosen: first, because they exemplify 
fundamental laws of beauty ; and, second, because they 
have qualities that will attract the attention and arouse 
the interest of children. Great works of art that appeal 
to children because of their color, or the subject repre- 
sented, will mould their taste ; while those that fail to 
attract their attention will have little or no influence. 
Care should therefore be taken that pictures in the 
schoolroom are both artistic and interesting. 



In its primitive form this instinct is probably nothing 
more than a manifestation of the general tendency to 
act so as to increase or get more of a favorable stimulus 
already received. At a certain season of the year, sal- 
mon, for example, experience bodily changes preparatory 
to the production of young, that cause them to move so 
as to get into an environment more and more favorable 
to their present bodily state as regards temperature, 
chemical condition, etc. The result is that after many 
days they find themselves in the fresh water where 
their eggs were deposited the year before. After the 
breeding season, movement in the opposite direction 
is more favorable, and the ocean again becomes their 

This is the fundamental form of the instinct which 
makes every animal, including man, experience an im- 
pulse to migrate when, through changes in himself or 
his surroundings, he is out of harmony with his environ- 
ment The impulse is felt in the spring by nearly 
every one in a greater or less degree. Some persons, 
'such as tramps, pioneers, and travellers, never become 
so firmly settled and accommodated to any environment 
that they do not yield to the migratory impulse. 

Children of two or three years nearly always have a 
period of running away. Later, the impulse to play 
truant from school or to leave home often comes, and 
is frequently acted upon without conscious purpose or 
reason. The impulse is especially strong during the 
period of adolescent changes, and if there is not actual 
running away there is at least a strong desire to travel. 


Special causes of discontent often bring on or increase 
such impulses. 


The universal tendency to rhythm in action may be 
considered under the head of instinctive tendencies, 
though it is really an organic and automatic tendency 
even more fundamental than an instinct 

Rhythm is a marked feature in physical phenomena 
as well as in plant and animal life. In man, all bodily 
processes are rhythmic, and all repeated movement 
tends to take a rhythmic form. It is not surprising, 
therefore, that consciousness is rhythmic. There are 
rhythms of attention, activity is followed by rest, and 
one emotional extreme is succeeded by its opposite. 
Consciousness even makes rhythmic what is objectively 
without rhythm, as when continuous and uniform beats 
of a metronome are heard as rhythmic beats. 

The more instinctive form of the rhythmic tendency 
is shown in the impulse to produce rhythmic move- 
ments and sounds, and to appreciate or respond in a 
particular way when such rhythms are produced by 
others. Both of these tendencies are manifested in the 
first few months of life. The tendency remains much 
the same all through life except that the rhythms be- 
come more complex. The rhythm of conversation, 
music, and poetry is often appreciated long before 
the other elements of which they are composed. 
Mother Goose rhymes and some of Tennyson's finest 
poems are enjoyed by children for exactly the same 
reason, i.e. their rhythmic character. Many games also 


owe their charm to the opportunity they afford for 
rhythmic sounds and movements. 


In general, an instinct, as Professor James says, is a 
tendency to act; and an emotion, a tendency to feel. 
Since most instinctive actions are at least occasionally 
accompanied by feeling, there is an emotion for every 
instinct. Every emotion has also its appropriate bodily 
expression which varies somewhat from the correspond- 
ing instinctive action. 

The tense muscles, labored breathing, pale or flushed 
face, quickened heart beat, and irregular movements 
of anger are only partially reproduced in the purely 
instinctive movements of fighting. The act of fighting 
is exhilarating and pleasurable, while anger, especially 
when it takes the form of irritation and hate, is rather 
painful and depressing. Anger appears whenever an 
action of any kind is interfered with, as is clearly shown 
in young babies. The resulting irregular, varied, and 
vigorous movements often overcome the interference, 
and fighting movements are probably the result of the 
selection of the most favorable of these. When the 
stimulus to action continues without the obstruction 
being removed, irritation or sullenness and smouldering 
hate of the cause of the interference are likely to 

Jealousy and envy are produced by the sight of an- 
other enjoying the pleasures of a loved being or object 
These emotions seem to be experienced by nearly all 
species of animals and are usually especially promi- 


nent in children. The tendency to them remains 
strong all through life, but is suppressed and covered up 
by training and social convention. 

Humorous emotions are, in nature and cause, the oppo- 
site of those of anger. Instead of interference with activ- 
ity, when the sense of humor is aroused there is a sudden 
opening of a channel of free activity. Any sudden stimu- 
lus giving rise to playful movements is likely to arouse 
the emotion in young children and perhaps in animals. 
The delight of children in " peek-a-boo," and in all play 
in which there is a sudden transformation that may be 
accompanied by movements of laughing, jerking heads 
away, running, etc., indicates the early rise of this 
emotion. When a child of less than two suddenly turns 
his head away from the one he has offered to kiss, and 
runs off laughing, the presence of humor is unmistak- 
able. In general, humor is the result of a more or less 
serious form of physical or mental reaction being sud- 
denly converted into a playful form. Naturally, there- 
fore, humor and pathos are often associated, and " there 
is only a step from laughter to tears." Humor is a 
permanent emotion, as play is a permanent instinct, 
but it is stronger in childhood than in old age. The 
stimuli to humor, like the forms of playful activity, 
vary greatly with age. The child's humor is often 
nonsense to the adult, and the adult's, incomprehensible 
to the child ; but whenever they can play together they 
meet on a common basis. 

The emotions of awe and reverence are accompani- 
ments of reactions which involve little or no movement 
because there is no movement suited to the stimulus 
which arouses them. The object arousing the emotion 


is impressive but not exciting, and there is no fitting 
motor response except the more or less complete 
inhibition of movement. It is related to that form of 
the fear instinct in which safety is gained by keeping 
still; but the object is less definitely fearful, and is 
attractive rather than repulsive. 


There are many kinds of stimuli that have affected 
the development of mind in animals and men from the 
earliest ages. Heat and cold, fire and frost, light and 
darkness, the clouds and heavenly bodies, water and earth, 
trees and flowers, birds and animals, heights and depths, 
open and closed spaces, feathers and fur, eyes and 
teeth, etc., are some of the more or less constant^stimuli 
that mould mind in the race and the individual. A 
large amount of data regarding the feelings and ideas 
excited by these phenomena of natur^ has been col- 
lected from folklore, reminiscences of adults, and obser- 
vation of children, under the direction of Dr. HalL 
This material is very interesting and suggestive, but 
exceedingly diverse. This^s probably to be expected, 
since the favorable op* unfavorable character of these 
phenomena varies with the species concerned and with 
various conditions, surroundings, and experiences of 
the spoefes and the individual. Thus water or fire may 
be fascinating to one, terrifying to another, and tranquil- 
lizin|f to a third, or each of these to the same individual, 
when appearing in special forms. 

It is evident also from the descriptions, and from well- 
known laws of association, that many of the emotions 
excited by these stimuli are the result of early experi- 


ences of the individual with such stimuli, or of the 
influence of the words and actions of adults in connec- 
tion with them. It is utterly impossible from the studies 
thus far made to say how far these mental states or 
"psychoses" are due to hereditary racial experiences 
and how far to individual experiences in connection 
with social heredity. 

The nature and development of the emotional life of 
man can never be understood till we have learned more 
regarding the universal effects of instinctive actions, 
and of the more constant and universal stimuli, upon 
mental activity and feeling. Many years must elapse 
before such knowledge can be obtained. 

Exercises for Students 

i. Report full details of one or more collections that you Have 
made. Give some specific illustrations of the way in which Uncol- 
lecting instinct may be utilized in education. Are ready-made col- 
lections of as much value as pupil-made collections ? Is it of any 
advantage to children to make scrap-books? 

2. A boy of four worked a considerable part of two days con- 
structing a tool box out of laths, and a very restless little girl worked 
steadily for two hours sewing on a dress for her doll. What does this 
indicate ? Give a number of illustrations of ways in which the con- 
structive instinct may be utilized in the different grades in the school. 

3. Report instances where children have been greatly affected by 
what they regarded as very beautiful or ugly. Mention various 
ways in which the aesthetic impulse may be cultivated directly and 
indirectly in school. 

4. Give illustrations from your own experience or observation of 
the strength of the migratory instinct. May mental changes be made 
to take the place of physical ones, e.g. imaginary journeys for real 
ones? Illustrate. 

5. Give illustrations showing the strength of the rhythmic ten- 
dency, and show how it may be utilized in school. 


6. Give illustrations of the instinctive basis of various emotions. 

7. Reminiscences and observations regarding the influence of light 
and darkness, and perhaps of other stimuli, should be reported. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On children's collections, read Barnes, Studies, Vol. I, pp. 144-146 ; 

C. Frear Burk, Ped. Sem., Vol. VII, pp. 179-207 ; Groszmann, 

Jr. Ch. and Ad, April, 1901, pp. 377-3 8 5- 
On the constructive instinct, see Small, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XI, 

pp. 152-153 ; and on its use in education, see Dewey, The School 

and Society. 
On aesthetic feelings, see Ribot, pp. 328-367; Scott, "Sex and 

Ait," Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VII, pp. 153-226; Harris, AT. E. A., 

! ^97» PP« 33°-338; Chamberlain, pp. 173-189; Sully, chap, ix; 

Brown, "Art in Education," AT. E. A., 1899, pp. 112-121. 
On migratory impulses, see Kline, Ped. Sem., Vol. V, pp. 381-420; 

Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. X, pp. 1-81 ; Dinsmore, AT. W. Mo., Vol. 
^IXi pp. 183-186; Brooks, Pop. Set. Mo., Vol. LII, pp. 784-798. 
45nniythm, see Bolton, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VI, pp. 145-238 ; Sears, 
V Ped. Sem., Vol. VIII, pp. 3-34; Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XIII, 

On various impulses and feelings, see Burk, " Teasing and Bullying, 11 
Ped. Sem., Vol. IV, pp. 336-371 ; Bolton, "Hydro-Psychoses, 11 
Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. X, pp. 169-227 ; Hall, " Tickling and 
Laughing, 11 Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. IX, pp. 1-41 ; Hall and Smith, 
"Reactions to Light and Darkness, 11 Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XIV, 
pp. 21-83 ; Hall and Brown, " Fire, Heat, Frost, and Cold, 11 Ped. 
Sem., Vol. X, pp. 27-85 ; Hall and Wallin, " How Children and 
Youth Think about Clouds, 11 Ped. Sem., Vol. IX, pp. 460-506; 
Ellis, "Fetichism in Children, 11 Ped. Sem., Vol. IX, pp. 205- 
220; France, "Gambling Impulse, 11 Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XIII, 
pp. 364-407 ; Chamberlain, The Child as Revealing the Past, 
chap, vii ; Small, " Methods of Manifesting the Instinct for Cer- 
tainty, 11 Ped. Sem., Vol. V, pp. 313-380; Phillips, "The Teach- 
ing Instinct, 11 Ped. Sem., Vol. VI, pp. 188-245 ? Arnett, " Origin 
and Development of Home and Love of Home, 11 Ped. Sem., Vol. 
IX, pp. 324-365 ; Iindley and Partridge, " Some Mental Automa- 
tisms, 11 Ped. Sem., Vol. V, pp. 41-60. 




This instinct belongs with the resultant and miscel- 
laneous group because it owes its origin to various other 
instincts. Expression is a means of frightening enemies, 
and communicating with friends regarding food and 
danger, consequently it has been developed in the 
attainment of individual, parental, and social ends. 

In the lowest animals, expression, so far as there is any, 
is accomplished by means of feelers or antennae (notably 
in the case of ants), but in higher animals the chief means 
used are sounds. Most mammals and birds have from 
two or three to a dozen different calls which are appro- 
priately responded to by others of their species. In 
man, the expressive instinct reaches its highest devel- 
opment because of his social nature and the perfectness 
of his vocal organs, and also because of the complexity 
of the mental states to be expressed. Instinctive 
emotional expression and expressive gestures are so 
effective that savages, without a word of artificial lan- 
guage in common, can communicate more accurately 
than any of the lower animals. 

Man is not limited, however, to the language of natu- 
ral signs. Every race has formed an artificial language 



of arbitrary symbols. Animals, on the other hand, have 
no artificial language, and only a few of them can use 
such language even in an imitative way. In man, the 
need for such a language is so great, and the instinct of 
expression so strong, that children who had never heard 
any language would probably form a crude one suited 
to their needs. The fact that children who hear but 
little spoken language sometimes, as Horatio Hale has 
shown, form a language of their own, is evidence of this. 
Many children also invent new words, notwithstanding 
the fact that they continually hear a fully developed 

Since any means by which the mental state of one 
being is expressed to another is a language in the broad 
meaning of the term, words may be tactual, motor, or 
visual, as well as auditory ; and ideas may be expressed 
in the permanent form of some constructed object or 
representation, as well as temporarily by sound, touch, 
or gesture. Constructive activities of all kinds are 
important forms of expression; but we shall take 
space to discuss in detail only the forms in most gen- 
eral use, namely, (I) Oral Language, (II) Written Lan- 
guage, and (III) Drawings. 

I. Auditory Language 


The fundamental factor is, of course, the expressive 
instinct, and this is founded on a still more fundamental 
organic tendency, i.e. the tendency to respond by move- 
ment of some kind to every stimulus received. In the 
purely expressive form of reaction the movements made 


are not usually valuable in themselves, but because of 
the movements they cause others to make. In a com- 
plex being such as man, so many stimuli are received and 
noted that the most economical form of response is 
by means of a word for each different kind of stimulus, 
whether object as " tree," or an organic state as "hunger." 
Writing the word " tree " is simply a shorter and more 
convenient means of indicating the object than would 
be the act of going to one and touching it. The funda- 
mental basis of vocal language is therefore to be found 
in the tendency to respond by one kind of movement and 
sound to each of several similar stimuli. The modes of 
response that will fit the largest number of cases are 
selected and developed into the words of an artificial 
language; words, therefore, take the place of many 
other forms of movement. 

The next most important factor, in producing a vocal 
language, is the imitative instinct. This leads to sounds 
and gestures being responded to by similar sounds and 
gestures. These naturally arouse corresponding ideas 
in other persons, and are therefore often repeated and 
learned. They are then used for other similar stimuli, and 
thus they become words and a means of classification of 
objects. The use of " tree " for certain kinds of objects, 
"flower" for others, and "animal " for others causes the 
common characteristics of each class to be noted more 
carefully, and the general notion or concept of it is thus 
perfected. Other symbols are used to indicate sensa- 
tions and qualities as well as objects and acts. Often 
they are also applied to analogous and associated objects. 
Not only knives are "sharp," but pains, vinegar, and 
wits. "Kitty" meant to M. not only the animal, but- 


anything that was soft to the touch, and finally any- 
thing that was pleasing. 

In the case of a child surrounded by people speaking 
a vocal language, imitation is the most important factor 
in his language development. The child has continually 
before him examples of persons responding to stimuli 
by words only, and the imitative instinct leads him to 
respond in the same way. He is much more likely to 
imitate a response than an original stimulus, though 
sometimes the child who has not been taught the word 
"dog," for example, will say "bow-wow" when he per- 
ceives or pictures the animal ; but with equal opportunity 
to hear a dog bark and hear the word " dog," he is likely 
to adopt the sound used by others. For this reason each 
child, no matter what his nationality, learns the language 
he hears spoken. Deaf children are usually slow in 
learning visual language as well as auditory; but not 
so much because hearing is necessary to language learn- 
ing as because they are deprived for many years of the 
chance to imitate any artificial language. 

The play instinct is another important factor in lan- 
guage learning by children, especially at first Before 
learning to talk, and sometimes afterward, children fre- 
quently use their vocal organs as playthings, and thus 
develop their vocal centres in preparation for the pro- 
duction of any sound they may subsequently have 
occasion to use. Later, children often combine and 
substitute words in various ways, as a matter of 

Necessity, which really means action for one's good, 
or conformity to the fundamental individualistic instinct, 
is another important factor in the individual language 


development, as it was perhaps the chief one in the 
development of language by the race. The child who 
learns to understand words of warning or approval suc- 
ceeds in avoiding various painful stimuli and in secur- 
ing pleasant ones. Similar results come from ability 
to indicate hunger, and objects of fear or desire. If a 
child is helped to what he wants in response to the lan- 
guage of natural signs, he is often slow in using conven- 
tional language ; hence, it is sometimes well for parents 
to refuse to understand the wants of children old 
enough to talk until they try to express them in 

Another more obscure but very important factor in 
acquiring language is the instinctive social tendency 
to have sympathy and approval. This is also really a 
phase of the expressive instinct itself. Children seem 
especially desirous that others shall hear, see, and feel 
what they do, as well as that they themselves shall have 
the same experiences that others are getting. Lan- 
guage is one means of sharing experiences, hence it 
is used a great deal for that purpose. Children often 
repeat over and over a statement to make sure it is 
understood, and cease only when they receive assurance 
by word or act that they have been understood. Lan- 
guage is the chief medium by which the wider social life 
is brought to the individual soul, and by which he infuses 
his own mental states into the thoughts and feelings of 
the group to which he belongs. All impulses to com- 
municate, whether to engage in the most trivial gossip 
or to give expression to the profoundest feelings and 
thoughts, are the result of the social tendency to share 
one's experiences with others of his kind. 




Instinctive Stage 

The instinctive language which man has in common 
with the lower animals is that of emotional expression. 
He begins life with a cry and often ends it with a moan. 
This language of natural signs is not learned by the 
individual, but is instinctively understood and spoken by 
all races. 

At first the child has no cry except for pain, and little 
or no variation in its cry to express the kinds of pain. 
Soon, however, the cry of anger or the wail of disap- 
pointment is differentiated from the cry of physical 
pain. At about the same time, or a little later, other 
cries, screams, gurglings, and cooings, suggestive of en- 
ergy or pleasurable contentment, are made. Differentia- 
tion in vocal expression probably proceeds more rapidly 
than differentiation of the different forms of emotion, 
since emotions are probably, in part at least, the result 
of what is called their expression. 

Children only a few months old are sensitive to 
emotional expression of others, and may be soothed, 
irritated, or depressed by appropriate tones of voice. 
Vocal laughter, however, is sometimes rather late in 
appearing in children and correspondingly late in being 
understood. My own little girl was well along in her 
second year before she laughed aloud, and until she 
herself laughed, was disturbed and even frightened by 
the sudden laughter of others. 

Besides the purely instinctive language of emotional 
expression, there is usually developed in the second 


year a more intellectual language, which prepares the 
way for purely symbolic language. The child learns to 
vary the tone of his grunts and squeals so as to express 
fear, surprise, question, desire, satisfaction, and assent, 
and he associates gesture with these variations in 
tone. Soon, therefore, he can express, to one quick to 
interpret, nearly all his feelings, ideas, and wishes. All 
through life, tone of voice, emphasis, inflection, and 
gesture continue to be effective aids in expression, and 
important means of interpretation, especially of whatever 
concerns the emotions. 

Since the child's life is more emotional than intellec- 
tual, this form of language is peculiarly appropriate in 
communicating with him. After he begins learning 
artificial language, the instinctive language of tone and 
gesture remains an important means of communication, 
and an effective aid in interpreting what is heard. A 
child may be commended in tones that will make him 
cry, or condemned in accents that will cause him to smile 
with pleasure. 

Playful and Imitative Stage 

This stage of language learning does not take the 
place of the preceding stage, but is added to it. Be- 
ginning in the second quarter of the first year, it is 
usually prominent for from one to several years. In 
the second and third quarters of the first year, the vocal 
organs of a child are his most important playthings. 
During this period of babbling a child may make nearly 
every sound in the language. 

In the last quarter of his first year, babbling often 
gives place to imitation, and instead of repeating chance 


sounds over and over, the child reproduces nearly 
every sound that he hears. Sometimes this is done 
almost automatically and with phonographic exactness. 
In other instances the imitations seem to be more vol- 
untary from the first, since the child keeps trying to 
utter a word, with varying success, until he gets tired 
or succeeds in speaking it satisfactorily to himself. 

Sometimes this imitative stage is almost, if not en- 
tirely, omitted, as was the case with M. The " da da," 
or purely playful use of language, was very inconspicu- 
ous in another of my children. One or more phases of 
language learning are therefore sometimes omitted en- 
tirely or subordinated to others. 

Quite frequently the child imitates tone, inflection, 
and rhythm before attempting to articulate separate 
words. Sometimes so perfectly is this done that a 
person in another room is led to believe that a con- 
versation is being carried on. Evidently in such cases, 
tone and rhythm are most impressive to the child, and 
the motor adjustments for their imitation most easily 

Word-learning Stage 

As soon as a child begins to utter sounds for some 
other purpose than the mere making of them, the stage 
of word learning proper is introduced. Frequently the 
playful and imitative utterance of words is intermingled 
with their use for a purpose, in a way that is rather 
puzzling to adults. This word-learning stage may begin 
in the first year, but is not usually very marked till the 
last half of the second year. 

Usually, children understand words before they speak 


them ; but in cases where the imitative stage is marked, 
many words are uttered before their meaning is known. 
The meaning of words applied to objects and acts is 
learned by hearing them in connection with the percep- 
tion of object or act; yet even these words are under- 
stood not so much by their sound as by means of the 
circumstances and the gesture or glance of the eye that 
accompany the utterance of the word. It is therefore 
difficult, before a child begins to talk, to tell what words 
he really knows. He is often greatly puzzled by a familiar 
word uttered without the usual suggestive conditions, or, 
if they are present, some other word may have the same 
effect as the right one. A child, who had often been 
told to " lie down " when she sat up after being put to 
bed, would lie down if the words "sit up" were sub- 
stituted, but uttered in the usual tone of voice and 
with the usual glance. 

The child is always liable to associate a word with 
a different characteristic from the one intended. To 
one little girl, "chair" meant not so much the article 
of furniture as the act of sitting, and to another, 
"quack" meant not only a duck, but the water in 
which it was seen. 

Pronunciation of words which require very accurate 
adjustment of muscles is a difficult task in the early 
stages of word learning. The power to understand 
words is usually more quickly gained than the power 
to control the vocal apparatus. Some children do not 
try to use words difficult of pronunciation till long after 
the meaning is perfectly familiar to them. Thus M. 
refrained from using " grandma " for about a year after 
she knew the word. Most children, however, are not 


often deterred from trying to use words by inability to 
pronounce them correctly. 

The question of pronunciation is simply one form 
of the general problem of how voluntary motions are 
acquired. Some sounds, and especially some combi- 
nations of sounds, are difficult of utterance for adults 
as well as for children ; hence it is not easy to separate 
the childish difficulties from other difficulties of the 
language. A study of the first sound of all the words 
used by children will show that words beginning with 
certain sounds, such as tk, r, are not so well repre- 
sented as those beginning with other sounds, such as / 
and b. This may be interpreted as showing that words 
beginning with difficult sounds are avoided. To mean 
anything, however, the prominence of those sounds in 
adult language must be considered. A study of the 
sounds mispronounced, especially of those at the be- 
ginning of words, and of sounds substituted for those 
presumably more difficult of pronunciation, therefore, 
may be more significant. The difficulties, however, of 
getting accurate records of children's pronunciations 
(many of which are intermediate between sounds recog- 
nized as elementary by adults) are so great that one does 
not feel sure of the data. The errors and substitutions 
change also with age, and vary greatly with individuals. 
Presumably there is some law of variation with age 
corresponding to the natural order in which the centres 
controlling the vocal apparatus develop, though the 
course of development must be greatly modified by indi- 
vidual training and experience. Common observation 
indicates that this order is from large, comparatively 
free, to finer and more definitely controlled movements 


involving accurate coordination of the several parts of 
the vocal apparatus. The fact that sounds are difficult 
not merely in themselves, but according to the sounds 
with which they are associated, makes the question of 
the natural order of development an exceedingly com- 
plex one. 

Habit and the relation of one centre to another also 
modify the natural order, if there be one, to such an 
extent that its determination is very difficult. As soon 
as a new word is learned there is a tendency to assimi- 
late other words to it ; hence the pronunciation of any 
word is likely to be modified by some other word that 
has recently been learned or often pronounced. Thus 
Mrs. Moore's boy, who used " ama " for " grandma," used 
"appa" for "papa," and after learning "ba ba" for "baby," 
changed to "pa ba," and after using "be be" for " baby," 
to "pape," and then finally to "papa." 

Again, pronunciation is a matter of auditory percep- 
tion and memory, as well as of motor development. As 
a consequence, words are often mispronounced because 
the child does not discriminate sounds accurately, and 
still more often, because he discriminates sounds just as 
they are pronounced by adults, instead of as they should 
be. Most adults slur certain sounds, and the child 
naturally reproduces only the accentuated portion of 
the words he hears, or fills out the word with sounds 
already familiar to him. For example, a child who had 
been singing a familiar hymn suddenly stopped, and 
said, " What is a consecrated cross-eyed bear, anyway ? " 
The first or last or most impressive syllable only of a 
long word is often used because it is most noticed and 
best remembered. 


The rate at which children overcome the difficulties 
in the way of learning to understand and pronounce 
words becomes more, rather than less, marvellous as it 
is studied. Records of children's vocabularies, which 
have multiplied greatly within the last few years, show 
that children of two or three years actually use more 
words than adults were formerly supposed to use. 
From thirty to a hundred new words a month is not 
an unusual rate (of learning) after the acquisition of 
language fairly begins. 

Children rarely learn to walk and to talk at the same 
time. When, as is usual, walking precedes talking, the 
language-learning stage is not generally marked till the 
last half of the second year. At two years of age a 
child's vocabulary may not exceed a score of words ; 
but is likely to number from two to four hundred, and 
may reach the surprising figure of ten or fifteen hun- 
dred. The rate of acquiring words between two and 
four years of age varies with the degree of interest in 
learning as compared with interest in combining words 
already known, and with the waxing and waning of 
interest in other forms of motor activity, such as walk- 
ing or building with blocks. The child's vocabulary 
may therefore increase very rapidly for a month or two ; 
then remain almost the same for a time, while facility in 
the use of the new words is gained, or while interest is 
temporarily occupied with objects and acts, rather than 
their names and descriptions. 

As to the kind of words most learned by children, 
close study shows that the supposition that nouns espe- 
cially appeal to children, is wholly wrong. At two years 
of age the proportion of nouns in children's vocabularies 


is about the same as in the language, viz. 60 per cent ; 
but the proportion of verbs is about 20 per cent, or 
nearly twice what it is in the language. Adverbs are 
also relatively more numerous than adjectives. These 
facts harmonize with other studies, showing that chil- 
dren are more interested in actions than in things. 
Adjectives and verbs are often learned first, yet nouns 
seem to predominate during the first months of speaking, 
when the per cent may be 70 or 80. In reality, however, 
the noun idea is not so prominent as this, for words that 
in adult language are nouns are to the child verbs, or 
else the distinction is not yet made. For instance, M. 
used "bed " in the sense of lie down, just as we use "dress" 
to mean the act as well as the object. Prepositions also 
are at first for the child nearly always verbs, " up " or 
" down " signifying the act rather than the position. 

Sentence-making Stage 

Groups of words, eg. "da 'tis" (there it is)^ are 
sometimes learned before single words ; but words 
learned separately are rarely combined until they have 
been used separately for some time. The stage of 
word learning gradually merges into the stage of word 
combining, and a close observer will usually discover 
that a time comes when a child is more concerned with 
the combination of familiar words than with the learn- 
ing of new words. This stage is apt to become promi- 
nent in the third or fourth year. 

The single words that a child uses are, in a way, 
sentences, especially when expression is helped out by 
tone inflection and gesture, eg. " papa " means " Papa 


has come," " I want my papa," " That is papa," " Papa 
will do it," " I will give it to papa," etc. 

An exact report of what a child just beginning to 
combine words says, is surprisingly unintelligible to 
one knowing nothing of the child, or, the circumstances 
and tone of voice accompanying the words. Only that 
portion of a thought that is accentuated or seems to 
need statement is expressed in words — all the rest is 
understood from the circumstances or expressed in some 
other way, e.g. " Little story " means " Tell me a little 

Progress in sentence making is the result of three 
processes: (i) the substitution of words for what is 
understood or indicated by tone or gesture ; (2) analysis 
of situations into separate elements which then are 
expressed by words ; (3) increase of mental grasp so 
that the relation of different elements to each other is 
held in mind, and words selected and arranged to ex- 
press that relation. 

The shifting of interest and attention from the thing 
to the actor or the action evidently calls attention to 
the elements of a situation and leads to the attempt 
to express the various elements and their relation. 
Adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions are the result 
of attempts to express the less important phases of 
thought and their relations, e.g. "Get bed papa" be- 
comes later " I want to get in bed with papa." 

Soon more complex relations are expressed by the 
introduction of conjunctions and relatives so as to con- 
nect clauses into complex sentences, eg. " I will go and 
see if papa is there." 

The arrangement of words is determined largely by 


imitation, but is also influenced by shifting of interest 
and attention. Thus, a little girl said, "Eat, papa 
apple," then a moment later when apple (as contrasted 
with pear) was most prominent in her mind, she said, 
"Apple, papa eat," while at another time, when the 
person was most thought of, she said, " Papa, eat apple." 

Records of all sentences used by a child between two 
and four, during an hour or more, taken at regular inter- 
vals, show a marked increase in completeness, length, 
and complexity of sentences, as is shown by the following 
extract from such a record and the table on page 236. 

Twenty-eighth month. "More pencil" (I want the 
other pencil) ; " Little story " (Tell me a little story) ; 
" That all ? " (Is that all ?) ; " New cuff ? " (Is that a new 
cuff ?) " Cracker want " (I want a cracker). 

Thirty-fourth month. " Know where is my papa ? " ; 
" I want kiss baby " ; " No want to be dressed " ; "I 
don't want to be dressed " ; " Got some little birds on " 
(said of a screen). 

Fortieth month. " Baby want to get down run round 
a little while " ; "I run back and forth " ; " No, I don't 
want to run out in the hall " ; " Baby do like to have me 
run in here, baby do " ; " He want me to run here." 

Forty-sixth month. "This is a nice little kitty"; 
" Don't you want to go down there and pat him ? " ; 
" Why don't you, he is nice and soft ? " ; " He is afraid 
sometimes"; "I tried to catch him and give him to 
you to pat him." 

Contrary to all rules of grammar, most of the child's 
first sentences have no subject, many are without an 
assertive verb, while only a few are without an ob- 
ject. The length of sentence is doubled in a few 




Nov. 11, 


May 13, 1899 
34 months 

May 13, 1900 
46 months 


28 moi 

•*&** ••••••• 














Compound Sentences . 







Complex Sentences . 





Compound and Complex Sen- 













Compound Subjects 

Compound Predicates . 





Compound Objects or Modifiers 





Prepositional Phrases . 







Infinitive Phrases .... 







Assertive Sentences .... 







Question Sentences .... 







Command or Wish .... 







Incomplete Sentences . 







Subject Omitted . . . . 







Assertive Verb Omitted 







Object of Verb or Preposition . 












Nouns . 







Pronouns . 







Verbs . . . 







Adverbs . 







Adjectives . 














Conjunctions . 










Different Words 







Nouns .... 







Pronouns . 







Verbs . . . 














Adjectives . 














Conjunctions . 









1 Additional phrases partly expressed. 


months, and complex and compound sentences appear 
and increase in number, showing the rapid increase in 
mental grasp or span of consciousness. 

In changing words to indicate person and number, 
and in arranging words in the right order, children often 
make mistakes, but the irregularity of the language in 
forming plural or tense forms is usually the cause. 
Without conscious generalization, children are marvel- 
lously quick in applying a common form of ending or 
law of language to new words, e.g. " tooken," " eated," 
"mans." A similar influence often leads children to 
make new forms of words according to the genius of the 
language. Thus M., who had been rolling a hoop, said 
she had been "hooping," and at another time spoke of 
her shoe as " worning " out. 

II. Visual Language 

The factors leading to the understanding and use of 
visual language are only partially the same as for oral 
language. Visual language, as we have it, is at best 
purely conventional, and hence it is not directly based 
on or associated with a natural and instinctive form of 
expression, as is oral language. The imitative ten- 
dency is appealed to less frequently and less impres- 
sively by visual than by oral symbols. Necessity, or .the 
gaining of desirable ends by understanding and using 
visual language, is a much less important factor in learn- 
ing to read and write than in learning to talk, because 
the child already has an adequate and easier means of 
communication in his oral language than he had in the 
language of natural signs when learning the oral. It is 
also much more difficult to make the understanding and 


use of visual language as necessary to the gratifica- 
tion of the daily desires of the child than in the case of 
oral language. Questions, answers, commands, and re- 
marks might, however, be expressed in visual language 
a great deal more than they are in the primary schools. 

In the early stage of learning to read and write, the 
only instincts that can be appealed to with as great 
effectiveness as in oral language are the play instinct 
and the social desire for approbation. Hence, although 
much pedagogical skill is now expended in arranging 
words so as to show their likeness and difference, and 
lead to their analysis and classification, the progress in 
learning visual language is, for some time, slower than 
in the early stage of oral language learning without any 
formal teaching whatever. Children would probably 
progress much faster if oral language were associated 
with visual, in much the same way that oral language is 
at first supplemented by the instinctive language of natu- 
ral signs. For example, a teacher may write only the 
most important words of a sentence and speak the 
others, or in the earlier attempts at writing children may 
be allowed to speak some of the difficult words in every 
sentence that they write. 

After children have gained the power to read with 
some facility, the instinct of curiosity and the desire to 
know about the world and its people, and to share the 
thoughts of mankind as expressed in books, are the im- 
portant factors in language learning. A sort of read- 
ing craze often sets in at this time, which results in an 
enormous addition to the youth's vocabulary (probably 
a thousand words a year would be a low estimate, since, 
according to my investigations, high school graduates 


usually know the meaning of twenty or thirty thousand 
words). The reading also exercises a great influence on 
the language habits. Sometimes even oral language is 
thus rendered " bookish." 

The impulse to express to individuals or to humanity 
his own ideas and feelings in poem, story, article, or 
book, often becomes strong in the early teens. If teach- 
ers could skilfully use this impulse instead of ignoring 
or checking it, enormous advances would be made in 
teaching language as a means of expression. 

Interest in language as such, aside from ideas to be ex- 
pressed, is often first manifested in a marked degree (not 
counting the early period of imitative play) in a playful 
form of learning to use and construct secret languages. 
This tendency reaches its climax at about thirteen. 
Probably, therefore, this is the age for learning foreign 
languages. Interest in the study of language as a form 
of art or as a science, such as is required in literary appre- 
ciation and the study of grammar, cannot be greatly 
developed until the language is learned, and as a rule 
only after some of the higher forms of aesthetic appre- 
ciation and of abstract thought of the early teens have 
been reached. Up to this time, children are interested 
in language only as a means of expressing thought, and 
the correctness of their language is almost wholly the 
result of imitation and habit. 

After language is learned, rather than before, is the 
time for studying its structure and appreciating its 
beauty. Grammar is not to be regarded as a means of 
speaking correctly, but as a scientific analysis and classi- 
fication of means of expression that are already familiar. 
In this, as in other cases, the natural order for the race 


and for the individual is to learn how to do a thing, then 
to admire grace in doing it, or enjoy the scientific study 
of how it is done. 

III. Drawing 

Drawing may be considered as an art based on the 
constructive and aesthetic instincts, but in its earlier 
stages, at any rate, it is to a considerable extent really 
a language based on the expressive instinct. 

There is no purely instinctive stage of drawing as 
there is of oral language, but there is a very well-marked 
playful and imitative stage. Children delight in making 
marks just as they delight in making sounds, so the 
scribble stage corresponds exactly to the "da da" stage 
of oral language. The sight of some one using a pencil 
is likely to set a child to scribbling, just as the talk of 
others often sets the young child to babbling. In neither 
case is there at first any real imitation of distinct move- 
ments. A little later crude attempts at imitating the 
movements of others are made, but with much less per- 
sistency and success than in the case of sounds. Evi- 
dently the natural relation of eye perceptions to hand 
movements is much less perfect than between ear 
perceptions and vocal movements. 

In the next stage, corresponding to the word-learning 
stage of oral language, drawings are made by the child 
not merely for the pleasure of making movements and 
the joy of imitating, but in order to express ideas of 
objects and events. Any dot or line or combination 
of them that suggests to the child the appearance of 
any object is at first a perfectly satisfactory picture 
of it. Often a " picture " is named or renamed after it 


is made, because something is suggested by the lines 
or dots. What to the child is most essential, whether 
visible or not, is indicated, and the rest unnoticed or 
filled out in the mind. The stomach of a man may 
be represented when neither the rest of the trunk nor 
the arms are shown. At first the different parts of a 
man may be scattered over the paper, a dot or curve 
being pointed out or made as each part — eye, mouth, 
head, etc. — is named. 

A little later much more attention is paid to the posi- 
tion of one part in relation to the others, and still later, 
to the relative size of parts. This evidently corresponds 
to the word-combining or sentence-making stage of lan- 
guage expression. The child not only tries to make 
something that will suggest the idea he wishes to 
express, but aims to represent objects ; just as in lan- 
guage, his sentences become not merely suggestive of 
ideas, but complete expressions of them. 

At the time when the child's drawings are partly 
symbolic and partly representative, they are often very 
free and unconstrained expressions of his ideas. His 
make-believe tendency helps him to see in his drawings 
all that he meant by them. He has little feeling of their 
inadequacy, and is ready to make almost anything, and to 
tell almost any story with his graphic art by which both 
outside and inside of houses are shown, wind or heat 
indicated, successive events pictured, and the important 
parts shown by increased size. During this period the 
child draws from what is in bis mind rather than from 
what he perceives, hence his picture of a man or table 
is generic rather than individual, as is shown by the 
fact that placing a model before him produces little 


or no modification of the conventional design he has 

Sooner or later, perhaps most frequently at about 
nine years of age, the child begins to feel the inadequacy 
of his representations. He can no longer believe that 
his drawings really look like what he wishes to repre- 
sent ; hence he is not so ready to try to draw everything. 
This is the time when he needs encouragement, and 
before long some instruction as to how he may show 
perspective and represent objects as they look instead 
of as they are. The difficulties of doing this are so 
great, especially when the process is not associated with 
the desire to express something, that only a few ever 
regain their former freedom of graphic expression. 
Drawing becomes for most children, therefore, an exer- 
cise in mechanical imitation and representation instead 
of a favorite means of expression. If drawing were 
taught in these early stages as a mode of telling what 
has been observed, rather than as an art, the results 
would be far better. 

A little earlier than the time at which language 
acquires a scientific and aesthetic interest, drawing ac- 
quires similar interest, and great delight may be taken 
either in mechanical drawings or in the making of beau- 
tiful drawings or pictures. All along there has been 
some aesthetic interest in colors, but now this interest 
is deepened and refined, and the appreciation of beauty 
of form develops. This is the time for artistic and 
mechanical drawing and for the study of the subject as 
a science or as a fine art, though drawing as a con- 
venient means of expressing ideas gained in nearly all 
subjects studied should not be neglected. 


Exercises for Students 

i. Describe means of expression employed by animals, and 
show that they are useful. 

2. Describe any modes of expression that you have noticed 
infants use. 

3. What kind of words do the blind learn ? The deaf ? Those 
who are both blind and deaf ? 

4. Have you ever had the impulse to express yourself in other 
ways than by language, such as painting or modelling ? 

5. Give evidence that there is a tendency to respond to every 
stimulus by a movement, and for every idea to be expressed in 
movement. Illustrate how words may be used in place of other 
movements. Look up the root meanings of several words. 

6. Is the growing custom of beginning to teach deaf children at 
an early age a good one ? Why ? If a deaf and a hearing child 
enter school at five, which should be farther along in language, the 
deaf child at twelve or the hearing child at nine ? Why ? 

7. Can you express feeling by writing as perfectly as by talking ? 
Why ? Are children under ten affected as much by stories told as 
by stories they read ? Why ? 

8. Report any instances you have observed of playful or imita- 
tive use of words by young children. 

9. Report any observations you have made of the serious efforts 
of children to learn words. 

10. Illustrate how necessity leads a child to learn to understand 
and use language. 

1 1 . State facts showing the prominence of one or another of the 
stages of language learning of a child you know. 

12. Report just as many examples of childish mispronunciation 
as possible, and state the cause if you can. Compare tables of 
Lukens and Tracy. 

1 3. Record and report vocabularies of children of about two years 
if possible, noting pronunciation and meaning and parts of speech 
of all words. Compare with Tracy, Moore, Gale, et al. 

14. Record everything said by a child of two or three during an 
hour or two, and study to discover omissions and other peculiarities. 


15. Report instances of children extending the rules for forming 
endings or in making new forms of words. 

16. Report what you have done or observed regarding secret lan- 
guages. Could not the playful tendency to make a language be 
utilized in the study of visual language more than it is ? 

17. Illustrate how the same kind of necessity that leads a child to 
learn oral language may be used in learning visual language. Illus- 
trate in detail how oral language may be used to supplement visual, 
e.g. the teacher says part of a sentence and writes the rest. 

18. Estimate your own vocabulary by counting all the words you 
know on every tenth, fiftieth, or hundredth page of the dictionary. 

19. Let some one pose for children of the kindergarten or first 
grade while they draw. Examine the drawings. Bring in speci- 
mens of drawings of children not yet in school. Compare Barnes, 
Sully, Lukens, and Brown. 

20. Have children of several grades illustrate a story, and make 
a study of the drawings. 

2 1 . Should drawing be taught children as an art or as a means of 
expression before ten years of age ? Why ? 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the general subject of expression and language, consult Romanes, 
Menial Evolution in Man, chaps, v to ix ; Baldwin, Vol. I, pp. 
221-262, and Vol. II, pp. 126-139; Whitney, Life and Growth 
of Language ; Robinson, Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. LI 1 1, pp. 784-798 ; 
Hale, Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. XXX, pp. 712-713 ; Science, Vol. XII, 
p. 145. 

On the development of speech and vocabularies, see Lukens, Ped. 
Sent., Vol. Ill, pp. 424-460; Tracy, chap, v, also in Am. Jr. 
Psych., Vol. VI, pp. 107-138; Sully, chap, v; Preyer, Part II; 
Moore, Part IV; Taine, Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. IX, p. 129; Noble, 
Educ.y Vol. IX, pp. 44-52, 1 17-121, 188-194; Chamberlain, 
chap, v ; Compayre, Vol. II, chap, iii ; Gale, Ped. Sem., Vol. IX, 
pp. 422-435 ; Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. LXI, pp. 45-51, or in Univ. 
of Minn. Psychological Studies ; Sanford, Ped. Sew., Vol. I, pp. 
257-259 ; W. S. Hall, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. II, pp. 585-608 ; Jr. Ch. 
and Ad., January, 1902, pp. 1-13; Kirkpatrick, Science, Vol. 


XVIII, pp. 107-108, 175-176; Wolfe, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. Ill, pp. 
144-150; Jegi, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. VI, pp. 241-261. 

On language teaching, see Groszman, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. IV, pp. 266- 
278 ; Hinsdale, Teaching the Language Arts ; Jacobi, in Psycho- 
logical Notes on Primary Education, pp. 62-120 ; Iredell, Educ, 
Vol. XIX, pp. 233-238. See also Williams, " Children's 
Interest in Words," Fed. Sent., Vol. IX, pp. 274-295 ; Han- 
cock, "Children's Tendencies in Written Language," N. IV. 
Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 646-649; and Judd, chap, viii, on the 
process of reading, and chap, vii, on writing. 

On development of interest and ability in drawing, see Shinn; 
Brown, Univ. of Col. Studies, 1897, pp. 75 ; Barnes, Studies, 
Vol. I, pp. 283-294, Vol. II, pp. 75-77, 163-179 (also a child's 
drawings in every number) ; Sully, chap, x ; Lukens, Ped. Sent., 
Vol. IV, pp. 79-110; Chamberlain, pp. 190-21 1 ; Hart, AT. IV. 
Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 193-196; Clarke, Ed. Rev., Vol. XIII, pp. 
76-82 ; O'Shea, N. E. A., 1894, pp. 101 5-1023 ; Gallagher, 
N. W. Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 130-134; Scott, Trans. 111. Ch. S. 
Soc., Vol. Ill, p. 12 ; F. Burk, Ped. Sent., Vol. IX, pp. 296-323 ; 
Fitz, Pop. Sci. Mo., Vol. LI, pp. 648-662. 




As we have already seen, the child begins life with 
little or no conscious intelligence, yet with well-marked 
reflex and instinctive tendencies to act for its own good. 
This unconscious mechanical intelligence controls the 
infant's action and enables it to survive. It also deter- 
mines the general' characteristics of conscious intelli- 
gence, for it determines the kind and sequence of 
movements and, to some extent, of sensations other 
than motor, as the child acts and reacts in ways favoring 
self-preservatipn. Conscious intelligence is developed 
by receiving and relating the sensations thus produced. 

Since each new instinct modifies action, and since in- 
stinctive tendencies are the basis of interest, conscious 
intelligence is greatly influenced by mechanical and 
instinctive intelligence long after the early days of 
infantile irresponsibility are past. 

As conscious intelligence develops, it chooses, from 
the various possibilities presented to it by the results of 
previous action, those objects and acts that are most 
pleasing. In every form of repeated action, however, 
conscious intelligence soon becomes more or less un- 
necessary because of the development of the uncon- 



scious intelligence of habit. The chief difference 
between the intellect of the child and of the man, there- 
fore, is that the child's actions are controlled largely by 
unconscious instinctive impulses and interests, and the 
man's by unconscious habitual reactions and interests. 
The conscious intelligence of the man is not essentially 
different from4hat of the child, except that the extent 
of its activity is greater because of more numerous 
experiences, and its direction different because of other 
instinctive and developed interests. 

The /problem of intellectual development is therefore 
simply one of determining the influence of instinctive 
tendencies upon its direction and vigor, and correlat- 
ing these truths with all that is known of the effects 
of experience upon the growth of intelligence. All 
that physiology and psychology teach us of habit and 
association, as well as all that child study teaches us of 
the development of instinct, must be utilized in explain- 
ing the changes that take place with age. 

In this study we must recognize that conscious intelli- 
gence may be gradually and unconsciously modified, as 
well as changed suddenly and consciously. This is 
demonstrated by Judd's experiments, in which persons 
who did not know the object of the experiment be- 
came more and more accurate in adjusting the parts of 
this line so as to make ac seem equal «> l< — »* to ci. 
One who recalls accurately his former mental states 
will also recognize without experiment that his judg- 
ments have been unconsciously modified in various 
ways. When we take into account unconscious as 
well as conscious modifications of mind, we realize that 
the enormous differences between the intellects of adults 


in general, and children in general, as well as between 
individual adults of different training, may be accounted 
for largely by difference in kind and number of experi- 
ences. Habits of analyzing, associating, and classifying, 
and standards of judgment, though influenced to some 
extent by instinctive interests, are largely determined by 
experience and training. Since the character of the in- 
tellect at each age is so largely the result of experience 
and so little influenced by inner laws of development, 
our study of the different phases of intellectual develop- 
ment will necessarily be more a study of general laws of 
psychology and habit than of innate laws of child devel- 

The most important question in regard to intellectual 
development is, as to whether special training of any 
kind produces general training of the mind as a whole 
or even of powers similar to those exercised. A thorough 
scientific training in perceiving flowers may or may not 
improve one's perception of rocks, or of ladies' hats. 
It was formerly assumed that training the attention, 
memory, or reason in one line of study increased one's 
power to attend, remember, or reason in all other lines. 
This is now being questioned. 

Physiological experiments show that training one set 
of muscles increases the size or skill of other muscles 
that are frequently associated with them (especially the 
corresponding muscles on the other side of the body). 
In a similar way training in an intellectual act, such 
as discriminating the shape of leaves, may and must 
give exercise in concentration, and favor clear images 
and accurate retention; and it can scarcely fail to 
increase the accuracy of discrimination of the forms 


of other objects so far as they are similar. If, however, 
the form and size are greatly different, the special train- 
ing will increase the accuracy of judgment only slightly, 
if at all. Thorndike found that practice in judging the 
length of short lines did not improve the judgment as 
to the length of long lines. It seems altogether prob- 
able, therefore, that acquiring skill in one line does not 
increase skill in any other line except in so far as the 
activity is complex and requires that some of the powers 
that have been trained shall be used in the new act 
in the same way. If they have been used, but not in 
the same way, as when one is sorting the same kinds 
of cards, but putting one kind where he had formerly 
put the other (as in Bergstrom's experiments), the for- 
mer training hinders, at least for a time, rather than 
helps. In the case of all acts that become fixed habits, 
special training probably does not directly produce gen- 
eral results. 

In new and more purely intellectual acts, however, 
where the " idea " rather than the " trial and success M 
method of learning is used, consciousness, by singling 
out and combining the right elements of former 
activities, may at once utilize former special training 
in any one of a variety of ways. This peculiar fx>wer 
of the human intellect, by which it can go beyond 
any individual experience, is possessed in but a slight 
degree, if at all, by animals, which are almost wholly 
without the power of generalization. Hence all training 
of animals must be mechanical and special A child 
or man who learns in that way gets nothing but the 
special training that is given him, while one who uses 
intelligence and insight while learning, goes forward by 


leaps and bounds and is able to utilize his special knowl- 
edge and power in other ways. If one is practising 
such an exercise as tossing and catching two balls, his 
successes as compared with failures in catching the balls 
will increase but gradually, unless he uses insight and 
consciously chooses the best methods, such as throwing 
the balls so they will rise a little to the left of the centre 
of his body. If he takes advantage of such ideas, im- 
provement is immediate rather than gradual 

The insight thus gained can then be used in throwing 
and catching anything. Without such insight the 
unconscious manual skill acquired by the practice in 
catching balls would be of little help in catching 
larger, heavier, or differently shaped objects. Probably 
only the more or less conscious generalizations made 
in special training are effective as general training, 
except where the parts of the processes are identical. 
It is important to bear this in mind in judging of the 
practical or general educational value of different kinds 
of knowledge and the utility of any proposed method of 


Discrimination is one of the most essential of all men- 
tal powers, and it seems to be greater in adults than in 
children. It may be doubted, however, whether the 
better discrimination of adults is not a matter of 
special knowledge and practice, helped a little by in- 
creased power of analysis and concentration. An 
Indian can read the signs of the passage of enemies or 
wild animals much more perfectly than the white man, 
who is so acute as to read little black marks on paper , 


a sailor can see land long before the landsman, and a 
blind man can recognize persons by touch or sound with 
a readiness astonishing to a seeing man. In all these 
cases one seems to have greater power of discrimination 
than the other ; but in every case it is probably wholly 
the result of special knowledge and practice. Each 
knows what signs to look for and what they mean, while 
the man of different training is familiar with an entirely 
different set of signs. Each has certain centres devel- 
oped, but we cannot say that one has greater general 
power of discrimination than the other. The effect of 
knowledge upon discrimination is impressed upon one 
when he tries to read familiar sentences and unknown 
names in a dim light, or in poor writing, for one may 
easily be read while the other cannot be made out 
at all. 

The extensive experiments of Gilbert upon children 
of school age, indicated that their power of discrimina- 
tion of weight, distance, color, pitch, etc., increased from 
two to five times with age — a difference corresponding 
pretty well to that which may be produced in certain 
lines in a short time by special training. Since most 
of his tests were made in such a way that comparison 
and classification of a number of stimuli, as ten colors, 
were required, instead of mere discrimination between 
two, it is probable that the superiority of the older 
children was due partly to increased power of concentra- 
tion, systematic comparison and expression, and partly 
to greater practice in making discriminations similar 
to those tested, and not at all to any fundamental 
difference in the power of discrimination of children 
and adults. 



The difference in the mental quickness or reaction 
time of children and adults is very marked, but it may 
be doubted if it would exist were both to face an experi- 
ence equally new to both. It is a well-known fact that 
any act, physical or mental, can be performed more 
quickly after practice. The reasons for this are : 
(1) nervous impulses move more rapidly so that move- 
ment and thought are quicker ; (2) they go more directly 
and continuously so that motion and thought are less 
diffuse, and (3) several series of impulses move at once, 
as when one is reading notes, playing with both hands, 
and singing at the same time. 

It is not unusual for simple reaction time to be re- 
duced one-half by practice ; and complex tasks are fre- 
quently done, after a few months' practice, in from a half 
to a fifth of the time required for the first performance. 
Hence, it is not improbable that the difference in mental 
quickness of children and adults is entirely the result 
of incidental practice in activities that are the same, or 
partly the same, as those tested. The tests of Bryan, 
Hancock, and Gilbert, on rates of movement, and of Gil- 
bert, Bentley, Partridge, and Curtis on reaction time, 
both simple and complex, show that from school age to 
maturity the rate of movement and of mental activity 
is not quite doubled, and that the improvement is great- 
est where there has been most special training, as in 
naming printed words, rather than naming pictures or 
objects ; hence there is little reason to doubt that the 
difference between adults and children in rate of mental 
activity is almost wholly the result of training, either 
special or incidental 



That the child's mental grasp is small, is evident from 
his first attempts at speech. He cannot keep several 
syllables in mind long enough to pronounce them alL 
His ideas are expressed by means of single words or 
gestures. Soon he uses two words, usually a predicate 
and object or modifier. His sentences grow longer as 
adjectives and other modifying words are added, but it 
is a long time before conjunctions are used and com- 
pound sentences formed. Complex sentences, which re- 
quire even more mental grasp, come still later. A little 
girl of thirty-two months understood, when told to eat her 
potatoes with her spoon and her meat with her fork, but 
was unable to hold the four ideas in mind while she got 
the right words in which to express them. A few days 
later, however, she used her first conjunction in the sen- 
tence, " I pin it there so baby can get it." Children 
are often confused when told to do more than one 
thing, because they have not sufficient grasp of con- 
sciousness to hold all in the mind at once. The fact 
found in many tests, that children of school age read by 
words and cannot carry in their minds any but short 
sentences, while older children and adults read by 
phrases or even clauses, and can carry in consciousness 
enough of a long, complex, and compound sentence to 
give each clause the right expression, is very significant. 

The experiments of Jacobs, Jastrow, Bolton, Smedley, 
and myself, upon children of school age, show that their 
ability to repeat or write a list of letters, figures, sylla- 
bles, or familiar words, immediately after they have been 
heard or seen, generally increases with age by about one- 

\ } 


third, from the age of eight or nine to eighteen. As 
the reproduction is immediate, it is not so much a matter 
of memory proper as of mental grasp. 

The cause of this increase in mental grasp with age 
is probably the same as that which makes it possible 
for us to hold in mind a long description of a route to 
be taken among familiar objects ; while a short descrip- 
tion of a route among unfamiliar objects cannot be kept 
in mind long enough perhaps to get started right. The 
same cause makes it easy for a skilful chess or checker 
player to see at once many more results of a move than 
he could when he began, or for an experienced musician 
to play with both hands, work the pedals, perceive the 
notes, and sing the words of a song all at the same time. 
In other words, ideas, or a series of ideas, and even com- 
binations of several series of ideas that have become 
definite and well established, are easily held in mind, 
while indefinite and newly formed ideas can be kept 
in consciousness only in limited numbers and with 

The ideas of the child are largely new, while those of 
the adult are oftener old or connected with old ideas ; 
hence the adult's mental grasp is greater chiefly because 
of knowledge and experience. The effect of knowledge 
on mental grasp is well shown by a series of experi- 
ments in which first-grade children and adults repro- 
duce ordinary letters, Greek letters, and familiar 
sentences. The adults have little advantage in the 
case of Greek letters, a great deal in ordinary letters, 
and are almost infinitely better in reproducing the let- 
ters making a sentence. Evidently the difference is 
due to greater familiarity and increased mental grasp. 



Perception depends upon three things : (1) the sensa- 
tions experienced at the moment ; (2) power of discrimi- 
nation, and (3) the results of past experiences that are 
reproduced more or less perfectly at the moment of 
perceiving. There is no reason to suppose that the 
sensations of children and adults differ materially. The 
power of discrimination varies, as we have seen, with 
special practice. The chief difference, therefore, in the 
perception of a child and an adult, is in the past experi- 
ences that are called up by the sensations. 

Since the adult has many more experiences that may 
be suggested by a sensation than a child, there is a 
greater possibility of a wrong idea being awakened ; but 
this is offset by greater power of discrimination, hence, 
though the adult is not always more quick in classifying 
an object or interpreting a sensation, he is likely to be 
more definite and accurate than the child who has fewer 
possibilities suggested from his limited experience, but 
who does not so readily analyze and note essentials. 
The difference is not, however, greater than that between 
adults of different occupations, such as a botanist and a 
milliner, a printer and a pilot. 

The practical necessity in all perception is not to 
note the exact nature of the sensations produced by 
different objects and under different circumstances, but 
to recognize objects and react to them in the proper way. 
Nothing but a sphere gives, in all positions, the same 
visual sensations; hence we learn to know, not the 
apparent form of objects, but their real form. This 
"real" form, however, is simply the appearance which 


they assume when perceived most clearly, i •*. when near 
at hand, directly in front, and at right angles to the line 
of sight. Other sensations vary also. For example, the 
sound produced by an object depends upon what it is 
struck with, as well as its distance ; while objects vary 
in taste according as they are more or less hot or cold, 
wet or dry, etc. 

Before the child enters school, he has learned to know 
just what appearances may be relied upon as indicating 
a certain form, sound, taste, or touch. He has also 
learned an immense number of correspondences between 
the different senses, so that he no longer needs to feel 
of most things he sees, in order to know, as much as he 
wishes, of how they will feel, or to strike or taste them, 
to know how they will sound or taste. Yet there are 
many appearances and correspondences that he does 
not know very well, and hence, as compared with adults, 
he is still at considerable disadvantage in judging ob- 
jects. He also fails to note fine distinctions unless 
necessity requires it, for very different sensations have 
nearly the same practical meaning to him. 

The necessity of identifying an object by means of 
sensations suggesting its "true appearance/' rather 
than by the exact sensations it gives, together with 
the limited power of discrimination that children have, 
renders them very suggestible, or, in other words, un- 
discriminating as to whether a sensation is actually 
experienced or only called up by other sensations. 
Small found, that of children in the first grade about 
nine out of ten could be made to think that they 
experienced sensations of taste, smell, temperature, 
and visual movements, when no such sensations were 


given them; while the proportion that could thus be 
deceived, became very much smaller in the higher 
grades. My own tests with ink spots also showed that 
critical judgment becomes more prominent than sug- 
gestibility in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. 

On the other hand, the habit of the adult mind of 
looking only for essential characteristics may lead 
him into error when the conditions or his purposes 
change. For example, it is very hard for one who has 
been reading rapidly for the purpose of getting thought, 
to read a printed page for the purpose of correcting the 
proof. If the thought and language are very familiar, 
as when the proof is of an article by one's self, the 
errors overlooked are likely to be very numerous. Pills- 
bury's tests show that familiar words misspelled are 
frequently read without the error being noticed, and 
that letters spelling nothing are often seen as words. 
Children, therefore, sometimes notice mistakes in spell- 
ing and changes in the arrangement of things that are 
overlooked by adults, because the tendency to perceive 
certain words and arrangements is not so strongly 
develo ped in them. 

Since the purpose of perception is to identify objects 
and make the proper reaction to them, and since the 
characteristics to be noted differ according to the end 
in view, quickness and accuracy in perception depend 
on discrimination in relation to the end to be gained. 
Definiteness and accuracy of perception can, there- 
fore, only be developed by practice in perceiving for a 
purpose. Careful discrimination of sensations, analy- 
sis, and the discovery of essential characteristics, and 
the learning of what characteristics go together, so that 


when one is experienced, others may be inferred, are 
the natural results of efforts to obtain practic al ends. 
For example, in learning to tell when watermelons are 
ripe, the color, hardness, sound, and appearance of the 
melon and of the curl are discriminated, and their con- 
nection with the inside appearance and taste of the 
melon is noted. Or, again, in trying to build a house 
with blocks so that it will stand and look pretty, care- 
ful discrimination of form, position, size, and color of 
the blocks, and of their relation to each other, is neces- 
sary. Similar statements are true of nearly all games, 
plays, and construction in which children engage, as well 
as in drawing, writing, and all affairs of practical life. 

The function of the teacher in such training is prin- 
cipally to put before the child interesting and definite 
things to be done or found out, and to occasionally 
direct his attention toward essential characteristics so 
that habits of analytic and concentrated attention will 
be developed. This gives a training in perception not 
to be gained by any series of exercises for the special 
purpose of training the senses only. 

Since such training of perception is, in the nature of 
the case, special as regards the purposes directing it, 
general training in perception can be secured only by 
getting children interested not only in many things, but 
in many things from various points of view, as the prac- 
tical, scientific, aesthetic. 


True images are formed only when an object not pres- 
ent is represented, as when a child recognizes that some 
person or object is not in the usual place. Language 


is probably an important factor in developing such 
images: the sound of the word "dog," being closely 
associated with the animal, calls up a visual image of 
him just as his barking does. Words are for some 
time almost as closely associated with objects as are 
the sensations concerned in their perception. The 
name of an object is really, to the child, a part of his 
perception of the object ; hence it is not strange that a 
little boy put a curl at the end of the word "dog" he had 
written, to represent the tail, or that a little girl of three 
and a half readily learned the script word "cow," be- 
cause the finishing stroke of the last letter looked to 
her like a horn or " hook," as she called it. 

After a child has gained the power to form mental 
images, he takes much the same pleasure in forming 
them that he showed a little earlier in getting sensa- 
tions of all kinds. His first interest in stories is largely 
the pleasure of forming mental pictures of all the famil- 
iar objects and acts named. It is some time before the 
connection of the parts of the story is of much signifi- 
cance to him. 

By the time the child is three or four years old, the 
parts of short stories are connected so as to give a 
pretty good understanding of the story as a whole. 
This means that the mental grasp and power of con- 
structive imagination is developed so that he can com- 
bine mentally several acts and images according to 
verbal direction. 

Soon the child recognizes his power in this direction, 
and begins to combine mental images according to his 
own ideas. He now experiences something of the same 
pleasure that he felt when he got beyond the stage in 


which sensations were changed for him by the action 
of other people, into the stage in which he effected the 
changes for himself by his own movements. His daily 
sensory activities have lost the charm of novelty, the 
stories told him have directed his imagining in a way 
that is new and pleasurable, yet this pleasure is depend- 
ent upon the will of others ; hence it is an important 
epoch in the child's development when he learns that 
he can use the power of free creative imagination, and 
experience whatever combinations of mental images he 
wishes, independent of his surroundings and of the 
action of other people. It is not strange, therefore, 
that some children for several years live a large part of 
the time in this free imaginary world, which they peo- 
ple with toys, animals, and imaginary companions that 
conform to the will of their creator. 

This imaginary world may seem as real and more 
important to the child than the world of solid reality ; 
hence to tell what takes place in it is more pleasurable 
than to describe uninteresting realities. He tells imagi- 
nary experiences as naturally as an adult tells a dream, 
and no moral significance should be attached to the 
child's stories until he distinguishes between the ex- 
periences of the two worlds and learns to appreciate 
the desirability of making such distinction clear in all 
that he tells. • 

The child's images are often more vivid (at least as 
compared with the original perceptions) than in later 
life. Some children have difficulty in distinguishing 
images from percepts, so that their images are in reality 
hallucinations. It is probable that after definite stand- 
ards of "true appearances" have been established, images 


usually become less vivid with increased age, except at 
about fourteen or fifteen, when images are for a time 
probably more vivid. 

One reason for decreased vividness of images is that 
one finds it necessary to note class rather than indi- 
vidual characteristics as he meets with many varieties. 
For example, lilies or turnips are easily pictured, so long 
as only white ones are known, and officers are easily 
imaged so long as only a few large, blue-coated police- 
men have been seen ; but when many varieties have 
been met with, mental images are a less satisfactory 
means of thinking of each class of objects. The increase 
in vividness of images at fourteen or fifteen is probably 
correlated with physiological and emotional changes. 
After puberty, images become more or less vivid, 
according to the nature of one's mental operations. A 
student of an abstract subject is likely to image less, 
and an artist or anatomist, more vividly and definitely. 

The studies of Phillips and others show that many 
peculiar number, form, and color associations originate 
in the early years, usually before entering school. 

As regards accuracy of images, the results depend 
upon interest and practice. Wolfe found that younger 
children represented the size of pieces of silver money, 
of bills, areas of circles, and length of lines in inches, 
more accurately than either the fourth grade or the uni- 
versity students. My own studies, also, indicated that 
there is little difference with age as regards judgments 
of the size of a quart measure, distance apart of carriage 
wheels, number of wings and legs of a fly, etc. On the 
other hand, the power to image words, as shown by 
ability to spell, grows with age during school life. 


As to kind of images most used, observation does 
not confirm the a priori view that taste and smell are 
more prominent in the mental life of the child than of 
the adult, for young children discriminate poorly with 
those senses, and are readily drawn from them by stimu- 
lating the eye or the ear. It is not likely, therefore, 
that they play much part in the child's mental imagery, 
especially as his chief food, milk, has little taste or odor. 
In general, for people in America, the changes in kind 
of imagery are from motor and auditory imagery to the 
visual, especially as regards symbols, such as words. 
According to Smedley, the climax of ability to repro- 
duce auditory numbers is reached between thirteen and 
fourteen, and for visual numbers between seventeen 
and eighteen. The experience that the child has in the 
schoolroom of learning a visual language, learning visual 
signs for numbers, of studying things by means of pic- 
tures and diagrams, and of being required to perform 
mathematical and other operations by means of visual 
images, develops the tendency to represent everything 
visually. In the lower grades the child's words and 
numbers are auditory and motor; but as he reaches 
maturity, visual words and figures become more promi- 
nent, until finally adults can often understand visual 
language much better than auditory. 


Constructive imagination depends for its development 
upon (1) the acquisition of mental images, (2) attention, 
or power of control of images, and (3) mental grasp. 

(1) As bricks could not be made without straw, so con* 
structive imagination cannot act without mental images. 


(2) Power of attention, or control of mental images, 
is no less necessary. Constructive imagination differs 
from reproductive imagination or memory, inasmuch 
as images are not combined as they were in the original 
experience; and from creative imagination, inasmuch 
as the mode of combining images is not determined 
by the choice or the habits of the one imaging, but by 
the directions of another. Considerable power of atten- 
tion or voluntary control therefore is necessary. In 
listening to a description of a house, for example, one 
must not give it color, size, position, material, etc., ac- 
cording to his past experience or his own taste, but pic- 
ture each according to the description as he hears or 
reads the words. 

The disposition of mental images is difficult to the 
child, for much the same reasons as is accurate control 
of movements. Yet if the words are familiar, the 
subject interesting, the arrangement of the ideas in 
accordance with the child's habits of thinking, and the 
rate neither too fast nor too slow, the words direct his 
attention so that little effort on his part is necessary. 
This experience in thus having his attention directed, 
prepares him to direct his attention according to the 
words, when not so interesting or so well arranged. 

(3) Yet, however well the child's attention may be 
directed, his mental grasp is limited; hence complicated 
descriptions, which require that a number of things shall 
be kept in the mind at once, in order that they may 
be properly related, are beyond a child's powers. For 
these reasons, the ability of children to draw or do things 
according to direction is limited. The kindergarten 
child may be able to place the base of a triangle on the 


top side of a square ; but if the number of figures and 
positions are several, he is unable to hold all the images 
in mind so as to construct the figure. For the same 
reason primary children are unable to make complicated 
things, comprehend long sentences, appreciate stories 
having many characters and incidents, or perform prob- 
lems involving several numbers or conditions. 

Since mental grasp in any line increases as ideas in 
that particular line become more familiar, the power of 
constructive imagination may increase much more in 
some lines than in others. A child, therefore, who can 
readily represent, visually, certain combinations of fig- 
ures, lines, or letters, may fail in the less familiar ones, 
or find it hard to represent the result of combining two 
or more sounds, and hence be slow in word building. 

The constructive imagination is called into play by 
stories, reading, arithmetic, geography, and history, pro- 
viding they are taught as they should be, and by all 
directions such as are given in physical exercises. The 
proper understanding of lessons, and the development 
of accurate constructive imagination, cannot be brought 
about by allowing the pupil to perceive every object 
and combination every time, but by having them partly 
imaged and partly shown, then imaged by the help of 
simple pictures, diagrams, or gestures, and finally by 
means of words only. 


The essentials of creative imagination, aside from 
abundance of images from past experiences, are free 
activity and the impulse to create stirred by interest. 

(1) Free activity means either spontaneous activity or 


activity whose excitant is so subtle that it is not 
discernible. To put it in physiological terms, nervous 
impulses tend to diffuse themselves to parts that have 
not been active, or to pass irregularly from one estab- 
lished centre of activity to another. If there is a strong 
tendency to such activity, many unusual combinations 
of mental images will result, a large portion of which 
may be merely absurd or grotesque (as they usually are 
in dreams), but some of which are likely to be artistic 
or useful. 

Careful training, which results in definite ideas and 
particular ways of doing things, if continued for a long 
time, checks the tendency to free activity and may de- 
stroy the power of creative imagination. It is for this 
reason that untrained men like Edison are often the 
most original. Definite training, with some imitation of 
various models, gives a good basis for the development 
of the creative imagination; but the training and the 
imitation must be varied and not too long continued in 
one line, or the material becomes " set " by habit, and 
can be arranged only in the customary ways. An 
artist, for example, who studies and imitates one school 
of painting only, for years, can never become an original 

(2) The impulse to create cannot be directly produced 
by training, since it comes from instinctive tendencies 
to construct and express, stirred by various emotions. 
It is especially strong when new experiences are met 
or new instincts come into prominence. One of the first 
emotions to stir the imagination is often that of fear, 
especially when the child is alone in the dark. Later the 
more aesthetic emotions stimulate the imagination. The 


earliest creations are likely to be expressed in actions, 
especially in representative or dramatic plays, and in 
constructions, at first with blocks, then in making toys, 
forts, and machines. After several years of school life, 
oral language, music, and drawing, and a little later, 
written language, are the principal media of expression. 
The subjects with which creative imagination deals 
are various, but are evidently determined by the emo- 
tional and instinctive interests prominent at different 
ages. Moreover, new experiences or ideas of one age 
become entirely familiar a little later, and hence do 
not excite the imagination unless they are brought into 
new relations. It is, therefore, impossible to say just 
what exercises are best to develop the creative imagi- 
nation of a child or group of children, unless one knows 
the children ; but we may say in general, that whatever 
stirs the emotions and excites a desire to do something 
stimulates imagination, and that previous experiences 
in perceiving good models, and in imitating, expressing, 
and constructing, furnish the conditions for its effective 
use. For example, to tell a child to write an autobiog- 
raphy of an oak tree when he knows little about how 
the oak tree grows, and less about what an autobiogra- 
phy is, would be absurd ; but if he had recently heard 
several biographies, and had been studying about acorns 
and oaks, it is not improbable that he would have both 
the impulse and the necessary training that would lead 
him to write an imaginative autobiography. His pre- 
vious experience in writing, as a mechanical act and as 
a means of expressing his own ideas, and his interest in 
autobiographies and in the growth of oaks, together 
with the special motive for expression, as, for example, 


the desire to write a story that will please mamma when 
it is taken home, will, with other things too numerous 
and subtle to enumerate, influence the activity of creat- 
ing and expressing. 

Notwithstanding the fact that creative imagination 
is more dependent upon individuality, mood, and special 
circumstances than any other mental activity that may 
be classed as intellectual, yet there is nothing in mental 
life more certainly characteristic for different ages than 
the nature of the fancies as new instincts develop and 
emotional interests change. The boy's day dreams of 
a dog and a cart have no attraction for the youth who 
pictures himself rescuing a, beautiful maiden, or for the 
business man, politician, or artist who dreams of his 
plans and successes. Learoyd and Calkins, who secured 
by inquiry an account of continued stories carried on in 
the minds of one hundred and seventy-five persons, 
found that in the younger years such stories were usu- 
ally concerned with fairies and martyrdoms, in late child- 
hood and youth with romance and adventure, and in 
maturer years with practical affairs. 


As already shown, mental grasp or memory span, in 
reproducing impressions just received, increases with 
age in a marked degree. The increase in power to 
recall after an interval of time, which is more properly 
called memory, is much less. Jastrow found that uni- 
versity students remembered only i or 2 per cent more 
words after an interval of three days than high school 
students five years younger. My tests showed little 
difference in the reproduction after three days, of words 


seen or heard and objects shown, by children from the 
third grade up to college students, except that the memory 
of the older persons was more voluntary and less ready 
and spontaneous. Shaw found that a story consisting of 
three hundred and twenty-four words, and nearly half as 
many distinct facts, was reproduced more than twice as 
fully by pupils of the ninth grade as in the lowest grade 
tested, and as well or better than by high school or univer- 
sity students. He counted as correct, facts expressed in 
other words than those given in the story. The greater 
difference with age in this test, compared with others, is 
probably because it involved associations of ideas instead 
of mere retention of impressions. If we take into account 
the slight mental grasp of the children and the length of 
time required for them to express what they remembered 
in writing, the difference in memory of impressions is 
almost nothing, and in memory involving associations of 
ideas is not very great. 

The receptivity and retentiveness of the child's brain 
is probably as great as that of the adult. The differ- 
ence in the memory of children and adults is, therefore, a 
difference in kind rather than in degree, and is caused 
largely by experience. Nothing that can be used as a 
memory test is as new for the adult as it is for the 
child. The adult already knows a part of what he is 
given to remember, or, in other words, certain brain 
centres have already had practice in reproducing such 
impressions. In the adult brain also, where many centres 
are already well practised, new impressions readily run 
into the old channels ; hence impressions are easily classi- 
fied, and their centres readily awakened to activity again 
because of their connection with centres frequently called 


into action. Finally, the adult mind has more power of 
voluntary attention, both in receiving impressions and in 
trying to reproduce them by holding in mind some idea 
connected with them. As a consequence, the spon- 
taneous and unclassified memories of adults are not 
better than those of children, if they are as good, while 
their voluntary and systematic memories are better. 

The above differences are most marked between chil- 
dren and well-educated adults, while adults without sys- 
tematic training differ but little from children in this 
respect. The trained mind has much greater power of 
attention, and a much more definite system of classified 
ideas, or, in physiological terms, more distinct centres of 
activity and paths of association. Development of mem- 
ory is, therefore, largely a matter of training in habits of 
attention and in methods of classifying impressions. 
Most improvement in memory is special, certain classes 
of things only being attended to, classified, and remem- 
bered, while others are unnoticed, and consequently not 
remembered. If discoveries or improvements in his 
special line are read, respectively, by a historian, a bota- 
nist, a chemist, a psychologist, a bicyclist, a civil engineer, 
or a doctor, each readily attends to, classifies, and remem- 
bers the facts of his specialty ; but all would experience 
great difficulty if they exchanged memory materials. 
So special is the development of power in these direc- 
tions, that one man may remember figures indicating 
dates readily, but utterly fail to remember a list of prices 
readily recalled and quoted to him by a business man. 
One mathematician who could repeat in order as high 
as fifty-two figures, could not repeat more than eight 
or nine letters given orally as were the figures. 


Memory for isolated impressions, and in fact for 
nearly all things that are largely sensory, reaches its 
climax early in the teens. The plasticity of the brain 
probably decreases after puberty, and further improve- 
ment in memory is special, conceptional, associative, and 
only along lines in which one has already started ; while 
the tendency, and in part the ability, to acquire and 
retain facts in other lines after a while decreases until 
in old age the number of facts acquired each year is 
very much less than the number that are forgotten. 


The child is largely engaged in sense perception, and 
thus his thought processes are not far removed or eas- 
ily distinguished from his sense activities. The sight 
of its mother by a child of six months may produce 
some expectation of auditory, tactile, and other sensa- 
tions that have been previously experienced in connec- 
tion with seeing her. There is, however, probably no 
distinct or separate representation of each of these 
sensations ; yet other persons, as well as the mother, 
are distinguished from chairs, beds, and other inani- 
mate things, and call up a different class of images. 
There must therefore be the beginning of the concept 
of a class of objects which we know as persons with 
common characteristics differing from those of inani- 
mate things. 

This crude form of concept, much like that of ani- 
mals, may be formed without language. This must 
have been the case when a child, less than a year old, 
who was shown a bird, turned and looked at a stuffed 
bird in the room, and when another child, a little over 


a year old, showed surprise and fear at an envelope 
that seemed to move of itself, which was contrary to 
her idea of that class of objects. A child can sort 
blocks, putting those of a color together, before he 
can point to, or give them as they are named. In the 
case of M. this was true for a year. He also forms class 
ideas before he uses class names. For example, men 
are distinguished from other objects, and from women 
and children, by the particular name " papa," but they 
are not all treated as that particular individual is ; hence 
papa is not only perceived as an individual, but there 
is a crude concept of the class to which he belongs. 
There can be no doubt, however, that language is 
an aid in the development of thought, and a necessary 
factor in all general and abstract thinking. There is 
nothing in general and abstract concepts such as " organ- 
ism " or " color," by which they can be recalled or indi- 
cated, except a sign or symbol of some kind that can 
be associated with the common element in the variety 
of experiences giving rise to the concepts. A word is a 
convenient mode of reacting to all members of a class 
of objects, and therefore an important part of the con- 
cept as well as a means of recalling and expressing it. 

The first few hundred words and concepts are gotten 
by children through direct association with objects and 
experiences. These first words help in gaining other 
concepts and words as the child hears them in remarks 
and stories, and in answers to his questions. Often for 
several years the child's questions show that he is learn- 
ing the general qualities of things of which he is trying 
to form concepts, e.g. "Is iron heavier than wood?" 
" Will iron burn ? " " Is there anything stronger than 


iron ? " " Where do we get iron ? " or again, " What do 
policemen do ? " " Where do they live ? " " How strong 
is a policeman ? " " Is he stronger than you ? " " Do 
they always have a club ? " In school, formal definitions, 
special study, and reading become important means of 
acquiring concepts and making them more definite. 

Three degrees of definiteness of concepts may be 
named : (1) one in which a class of objects can usually be 
distinguished from other classes in ordinary experience, 
but whose distinguishing qualities have not been picked 
out or named, as when a child can tell dogs and cats 
apart, but cannot state the difference. (2) A stage in 
which one or more of the most evident characteristics 
that distinguish one class of objects from other classes, 
as dogs "bark" and cats "mew," maybe stated. (3) 
Perfect concepts in which all the distinguishing char- 
acteristics can be named, or, in other words, when a 
scientific definition can be given, as, " A parallelogram 
is a plane figure whose opposite sides are parallel and 
equal." A young child's concepts are all of the first 
degree, while the most cultivated man probably has 
some of the first type, and a good many of the second ; 
while few of his concepts outside of the lines to which 
he has given special study are of the third degree. 

The difficult task of finding what concepts of com- 
mon things, of the second degree of definiteness, are 
possessed by children upon entering school, has been 
attempted in Berlin, Boston, and other places. As a 
result of such study, Dr. Hall concludes: (1) "There 
is next to nothing of pedagogic value, the knowledge 
of which is safe to assume, at the outset of school 
life. (2) The best preparation parents can give their 



children for good school training is to make them ac- 
quainted with natural objects, especially with sights 
and sounds of the country. (3) Every teacher, on 
starting with a new class, or in a new locality, to make 
sure that his efforts along some lines are not utterly 
lost, should undertake to explore carefully, section by 
section, children's minds with all the tact and inge- 
nuity he can command and acquire, to determine exactly 
what is already known. (4) The concepts that are 
most common in the children of a given locality are the 
earliest to be acquired, while the rarer ones are later." 
Some of the striking per cents of ignorance of the 
Boston children are as follows: — 


• 60.5 


> . . 65.5 

Pig • . 

. 47-5 


• 25.0 

Chicken . 

• 33-5 


• 78.0 

Elm tree • 

• • 9*5 

Woods . 

• • • 535 


. 70.5 


• 28.0 


The beginning of practical reasoning is found, physio- 
logically, in the instinctive tendency to do under simi- 
lar conditions what has been done previously with 
favorable results, and to refrain from doing what has 
brought unfavorable results. A child, when uncomfort- 
able, instinctively cries, and after a few months, if a 
continuation and increase of crying effort has always 
been followed by some one's coming to the rescue, habit 
establishes this method of obtaining relief. Some 
months later the child not only has this physiological 
tendency, but he is conscious of crying as one method 
of getting things, in much the same way that he is con- 


scious of reaching, as a means of getting objects. A 
year or two later the child may be so conscious of cry- 
ing as a means that has secured desired ends, that he 
makes the cry with a purpose, instead of merely allow- 
ing it free course or increasing the instinctive tendency 
to cry. In this the child's reasoning is not much 
beyond that of an intelligent dog that lies down, rolls 
over, or " speaks " for a piece of bread. 

In all the child's experiences during the first few 
years as he learns to reach for things, keep them from 
falling, maintain his own equilibrium in various positions, 
walk, climb, fall without getting hurt, avoid the stove, 
use a spoon, or pile up blocks, instinct is the basis of the 
practical reason which is developing in a remarkable 

On the conscious side he is guided by sensations, 
percepts, and images of particular experiences that were 
like those now occurring. He usually knows practically 
that things have to be held or something put under 
them or they will fall, by the middle of the second year ; 
but it is many years before he actually thinks the gen- 
eral truth, "unsupported bodies fall," though he soon 
has representations of particular, unsupported bodies fall- 
ing. Hence, though children make practical inferences 
at an early age, it is often a long time before they reason 
in a general and abstract way. 

As soon as children begin to learn language they are 
implicitly generalizing, classifying, and reasoning as 
they apply the words to new objects. Probably not 
until between three and four years of age do children 
begin to consciously and explicitly generalize, and then 
the generalization consists, at first, of several similar 


particulars, as the following remarks of a little girl 
when about three and a half years old indicate. After 
having often asked and been answered as to where vari- 
ous things came from, she asked, " Where did I come 
from?" and was answered, "You grew." Later she 
asked: ''Where did papa come from?" "Where did 
mamma come from?" "Where did grandma come 
from ? " Later when told the baby had two legs, she 
asked : " How many legs has papa ? " " How many legs 
has mamma?" and so on for the several members of 
the family. At this time general statements did not 
satisfy her. When told she did things for papa, she 
asked, "What do I do for you?" and would not be 
satisfied with the answer, " Lots of things," till a par- 
ticular thing, "You get the paper for me," was named. 
A few days later such remarks as the following were 
common, "When I get big I will go to the gymna- 
sium, the library, the normal school, kindergarten and 
lots of places," showing that her ideas were getting 
slightly broader and more general than the particulars 

A little later a conscious attempt to* generalize and 
classify was indicated by the following, "The coffee 
pot won't break, but the cup will break and the saucer 
will break and the sauce dish will break," etc. The 
crudeness of her ideas, however, was shown by the fact 
that when questioned, she said that the silver sugar- 
bowl and pitcher, and even a spoon, would break, 
notwithstanding she had often dropped spoons without 
their breaking. Practically, she handled cups and 
spoons differently; but when she talked of them con- 
sciously, no memory of different experiences with them 


occurred to her to prevent her putting them both in 
the class of breakables. 

In all the earlier attempts at reasoning, images of 
past experiences compose most of the " train of reason- 
ing/' and personal actions or commands to self are trans- 
ferred to others, or of others to self, as the following 
examples illustrate. To papa, " You eat something else 
first, then you can have some cake." Having been told 
that she could have something when it was noon, she 
later asked, "Has noon gone?" — "No, noon is com- 
ing."— "Has noon footies?" — "No." — "How does 
the noon come, then ? " perhaps thinking vaguely of 
other ways of coming, as by means of wheels. It was 
explained to her that we called it noon when the sun 
got up high so we had to look up straight to see it. 
Several times after that on cloudy days she said at din- 
ner that it was not noon, for she could not see the sun, 
which shows how largely her " thoughts " consisted of 
definite sensations and images. One day the follow- 
ing conversation between her and her father occurred : 
"When I get big, I will pop the corn and you won't 
have to do it, will you ? " — " No." — " You will be a 
little girl then, won't you ? " — " No." — " Yes, you will." 
She had previously learned that she would get big, and 
that papa had been little, and she had often changed 
places with others, as, " You hide now, and I'll find you," 
and so she probably pictured herself as a big man pop- 
ping corn, and papa as a little girl standing by as she 
was then. 

The child is continually gaining new truths that are 
general in the sense that they can be applied to a num- 
ber of particulars; his conceptions are increasing in 


number, and passing from the first to the second stage 
of definiteness as he becomes conscious of common char- 
acteristics and important differences in various classes 
of objects; and he is continually trying to find out and 
apply general truths, though he often discovers that 
their application is more limited than he expected, as 
when he goes out in the rain so he will grow, or plants 
money or a ring expecting it to produce more. 

In the following from a boy of four who has an unu- 
sual tendency to generalize, the induction seemed to be 
conscious : " All things that will run, like water and 
milk, will wet, won't they, papa?" 

The child gets his general truths (1) from practical 
experiences, without being conscious of them as gen- 
eral truths ; (2) from adults, perhaps in answers to such 
questions as : " Where do apples come from ? " " What 
are you putting that pie in the stove for?" "What 
is it made of?" "What makes flowers grow?" 
and (3) from his own generalizations and inductions, 
though these are often more a recognition of similarity 
of particulars than genuine abstract generalizations. 
In other words, he goes from one particular to another, 
instead of reaching a generalization inductively, then 
applying it deductively as does the logician. For ex- 
ample, a boy of five who saw white caps in the water 
overflowing a meadow, and asked, " Is there soap under 
every one of those waves ? " evidently remembered other 
appearances like that, produced by soap in water, and 
thought of the same cause in this case without going 
through any such logical course of reasoning as the 
following : (1) (inductive) " I have observed such appear- 
ances produced in water by soap and by nothing else. 


What is true of the cases I have observed is true of all ; 
therefore, such white stuff on the water is always pro- 
duced by soap." (2) (deductive) " White stuff on the 
water is always caused by soap ; that water has white 
stuff on it, therefore there must be soap in it." 

Whatever the source of the general truth involved in 
a child's reasoning, he is likely to apply it not only to 
the class of objects or conditions to which it belongs, 
but also to others, and many of his mistakes in reason- 
ing are due to this fact. This is not because his gener- 
alizations are so wide, as one might think, but because 
they are so indefinite and undiscriminating, as are also 
the concepts with which they are concerned ; hence as 
soon as he notes similarity to something familiar, and 
pictures what was true of it, he expects that the same 
will be true of what seems like it. This is true even 
when the similarity is only in name. For example, a 
little girl of five, who had borrowed an eraser of a young 
lady several times, was told that a plant in the window 
was a rubber plant, when she quickly exclaimed, " Oh, 
that's why you always have so many rubbers, isn't it ? " 

In other instances the characteristic to which the truth 
is attached is not an essential one ; hence the truth is 
wrongly and often too narrowly applied, as when a boy 
of eight said, "You should not call him Mr., he is not 
married yet." In reality this and many similar mis- 
takes come from too wide a generalization previously 
made, which in this case probably was, women who 
are married change their title ; hence all persons do so. 

The numerous mistakes in reasoning that a child 
makes often lead to his being laughed at, and this 
tends to discourage him somewhat in original thinking, 


and to make him rely more upon others for his general 

When he enters school the conditions are usually 
unfavorable for developing his power and tendency to 
reason. Before this, his practical reason was exercised 
in his plays and experiences with real objects and situa- 
tions, and his conclusions were usually of immediate 
value to him. Though some of his reasoning had been 
conscious, and some of his thinking animated by pure 
curiosity, yet much of it had been influenced by practical 
interest of some kind, while nearly all of it had been 
concerned with persons, things, and incidents in his 
immediate environment. In school, conscious reason- 
ing is usually appealed to, and there are almost no 
opportunities for the child to use his practical reason in 
doing things. The school studies, especially arithmetic, 
are supposed to be adapted to the development of the 
child's reason ; but the appeal is almost wholly to con- 
scious reasoning, which, unaided by the practical reason 
and the stimulus of interest in the conclusions that 
always accompanies reasoning in acts instead of in 
thought, is not very vigorous. 

His arithmetical thinking is also very imperfect 
because it is not usually appealed to sufficiently through 
the senses and through images of definite individual 
experiences, which, as we have already seen, naturally 
occupy a large place in a child's reasoning. So many 
truths are presented to him, and they are applied so 
often without the results or conclusions having any 
bearing upon his present actions, that he does not 
care particularly what the truth is, or how it is applied, 
providing he can say or do what will satisfy the teacher. 


In short, the effect of school life is usually inimical to 
the activity of reasoning, at least for a time. 

The ordinary child in the public school exercises his 
practical reason less in the first half-dozen years of 
school life than does the ordinary street urchin. Yet 
the schoolboy acquires a great many valuable concepts 
and general truths, and forms habits of orderly analysis 
and synthesis which enable him, when his reason 
awakens to full activity again (as it is likely to do in his 
teens), to far surpass the street urchin, not only in more 
abstract reasoning, but with some practice, in the reason- 
ing involved in practical affairs. The training in the 
school is not, therefore, valueless, but it produces a break 
in the development of reasoning that is sometimes never 
even apparently repaired. 

Naturally, reasoning is first instinctive, sensory, and 
practical, then conscious, imaginative, and individual, 
and finally abstract, analytic, and general. The school 
unsuccessfully seeks to develop the last form of reason- 
ing before the others, which are a necessary basis for it, 
are sufficiently developed. 

After about twelve years of age, a child's interests 
usually broaden so that he is no longer almost wholly 
concerned with his own affairs and with particular results, 
but begins to develop a social and speculative interest 
in groups of persons and classes of objects and events. 
By this time the child has also acquired enough con- 
cepts and general truths, together with the power of 
analyzing and discriminating difference and likeness, so 
that he now has the power as well as the impulse to 
reason in a general and abstract way concerning persons 
in history, words in language, and things in science. 


What is needed more than anything else to develop 
the reasoning power of children in school is that 
they shall have more opportunity to work out for 
themselves methods of doing things which they are 
immediately interested in doing, and more practice in 
discovering the results of particular acts and conditions, 
before they are expected to reason in an abstract way 
about classes of things in which they have no immediate 
or practical interest. It is also important, especially in 
arithmetic, that they shall have much practice in apply- 
ing general truths to various classes of problems, with- 
out anything to show them which general truth will fit 
each particular case. In other words, their need is not 
more general truths, but more practice in discerning 
essential characteristics and applying truths. 

Bxercite* for Students 

1. If similarity in mental processes helps one person in under- 
standing another, are teachers who are studying some new sub- 
ject likely to succeed better in teaching than those who are not ? 

2. Give a number of illustrations of special training that does or 
does not increase general mental power. 

3. As a means of showing that our perceptions become definite 
regarding familiar things, note the fact that a figure like the accom- 
panying one may be seen in two or three definite 
and familiar ways, but not in any intermediate 
or confused way. Note, also, how easy it is to 
hear sounds and nonsense syllables as words. 
Is this true to the same extent of children ? 

4. Give illustrations of differences in the dis- 
crimination of individuals, and indicate how far 
they may be explained by special knowledge and 


5. Test first or second grade children and adults by having them 
make a straight line, then a word as many times as possible in a 
minute, and note the difference in rate of activity and the causes 
of the difference. 

6. Report tests and observations showing difference in mental 
grasp of children and adults. 

7. Give illustrations showing that differences in the perceptive 
power of adults may be as great as are to be found between children 
and adults. 

8. Why do people who have never studied drawing usually say 
that a circle looks the same in all positions ? Give other illustra- 
tions of the ignoring of variations in sensations, in perceiving objects 
as the same. 

9. Have students experiment and report on weight and size 

10. Show children successively sticks of the following length in 
inches : 1, 1 J, 2, 2j, 3, 3$, 4, 4, 4, 4, and see if they get the sugges- 
tion, that each line is to be larger than each of the preceding. Show 
a series of lines drawn on paper of the above lengths, and ask the 
children to point to one three inches long, then just as the child is 
doing so, say, "Are you sure you are right ? " Report other obser- 
vations and experiments showing the greater suggestibility of chil- 
dren as compared with adults. 

11. Show to adults for a moment the name of your city or some 
other familiar word, with some letters omitted and similar ones sub- 
stituted, and see if familiarity with the word does not lead to error. 
Report other observations and experiments showing that knowledge 
and habit may lead to error. 

la. To get an idea of how large a part purpose plays in percep- 
tion, look at a book with one after another of the following purposes : 
to know the name and author, to know regarding the capitalization 
of letters, the size of letters, spacing and design on the back, to 
determine the quality of the binding as to material and color, to see 
if the book is perfectly new and clean, to see if its edge is smooth 
and straight so it can be used in place of a ruler, to determine its 
size in inches, to judge of the quality of the paper. Find other illus- 
trations of how the purpose in perceiving, rather than the mere power 
of discrimination, determines what shall be perceived. 


13. Is there any relation between manual training and sense train- 
ing ? Explain fully. 

14. Give illustrations of the imaging power of children. 

15. Is your image of a wooded hill that you have seen many times 
at various seasons of the year as definite and vivid as some land- 
scapes you have seen only a few times ? Give other illustrations 
showing how increased experience may lead to less definiteness and 
vividness of images. 

16. Report from experience, observation, or reading, instances of 
letters or numbers, which always call up images of certain colors or 

17. Is it better to tell children of the second, third, or fourth grades 
something you wish them to remember, or to have them read it ? 

18. Try with children and adults some such experiment as the 
following. Say, " Make a dot two inches from the top of the page 
and one inch from the left edge, then from it draw a line to the right 
two inches long, then downward three inches, then to the left one 
inch, then upward an inch, then to the dot first made," and see how 
well they follow directions, or say, " Think of a square with a 
triangle on top with point upward, a circle underneath, and an oblong 
on each side with ends next the side of the square." 

19. Illustrate from school work, successes or failures of children 
due to good or poor constructive imagination. 

20. What is the effect on the creative imagination of always 
telling children not only what to do, but also just how to do it ? 

2 1 . Mention a number of exercises that you think would give good 
training to the creative imagination, in which you recognize a stage 
of imitation and practice, and another stage of free creation, indicat- 
ing the grade to which these exercises would be most suitable. 

22. Find how many words a child of two uses, as an indication of 
the number of concepts he has. 

23. Attempt to determine what concepts of common things, of 
the second degree of definiteness, a child of from four to six has. 

24. It will be interesting for students to try to gain some idea 
of how many concepts they have by counting the words familiar to 
them on every tenth or hundredth page of a dictionary, and estimat- 
ing their total vocabulary. 


25. Give a number of instances of childish reasoning from obser- 
vation or reading, and explain the modes of reaching a conclusion 
in each case. 

26. Give illustrations of work in school studies, so planned that 
the reasoning may be simply a means to an end the child desires to 

27. Give such problems as these to children, and explain why 
they make mistakes. " A boy walked directly east three miles, then 
directly west three miles, how far was he from where he started ? " 
" If a stalk of corn two feet high grows two feet in the month of 
July, how much will a peach tree three feet high grow in the same 

28. Algebra may be described as arithmetic generalized. Why 
is it better suited for older pupils than arithmetic ? 

29. Have children find out what you are thinking of by asking 
questions that you answer by yes or no. Notice how many of their 
questions are particular or ignore former answers, and hence show 
lack of conceptional thought and reasoning. 

30. Tell a story, such as the following, with many contradictions 
in it, and ask children to give their reasons for thinking it is or is 
not true. Notice in how few cases they put parts together so as 
to show their logical contradictions. " The water would not be very 
warm if it was winter 11 is a logical reason, while "His father would 
not have praised him " is merely reasoning according to probabilities. 

A Boy's First Fish 

One winter afternoon a boy went fishing in a lake a short distance 
from his home. He had a bent pin for a hook, and a thread for a 
line, which he fastened to a good strong pole. As soon as he threw 
the hook in, a fish took it in his mouth and started downstream. 
The boy began to pull, but his foot slipped and he fell into the river. 
He was frightened at first, but when he found that the river was 
shallow and the water very warm, he did not care, but held to the 
pole. He waded to the shore and pulled till the pole bent and 
almost broke before he could draw the fish out of the lake. When he got 
it out he saw that it was about eight inches long and he was very much 
pleased. He tried to catch more, but they would not take the hook. 


His hands got cold in the wintry wind, so he started home with the 
fish. He got very tired carrying the heavy fish so far, but forgot all 
about it when he got home, and his papa praised him for holding to 
the pole, and his mamma said the fish would make several nice meals 
for all of them. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the general subject of intellectual development and training, see 
besides psychologies, Baldwin, Vol. I, pp. 301-332 ; Hinsdale, 
Studies in Education, chaps, ii and iii ; Judd, chaps, i and ii, 
and Ed. Rev., Vol. VIII, pp. 128-142 ; Compayre, Vol. I, chaps, 
vi and vii, Vol. II ; Thorndike, Human Nature Club, chap, xv ; 
Jr. Fed., Vol. XIV, pp. 60-65 1 Thorndike and Woodworth, 
Psych. Rev., Vol. VIII, pp. 247-261, 384-395, 553-564; Aiken, 
"Methods of Mind Training"; Allen, Jr. Ped., Vol. XIV, 
PP- 237-254 ; Bergstrom, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol V, pp. 256-369 ; 
Swift, Ped. Sem., Vol. X, pp. 3-22 ; Hugh, Ped. Sem., Vol. V, 
pp. 599-605 ; Bryan and Harter, Psych. Rev., Vol. IV, pp. 25- 
53, Vol. VI, pp. 345-375 ; Andrews, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XIV, 
pp. 121-149; Johnson, Yale Studies, Vol. VI, pp. 51-103 ; Swift, 
Am. Jr. Psych^ Vol. XIV, pp. 201-251. 

On the senses and early intellectual development, consult Preyer, 
Shinn, Tracy, Moore. 

On discrimination, rate of mental activity, perception, suggestion, and 
illusions, read Kirkpatrick, Psych. Rev., Vol. VIII, pp. 567-577, 
Vol. VII, pp. 274-280; parts of Gilbert, Yale Studies, Vol. II, 
pp. 40-100 ; Iowa Univ. Studies, Vol. II, pp. 1-84 ; Christo- 
pher and Smedley's Reports of Child Study Investigations to the 
Chicago Board of Education ,• Judd, Psych. Rev., Vol. IX, pp. 
27-39; Small, Ped. Sem., Vol. IV, pp. 176-220; N. IV. Mo., 
Vol. IX, pp. 134-135; Sidis, Psychology of Suggestion; Pills- 
bury, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VIII, pp. 318-396; Bolton, Psych. 
Rev., Vol. VIII, pp. 537-548 ; Jastrow, Fact and Fable in 
Psychology, pp. 106-136, 275-295; Binet, Psych. Rev., Vol. 
VIII, pp. 610-616; Pillsbury, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VIII, pp. 
315-393 ? Dressier, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VI, pp. 343-363 ? Sea- 
shore, Yale Studies, Vol. Ill, pp. 1-67; Iowa Studies, Vol. II, 
pp. 1-64. 


On mental images, see Galton, Pop. Sci. Mo^ Vol. XV, p. 572 ; Vol. 
XVIII, p. 64, or consult his Human Faculty; Patrick, Pop. 
Sci. Mo., Vol. XXXIX, p. 761 ; Kirkpatrick, Science, October, 
1893; Binet, Pop. Set. Mo., Vol. XLI, pp. 60-70; Bryan, 
N. E. A., 1893, pp. 779-781 5 Talbot, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VIII, 
pp. 414-417; Hall, F. H.,/r. Ped., Vol. XIV, pp. 214-223; 
N. E. A., 1897, pp. 621-628 ; Ch. S. Mo., Vol. VI, pp. 297-307 ; 
Wylie, Ped. Sem., Vol. IX, pp. 127-160; Jastrow, Fact and 
Fable in Psychology, pp. 337-370; Philipps, Am. Jr. Psych., 
Vol. VIII, pp. 506-527; Wolfe, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. IX, pp. 

On memory, see Colgrove, especially chap, v ; Eldridge-Green, 
Memory and its Cultivation, Part I, chaps, vii and viii and 
Part II ; Waldstein, The Subconscious Self; Bolton, Am. Jr. 
Psych., Vol. IV, pp. 298-301 ; Shaw, Ped. Sem., Vol. IV, pp. 
61-78; Kirkpatrick, Psych. Rev., Vol. I, pp. 602-609; Jastrow, 
Ed. Rev., Vol. II, pp. 442-452; Patrick, Vol. IV, pp. 463-474; 
Barnes, Studies in Ed., pp. 58-61 ; Jacobs, Mind, Vol. XII, 
pp. 75-82. 

On associative, creative, conceptive, and reasoning activities of 
children, see Bolton and Haskell, Ed. Rev., Vol. XV, pp. 474- 
499 ; Barnes, Studies in Ed., Vol. I, pp. 41-52 ; Vol. II, pp. 43-61 , 
373-387; Royce, Psych. Rev., Vol. V, pp. 1 13-144; Hall, Ped. 
Sem., Vol. I, pp. 139-173 ; Lindley, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VIII, 
pp. 431-493; Brown, Ped. Sem., Vol. II, pp. 358-396; Gale, 
Jr. Ch. andAdoles., July, 1902, pp. 149-74; Hancock, Ed. Rev., 
Vol. XII, pp. 260-268 ; Learoyd, Am. Jr. Psych n Vol. VII, pp. 



Heredity is the term applied in biology to the pro- 
duction of like by like. The fact that the offspring of 
plants and animals always belong to the same species 
as their parents, is named if not explained by the word 
" heredity." When the term is used by stock-breeders 
and students of man, however, it has a more restricted 
meaning. It then refers not merely to the likeness in 
species, but to the less-marked characteristics that dis- 
tinguish different breeds or families of the same species. 
A negro's child is not merely a human being, but he is 
a human being of the black type. A Bach is, as a rule, 
not merely a human being, a Caucasian and a German, 
but also a Bach in the sense of being a musical genius. 
The context will usually show whether the term is used 
in the narrower or the broader sense. In both senses, 
the laws and the fundamental phenomena are the same. 
A minute cell formed by the union of a cell from a 
male with the cell of a female of the same species 
develops into a being similar to its ancestors, both near 
and remote, and yet not exactly like any one of them. 

The characteristics of every animal and person are 
determined not only by the union of cells from two lines 
of ancestry, but also by the environment which begins 


to act as soon as the embryo is formed, and continues to 
mould the developing organism till birth, then in a still 
greater variety of ways until maturity. The changes 
produced before birth are often very marked, since a 
nervous shock to a mother four or five months before 
the birth of a child often results in some deformity in 
the child. It is claimed but not admitted by physicians 
that the physical and mental condition of the mother 
during the entire time the child is carried, affects its 
development in a marked degree. The special charac- 
teristics this gives a child are congenital, but not, prop- 
erly speaking, hereditary. In common language they 
are often spoken of as hereditary, but in the scientific 
sense only those characteristics that result from the 
union of two germ cells are hereditary. 


(1) Children usually resemble their parents. A child 
is, however, never exactly like either the father or the 
mother, nor does he possess the sum of all the char- 
acteristics of both or an equal fusion, but surely some 
of each. The prominent qualities of one parent or the 
other, rather than a fusion of those of both, frequently 
appear in the child. For this reason we find black- 
haired and red-haired children in the same family, 
instead of all with hair of an intermediate color. The 
child usually has also characteristics not possessed by 
either of his parents. The resemblance to a grand- 
parent or even a more remote ancestor, or to a relative 
not in the direct line of descent, as uncle or cousin, may 
be more marked than to the parents. 

(2) This suggests the truth that inheritance is noV 


simply front parents, but from the two lines of ancestry 
of the two families. This view is supported by the fact 
that stock-breeders cannot predict the characteristics of 
the offspring of mongrels or mixed breeds, while they 
can of those known to have been of pure blood for 
many generations. Going back a generation at a time 
one finds the number of ancestors increasing geometri- 
cally as follows: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc., so that in the tenth 
generation there are a thousand ancestors. This shows 
why, when there are various breeds or families repre- 
sented, it is impossible to predict the result of the 
union. On the other hand, when the ancestors are all 
from one line, the results can be predicted with some 
accuracy. So far as the facts are known it appears 
that the offspring of two parents of different lines of 
pure breed will, other things being equal, most resemble 
the one that has been kept pure the greatest number of 

In the human race there is far less pureness of breed 
than in animals. A practically pure breed of animals, 
pairing every year, can be established in five or six 
years ; while to establish a pure breed of human beings, 
even if a regular plan were followed as is done with 
domestic animals, would require a century and a half. 
Again, since human beings move about much more than 
other animals, the people of any given locality are, as a 
rule, of much less pure blood than the various species 
of animals in the same region. Migration, wars, and 
inter-marriage have resulted in the mixing of blood 
from almost all portions of the globe. The results of 
heredity in human beings are therefore, under ordinary 
conditions, infinitely more difficult to predict than in 


animals ; yet the results of union among distinct races, 
such as the Caucasian and Negro, are fixed and well 

(3) There is a tendency to return to the normal type. 
For example, even when both parents vary from the 
normal in the same way, the offspring usually do not 
show as much variation as the parents. The children 
of a large father and mother are usually larger than the 
normal, but smaller than their parents ; and children of a 
small father and mother are usually smaller than normal 
but larger than their parents. The son of an unusually 
strong or brilliant man is likely to be less strong or 
brilliant than himself ; but on the other hand the son of 
a man diseased or of unusually small capacity is likely 
to be more healthy and intelligent than himself. 

(4) Heredity is often of a general capacity rather than 
of a specific ability. For example, the son of a great 
scientist may become a great writer or attain great suc- 
cess in business or politics. Moreover, nervous irregu- 
larity in the parents may appear in the children in the 
form of imbecility, insanity, or criminality. 

(5) Where there is close in-breeding, it has been 
thought that weakness, especially mental, is likely to 
appear, and some of the royal families that have inter- 
married and degenerated are cited as evidence. Recent 
writers, however, are inclined to think that where weak- 
ness results from in-breeding, it is because weakness 
already exists and is merely increased by the process, 
while strong qualities are just as surely perpetuated and 
increased. The Jews have not developed mental weak- 
ness, though history shows no other such instance of 
human in-breeding carried on for thousands of years. 


(6) The offspring of parents of pure blood sometimes 
show characteristics of the remote ancestors of the breed; 
this is known as atavism or reversion. For example, 
pigeons, like the original blue-rock pigeons from which 
all are descended, are occasionally found among the 
offspring of fancy breeds that ordinarily breed true. 
Reversion is more likely to occur when distinct breeds 
are crossed. For example, mules, which result from 
crossing the horse and the ass, often have stripes similar 
to those of their zebra-like common ancestor. 

(7) Not all hereditary qualities are apparent at birth. 
There is good reason to believe that they appear at 
various stages of development, as do instincts, especially 
at the time of puberty. Physical features, and mental 
and moral qualities of father or mother hitherto unno- 
ticed, often become conspicuous at this time. It is 
also claimed that inherited bodily or mental disease 
frequently appears at about the same age in certain 


The germ cells that unite to form the embryo, of a 
man are of almost microscopic minuteness. The em- 
bryo can at first scarcely be distinguished from the 
embryo of a rat or an elephant, yet it has potentially 
all the characteristics of the species man. Moreover, 
it has the peculiarities of the race, nation, and family 
of each of the two parents from whom the germ 
cells came. How such minute portions of matter can 
embody all the characteristics of their ancestors and 
impose these characteristics upon all the nutriment by 
which their size is increased many million fold, is one of 


the greatest marvels of nature and life. Anything that 
will make this marvel definitely conceivable is therefore 
to be welcomed. 

If we accept the results of recent experiments show- 
ing the exceeding smallness of particles of matter, we 
may think of each characteristic of each tissue (such 
as bony or nervous) and of each organ as represented 
by different kinds of particles of matter in the germ 
cells. It is thus possible to conceive of the way in 
which the characteristics of the parents may be trans- 
mitted to their descendants. This gives a very crude 
theory, however, which is not supported by observation 
and experiment. If every tissue and organ must con- 
tribute material to the germ cell, we should expect that 
the child of a man who had lost a leg or an arm would 
lack the same member, but such is not the case. Again, 
if the different parts of an embryo are formed of differ- 
ent kinds of particles, we should expect that if an embryo 
were divided that a complete organism could not develop 
from one of the parts. It has been found, however, 
by experiments upon frogs and other of the lower 
animals, that the fourth of the embryo (for example, 
of a frog) will, under favorable conditions, develop into 
a whole animal with no part missing. 

Slight changes in conditions, such as turning an 
embryo over, putting it in a new medium, subjecting 
it to a different temperature, or supplying it with food 
differing in kind or amount from the normal, greatly 
modify its development. For example, queen bees 
are the result of rich feeding, and experiment shows 
that as high as 90 per cent of frogs' eggs may develop 
intb females if the embryos are richly fed. It is, there- 


fore, improbable that the characteristics of each animal 
and each organ are determined by fundamentally dif- 
ferent elementary particles of which the germ cells are 
composed. It is more reasonable to suppose that there 
are comparatively few varieties of particles, and that 
these tend to combine in certain ways for each species, 
according to preestablished affinities, attractions, and 
repulsions that are modified in a greater or less degree 
by external surroundings of the embryo, and by the 
relative vigor of the different elements of the two germ 
cells composing it 

The chief discussions in biology during the last decade 
have centred about the possibility of modifying germ 
cells through modifications of body cells. Changes in 
food, exercise, and mode of life may make great changes 
in an animal or person ; but whether such changes mod- 
ify the germ cells also, so that descendants will have the 
new characteristics, is a disputed point. For example, 
if a son is born to a man at twenty-five, and after the 
father has spent twenty years in practice to develop his 
musical talents, another son is born, will the last son 
inherit any more musical ability than the first one? 
Weismann, who has been the leader on one side of this 
controversy, says that no changes that take place in 
the life of a parent can modify the germ cells so as 
to affect the offspring. Each parent transmits to his 
offspring what he inherits, but not what he acquires. 
If this be true, culture cannot be directly trans- 
mitted; each new generation must begin where the 
old began, and if it advances beyond the former, it 
must be because of better advantages for learning 
rather than because of inherited ability. According 


to this view, acquired weakness of body or mind are 
also non-transmissible. 

In the biological world, progress is possible according 
to this theory because no two individual descendants are 
exactly alike, and because the members of each new 
generation that are best suited to survive under certain 
constant conditions, are the ones that live and produce 
offspring, while the others die or produce few offspring. 
This process being repeated generation after generation, 
all offspring finally come to have the favorable character- 
istics in a marked degree. For example, of a dozen 
young partridges, the ones that are colored most nearly 
like their surroundings are likely to survive and produce 
descendants with similar coloring. Again, the most fa- 
vorably colored of these survive and produce, and thus 
after many generations the principle of natural selection 
results in complete color adaptation to surroundings. 
When a breeder of fancy pigeons continues to breed 
only those having certain coloring, the results are simi- 
lar, only in this case it is human instead of natural selec- 
tion that determines the type of pigeon that shall survive. 

Instincts and intelligence are modified in a similar 
way. For instance, only those young partridges that 
have in the greatest degree the tendency to remain quiet 
when danger threatens, are likely to reach maturity and 
produce offspring. Natural selection, therefore, has 
thus determined the instinct as well as the coloring of 
the partridge. In the case of intelligence, the results are 
much the same. Plasticity or ability to learn is unques- 
tionably favorable to survival ; hence the young animals 
that learn most readily are likely to survive and produce 
descendants, some of which have the capacity in a 


greater degree. These in turn survive, and thus may 
natural selection alone account for the development of 
intelligence in the higher animals and in man. To them 
ability to learn in infancy is more advantageous than 
to know unchangeably many favorable modes of re- 
action. Thus ability to learn which is the essence of 
intelligence is developed. 

This question of inheritance of acquired characteris- 
tics is not yet settled in biology, but it is now generally 
admitted that the characteristics that a parent transmits 
are chiefly those that he inherited, and that the character- 
istics acquired by the parent rarely, if ever, so affect the 
germ cells as to be transmitted to his descendants. In 
the case of human beings if there is any transmission 
of acquired characteristics by germ inheritance, it is 
probably in so slight a degree as to have no effect 
worthy of note, unless it be where many generations 
have made the same acquisitions. Progress in civili- 
zation is therefore not to be looked for in greater in- 
herited skill or intelligence. 


The acceptance in whole, or even in part, of Weis- 
mann's theory of heredity seems at first to make the 
problem of the improvement of the human race an 
almost hopeless one, since each generation gets no 
direct benefit from the improvement of the preceding 
generation, but must begin just where it did. A closer 
study, however, shows that the chances for racial im- 
provement are just as good on this theory as on any other. 
Capacity for education, rather than increased knowledge 
and power at birth, is what human beings need in order 


that they may advance ; and natural selection will amply 
provide for this, especially in these days of rapid change 
in the conditions and activities of life. 

The other factor most needed for racial advancement 
is a more favorable environment — greater intellectual 
and social treasures — which may be appropriated by 
the new generations without the toilsome digging re- 
quired by their predecessors. Each new generation 
inherits, not only the wealth and knowledge, but all 
the means of wealth and knowledge, such as ma- 
chinery, industrial and commercial organizations, edu- 
cational and scientific institutions, systems and methods, 
together with more or less fixed social ideals, customs, 
and language. Whether a man inherits the minute 
structural changes produced in his parents' bodies by 
what they did before his conception, is a matter of 
little moment compared with his inheritance of ca- 
pacity and opportunity for using all the accumulated 
results of the experience of the ages. It is this in- 
herited environment in which he is to grow, and upon 
which he is to feed, that chiefly determines the amount 
and direction of his development. All the conditions 
of life produced by civilization constitute what, in a 
very general way, may be called " social inheritance." 
Man is truly " the heir of all the ages," and each gen- 
eration utilizes what has been produced and learned by 
the preceding. The social heritage of an individual 
consists of all the knowledge, beliefs, customs, laws, and 
language of the nation, community, and family into 
which he is born. 

Much of what has been ascribed to physical he- 
redity is, in reality, due partially or wholly to social 


heredity. The history of the Jukes family, in which 
it is shown that nearly all of more than a thousand 
descendants of one man were criminals or paupers, 
proves nothing regarding physical heredity, for the 
family was for many years almost isolated from so- 
ciety ; consequently, the factor of social heredity had 
the fullest chance to operate. The children of a young 
couple belonging to this family who moved into another 
neighborhood, and thus partially got the benefit of a 
different social inheritance, grew up much as other 
children of the neighborhood. The records of chari- 
table societies show that about eighty-five per cent of 
the children of paupers and criminals who are placed 
in good homes at an early age become good citizens. 

Every nation and every family possesses a wealth of 
beliefs, sentiments, artistic and moral ideals, lore, tradi- 
tions, and customs which descend to the children by an 
incontestible law of entail. Truly, in educating a child, 
we should begin with his grandparents ; for he will in- 
evitably get the benefit through social heredity in the 
form of family customs, habits, and traditions, though 
probably not through inherited acquisitions. 

Exercises for Students 

1. Give examples of heredity in both the broader and the narrower 
meaning of the word. 

2. Illustrate each of the laws of heredity. 

3. Indicate how such characteristics as those of pointer dogs, 
trotting horses, homing pigeons, could have developed either with 
or without the inheritance of acquired characteristics. 

4. Imagine a company of people of a civilized country placed on 
an island without tools or machines of any kind, and think how long 
it would take them to be able to live as they had been living. Then 


imagine a company of children of civilized people left without a Ian- 
guage or any social or intellectual knowledge, as well as without the 
material conveniences of civilization, and think how long it would 
take them and their descendants to reach the civilization of their 

5. Are the peculiarities of half-breeds and others who are without 
a country or people of their own due chiefly to physical or to social 

6. What is the effect of never being a member of a family, as in 
the case of children in orphan asylums? Why? 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the general theory of heredity, see Orr, Theory of Development 
and Inheritance; Brooks, Heredity, also The Foundations of 
Zoology ; Weismann, The Germ-Plasm ; Romanes, An Exami- 
nation of Weismannism, also Darwin and After Darwin, 
Vol. II. 

For facts regarding heredity and environment, consult Ribot, Hered- 
ity; Nisbet, Marriage and Heredity; works on criminals, espe- 
cially Morrison, Juvenile Offenders ; Winship or Dugdale on The 
Jukes ; Galton, Hereditary Genius ; Woods, " Mental and Moral 
Heredity in Royalty," Pop. Sri Mo., Vol. LXI, pp. 366-378, 
449-460, 506-513, Vol. LXII, pp. 76-84, 167-182; Ellis, Pop. 
Sri. Mo., Vol. LVIII, pp. 595-603; Vol. LVI, pp. 59-67; 
Oppenheim, Development of the Child, chap, iv ; and for a good 
brief discussion of theory and facts, see Eigenmann, Pop. Sri. 
Mo., Vol. LXI, pp. 32-44. 

On heredity and education, see Guyau, Education and Heredity ; 
Bradford, Heredity and Christian Problems. 

On social heredity, see Baldwin, Vol. II, especially pp. 57-64 ; Allen, 
AT. W. Mo., Vol. IX, pp. 400-405, 436-439 ; Ed. Rev., Vol. 
XVIII, pp. 344-352 ; Monro, Ed. Rev~> Vol. XVI, pp. 367-377. 

See also Wilson, The Cell in Development and Inheritance ; Mar- 
wedil, Conscious Motherhood. 






Whatever has a separate existence so that it cannot 
be divided or fused with something else, without losing 
its essential unity, has individuality. A pebble, there- 
fore, has some individuality, while a drop of water has 
none. Again, in order to have individuality, an object 
must not only have a unitary and separate existence, but 
it must differ from every other unit Coins, as they roll 
from the mint, have no individuality, for each is exactly 
like the other. The products of machines generally 
lack individuality, while hand-made goods and the prod- 
ucts of organic nature all possess some individuality. 
No two leaves are ever found exactly alike. 

Difference from other similar units may be taken as 
the essential element in individuality. The difference 
may be slight or great, and in one or many characteristics. 
The more characteristics a thing possesses, the greater 
are the chances for difference or individuality. A 
mere point can differ from another point in position 
only, while a line may differ from other lines in position, 
direction, and length, and a rectangle from other rec- 
tangles in position, length, breadth, and proportion of 
length to breadth. If the rectangle is a material object, 
it may also differ from other rectangular objects, in 



composition, weight, thickness, color, and smoothness. 
Organic objects may differ in all these ways and also 
in origin, manner of growth, length of life, etc. It 
follows, therefore, that the most complex things may 
be most unlike ; hence man, the most complex of animals, 
has the greatest individuality of all. This is true of the 
body, and with still more truth may we say, "every 
human soul is unique." 

Although a description of the peculiarities of an in- 
dividual, as compared with the corresponding qualities 
in others, is the easiest way of showing his individuality, 
it is in a way superficial. Individuality depends more 
upon harmony and unity of qualities or their lack 
than it does upon the degree in which each quality is 
possessed as compared with the average person. The 
permanency of the particular organisation of qualities 
is also another measure of individuality. 


Biologically, the significance of individuality is as 
great as that of heredity. If every individual of a new 
generation were exactly like its parents, evolution would 
be impossible. An almost infinite variety of individuals 
must be produced in order that the fundamental prin- 
ciple of evolution, i.e. natural selection, may act effec- 
tively. Probably not one acorn in a thousand sprouts 
and takes root, and not more than one in a hundred of 
those that do, ever reach the proportions of a full-sized 
oak. The loss of buds and branches in each individual 
oak is almost equally great In the animal world the 
loss is scarcely less, especially in the lower forms of 
animal life. If all grasshoppers' eggs matured, the 


globe would be buried with them in a few years. Which 
of these vast multitudes of young creatures of each 
species shall survive, seems entirely a matter of chance, 
or, in other words, of temporary and local conditions ; but 
such is not the case. No two organisms, from the tini- 
est leaf, or seed, and the smallest bug to the most com- 
plex of all beings, — man, are exactly alike. Despite 
their similarity every member of each species has some 
individuality. Those having characteristics in the slight- 
est degree more suitable to the constant conditions of 
life, are most likely to be preserved to produce others 
with some of the same characteristics. 

The enormous loss of life in each new generation is 
therefore not wholly useless, for those animals that sur- 
vive have the characteristics that fit them to live success- 
fully in the environment into which they were born, 
while those that perished were less favorably endowed. 
The continued existence of the species so long as con- 
ditions remain the same, is thus assured. If conditions 
change, some individuals are likely to survive and pro- 
duce descendants, whereas, if all were alike, all would 
perish. The selection, for survival, of those best suited 
to the new conditions, results in further evolution of the 
species and its more complete adaptation to the new 
life conditions. 

To the human race, individuality is even more im- 
portant, for not only does it favor physical evolution, 
but also social progress. If there were no persons 
differing from the common mass of mankind, to serve 
as leaders and models for imitation, changes in customs 
and modes of thinking would be impossible. Progress 
would come to an eternal standstill 



Every person, as Shylock eloquently shows, has the 
essential characteristics of a common humanity as well 
as individual peculiarities. Physically, all have body, 
limbs, head, and internal organs ; but the absolute and 
relative size of each are never the same in two indi- 

In height, men vary from three feet to eight feet, and 
in weight, from fifty to five hundred pounds. The aver- 
age child at birth weighs about seven pounds, but an 
individual child may weigh anywhere from three to 
sixteen pounds. Although seventy per cent of the chil- 
dren in a first grade may be comfortable seated in 
the average seat for that grade, some individuals will 
require much smaller seats, and others, seats as large as 
are usually required in a sixth-grade room. The aver- 
age pulse beat of men is seventy, but it may be 
forty or over a hundred. Differences equally great are 
found in every organ and process, and in the relation of 
parts and processes to each other, e.g. a man six feet 
high may have a shorter body than one only five and a 
half feet in height. Indeed, it is difference in propor- 
tion of parts rather than in absolute size that enables 
us to distinguish one individual from another. 

Even the very elements of which bone and muscle 
are composed differ in different persons; hence the 
combination of these elements into organs of different 
sizes must give rise to still greater differences in physi- 
ological processes, temperaments, movements, sensa- 
tions, thoughts, emotions and actions. 

Shoe dealers, doctors, teachers, and preachers would 


find their tasks much simplified (though rather dull 
and mechanical) if there were complete uniformity. 
Society would be quite democratic. There would be 
no idiots and no geniuses, no criminals and no philan- 
thropists, no radicals and no conservatives. Methods of 
work and modes of worship would soon alike be me- 
chanically regulated and continued without change. 

On the other hand, in a country where there is great 
individuality and no uniformity, governments exist only 
by force. Common processes, standards, and laws are 
impossible ; there is no peace except that of tyranny and 
subjection, and no permanency beyond the life of the 
dominant individual. A certain amount of uniformity 
is therefore necessary to the stability and peace of the 
social organism, while individuality is equally necessary 
If it is to be progressive. 

Looking at the matter simply from the standpoint of 
individual happiness, the person who is like his fellows 
in nearly all respects is in harmony with his social en- 
vironment, and so far as that is concerned, is at least 
negatively happy. The person who differs greatly from 
his fellows in knowledge, temperament, habits, and 
ideals is shut off from any real companionship, because 
there are none of his kind with whom to associate. He 
is irritated by their monotonous lives, and they, by his 
eccentricities ; hence the man of genius is often miser- 
able. The person who differs from his fellows by in- 
feriority is even more unfortunate if he realizes it. 
Perhaps there is least comfort for the man who is 
neither superior nor inferior, but simply different. To 
be happy, a man must have much in common with his 
fellows ; and to be useful, he must have also something 


that they have not. It follows, therefore, that not only 
does the stability and improvement of the social organ- 
ism depend upon the presence of both common char- 
acteristics and individual peculiarities, but so also does 
the welfare and happiness of the individuals composing 
the social organism. 


Heredity favors uniformity in proportion to the old- 
ness and pureness of the ancestral line, while mixed 
parentage results in greater differences in the offspring. 
In no case, however, are all the children of the same 
parents exactly alike, even at birth. How far these 
differences are due to germ heredity, and how far to 
prenatal influences, we do not know; but the fact 
remains that every person has in some degree native 
or congenital individuality. 

Experience, training, and teaching, in so far as they 
are uniform, favor commonality. Where there is the 
same climate, industries, customs, laws, religion, and 
knowledge distributed through the schools and the press, 
the people will inevitably be of a single type. 

Though there are natural and social influences tend- 
ing to produce commonality, yet a greater or less degree 
of individuality is found in every home, community, and 
nation because (1) congenital differences cause the indi- 
viduals to react in various ways to the common external 
influences, (2) differences in treatment result from these 
congenital peculiarities {e.g. a bright child is asked to do 
things a dull one is not, and a quarrelsome child is 
treated differently from an even-tempered one by his 
companions), and (3) chance influences (such as being 


the youngest or oldest in the family, and special ac- 
cidents or events that affect one child and not another, 
or that occur at a different stage of development) give 
a different form to each character. Slight differences 
may produce, ultimately, enormous individual varia- 
tions. The truth : " To him that hath shall be given," 
is of the widest possible application, and thus all con- 
genital individuality may be increased by external in- 


It is hard to say at what age individuality is greatest. 
In adults there is much more of the harmony and unity 
of characteristics that make an individual a person, 
instead of a mass of partly related phenomena, than in 
the case of an infant. The individuality is also more 
fixed, so that it is less modifiable by surroundings. In 
children, individuality is less because the child's nature 
is simpler and many of his peculiarities are transient. 
On the other hand, the child's individuality is greater in 
some ways because he has not been subjected to the 
many years of social training and education that have 
tended to make adults all alike. The new instincts that 
develop as the years pass, increase the possibility of 
individual differences in a way that partially balances 
the influences tending to uniformity. 

Measurements and tests show greater individual differ- 
ences for young children, and for those just entering 
their teens, than for other ages. This is largely ac- 
counted for by the fact that rapid changes are occurring 
at these ages, and by the fact that such changes begin 
earlier in some children than in others. About three 


times as many children are of the mean weight at eight 
years of age as at fifteen ; while the difference in weight 
between the largest and the smallest boy at fifteen is 
about twice as great as between the largest and smallest 
boy at eight The changes being slow for several years 
before and after eight years, a difference of a year or 
two in the time of entering upon a new stage of de- 
velopment makes only slight individual difference in 
children of that age, while at about fifteen the changes 
are so great that the difference between one who is 
a year late and one who is a year early in his develop- 
ment is very marked. 

Physiological studies show also that adolescents differ 
greatly from each other in thought, feeling, and action ; 
and history testifies that many inventions and innova- 
tions have been made by adolescents. We therefore 
conclude that, everything considered, individuality is 
greatest during the adolescent period. Some persons 
who resist common influences, and continue to develop 
their own peculiarities, show the greatest individuality in 
maturity or old age ; but the majority become more and 
more like their fellows in general society, and like their 
co-workers in their occupation. 


The anatomist, physiologist, psychologist, and moral- 
ist make many generalizations as to what is true of the 
average man ; but no individual will be found who is in 
all particulars an average man. The generalizations are 
not false or useless, but eminently true and valuable, 
since they give a mean or standard to which the great 


majority of men approximately conform. Where there 
is one man between seven and eight feet high, there are 
hundreds of thousands between five and six feet. It is 
thus practical to construct doors, chairs, and beds to suit 
the majority of men. The variations in proportion of 
parts are greater, yet the majority of men can be fairly 
well fitted with ready-made clothing. A perfect fit, 
however, requires individual measurement, and in a few 
cases such measurement is necessary in order for the 
clothes to be worn at all. 

Standards regarding physical processes are of great 
value in medicine as indices of physical health; yet 
physicians find it necessary to determine the normal 
standards of individuals in order to properly diagnose 
and prescribe successfully. 

Generalizations regarding the mental power and the 
moral worth of the average man are of immense value in 
practical and social life, yet individuality must be recog- 
nized in explaining or appealing to men, to a greater 
extent than in manufacturing furniture and clothing, or 
in prescribing food, medicine, and exercise. 

Scientific students of children are trying to make 
generalizations in the realms of anatomy, physiology, 
psychology, and morals as to the characteristics most 
prominent at different ages. Such generalizations, when 
carefully made, are valuable as standards of comparison. 
They are not, however, models to which individuals 
should be made to conform, any more than men should 
be made over to fit coats, chairs, or the size of pills. 
On the contrary, the results of child-study investigations 
have always emphasized the greatness of individual dif- 
ference in children and the need of recognizing it For 


example, though carefully prepared tables show that 
the average boy of eight is forty-seven inches high, yet 
individuals of that age are founct "fifty-five inches in 
height, which is equal to that of the average twelve- 
year-old, and others, only thirty-five inches, or less than 
the height of the average three-year-old. 

After the sixth year, the fifteenth year is for the aver- 
age boy the year of most rapid growth ; but individual 
boys begin to grow more rapidly as early as the twelfth 
year, and others as late as the nineteenth. Again, the 
average boy grows about three inches in his fifteenth 
year ; but individuals have been known to grow thirteen 
inches in that year. Tests of rate of movement, strength, 
endurance, sensitiveness, discrimination, and memory 
show increase during school age of from two to five 
fold ; yet nearly as great differences are found between 
the poorest and the best individuals of each age. In 
nearly all tests of children of different school grades, 
even where the change with grade is marked and fairly 
regular, one usually finds nearly as wide a divergence 
between children in the same grade as between the 
averages for the lowest and the highest grades. 

Children usually learn to walk when a little over a year 
old, but some begin as early as seven months, and others 
not until nearly two years of age. At two years, most 
children use three or four hundred words ; but some do 
not use a dozen, and others, more than a thousand. 
Most children show marked changes soon after enter- 
ing the teens; but some show none, and others go 
through such changes long before or long after that 
time.* Children who do well in their school work (ac- 
cording to Porter and Hastings) average larger than 


those who do poorly; but a dozen exceptions to this 
generalization could probably be found in almost every 
school. The time element makes all generalizations in 
child study more difficult than in mere anatomy, physi- 
ology, psychology, and ethics, because the age at which 
changes take place varies greatly in different children ; 
hence those who may, when mature, be much alike, 
are often quite different at certain periods of life, 
because one has entered upon a new stage of develop- 
ment much earlier than the other. 


Whether the teacher wishes to promote individuality 
or uniformity, she must (if she is to be in the highest 
degree successful) recognize individuality. Children 
are different to begin with, hence they react differently 
to the same treatment In order to get them to react 
in the same way, so as to have uniform development, 
they must be appealed to differently. If a uniform 
standard is to be approached, certain characteristics 
must be fostered in some and suppressed in others. 
If the same knowledge and skill are to be obtained, 
different individuals must be allowed different periods 
of time for doing a given amount of work, because 
experiments show that the number of units of work 
that can be accomplished by some members of a class 
in a given time is from two to four times as great as 
can be accomplished by other students of the same 
class, and this even in a senior class of a high school 
supposed to be well graded. If all are to form habits 
of effort and industry, different requirements must 
therefore be made of different children, otherwise some 


will be forming habits of idleness, while others are over- 
doing or forming habits of "skimming." Difference 
in knowledge, as well as in natural powers and tenden- 
cies, must be recognized, or one will be confused where 
another is enlightened. 

It is clear from the preceding that if one wishes 
uniform results from educational processes, he must 
recognize individuality. Much more, then, if one aims 
to develop individuality, must he recognize it at every 
step in the process. If, as in the highest ideals of 
education, it is desired to make each individual like his 
fellows in all ways necessary to association with them, 
and different from them in all ways which his natural 
tendencies and position in life demand shall be different, 
there is double reason for recognizing individuality. 

When we say individuality must be recognized, we 
mean the same, only with greater emphasis, as when we 
say each person must be measured in order that his 
clothing may be made to fit. We know, however, that 
the people of a city can be better fitted from a stock of 
ready-made clothing, which has been cut according to 
general principles governing the size and proportion 
of parts of the majority of men and boys, than they 
can be by a poor tailor who measures and tries to fit 
each one individually. He is only an artisan, and not- 
withstanding his opportunity for individual measurement 
his results are inferior to those of other artisans who 
make no measurements of individuals, but work accord- 
ing to general principles under the direction of experts. 
The best results can only be obtained by the expert 
tailor who is able to measure the individual accurately, 
apply general principles correctly, apd exercise his 


judgment in making each garment a work of art. In 
a similar way, we may say that children may be taught 
more successfully in the mass, according to general 
principles under the supervision of an expert, than they 
can be taught individually by a poor teacher who has 
little knowledge of general principles of education, and 
less ability in reading individual children, and no skill 
in dealing with them. The best results can be reached, 
however, only when the teacher is an artist and able to 
fit the work to individual needs, so that every child may 
be moulded according to the same general type as other 
children, and developed so as to bring out the highest 
and best of his individual characteristics. 


To develop the common characteristics necessary to 
the maintenance of proper social relations, there must 
be some uniformity as to what is done and learned. All 
must at least learn a common language, and some of 
the fundamental customs of the nation. Many other 
things in our present course of study are more or less 
necessary and desirable, but none are so essential as 
means of communication and common traditions. A 
certain amount of knowledge of arithmetic, geography, 
etc., is also desirable as a common basis of under- 

To preserve individuality, the requirements in all the 
subjects of a course of study should be set at rather 
a low minimum, with no maximum and no time limit 
In other words, every child may be required to reach 
a certain minimum of knowledge and skill in funda- 


mentals, but not in any stated time. To promote 
individuality, he must be allowed and encouraged to 
go beyond the minimum in any lines he chooses, and 
given opportunity for becoming interested and for 
working in any and every possible line of study and 


Since every one comes in contact with thousands of 
individuals of varying similarity and difference, it would 
be very convenient if one could classify them into a 
few types, and then deal with the individuals accord- 
ing to the types to which they belong. The classifica- 
tion most commonly used has been that of temperaments, 
but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) few individ- 
uals exhibit exactly the characteristics ascribed to any 
one of the several temperaments. Some of the charac- 
teristics of several temperaments are shown by one 
individual, and none of them in the same degree by 
any two. In many cases the best method of treatment 
may be more readily and accurately determined by 
studying the individual than by classifying him as 
belonging to a certain type. 

The varieties of individuality are so great that psy- 
chology and child study can never tell teachers what 
they would most like to know — just how to deal with 
individual pupils. Science in its very nature is general ; 
its goal is the discovery and statement of general rather 
than individual truths. Scientific knowledge is not, how- 
ever, useless to the teacher; the more she knows of 
how most human beings act and develop, and of the 
characteristics most common at each stage of develop- 


mcnt, the more quickly and correctly will she be able to 
determine what is the best treatment for an individual 
child. Experience in dealing with other children more 
or less similar, will also be helpful in determining what 
to do with the child in question. The reading of how 
other children have been dealt with and the study of biog- 
raphies and of novels that are true to life, may in part 
take the place of actual experience with children. From 
such experience and study one may form in his own 
mind a more practical classification of children than 
he can by trying to understand the types described by 

Children are usually best described and managed 
according to prominent characteristics, rather than ac- 
cording to groups of qualities indicated by type names. 
It is much more important to the teacher to know 
whether a boy is slow or quick in his mental operations, 
than it is to know whether he has all the characteris- 
tics of the phlegmatic or of the nervous temperament 
The accuracy and ease with which a pupil works, de- 
pends, more than anything else, upon the rate at which 
he is required to perform each operation. Often a pu- 
pil can work best and most easily at twice the rate that 
is best suited to his classmate. On the other hand, the 
slow pupil may be able to maintain a steady, prolonged 
activity under direction, for a length of time utterly 
impossible to the pupil with the more agile mind. Ex- 
periments by Davis indicate that persons who are quick 
in their reactions gain more in muscular power by light 
than by heavy practice, while those who are slow gain 
most by heavy practice. Experiments on fatigue also 
indicate that quick persons show more rapid and sud- 


den variations in fatigue than those who are slow. 
Observation also indicates that slow individuals often 
improve under stimulus and direction, while the quicker 
pupil may be so excited and disturbed by stimulation 
and close supervision that he makes many mistakes and 
wastes much energy. 

Of course there are large numbers of children who 
are neither especially quick nor slow, and who are there- 
fore most helped by an intermediate mode of treatment. 
The final test of the suitability of any method of treat- 
ment for a child is the effect which it is observed to have 
upon him ; hence no study of generalizations and types of 
individuality can ever render unnecessary the observation 
of individuals. 

Exercises for Students 

1. State some examples of individuality that you have observed 
in plants or animals. 

2. If plants of the same variety were all alike, would it be possible 
to improve the variety? Why? 

3. Give not less than six examples of extreme variation of some 
kind in people. Are any of these persons treated differently because 
of their peculiarity ? 

4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of uniformity and 
individuality in ability, beliefs, and customs in a community, so far 
as they may be produced by education and law. 

5. Give illustrations of persons who were miserable because of 
their difference from other persons, of those who were useless for 
lack of it, and of those interesting or influential because of it. Do 
leaders have much, little, or a medium individuality? 

6. Give illustrations of individuality due to heredity, to accel- 
eration or retardation in development, to surroundings, to chance 
circumstances, to hereditary peculiarity. Is it of any value to the 
teacher to know the causes of individuality? Why? 

Have the people of the United States more or less individu- 
ality than those of other nations? Why? Mention the various 


factors tending to make them have more or less individuality than 
the people of England. 

7. As regards permanency or degree of individuality, what would 
the following be: a radical? a conservative? a man set in his way? 
a genius? an imbecile? a saint? a criminal? an athlete? an invalid? 
a giant? a dwarf ? 

8. Do the following promote individuality or commonality: 
churches? lodges? public lectures? theatres? factories? shops of the 
Roycroft type? Name other things that produce uniformity or indi- 

9. In what respects is the individuality of a successful reformer 
like that of a crank or a martyr, and in what respects different? 

10. At what age did you feel yourself most different from other 
people? If one goes into new social surroundings, is he likely to 
feel his individuality more or less? Why? 

11. Give illustrations showing the value of knowledge of certain 
general truths regarding the characteristics of children of each age 
and grade, and also of the value of knowledge of individual peculiari- 
ties. Which do you think is of more advantage to a teacher, to 
know many general truths regarding children, or to be able to readily 
note and understand individual peculiarities? 

12. If a class of children are to be prepared for the same exami- 
nation, why should individuality be recognized? Illustrate. 

13. In preparing a lesson, should a teacher think more of the 
common characteristics of a class or of their individual peculiarities? 
During the lesson which should she think more of ? How can she 
best meet both class and individual needs? 

14. What is the general effect upon individuality of allowing chil- 
dren to choose for themselves a good deal? Illustrate. 

15. Describe some of the ways in which you have known indi- 
viduality to be recognized and promoted in school. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the nature and importance of individuality, see Bailey, Psych. 
Rev., Vol. VI, pp. 649-651 ; Ch. S. Mo., Vol. I, pp. 640-651 ; 
JV. W. Mo^ Vol. VIII, pp. 250-256; 370-375 ; Stanley, Ed. Rev.> 
Vol. XVIII, pp. 80-84; Howerth,/r. Ptd., Vol. XIV, pp. 31 1- 


324; Doan,/r. Ped., Vol. XIV, pp. 13-33; Ribot, Psychology 
of the Emotions, pp. 380-404. 

On tests and types of individuality, Wissler, Monograph Suppl. to 
Psych. Rev n No. 16, pp. 1-62 ; Jr. Ped., Vol. XIV, pp. 203-213 ; 
Sharp, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. X, pp. 328-391 ; Kirkpatrick, Psych. 
Rev., Vol. VII, pp. 274-280; Kelley, Psych. Rev., Vol. VII, 
PP- 345-372 ; Bagley, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. XII, pp. 193-205 ; 
Bohannon, Ped. Sern., Vol. IV, pp. 3-60, Vol. V, pp. 475-496 ; 
F. Burk, N. W. Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 481-484; Baldwin, Ch. S. 
Mo., Vol. I, pp. 121-124; Beebe, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. Ill, pp. 14- 
25 ; Burnham, Ped. Sem., Vol. II, pp. 204-225 ; Davis, Yale 
Studies, Vol. VIII, pp. 64-108 ; Ladd, Physiol. Psych^ chap. xi. 

For studies of individuals, Stableton, Diary of a Western School- 
master, or a series of articles in IV. W. Mo., Vol. VIII ; Carmin, 
Ped. Sem., Vol. IX, pp. 106-117 ; Galton, "History of Twins," 
in Human Faculty, or as reprinted in Teachers College Record, 
May, 1901, or a number of sketches of individual children in 
Ch. S. Mo^ together with such works as Smith's Evolution of 

On individual teaching, see Search, An Ideal School, chap, viii; 
N. E. A., 1895, pp. 398-406; Ed Rev., Vol. VII, pp. 154-170; 
Kennedy, Jr. Ped,Vo\. XIV, pp. 130-139; Greenwood, Princi- 
ples of Education practically Applied, pp. 173-192. 



Abnormality may be regarded as that form of indi- 
viduality which is in some degree destructive. No 
peculiarity, however marked, is, properly speaking, an 
abnormality, unless it interferes either temporarily or 
permanently with physical or mental functions. We 
shall consider here only those abnormal conditions and 
defects which are of most significance to parents and 
teachers. ^ ~^ 

fatigue: nature and causes 

Every one knows what it is to feel tired, either all 
over or in certain portions of the body, and in common 
language this feeling of weariness is often called fatigue. 
The scientist, however, pays little attention to the feeling 
of weariness in investigating the subject. In studying 
fatigue in another person, in animals, or in a single 
muscle, there is no means of observing the feeling of 
weariness. We can, however, observe the action of the 
muscle, animal, or person, and note changes in the action 
after it has continued for some time. The decrease in 
power to do indicated by change in amount, rate, or 
accuracy, which can be observed and measured, is what 
is meant by fatigue. Hence fatigue is a condition of 
decreased power produced by continued activity. 

Y 331 



Not only is it more practicable to study fatigue in the 
scientific than in the common meaning of the word, but 
the feeling of weariness, and fatigue, in the scientific 
meaning of the word, do not necessarily correspond. 
A person may feel tired before his power to do shows 
any decrease, and, on the other hand, an individual 
often does not feel weary after his power to act has 
been very much decreased. 

Physiologically, fatigue may be of {a) muscles, (6) 
nerve centres, or (c) sense organs, but probably never 
of nerve fibres. Lombard's experiments show that when 
a finger is so fatigued that it cannot be moved volun- 
tarily, the muscles may be caused to contract by electri- 
cal stimulation. This indicates that the nerve centres 
controlling muscles may be completely fatigued, while 
the muscles themselves are not In nearly all action, 
there is diffusion of impulses to muscles and nerve 
centres not directly concerned in the act being per- 
formed. Especially is this the case when considerable 
effort is being made; hence parts concerned in these 
associated acts may also become fatigued. The feeling 
of weariness following acts of attention is probably 
often due largely to the fatigue of the eye, and other 
muscles that are unconsciously kept contracted. 

The loss of power when fatigued is probably due to 
I three causes: (1) deficiency of oxygen necessary to 
chemical activity in the working parts ; (2) the clogging 
and perhaps poisonous effects of waste material thrown 
into circulation by the parts that are active, and (3) de- 
crease of nervous and muscular energy stored up in 
the parts. The change that takes place in the chemical 
reaction of an active muscle, in the size of an active 


nerve cell, and in the amount of waste material thrown 
off by the organism when it becomes active, leaves little 
room to doubt that there is a direct relation between 
activity and chemical changes. The energy used in 
physiological activity comes from the breaking up of 
complex compounds as action proceeds, and recovery 
from fatigue is the result of the carrying away of waste 
I and poisonous material, and the building up of fresh 
complex compounds. While action is in progress it is 
doubtful whether there is any building up of fresh 
material, but there is probably continual use of the 
oxygen carried by the blood, in the chemical action that 
is taking place. The feeling of weariness and tempo- 
rary fatigue are probably caused principally by the 
decrease of oxygen in the blood, and by the clogging 
and poisonous effects of waste material. This is evi- 
denced by the fact that a dog, into whose veins the 
blood of a fatigued dog was injected, showed all the 
signs of weariness. Fatigue that requires a long inter- 1 
val of rest is probably largely due to the loss of energy) 
which must then be renewed by building up new com- 

It is probable, also, that the molecules in most favor- 
able condition for being broken down are used up in 
slight fatigue, while others do not readily give out their 
energy until an extra stimulus is received, or the waste 
material removed. This is perhaps the reason why one 
who receives a fresh or stronger stimulus may seem 
to suddenly recover from fatigue, and work more vigor- 
ously than before. Thus the news that the enemy is 
coming seems to give the weary, marching soldiers fresh 
energy, and the promise of a day's fishing stimulates the 


lagging boy to hoe quickly his row of corn. It is prob- 
able, therefore, as Thorndike claims, that many experi- 
ments upon fatigue have tested inclination to do, rather 
than actual power. It should be remembered, however, 
that inclination has a physical basis. 


The laws of fatigue, revealed by many and prolonged 
investigations recently made upon both physical and 
( mental activities, are found to be very complex. 

(i) Soon after activity begins, not fatigue, but its 
opposite is shown in what is called in common lan- 
guage " warming up to the work." The rate and accu- 
racy are greater after a short period of activity than 
at the beginning, and this is true in acts so perfectly 
learned that there is no improvement through practice. 
The cause of this is, in part at least, the increased flow 
of blood that always goes to an active part. It may be 
also that after chemical action is once set up in a centre, 
it proceeds more rapidly than at first, just as a fire 
burns better after it is started. 

(2) Fatigue may be either general or local Local 
fatigue may be confined to a single muscle or to the 
nerve centre controlling it, to a single sense organ or its 
centre, or even to one or two peripheral elements of a 
sense organ, as a single spot on the skin, a few retinal 

• elements of the eye, or to the elements concerned in the 
perception of certain odors, tastes, or colors. 

(3) Extreme general fatigue produces local fatigue 
of all parts, but apparently not in equal degrees, and 
extreme local fatigue affects other and finally all parts, 
the order probably depending upon diffusion of im- 


pulses, especially in lines of associated action. Any- 
thing that lowers general vitality, as fasting, loss of sleep, 
depressing weather, or sickness, produces a condition 
similar to general fatigue. 

(4) There are some facts favoring the idea that the 
energy stored up in one part may be transferred to other 
parts in case of need. There is undoubtedly indirect 
transference of energy in cases where starving men or 
animals " live on their own fat " for days, and not only 
live, but expend energy in actions of all kinds. In such 
cases the nutriment is probably absorbed by the blood 
and supplied to the parts most needing it. In the phe- 
nomena of rhythmical recovery or " second breath," dis- 
cussed below, the increase of energy, however, is so 
sudden that it seems hardly likely that the blood is the 
medium of transference (though perhaps not impossible, 
for recovery from fatigue after fasting begins almost as 
soon as food is taken, and is nearly complete, if the 
fast has not been extreme, in half an hour), hence it is 
thought that nervous energy may pass from surrounding 
centres to a fatigued centre, in the same way that im- 
pulses spread from one active centre to other centres. 

(5) Fatigue usually increases and then decreases 
rhythmically. It has long been a matter of common 
observation among those who work or play vigorously 
for a long time, that after becoming very tired so that 
they are almost unable to do anything, continued effort 
frequently results in a rather sudden return of power, so 
that they are soon almost, if not quite, as fresh as at the 
beginning. Laboratory investigations of this phenome- 
non, known as "second breath," have been recently 
made, and the results of common observation confirmed 


and made more exact. Lombard found that if he con- 
tinued to try to contract his finger after it had become so 
fatigued that he could not move it, he soon regained the 
power almost completely, and that it was possible to 
recover, after producing complete fatigue, again and 
again, though not so perfectly as at first By alternat- 
ing electrical stimulation with voluntary contraction, it 
was found that the periods of exhaustion and recovery 
occurred in both nerve centre and in muscle, but not at 
the same time. In some persons, complete exhaustion 
and recovery cannot be produced, while in nearly all 
cases continued effort results in variations indicating 
partial renewal of energy or recovery from fatigue. 

This phenomenon of sudden recovery after exhaustion 
may be partially explained, where it is local fatigue only, 
by the fact, easily observable, that as one makes great 
effort to do a thing, there is a wider diffusion of im- 
pulses in the act In extreme fatigue of a muscle and 
its centre, it is probable that a large part of the energy 
is diffused to other parts, and possibly for a while these 
only are active, thus drawing the blood away and giving 
the exhausted portion time for the waste material to be 
removed, and a sufficient amount of oxygen brought in, 
to again set up active chemical action with liberation 
of energy. The other explanation now being received 
favorably by many is, that nervous energy suddenly 
flows in from surrounding centres as suggested in (4). 

(6) There seems to be something in the nature of a 
constant daily rhythm of available energy. Various ex- 
periments show that not only does bodily vigor vary 
with health and the amount of bodily or mental activity 
just undergone, but that it varies at different times of 


the day, commonly being greatest in the morning just 
after breakfast, and decreasing during the day, with the 
exception of slight rises just after food has been taken 
at noon and at night. That the daily rhythm is not 
entirely the result of rest during the night, and of grad- 
ual, general fatigue during the day, is indicated by the 
fact that it is fairly constant and characteristic for each 
individual, but quite different for different persons, a few 
being at their best in the afternoon, and a good many in 
the evening. Since more deaths occur at about four in 
the morning than at any other hour, vitality is then prob- 
ably lowest, owing partly to cosmic processes. There is 
good reason to believe, however, that the daily rhythm 
in power depends to a considerable extent upon pre- 
vious habits of working and resting. 

(7) Extreme fatigue leads to exhaustion and loss of the 
sense of weariness. Marked variations from the usual 
daily rhythm, such as being at the best in the afternoon 
or late at night, are occasionally found in vigorous per- 
sons, but are sometimes evidence of extreme fatigue or 
exhaustion. This is usually the case if the individual 
feels tired in the morning. It seems that nature by the 
feeling of weariness gives warning of fatigue soon after 
it begins; but that later, as activity continues, and 
perhaps as the resistance to the giving up of nervous 
energy ceases, and the blood vessels of the active parts 
lose their elasticity from continued enlargement, the 
feeling of weariness disappears, and the work can be 
done without discomfort or great effort. After a period 
of rest there is just enough recovery from exhaustion 
to put one into a condition of more normal fatigue, 
which is felt as weariness and languor in the morning, 


but disappears with the activity of the day as fatigue 
increases. This kind of fatigue is excessive, for it de- 
pends upon an irritable condition of the centres, which 
causes them to give up readily their scanty supply of 
energy. If activity under these conditions is long con- 
tinued, the centres often lose their power to absorb 
nutriment from the blood, and there is a continual tear- 
ing down without any building up ; though the tearing 
down is perhaps shown in the illusive form of ability to 
work mentally without sleep or rest, and without any 
feeling of weariness. This is the condition usually 
known as "nervous exhaustion/' and a long time is 
required for recovery from it 

(8) Moderate and regular activity produces less fa- 
tigue for the amount of work done than spasmodic and 
excessive effort. It is possible to lift a weight again 
and again at such infrequent intervals that no fatigue will 
appear, owing to the fact that the energy is renewed 
before the weight is again lifted. On the other hand, 
if it is lifted again and again at very short intervals, 
fatigue appears very soon; and if it is lifted and held 
suspended, fatigue appears still more quickly, because 
there is no chance for renewal of energy. If a moder- 
ate weight is lifted a number of times at a moderate rate, 
then a sufficient period of rest taken, more work can be 
accomplished with less fatigue than in any other way. 
Doubling the weight or the rate, or prolonging it unduly, 
more than doubles the difficulty of the task. What is 
true of lifting weights is true of all forms of physical 
and mental activity. Too rapid or too prolonged ex- 
penditure of energy not only gives no chance for accu- 
mulation of energy, but results in much waste in useless 


activity and effort. When fatigue is extreme, a long 
time is required for recovery; hence one who works 
when fatigued, always and inevitably wastes both energy 
and time, to say nothing of the effect on health. 

(9) Fatigue varies with age. Compared with adults 
of middle age, all children fatigue quickly and recover 
quickly. In general, the younger the child, the more 
quickly he fatigues, especially as regards local fatigue, 
and recovery is equally rapid when some other part 
is called into action. According to good authorities, 
children of school age cannot be expected to do one 

Jhing without rest or change for more than ten minutes, 
in the lowest grade, gradually increasing to forty or fifty 
minutes in the higher grades. Friedrich found that 
recesses always improved the power of school children, 
and that two recesses in a three-hour session produced 
more improvement for the latter part of the session 
than one. 

(10) The variations in fatigue phenomena for indi- 
viduals of the same age are very great. Some fatigue 
quickly and recover quickly, others fatigue slowly and 
recover slowly; while those highly favored by nature 
fatigue slowly and recover quickly, and some unfortu- 
nates fatigue quickly and recover slowly. There is 
a certain rate and intensity of working, and a certain 
relation of work and rest periods during the day and 
the year, and of the amount of one kind of activity as 
compared with another, that would most effectually 
economize the energy and health of. each individual. 
Every adult who wishes to accomplish as much as pos- 
sible should, with far more care than he plans his expen- 
diture of money, determine what are, for him, the most 


economical ways of expending energy. A programme 
for a school should be adapted to the largest number 
possible, then, if necessary, some individuals should be 
allowed special programmes. 

(n) The effects of different kinds of activity and of 
change of activity upon general and local fatigue are 
great, but not well known, because the results of experi- 
ments differ. The problem is much the same as that of 
general and special training, because it depends upon the 
effects of activity of one part upon that of other parts 
connected with it. Some investigators find muscular 
strength, as indicated by the amount gripped with the 
hand, increased after mental exertion and others de- 
creased, and the same of mental activity after muscular 
exertion. One of the causes of these differences is 
probably a difference in degree of fatigue. Just enough 
activity to get " well warmed up " naturally has upon 
other activities an effect just the opposite of fatigue 
almost to exhaustion. The change in circulation in- 
volved in change of activity may also be slow or quick 
in taking place, and hence the results may be either 
favorable or unfavorable at once, or after a short inter- 
val. Again, if activities are so related that one is in- 
volved in or connected with the other, a change from 
one to the other will not be favorable either to good 
work or to recovery from fatigue. The fact, therefore, 
that some have found the mental power of school chil- 
dren decreased after a period of gymnastics, does not 
prove that an interval of gymnastics must decrease the 
power of children to do mental work afterward, but 
merely that it may do so. If it is excessive, or if it is of 
such a nature that close attention and exact movement 


are required, it is almost sure to do so ; but if it is slight 
and so free as to require little or no attention, and the 
air breathed during the exercise is good, the respite 
from mental activity and the quickening of the circula- 
tion, increase of oxygen, and the change of blood supply 
to different parts, can scarcely fail to increase the men- 
tal ability of the children during the next period. This, 
at least, is very certain : children fatigue very quickly 
unless changes in kind or mode of activity are frequent ) 


Tests that would be of value to the ordinary teacher 
in determining the adaptability of her daily programme 
to her children, and in discovering exceptional instances 
of fatigue in the school or in individual pupils, have been 
sought for several years. It may be safely said, how- 
ever, that no method of discovering fatigue, that can 
be mechanically applied by a teacher, has been found. 
Such tests cannot take the place of intelligent common 
sense and good judgment on her part She must not 
only be able to note the decrease in rate or accuracy 
of working, but must also learn to read the signs of on- 
coming fatigue, in the pupil's attitudes and movements. 

The signs that appear first are variation and wan- 
dering of attention or increase in effort to attend, or in 
movements of a fidgety or restless character. The first 
is an indication of mental fatigue, and the last, of fatigue 
of muscles that have been contracted during the period 
of attention. Sometimes the increase of movement, 
especially when the fatigue is considerable, is the result 
of increased irritability of the nerve centres, resulting in 


continual outflow of energy and many rather nervous 
responses to sudden auditory and other stimuli. 

Other more or less common and significant signs of 
fatigue and exhaustion that the teacher may observe or 
learn by inquiry are as follows : jaded expression of face, v 
drooping attitude, paleness or redness of cheeks or tips 
of ears ; dazed, weary, fixed, or lack-lustre appearance of 
the eyes ; sudden movements, grimaces, frowning, com- 
♦ pression of lips, twitching of the fingers, face, eyes, or 
eyelids ; unsteadiness as shown in bad handwriting, mis- 
pronunciation and miscalling of words in talking and 
reading; headache, cold feet, sleeplessness, dreaming, 
teeth grinding, or talking in sleep; irritable, cross, or 
peevish disposition or moods ; poor hearing and imperfect 
discrimination of words, sometimes with extreme sensi- 
tiveness to disturbing sounds ; blurring of vision, color 
blindness, and double images ; temporary loss of memory 
of familiar or recently stated names or facts ; and failure 
of mental grasp, as indicated by inability to follow a 
chain of reasoning and a tendency to forget what one 
is going to say. 

The test that is of greatest value to a teacher is one 
that shows the curve of f atigue in different children, be- 
cause this throws much light on their individuality. One 
who fatigues very rapidly and recovers with equal sud- 
denness requires quite different treatment from one who. 
fatigues very slowly and gradually. 


The brain is in such intimate connection with all 
parts of the body, and is influenced so much by every 
physiological process, that healthy development of 


brain and body are closely correlated. Impulses are 
continually going from the brain to every muscle, organ, 
and gland, as well as from each part of the body to the 
brain. Imperfect activity of the brain may, therefore, 
be shown in paleness of the face, slow growth of the 
body, and imperfect development of parts, as well as in 
attitude, and expression of face and movements ; while,, 
conversely, a defect or disturbance in any part of the 
body may affect brain activity unfavorably. It is well, 
therefore, to notice not only the height and weight of a 
child for his age, and the color of the skin, but also the 
signs of imperfect development of organs, such as ir- 
regularities in shape of the head, narrow palate, broad 
bridge of the nose with small openings in nostrils, and 
imperfectly developed external ear; for, as Dr. Warner 
has shown, these are often associated with poor nutri- 
tive condition and mental dulness. 

Even more important are what he calls " nerve signs" 
which indicate the amount of nervous energy being sent 
to the different muscles of the body, and hence the 
amount and regularity of the activity in different parts 
of the brain. Wrinkling of the forehead is always in- ^ 
dicative of some brain disturbance, as are also irregular 
and meaningless movements of any part of the body, 
while a normal brain condition is shown by good 
attitude and well-balanced and coordinated movements, 
because this means that all parts of the brain are func- 
tioning vigorously, regularly, and harmoniously. Some 
of the more important " nerve signs " to be observed 
are : degree of erectness of body and head in standing or * 
sitting ; ability to hold hands straight out and evenly, 
palms down, without throwing the shoulders back and 


bending the spine forward; and to keep fingers and 
thumb straight without allowing them to droop or to 
bend back too much. 

The effects of poor nutrition are much the same as of 
general fatigue, as far as the power to do the work 
of the school is concerned. The common signs are 
paleness, fulness under the eyes, fewness or irregularity 
of spontaneous movements, and lack of steadiness of 
control, or power of continued application. Poor nutri- 
tion may be the result: of lack of sleep; of lack of 
nutritious food; of indigestion, due to irregular eating 
of indigestible food ; or to a diseased condition otherwise 
produced. In all such cases the teacher may try to 
secure a change in home conditions and habits, which 
will make it possible for the child to do the work and 
conform to the discipline of the school, or this failing, 
she may modify the requirements for the child so that 
he will not be over-fatigued, and his condition made 
worse rather than better by attendance at school 

Nervousness is a common result of fatigue, either 
general or local, and of poor nutrition. Even when the 
nervousness is hereditary, it is always increased by these 
conditions. Nervousness is a condition of increased 
irritability of nerve centres, and is shown by excessive 
movement in response to stimuli, especially sudden 
sounds, and in lack of steady and perfect control of 
movement. Restlessness, or a strong tendency to move 
about a great deal, is sometimes mistaken for nervous- 
ness, though one is due to excess of nervous energy and 
the other to irritability of nerve centres. Either ner- 
vousness or restlessness may be produced by trying to 
keep still in a certain position, or by engaging in fine 


work that necessitates holding the larger muscles steady, 
and moving accurately a group of smaller ones. 

The strong, restless child may be benefited greatly, 
so far as ability to behave and study is concerned, by 
an interval of vigorous exercise ; while the nervous child 
would be exhausted and quite unfitted for the next work 
by such vigorous activity. He should have instead mild 
exercise, or a chance for quiet rest. It is especially 
important that the nervous child should not be scolded, 
found fault with, or in any way induced to work hard 
or worry about his work. A teacher who is loud of 
voice, unattractive in dress, and sudden and variable in 
manner is especially irritating to a nervous child, and 
may be the chief occasion of the nervousness. Although 
a teacher should be quick to note signs of nervousness, 
she should avoid making the child conscious of his con- 
dition. The establishment of regular habits of work 
and of rest or amusement are of great value in decreas- 
ing nervousness. 

Chorea or St. Vitus' s dance is somewhat allied, in ap- 
pearance and cause, to nervousness ; yet it is a disease 
rather than a temporary condition. It is not, like ner- 
vousness, due to general irritability of the nerve centres* 
as shown by increased response to stimuli, but to a 
more or less spontaneous and abnormal action of cer- 
tain nerve centres and muscle groups, which give rise 
to useless and meaningless movements of certain por- 
tions of the body, and produce partial or total inability 
to perform comparatively simple acts, such as writing, 
buttoning clothes, touching a point with a finger, walk- 
ing, or talking. It may be manifested in the mild form 
of occasional twitching or jerking of one hand, or in the 


severer form of jerking and twitching of muscles of one- 
half or of all the body. In mild cases it may be de- 
tected by holding the child's hand between the palms, 
and noting the twitching, or by observing the move- 
ments of the tongue. 

It is preeminently a disease of childhood, for 34 per 
cent of the cases occur between five and ten years of 
age, and 45 per cent between the ages of ten and fifteen. 
It is most common in the thirteenth year for girls, who 
are about twice as liable to it as boys. The largest num- 
ber of cases occur in the spring, and an attack usually 
lasts from four to ten weeks. It is frequently associated 
with rheumatism and heart disease; but its most fre- 
quent cause is excitement, especially fright. Bright 
children are more subject to it than dull ones. Worry, 
fright, and fatigue make it worse, and often bring on 
another attack after recovery. 

The best remedy for it is as complete rest as possible 
of mind and body, with nutritious and easily digested 
food. If possible, the child should be kept in bed day 
and night for some time, even though he is at first rest- 
less. In any case he should not be allowed to continue 
in school, unless the home conditions are extremely irri- 
tating and unfavorable. He is likely to be made worse 
by the effort to keep up with his class, and his presence 
in school often affects unfavorably nervous and chore- 
atic children, especially th^feffer. There is no doubt 
that chorea may be produced in such children by force 
of suggestion. When there are children in the school 
liable to chorea, particular care should be taken to avoid 
excessive fatigue, excitement, fright, or worry, caused 
by reproofs or severe examinations. 



Stuttering is sometimes very properly classified as a 
form of chorea, for there is in reality a spasmodic con- 
traction or twitching of some of the muscles concerned 
in speech. Stammering is want of proper control of the* 
muscles of speech so that words are not readily pro- 
nounced or the sounds given in the proper order because 
of inhibition of action in certain centres. If, however, a 
stammerer becomes embarrassed, this temporary condi- 
tion of nervousness may lead to spasmodic activity 
of the centres and consequent stuttering which may 
become a habit, though there is no real chorea. 

There are three principal groups of muscles concerned 
in speech: (i) the muscles of breathing which control 
the flow of air, (2) the muscles of phonation that con- 
trol the vocal cords, and (3) the muscles of articulation 
which are concerned in moulding the sounds in the 
mouth. Correct pronunciation requires not only that 
all of these muscles shall act perfectly, but that the 
different groups shall act harmoniously and in the right 
order. Stuttering and stammering are caused by lack 
of proper harmony as to amount, time, or order of con- 
traction of the different groups of muscles, while ordi- 
nary defects in pronunciation are usually due to an 
improper use of the muscles of articulation which mould 
the sounds in the mouth. Stuttering and stammering, 
therefore, call first for training in breathing, then in 
phonation, and then in these processes combined with 
articulation, rather than training in articulation alone. 

A habitual stutterer or stammerer should not con- 
tinue in school, because the embarrassment of trying to 


recite is likely to increase the difficulty, and his presence 
in the school may develop, by imitation and suggestion, 
a similar defect in other children who have the slightest 
tendency in that direction. A specialist, rather than an 
ordinary teacher, is needed to deal with such defects 
9 when they have become habitual. Incipient cases may, 
however, often be prevented from developing by the 
wise teacher, though perhaps not without individual work 
with the child when other pupils are not present. Some 
drill in breathing and phonation is often needed ; but the 
principal thing is to free the child from the embarrass- 
ment of trying to say what he cannot, and to inspire 
him with confidence in his ability to speak. Sometimes 
concert drills in breathing, phonation, and articulation, 
alternating with the same exercise by designated indi- 
viduals, will be of advantage to the whole school and at 
the same time completely cure the incipient stammerer 
or stutterer. 


All children who frequently or habitually breathe 
through the mouth are likely to be found, upon examina- 
tion, to be suffering from adenoid growth in the mouth 
or nose. If the child is also subject to frequent colds, 
and shows defects of pronunciation and of hearing, and 
if he appears mentally dull or slow most of the time, 
adenoids are almost surely present. These growths are 
apt to fill with blood and enlarge when the child takes 
cold. The mouth breathing, deafness, and mental dul- 
ness then increase because of the obstruction and the 
pressure on the nerves. In the less severe cases these 
phenomena appear only when the child has a cold, 


while in more severe and long-continued cases they are 
chronic, and often result in catarrh and lung complaint 
Inquiry will often show that such children snore at 
night, sleep with the mouth open, and have difficulty in 

The growths are readily removed by a surgeon, and # 
if they have not been present long enough to produce 
more than local and functional disorder, recovery 
usually occurs within a week or two. They rarely re- 
turn. A complete change in disposition and mental 
ability, as well as in appearance and hearing, sometimes 
results within a few weeks, and cases are known of chil- 
dren who had required several years for a grade, making 
several grades in the first year after the operation. 
Teachers of children who breathe through the mouth 
should always advise parents to consult a competent 


Various investigators who have tested large numbers 
of school children report from 13 to 30 per cent as defec- 
tive in hearing in one or both ears. They also report 
that the greater portion of these defects, including some 
of the most serious, were unsuspected by the teacher. A 
large proportion of the children classed as peculiar or in- 
attentive by the teacher, especially if they have a dull or 
heavy look, are usually found to be defective in hearing. 
In a few cases, the brightest and most attentive and 
alert pupils are found to be thus defective. Such chil- 
dren interpret gestures, movements of lips and eyes, 
expression of face, and the circumstances so readily, 
that their lack of hearing is not observed and may not 


be discovered by special tests unless great care is exer- 

Children with less quick and active minds have the 
intellect dulled instead of sharpened by the defect. 
Sounds are less loud to them than to normal children, 
1 hence the sensory stimulus to attention is slighter, and 
there must be, therefore, either less attention on their 
part or more effort of attention than is required by a 
normal child. If they do not hear all that is said, they 
lose the connection between ideas and, as a conse- 
quence, lose interest, which is the necessary stimulus to 
attention. In subsequent lessons they not only labor 
under these disadvantages, but they lack the appercep- 
tive knowledge given in previous lessons ; hence it is not 
strange that they become habitually inattentive and 
apparently hopelessly dull. Even adults who are sit- 
ting so far back in a hall that they cannot hear all that 
a speaker says, or can hear only with effort, nearly 
always soon cease trying and become inattentive ; hence 
it is not strange that children, who, through defective 
hearing, are in an analogous condition all the time, be- 
come inattentive, and either troublesome or apathetic. 

The moral effects are often worst when children are 
defective in one ear only, or a part of the time only ; for 
they are much more likely to be misunderstood by 
teachers and unjustly blamed for not paying attention 
or not doing as directed, since the teacher knows that 
they have done better, and thinks they can do better now 
if they will. 

There are various causes of poor hearing, among 
which are adenoid growths, scarlet fever, and measles. 
When there is evidence of adenoid growths, the parents 


should consult a physician ; while the teacher, after a 
pupil has been out with scarlet fever or measles, should 
be careful to notice if there is impairment of hearing or 


The per cent of children with defective sight, espe- 
cially in the higher grades, is much greater than with 
defective hearing, at least so far as the tests show. It is 
possible, however, to test the eye more accurately than 
the ear, and few eyes are absolutely perfect. It is com- 
mon in this country to find from one-sixth to one-fifth of 
the children with eyes sufficiently defective to require 

The trouble with children's eyes is not usually due 
to loss of elasticity of the lens (though that sometimes 
happens to children who look at near objects a great 
deal), but to imperfect form of the eye. The most 
common defects are: (1) too great length from front to 
back of the eye ; (2) too short a distance from front to 
back; (3) imperfect curvature of the eye. When the 
distance is too great, the rays from distant objects are 
brought to a focus in front of the retina, and conse- 
quently distant objects cannot be seen plainly. In other 
words, the owner of the eye is near-sighted, or myopic, 
and can see plainly only near objects. When the dis- 
tance from the front of the eye to the retina is too short, 
the rays from all objects are brought to a focus behind 
the retina, and none of them, especially the nearer ones, 
can be seen plainly except by the action of the accommo- 
dating muscle that allows the lens to become more 
curved so as to refract the light more. It is often diffi- 


cult for this muscle to produce enough accommodation to 
make near objects plainly visible. Such an eye is far- 
sighted (properly speaking, hypermetrophic), and the 
owner needs convex glasses, or those that are thicker in 
the middle; while the one who is near-sighted needs 
concave glasses, or those that are thicker at the edges, 

to correct his defect 


When the front part of the ball of the eye is not per- 
fectly round, but is curved or flattened more in one part 
than in another, some of the rays of light from an object 
will be brought to a focus on the retina and some will 
not ; hence, some parts of the object will be plainly seen 
and other parts will not. Often the curvature of the 
eye is such that when it is accommodated for the middle 
portion and sides of the object, the top and the bottom 
will not be plainly seen, and when it is accommodated 
for the upper and lower parts, the sides are not clearly 
seen. No matter how much the person may strain 
his eye, he cannot see the whole of the object plainly 
at once, or else if the whole is seen, it is distorted, 
as you may have observed objects to be when seen 
through a defective window glas6. This defect of the 
eye is called astigmatism and it may be corrected by 
wearing glasses that are curved where the eyeball is 
flattened, so that all the rays of light from an object 
passing through the glass and the eye are bent equally, 
and thus brought to a focus at the same point. 

When the eyes are defective they are liable to become 
worse the more they are used, for the muscles of accom- 
modation and the optic nerve are subjected to an un- 
usual strain, and are likely to be weakened. The optic 
nerves are the largest in the body ; hence, if they are 


strained, the whole nervous system is frequently affected. 
Defective eyes are therefore the most common cause of 
nervousness and headache. In school the nervousness 
is frequently increased by inability to do the work prop- 
erly, owing to poor sight, or because of fatigue caused 
by the effort to see clearly. It is important, therefore, 
that children should be observed and tested in school, 
and parents notified of serious defects in sight 

Exercises for Students 

i. As a means of demonstrating a number of truths regarding 
fatigue, the following experiment should be tried and fully dis- 
cussed. Place the hand on the table with the fingers and thumb 
touching it, then tap with the forefinger as rapidly as possible for 
three or four minutes. Make two such tests at different times : one 
in which the hand is not moved, and there is no variation in direction 
or height of movement, and no pause for rest ; and another in which 
the hand may be moved, and the tapping varied at will. Notice the 
difference in feeling of weariness and difference in total number of 
taps made each time. Variation in rate of tapping may be deter- 
mined objectively by having time called every ten seconds, while an 
observer for each tapper counts the number of taps made in each 
period. From these figures, individual fatigue curves may be con- 

2. Illustrate from other experiences and observations any laws 
of fatigue not clearly brought out in the above experiment and dis- 

3. Specific instances of defects of the kinds named in the text 
should be observed and described if possible. 

Suggestions for Reading 

On the general subject of fatigue and conservation of mental energy, 
see Lombard, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. Ill, pp. 24-42 ; Dressier, 
Ped. Sent., Vol. II, pp. 102-106; Hodge, Am. Jr. Psyck. y Vol. 
H, pp. 376-402; S. W. Mitchell, Wear and Tear; Partridge, 


Ped. Sem., Vol. IV, pp. 387-394; Thorndike, Psych. Rev., Vol. 
VII, pp. 467-482, 547-579; Vol. VIII, pp. 384-395, 553"5°4; 
Squire, Psych. Rev., Vol. X, pp. 248-267 ; Moore, Vale Studies, 
Vol. Ill, pp. 68-96; Lukens, Am. Phys. Ed. Rev., Vol. IV, pp. 
19-29, 121-135 ; O'Shea, Pop. Set. Mo., Vol. LV, pp. 511-524; 
Jr. Ped., Vol. XII, pp. 195-230; Burnham, Scribner's Mag., 
Vol. V, pp. 306-314 ; Annie Payson Call, Power Through Repose. 

On the fatigue of children, see Report Com. Ed., 1 894-1 895, Vol. I, 
pp. 449-460; 1895-1896, Vol. II, pp. 1175-1198; O'Shea, Pop. 
Set. Mo., Vol. LI, pp. 648-662 ; Patrick, Iowa Univ. Studies, 
Vol. I, pp. 77-87; Barnes, Studies, Vol. I, pp. 163-170; Bellei, 
Ed. Rev., Vol. XXV, pp. 364-386; Kratz, N. E. A., 1899, pp. 
1 090-1096; Baker, Ed. Rev., Vol. XV, pp. 34-39. 

On nervousness and other common defects of school children, see 
Warner, The Study of Children ; Rowe, The Physical Child 
Krohn, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. IV, pp. 211-214; Sudduth, Ch. S. Mo. 
Vol. Ill, pp. 540-543 ; Talbot, Trans. III. Ch. S. Soc., Vol. Ill 
pp. 75-90; Wolfe, N. W. Mo., Vol. VII, pp. 22, 69, 157, 161 
274; Royce, Ed. Rev., Vol. VI, pp. 209-222, 322-331, 449-463 
Meyer, Trans. III. Ch. S. Soc., Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 48-58 ; Camp 
bell, Ch. S. Mo. and/r. A doles., May, 1901, pp. 433-440 ; Morey 
Errant, Ch. S. Mo. and/r. A doles. y May, 1901, pp. 441-448 
Zirkle, " Medical Inspection in Schools/ 1 Univ. of Colo. Studies, 
June, 1902, pp. 66. 

On stuttering and other language defects, see Hart well, N. E. A., 
l *9Zi PP- 739-749; Lukens, N. W. Mo., Vol. VIII. pp. 39-44. 

On defective hearing, Chrisman, Ped. Sent., Vol. II, pp. 397-441 ; 
Percy, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. I, pp. 97-109; Krauskopf, Jr. Ch. and 
Adoles., April, 1902, pp. 100-106 ; Macmillan, JV. E. A., 1901, 
pp. 880-888. 

On defective vision, Allport, Ed. Rev., Vol. XIV, pp. 150-159; 
Whitcomb, AT. W. Mo., Vol. IX, p. 237; Wolfe, AT. W. Mo., 
Vol. VIII, pp. 35-39 ; and reports, such as those of Christopher 
and Smedley. 


It should be understood at the outset, that teachers 
cannot, and should not be expected to make investiga- 
tions with the purpose of discovering new truths for the 
science of psychology and child study. It is true that 
a teacher may, and sometimes should, cooperate with a 
specialist in gathering data for scientific purposes. She 
may also profitably repeat the experiments of specialists, 
not for the purpose of making or verifying generaliza- 
tions concerning all children, but to learn to what extent 
the children under her charge, with their peculiar heredi- 
tary tendencies and local environing conditions, conform 
to or vary from the usual type, and consequently to learn 
how far the general principles indicated by the spe- 
cialist may profitably be applied to those particular 

Such a study carefully made also gives a teacher a 
more intimate and a broader knowledge of child nature, 
and a much better comprehension and appreciation of 
the results of scientific investigations. The self-culture 
thus obtained might of itself be sufficient justification 
for making such a study if the test is also a good exer- 
cise for the children. Especially is this true of those 
who are preparing to teach. The primary purpose of 



a teacher, however, in studying children, whether as a 
school or individually, should not be to promote the 
science or her own self-culture, but to get facts that 
will aid in the culture and training of the children under 
her charge. 


A teacher may in an indirect way make a valuable 
study of a school before she sees it. Knowing the 
grade she is to teach, she can infer the age of the major- 
ity of the children. From her knowledge of the princi- 
ples of child study, she will know what characteristics 
are likely to be prominent at that age. This will give 
her some idea of the school, wherever it is located. The 
next step will be to study about the children and their 

If the children are nearly all of one or two nationali- 
ties, this will tell her something about them. Physical 
and social heredity will inevitably endow them with the 
principal characteristics of the nation to which they 
belong. Any knowledge, therefore, the teacher may 
acquire of these nationalities will be helpful to her in 
understanding the children. 

A knowledge of the occupations, social organizations, 
and amusements of the people of the school district will 
also be helpful. The imitative instinct makes it abso- 
lutely certain that the children will take into themselves 
many phases of the social life by which they are sur- 
rounded. It is almost equally sure that the children 
will know much of the objects of nature and art by 
which they are surrounded, and little of those of other 
places unless they have travelled. The fundamental 


apperceptive knowledge possessed by the children may 
therefore be determined by studying their natural as 
well as their social surroundings. 

To know something of the school knowledge and 
training possessed by the children, the course of study 
and methods of teaching in the city or district may be 
studied. With some allowances for forgetting, pretty 
shrewd guesses as to what the children will know can 
then be made. 

The schoolroom, with all its possibilities for heating, 
. lighting, ventilating, seating, illustrating, and decorating, 
should be studied as an important factor in determining 
what may be done with the school that is to inhabit it. 
Books and apparatus should also be considered in this 

When the children appear and begin their work, the 
teacher may study them in a direct way by tests and ob- 
servations, and thus supplement and perfect her previous 
conclusions. The majority of the children may prove 
to be either young or old for their grade, and their 
development may be greater or less than that usual for 
their ages, though the teacher's knowledge of their 
social surroundings should have prepared her for such 
variations as the latter. Their knowledge of natural 
surroundings and of school studies, when tested by 
reviews and questions, may also prove greater or less 
than was anticipated. 

While studying the characteristics of the school to 
determine what kind of regulations to make, the teacher 
should notice how the children are affected by various 
forms of praise, reproof, or suggestion, in order that she 
may know how to best carry out these regulations. In 


the case of a young teacher it will usually be safer at 
first to be a little too strict rather than too lenient. 

She should not only observe the children during school 
hours, but seek to know how they spend their time when 
not in sc/iool, especially what they do in the way of work, 
play, or reading. Language exercises calling for infor- 
mation along these lines may be made very interesting to 
the children and valuable to the teacher who wishes her 
teaching to correct and supplement the incidental edu- 
cation given by the community. Such topics as the fol- 
lowing, assigned at not too frequent intervals, will give 
the teacher a good idea of the activities and influences 
affecting the children when not in school. " What I like 
best to read, and why," "What I did last Saturday" 
(written on Monday), "What I did during vacation" 
(written just after vacation), " What I am going to do this 
vacation " (just before vacation), " What I do on school 
days outside of school hours," " The games that I like to 
play best, and why," " The best time I ever had," " What 
I am going to do when grown, and why," " Five things 
that are bad and wrong, and why," "Five things that 
are good and right, and why," "Some good acts and 
some bad acts that I have seen this week," "My 
experience in getting, keeping, and spending money," 
"What I would do with it if I received fifty cents 
a day for a month," " Which I would rather have, five 
dollars to-day, fifty dollars a year from to-day, or five 
hundred dollars in ten years, and why," " The kind of 
a playmate or chum I like best," "Pets that I have 
had and that I wish to have." 

When a teacher first begins her work in a school, the 
children are slow in understanding her questions and 


directions, and it is generally recognized that it takes 
time for teacher and pupils to get used to each 
other. This " getting used to each other " means not • 
merely greater familiarity, but the formation of habits 
by the pupils, in accordance with the teacher's habits 
of doing things and of expecting them to be done. 
Many of these are very obvious, such as signals for 
leaving the room, asking questions, position assumed in 
reading, writing, and putting away or getting books and 
material, answering questions, etc., and it probably is 
well for the teacher to consciously direct the formation 
of such of these formal school habits as she thinks 
necessary, in order that they may be quickly estab- 
lished and require little subsequent attention. Direc- 
tion in forming these habits should consist not so much 
in description of the thing to be done as of practice in 
doing it at the proper time. 

The pupils' modes of observing and thinking will be 
affected by the way in which she questions, analyzes, 
and outlines, their feelings and sentiments influenced 
by those she holds and expresses consciously and uncon- 
sciously, and their attentiveness, carefulness, and per- 
sistency, by her example and her requirements. Every 
teacher should note the habits of thinking, feeling, and 
working, common to the school, that have been formed 
by the social environment and by previous school 
experiences and conditions, and should consciously 
strive to correct the undesirable ones and develop the 
good ones. 

j In attempting to break habits already formed, the 
teacher should remember that a habit is a tendency to 
do a certain thing under certain conditions, and hence that 


a change in the conditions giving rise to a habit will 
often change the habit. It is also much easier to learn 
to do something else under the conditions calling forth 
a habit than to refrain from doing anything, or, in other 
words, it is easier to change a habit than to break it. 
, It is therefore often wisest to say nothing about unde- 
v sirable habits, but to change the conditions under which 
they are performed, or to set the children to doing some- 
thing that will erelong take the place of the undesir- 
able habit. For example, children who are led to become 
interested in hearing or doing something do not need 
to be told not to gaze around the room or out of doors ; 
and those who are learning to observe or care for 
animals, will not long continue to practise' cruelty 
toward them. 

A teacher should be careful that the children do not 
get into the habit of holding her, instead of themselves, 
responsible for order. Very often they wait for a look 
or a word that has become a customary jsignal for them 
as individuals to do certain things. They are like a 
little three-year-old girl, who, after being reminded 
many times to stop before drinking her milk all up, 
said, when not so reminded, " Mamma, why don't you 
tell me to stop ? " 

In directing the formation of habits in which improve- 
ment with practice is desired, as in learning to write 
and draw, the teacher should be satisfied- with the work 
as long as it shows improvement, but should be very 
careful when improvement stops,} because one of two 
undesirable results is likely to appear ; (either the habit 
with its imperfect execution becomes fixed by repetition, 
so that after a time it is almost impossible to change 


it; or else when the volitional effort to do good 
work decreases, the execution begins to revert back 
to a less developed stage at which it may then be- 
come fixed. It should also be remembered that doing 
a thing well under one set of conditions does not 
necessarily mean that it will be done equally well under 
others ; hence a pupil who writes well when writing in 
a copy book, may write very poorly when trying to 
express his ideas in a language lesson. The teacher 
should, therefore, see that habits are perfected under 
the conditions likely to exist when they are to be used. 

After a teacher becomes quite familiar with her 
school, she still needs to study it to know what to do 
in special circumstances. She must be quick to dis- 
cover signs of nervousness, restlessness, fatigue, or 
loss of interest; thorough in searching for the causes, 
whether they be in the physical conditions of the room 
or in something that has been done either in or out of 
school ; and fertile in expedients for removing or counter- 
acting undesirable influences. 

If the cause of the difficulty should .be in herself, she 
should be no less persistent in removing it. It is more 
important to the school that the teacher shall keep her- 
self in good health and free from fatigue, nervousness, 
and worry than it is that she shall correct papers or 
even teach in the best possible manner. 

If she is careless and unsystematic in her work, no 
amount of talking about neatness and order will make 
the children careful and orderly. If she calls, in a loud 
and irritated manner, for them to be quiet, she is really 
giving them a suggestion to become more noisy. If she 
is afraid the children will not obey her, the idea of dis- 


obeying is at once suggested to them by her voice and 
manner. Since natural signs have greater suggestive 
force for children than words, it is not strange that 
they are more influenced by the actions, manner, and 
tone of voice of the teacher than by what she says. 

The effects upon the school of suggestion and imita- 
tion among the pupils themselves are also frequently 
very marked. 

The teacher should, therefore, study closely the 
social relations of her pupils, observing who seem to 
b.e leaders in the public sentinient of the school, and 
who are merely imitators and followers, then she should 
make a special effort to understand the leaders so 
as to influence them, and in that way to direct the 
sentiment and actions of the school. She should ar- 
range the seating of pupils also, so that there will be as 
little temptation as possible to visiting or other disturb- 
ance. All cases of chumming and rivalry in individuals 
or of groups should be noted. In many schools it will 
be found that there are one or more societies formed by 
the children themselves, which not infrequently have 
special badges or passwords, and sometimes an extensive 
secret language. The teacher will find it interesting 
and profitable to become familiar with all these social 
relations of the little society of which she is the leader, 
and to note how the children are being influenced by 
them. She should seek to use, rather than to suppress, 
such social activities. Individual rivalries may not be 
ignored, but should not be encouraged; while rivalry 
between groups may be profitably encouraged when it 
leads to better cooperation of the members of each 
group, and is good-natured. 
2 A 



After the teacher has become so well acquainted with 
her school that she knows how to regulate it, and con- 
duct the classes to the best advantage of the majority of 
the children, she should seek to know more of the ex- 
ceptional and peculiar children whose needs are not 
being fully met, and to find ways of meeting their needs 
without interfering with the general school and class 
work. In doing this, she should never assent for one 
moment to the idea that all the children must be treated 
exactly alike. Everything she does should be for the 
good of each child, whether it be the assignment of a 
long or a short lesson, or the giving of a punishment or 
a reward. What will be the best training or the most 
effective corrective for one may not be for another; 
hence it is her duty to treat each pupil in the way that 
will cause him to improve most. 

In her study of the school as a whole, the teacher will 
have noticed children who show marked variations from 
the average in many ways. There are undoubtedly 
causes for each peculiarity, and the teacher should at 
once seek to discover them. She should inquire into 
the past history and present conditions and surround- 
ings to discover how far the child's peculiarities may be 
accounted for by heredity, sickness, accidents, previous 
school training, special home conditions, life outside of 
school, or present defects. Where the peculiarities are 
undesirable, their causes should be removed or counter- 
acted as far as possible. Where they are in the nature 
of special interests or powers, the teacher should favor 
their development so far as may be without interfering 


with the development of other phases of the child's 

Much ingenuity is required to keep all the members of 
an average class interested and actively employed all of 
the time, because of difference in rate and accuracy 
of working ; yet, if this is not done successfully, some 
children are confused, others waste their time, and dis- 
order is almost sure to appear. 

When, in addition to what may be called, for want of 
a better term, " average pupils," the teacher has many 
who are peculiar, defective, abnormal, or exceptional 
in some way, her difficulties are greatly increased. In 
almost every school there are children who can get little 
or nothing from the regular class work. Teachers, with 
the large number of pupils they usually have, cannot 
possibly meet fully the needs of such children without 
sacrificing the rest of the school. 

It is therefore desirable that, in every city, ungraded 
rooms for individual instruction should be provided. 
About one room in eveiy ten should be of this kind. 
Two types of ungraded schools are desirable : one for 
primary children, who are so defective or peculiar that 
.they cannot get started to learning readily in an ordi- 
nary class ; and one for grammar-grade children who are 
exceptional, principally in their rate of working or knowl- 
edge of special subjects, and who, therefore, need special 
training in one or more lines in order to be fitted for the 
next grade. With such provision many peculiar and back- 
ward children soon show themselves capable of great 
improvement, and children who have in some way got 
behind in one or more subjects are enabled to pass 
from grade to grade without unnecessary loss of time. 


Where such schools are not provided, some children 
are sure to suffer, and some of the best teachers to 
worry, because of the impossibility of meeting both 
class and individual needs. 


Countless outlines and directions for the study of chil- 
dren may be made, and have been made. Though many 
are so complete as to be cumbersome, none of them are 
exactly suited to indicate the special peculiarity of every 
child. Minute analysis of the characteristics of individ- 
uals is interesting to a certain extent, and has some value 
as training for the teacher, but she gains little from fre- 
quent attempts to analyze minutely the characteristics of 
all her pupils. Usually, she has only a few exceptional 
pupils that need much special study and treatment. Ex- 
cept in the case of a few pupils, who are all-round puz- 
zles, the teacher generally needs to study only the causes 
and effects of one or two fundamental peculiarities as a 
means of knowing what to do for a child. The signifi- 
cance of any peculiarity depends not so much upon 
its prominence, as compared with that characteristic in 
other children, as upon its prominence as compared 
with other qualities possessed by the same individual. 
Even exact physical data, such as the lung capacity of 
a ten-year-old boy, have no significance until you know 
whether the boy is large or small for his age. The 
teacher, therefore, needs to compare the child's charac- 
teristics with the others that he possesses to determine 
their harmony and unity rather than simply to compare 
them with those of his companions. 


The outlines given below are not intended to be in any 
way complete, but merely to be suggestive of what is 
likely to be most significant regarding a school, reci- 
tation, or individual. 

The following questions prepared for normal students 
about to enter the practice schools are good ones for any 
teacher to ask soon after taking charge of a new school 


i. Should there be any change in the light or ventilation of the 
room, or in the seats of the pupils? What portions of the black- 
board are clearly visible from the different parts of the room? 

2. Is the school as a whole about the average for schools of this 
grade in age, size, ability, and advancement? 

3. Are there any pupils who are much behind or ahead in any of 
these respects, and if so, what explanation of such variations can you 

4. Are there any pupils who show signs of poor health, nervous- 
ness, defects of eye and ear, and if so, what are the signs you have 
noticed? What can the teacher do for such pupils? 

5. What do you notice in the habits and disposition of the school 
as a whole that is good, and what that needs improvement? What 
improvement do you expect to try to make? 

6. Answer the same question as in 5 for individual children who 
have habits and dispositions different from the rest of the school. 

7. What subjects are the pupils most interested in and what 

8. The same questions as in 7 for individual pupils differing from 
the rest. 

9. Make a special study of any child who seems to be a leader of 
a part or all the school, trying to determine how he leads his com- 
panions, and how he can best be led by the teacher. 

The following outlines are intended to be used by normal stu- 
dents who are preparing to teach, but more experienced teachers 
may find them of some value. 



In getting acquainted with children it will be of advantage to note 
facts and form judgments in regard to the following points so far as 
yon have opportunity to do so. 

1 . Physical Characteristics. 
Size of child for his age. 

Evidence of, or freedom from, nervousness. 
Characteristics of attitudes and movements. 
Condition of eyes and ears. 

2. School Work. 

Work as compared with the average of his class. 
Success in different subjects. 
Chief merits or defects as a pupil. 

3. Life outside of School. 
Character of his home. 

Occupations outside of school in the way of studying, reading, 

working, or playing. 
Characteristics shown outside of school different from those in 


4. Mental Characteristics. 

Ability, quickness, and accuracy in perceiving, imaging, remember- 
ing, and reasoning. 

Emotional characteristics as manifested in fear, anger, jealousy, 
bashfulness, pride, and interests. 

Effect of praise and blame. 

Character of attention, reflex or voluntary, continuous or inter- 
mittent, intense or slight. 

Actions, impulsive or deliberate. 

Persistency or lack of it in working. How best appealed to 
What is needed most, stimulation, repression, or direction? 

Evidence of his tendency to lead or to follow and imitate. 



Is the lesson (a) a review and drill lesson, or (b) the presentation 

of new truths? 
If (a), is the chief aim to fix in memory or to gain speed and 

accuracy in what is already known ? 
Does the teacher rely upon many repetitions for her results, or 

does she depend more upon intensity of interest ? 
To what extent does interest and success depend upon the rate 

of working, devices used, and variety introduced into the drill? 

Are all the children kept busy all the time during the lesson? 
If (£), what is the aim of the lesson? 

1. Subject-matter. 

What is given the children ? What can you say as to the amount 
and arrangement of this subject-matter and its connection 
with preceding lessons and those that are to follow? 

2. The Teaching. 

Is the subject-matter presented by means of objects, representa- 
tions of objects (pictures, diagrams, models, maps), or by means 
of words (printed or oral), or by a combination of two or 
more of these? 

Notice what means (questioning or other) the teacher uses to 
connect truths taught with each other and to lead, to general 
conclusions and their applications. 

3. The Class. 

Are they attentive and interested? 

What in subject-matter or mode of representation is or is not 
suited to the age, knowledge, and ability of the children? 

What mental powers are they using principally, perceptive, rep- 
resentative, or thinking? 

What kinds of apperceptive knowledge are they recalling: 
(1) previous knowledge of the same or other subjects studied, 
or (2) knowledge gotten outside of school by hearsay, obser- 
vation, and experience? To what extent do they relate the 
old knowledge to the new, with or without suggestion? 


Notice if correct general conclusions are reached, and if they are 

applied to particular cases correctly. 
What habits of the class do you notice? 

4. Individual Children, 

Report all individual peculiarities that you note during the recita- 

A good way of promoting child study among teachers 
is to call for reports regarding all pupils having a cer- 
tain characteristic in a marked degree ; as, quick tem- 
per, perseverance, poor sight, restlessness ; or regarding 
those who are good in reading or spelling or arithmetic, 
or those remarkable for size, quickness, or lack of 
energy. Let each teacher describe one or two of her 
pupils who have in a marked degree the characteristic 
selected, telling how they are in other respects, and 
what she finds to be the best mode of dealing with 
them. Such comparison and discussion of similar 
experiences will be very helpful and lead to further 


There has unquestionably been much vexation of 
spirit and waste of time in making child-study reports, 
as well as in the reports required by the old-time mark- 
ing system. Such reports, therefore, should be as brief 
and from the standpoint of the teacher as significant as 
possible. One like the following may be made two or 
three times a year with profit to all concerned. 

Name of pupil Grade Sex Date of Birth . 

Particularly good or poor in what subjects, if any. 
Character of conduct 


Remarks regarding characteristics important to recognize in deal- 
ing with the child (as sensitiveness, stubbornness, slowness, lack of 
persistence, special interests, special physical or home conditions, 

Evidence of a change for better or worse in work or conduct. 

Date Teacher — 

Children are so variable in their conduct, and show 
forth such different characteristics to different persons, 
that often reports are of little permanent value. The 
best pupil under one teacher may be the worst under 
another teacher, and the child least interesting to his 
teacher at the beginning of the year may be the most 
attractive at the close. 

The same actions may also be interpreted by one 
teacher as shyness and by another as stubbornness, or 
as sensitiveness by one and as lack of feeling by 
another. For these reasons it is often better for a 
teacher to get acquainted with her pupils before she 
reads the reports another teacher has made regarding 

With data obtained by tests, and from inquiry regard- 
ing the home life and past history of the child, the 
case is different. Such facts if not more reliable, are at 
least more permanently significant. The number of such 
facts that may be of value is almost infinite, but the 
number that it will be found practicable to obtain and 
keep on record, is very limited in most schools, where 
so many other things demand the immediate attention 
of teachers and superintendent. The admission card 
should state at least these facts: date of birth, resi- 
dence, nationality of parents, occupation of father, and 
the last school attended. The most important tests to 


be made and kept on file are those of hearing and sight 
If it is not practicable to have all the children tested, 
teachers should themselves closely observe all signs of 
defects in hearing and sight, and test pupils who show 
any signs whatever of such defects. 

Defects of hearing 'are to be found in every schoolroom. 
Any pupil who is habitually inattentive or apparently 
careless, or who watches a teacher's mouth very closely 
when speaking, or who looks to see what other pupils 
are doing before beginning to follow directions, should 
be observed, and, if necessary, tested, to discover whether 
his hearing is defective. The teacher should notice 
if it makes any difference whether she stands close in 
front of, behind, or on the right or left of the child when 
she speaks to him, and whether he shows that he hears 
when there is no possible chance for him to guess what 
is said. 

The detection of poor hearing is difficult for (i) the 
defect may be in one ear only, (2) may be greater at 
some times than at others, especially when the child has 
a cold, (3) if the attention is first secured, hearing is 
often surprisingly improved, (4) nearly all children with 
poor hearing have learned to make shrewd guesses at 
what is being said. (5) Few buildings are sufficiently 
quiet for accurate tests to be made. 

In all doubtful cases, at least, the teacher should test 
the children with the watch or other convenient means. 
Several persons should be tested with the watch to find 
out how far it can be heard by normal ears, for watches 
vary greatly in loudness. The child should look straight 
ahead and hold a card against his face so as to conceal 
from his view the movements of the one testing him. 


Often a child thinks he hears a watch when he does not, 
hence it may be necessary to occasionally cover it 
tightly with the hands in such a way as to muffle 
the sound, in order to determine positively whether or 
not the child hears. If the distance in a quiet room 
at which a child can hear a watch is less than three feet, 
his hearing is almost surely defective, and it may be if 
the distance is greater. 

When a child is known to have poor hearing nothing 
should be said about it, but he should be placed in as 
favorable a position as possible for hearing what the 
teacher and also his classmates say, and the teacher 
should take special pains to see that he does hear all 
directions that he is expected to follow. Children with 
defective hearing frequently form habits of inattention, 
and sometimes, when they are aware of their deficiency, 
try to excuse themselves for failure to do things they 
have been told to do, on the ground that they did not 
understand. The teacher should take the greatest pains 
to make this excuse an impossible one, and to break up 
habits of inattention. Under no circumstances should 
the teacher assume that the child heard, or could have 
heard if he had tried, and blame him for not doing so ; 
but she should have tested him thoroughly so that she 
knows y both from the conditions and from his expression 
of face or oral acknowledgment that he has heard, and 
then she should hold him responsible for remembering 
and doing what he is told. To manage a child with 
poor hearing without either doing him an injustice, or 
" babying " and unwisely excusing him for non-perform- 
ance or imperfect performance of tasks, often requires 
great tact and wisdom. 


Defects of the eye are more common, but somewhat 
less subject to serious misunderstanding than those of 
the ear. Pupils who hold books in unusual positions, 
who wink or rub their eyes a good deal, who frequently 
fail to do perfectly work placed on the board, or whose 
eyes look red, weak, or tired, or who have frequent head- 
aches, or who wrinkle the brows, or show other signs of 
nervousness, should be tested. 

One of the best cards for testing, and the only kind 
that can be successfully used with first-grade children, is 
one in which it is not necessary to name the letters, but 
merely to tell which way a series of E's of different 
sizes point. In order that there may be no misunder- 
standing, it will be well, with small children, to first test 
them close enough to the card to be sure that they 
know which way the letters point, and how to indi- 
cate the direction of the letters by pointing or by 
words. The child should then be placed with his back 
to a window, holding a stiff card over (not against) one 
eye, and asked to tell which way the letters, indicated 
with a pencil, point. The distance should be that for 
the smallest or next to the smallest letters on the card, 
and, of course, the largest letters should be pointed to 
first. In pointing it is well to hold the pencil vertically 
under the letter, that the letter may not be partly 
covered, or shadowed, by the pencil, and that there may 
be no doubt as to which one is meant. The record of 
the test is made by taking the distance at which the 
card is held as the numerator, and the number of the 
last line of letters read as the denominator of the frac- 
tion. Thus, if the distance is 5 metres, and the num- 
ber of the line last read is 10, the record will be ^. 


This means that the child can read at 5 metres what 
a normal child can read at 10 metres. 

The above test will usually, though not always, be 
sufficient to detect serious defects of vision, but in 
doubtful cases should be supplemented by tests for 
near vision and for astigmatism. As soon as a teacher 
is fully convinced that a pupil's eyes are seriously defec- 
tive, she should advise the parents to have them exam- 
ined by a specialist. In the meantime, she should place 
the child where he will have the best conditions possible 
for seeing. 

If physical and mental measurements and tests are 
practicable in a school, the following ones, carefully 
selected for use in the Model and Practice Schools of 
the Fitchburg Normal School, will be found significant 
and helpful The measurements are made and the 
vital capacity calculated according to tables and direc- 
tions given in Hastings's Manual for Physical Measure- 
ments, the tests of memory according to the methods 
used in the Child Study Laboratory of the Chicago 
Public Schools, and the tests of sight and hearing ac- 
cording to the directions given above. The "rate of 
movement" is really an elementary test of both physical 
and mental ability in which pupils make marks in 
squares as rapidly as possible, putting one, two, or three 
marks in each square, in accordance with the figure at 
the top of each square. The time required for making 
the hundred marks is recorded in seconds. 

In the first column are placed numerical records of 
the tests, and in the second, letters, indicating the rank 
of the child as compared with the average. 


Front of Card 


Date of birth: Yr. Mo.. 


Dates of Tests 










Height standing 
Height sitting 
Breadth of head 
Breadth of chest 
Breadth of waist 
Girth of head 
Depth of chest 
Chest expansion 
Lung capacity 
Vital capacity 
Grip, right hand 
Grip, left hand 
Rate of movement 
Memory, auditory 
Memory, visual 
Vision acuteness, R. 
Vision acuteness, L. 
Astigmatism ? 
Hearing, R. 
Hearing, L. 

Note: m.= medium, h.=high, v. h.= very high, L=low f v.l.=very low. 


Back of Card 
To Parents: — 

Body and mind are closely related. Teachers may be aided in deal- 
ing with children by information regarding the health of their pupils and 
what they do outside of school. We therefore ask you to kindly under- 
score the diseases to which your child is subject, and the occupations in 
which he is much engaged outside of school and to add any other facts 
that may be helpfuL 

DISEASES : Biliousness, constipation, indigestion, headache, sleepless- 
ness, nervousness, heart, lung, or throat troubles. 
OCCUPATIONS : Outdoor work, indoor work, indoor gymnastics, out- 
door plays and sports, indoor games, reading, studying, music practice. 



Suggestion! for Reading 

The books of most general value on the subject of studying children 
in school are those of Warner, Rowe, Hastings, and Groszmann, 
and the reports of Christopher and Smedley to the Chicago Board 
of Education, while various educational journals and reports of 
child-study societies, especially of Illinois and Minnesota, con- 
tain numerous outlines and suggestions, and also some reports 
of school superintendents such as Spaulding of Passaic, NJ. 

On the school conditions, works on school hygiene, such as Kotel- 
mann, Shaw, or Bun-age and Bailey, should be consulted if 
necessary, and also the following articles : Mosher, " Habitual 
Postures of School Children," Ed. Rev., Vol. IV. pp. 339-349 ; 
McKenzie, N. E. A., 1898, pp. 939-948; Parnell, "Medical 
Inspection in School, 11 N. E. A., 1898, pp. 454-462 ; Lemon, 
"Psychic Effect of the Weather, 11 Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VI, pp. 
277-279; Dexter, Ped. Sem., Vol. V. pp. 512-522, Ed. Rev., 
Vol. XIX, pp. 160-168 ; or Monograph Suppl., Psych. Rev., No. 6. 

On children's movements, the studies of Curtis, Ped. Sem. Vol. VI, 
pp. 90-106, and Iindley, Am. Jr. Psych., Vol. VII, pp. 491-517, 
while various tests are described by Seashore, Ed. Rev., Vol. 
XXII, pp. 69-82, and Hancock, Ped. Sem.,Vo\. VIII, pp. 291-340. 


On the practical value of child study in school and the relations of 
teacher, pupils, and the home, see Luckey, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. I, 
pp. 230-247 ; Educ., Vol. IV, pp. 271-275 ; Ed. Rev., VoL XIV, 
pp. 340-347; Van Liew, N. E. A., 1896, pp. 864-872, 1897, pp. 
294-296; Galbreath, Jr. Ped., Vol. XI, pp. 153-170; Patrick, 
AT. E. A., 1895, pp. 906-914; Whitney, Educ., Vol. XV, pp. 
466-473 ; Thayer, Educ., Vol. XIV, pp. 68-75, 142-148 ; Kratz, 
Fed. Sem., Vol. Ill, pp. 413-418 ; Bell, Ped. Sent., Vol. VII, pp. 
492-525 ; Baker, Educ., Vol. XIV, pp. 264-268 ; Skinner, Trans. 
III. Ch. S. Soc. f Vol. II, No. 2, pp. 28-39 ; Russell, Ped. Sem., 

Vol. II, pp. 343-357. 

On child study in the kindergarten, see Payne, N. E. A., 1897, pp. 
586-593 ; Mackenzie, N. E. A., 1893, pp. 285-292 ; Nicholson, 
Ch. S. Mo., Vol. II, pp. 675-684 ; Bailey, AT. E. A^ 1899, PP- 

On child study in secondary schools, see Atkinson, School Review, 
Vol. V, pp. 243-284, 461-466; Scudder, School Review, Vol. 
VII, pp. 197-214 ; Austin, AT. W. Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 487-49°- 

On the graded system and individual instruction, see F. Burke, 
N. W. Mo., Vol. VIII, pp. 481-484; C. Frear Burk, Ed. Rev., 
Vol. XIX, pp. 296-302 ; Powell, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. I, pp. 290-305 ; 
Search, Ed. Rev., Vol. VII, pp. 154-170; Barnard, AT. E A., 
1899, pp. 163-170; Kennedy, N. E. A., 1901, pp. 295-300, and 
the N. E. A. discussion, 1898, pp. 422-448. 

On secretiveness of children, read C. Frear Burk, Ch. S. Mo., Vol. 
V, p. 355, and for interesting individual studies, see Russell, 
Ed. Rev., Vol. VI, pp. 431-442; Stabfeton, Diary of a West- 
ern Schoolmaster, and Ch. S. Mo., Vol. IV, pp. 451-448. See 
also Triplett on "Faults of Children," Ped. Sem., Vol. X, 
pp. 200-238. 



Adler, Felix. Moral Instruction of Children. Appleton, 1895, 

pp. 270. 
Aiken, Catherine. Methods of Mind Training. Harpers, 1899, 

pp. 122. 
Baldwin, J. H . Mental Development. Vol. I, Methods and Pro* 

cesses, pp. 488 ; Vol. II, Social and Ethical Interpretations, 

pp. 514. 
Blow, Susan. Symbolic Education. Appleton, 1894, pp. 251. 
Bradford, A. H. Heredity and Education. Ed. Rev., Vol. I, pp. 

Brooks, W. K. Heredity. Baltimore, 1883. The Foundations 

of Zodlogy. Macmillan, New York and London, 1899, pp. viii 

and 339. 
Brown, X. X. Notes on Children's Drawings. University of Cali- 
fornia Studies, 1897, pp. 75. 
Bock, Winifred. Boys 1 Self-Governing Clubs. Macmillan, 1903, 

pp. 218. 
Barrage and Bailey. School Sanitation and Decoration. D. C. 

Heath & Co., 1899, pp. 191. 
Butler, N. H. Meaning of Education. Macmillan, 1898, pp. 230. 
Call, Annie Payson. Power Through Repose. Little, Brown & Co., 

1902, pp. 201. 
Chadbourne, P. A. Instinct, pp. 323. Putnams, 1883. 
Chamberlain, Alex. The Child ; A Study in the Evolution of Man. 

Scribners, 1900, pp. 498. 
Chesley, A. M. Indoor and Outdoor Gymnastic Games. American 

Sports Publishing Co., July, 1902, pp. 79. 
Christopher and Smedley. Reports on Child Study. Investigations, 

Reprints from Reports. Chicago Board of Education for 

1898-1899, 1 890-1900, 1900-1901. 


Clark, X. H. Sex in Education. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1873, 

pp. 181. 
Coe. The Spiritual Life. Eaton & Mains, New York, 1900, 

pp. 279. 
Colgrore, F. W. Memory ; An Inductive Study. H. Holt & Co., 

*90h pp. 369- 

Compayre, 0. Intellectual and Moral Development of the Child. 
Part I, pp. 298 ; Part II, Later Infancy, pp. 300. Appleton. 

Dewey, John. Interest as Related to Will. Second supplement to 
the Herbart Year Book. 
The School and Society. University of Chicago Press, pp. 129. 

Donaldson. Growth of the Brain. Scribners, 1895, pp. 374. 

Dmmmond. Ascent of Man. James Pott & Co., New York, 1895, 
pp. 346. 

Da Boia, Patterson. The Point of Contact. 1898, pp. 88. 

Beckoning of Little Hands. J. D. Wattles, Philadelphia,* 1895, 
pp. 166. 

Dngdale. The Jukes. New York, 1887. 

EMridge-Green, F. W. Memory and its Cultivation. Appleton, 
i897ipp. 311. 

Ellis, Havelock. Man and Woman. Scribners, 1896, pp. 409. 

Flake. Excursions of an Evolutionist, pp. 379. 

Destiny of Man. pp. 121. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 

Forbush, W. B. The Boy Problem. Pilgrim Press, Chicago, 1902, 
pp. 206. 

Gale, Harlow. Psychological Studies. The Author, Minneapolis, 

Galton, Francis. Hereditary Genius. Appleton, 1891, pp. 390. In- 
quiry into Human Faculty. Macmillan. 

Geddea and Thomson. The Evolution of Sex. Scribners, 1895, 
pp. 322. 

Greenwood, J. H . Principles of Education practically applied. Ap- 
pleton, 1898, pp. 192. 

Gfoos, Karl. The Play of Animals. Appleton, 1898, pp. 341, 
The Play of Man. Appleton, 1901, pp. 412. 

Groszmann, H . P. X. A Working System of Child Study for the 
Schools. C. W. Bardeen, 1897, pp. 70. 

Gnyau. Education and Heredity. Scribners, 1897, pp. 306. 


Harrison, Elisabeth. A Study of Child Nature. Chicago Kinder- 
garten College, 1900, pp. 207. 

Haskell, BUen M. Child Observations. Imitations and Allied 
Activities. D. C. Heath & Co., 1896, pp. 267. 

Hastings, Wm. A Manual of Physical Measurements. The Author, 
Springfield, Mass., 1902, pp. 112. 

Hinsdale,B.A. Teaching the Language Arts. Appleton, 1898,00.213. 
Studies in Education. Werner, Chicago, 1896, pp. 384. 

Hoefding. Outlines of Psychology. Macmillan, 1893, pp. 365. 

Jacobi, Mary P. Psychological Notes on Primary Education and 
the Study of Language. Putnams, 1889, pp. 120. 

James. Varieties of Religious Experiences. Longmans, Green 
& Co., 1902, pp. 534. 
Psychology. Briefer course. H. Holt & Co., 1893, pp. 478. 

Jastrow, J. J. Fact and Fable in Psychology. Houghton, Mifflin 
& Co., 1900, pp. 375. 

Jordan, David Starr. Foot-notes to Evolution. Appleton, 1 898, pp. 392. 

Jordan and Kellogg. Animal Life. Appleton, 1901, pp. 329. 

Judd, Chas. H. Genetic Psychology. Appleton, 1903, pp. 328. 

Kay, David. Memory, what it is and how to improve it. Apple- 
ton, 1895, pp. 340. 

Koons, Rev. W. 6. The Child's Religious Life. Eaton & Mains, 
New York, 1903, pp. 270. 

Kftelmann, Ludwig. School Hygiene. Translated by J. A. Berg- 
strom. C. W. Bardeen, Syracuse, N.Y., 1899, pp. 391. 

Ladd. Physiological Psychology. Scribners. 

Lindsay. Mind in the Lower Animals. Vol. I, In Health. Apple- 
ton, 1880, pp. 543. 

Loeb, Jacques. Comparative Physiology of the Brain and Com- 
parative Psychology. Putnams, 1902, pp. 309. 

Lubbock, Sir John. On the Senses, Instincts, and Intelligence of 
Animals. Appleton, 1897, pp. 292. 

Lucas, K. V. and K. What shall we do now ? Frederick Stokes 
Co., New York, 1901, pp. 390. 

Malleson, Mrs. F. Notes on the Early Training of Children. D. 
C. Heath & Co., Boston, 1892, pp. 127. 

Marshall, H. R. Instinct and Reason. Macmillan, 1898, pp. 


Marwedel, B. Conscious Motherhood. D. C. Heath & Co., Boston, 
1889, pp. 560. 

Mills, W. Nature and Development of Animal Intelligence. Mac- 
millan, 1898, pp. 307. 

Mitchell, S. Weir. Wear and Tear or Hints for the Overworked. 
Lippincott, 1897, pp. 76. 

Monroe, W. S. Bibliography of Education. Appleton, 1897, pp. 
202. Reference on Child Study, pp. 1 25-131. 

Moore, Catherine. The Mental Development of the Child. Mono- 
graph supple. Psych. Rev. Macmillan, 1896, pp. 150. 

Morgan, C. L. Introduction to Comparative Psychology. Scrib- 
ners, 1896, pp. 382. 
Animal Life and Intelligence. Ginn & Co., 1895, pp. 512. 
Psychology for Teachers. Scribners, 1898, pp. 240. 

Morley, Margaret W. A Song of Life. McClurg & Co., Chicago, 
1896, pp. 155. 
Life and Love. pp. 214. 

Morrison, W. D. Juvenile Offenders. Appleton, 1897, pp. 317. 

Miiller, F. Max. Three Introductory Lectures on the Science of 
Thoughts. Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago, pp. 125. 

Newell, Wm. W. Games and Songs of American Children. Har- 
pers, 1884, pp. 242. 

Oppenheim, Nathan. The Development of the Child. Macmillan, 
1898, pp. 296. 
Mental Growth and Control. 1902, pp. 296. 

Orr, H. B. Theory of Development and Heredity. Macmillan, 1895, 
pp. ix and 225. 

Prayer, W. The Mind of the Child. Part I, Senses and Will, 
PP» 353 ? Part H> Development of the Intellect, pp. 317. Ap- 
pleton, 1895. 

Pnradfoot, A. Hofer. Mothers' Ideals. The Author, Chicago, 1897, 
pp. 270. 

Ribot,Th. The Psychology of the Emotions. Scribners, 1897, pp. 455. 
Heredity. Appleton, 1893, pp. 393. 

Riia, Jacob. The Children of the Poor. Scribners, 1892, pp. 

Romanes, Geo. J. Darwin and after Darwin. Vol. II, Heredity and 
Utility. Open Court Publishing Co., 1897, pp. 344. 


An Examination of Weismannism. Open Court Publishing Co., 
pp. 221. 

Animal Intelligence. Appleton, 1897, pp. 520. 

Mental Evolution in Animals. Appleton, 1898, pp. 411. 

Mental Evolution in Man. Appleton, 1893, pp. 452. 
Bowe, S. H. The Physical Nature of the Child. Macmillan, 1899, 

pp. 207. 
Search, P. W. An Ideal School. Appleton, 1901, pp. 357. 
Shaw. School Hygiene. Macmillan, 1901, pp. 260. 
Shinn, Milicent W. Notes on the Development of a Child, pp. 424. 
Sidia. Psychology of Suggestion. Appleton, 1898, pp. 386. 
Smith, W. H. The Evolution of Dodd. McNally, Chicago, 1891, 

PP- 153. 
Spencer, Herbert Education— Intellectual, Moral, and Physical. 

Appleton, 1862. 
Stableton, Diary of a Western Schoolmaster. Ainsworth & Co., 

Chicago, 1900, pp. 140. 
Starbuck, B. D. The Psychology of Religion. Scribners, 1900, 

Stoneroad, Rebecca. Gymnastic Stories and Plays for Primary 

Schools. D. C. Heath & Co., Boston, pp. 86. 
Stout. Manual of Psychology. Hinds & Noble, New York. 
Sully, James. Studies in Childhood. Appleton, 1895, pp. 527. 
Thorndike, Edward S. Notes on Child Study. Macmillan, 1901, 

pp. 157. 
Animal Intelligence. Monograph supplement, Psych. Rev., No. 

8, 1898, pp. 109. 
Human Nature Cub. Longmans, Green & Co., 1902, pp. 235. 
Tracy, Frederick. Psychology of Childhood. D. C. Heath & Co., 

1897, pp. 170. 
Vincent, Geo. S. The Social Mind and Education. Macmillan, 

1897, pp. 155- 
Waldstein, Lewis. The Sub-Conscious Self. Scribners, 1 897, pp. 1 7 1 . 
Warner, Francis. The Study of Children and their School Training. 

Macmillan, 1897, pp. 264. 
Weismann, A. The Germ Plasm. Scribners, 1893, pp. 477. 
White, S. X. School Management. American Book Co., 1894. 
Whitney. Life and Growth of Language. Appleton, 1893, pp. 396. 


Wiggin, K. D. Children's Rights. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1896, 

PP- 235- 
Winship. The Jukes — Edwards. New England Pub. Co. 
Winterburn, Florence H. Nursery Ethics. Baker & Taylor Co., New 

York, 1899, pp. 241. 
From the Child's Standpoint, pp. 278. 
Wilson, E. B. The Cell in Development and Inheritance. Mac- 

millan, 1897, pp. 377. 
Wundt, W. Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology. Swan 

Sonnenschein & Co., 1894, pp. 454. 

Journals and Proceedings referred to frequently 

Addresses and Proceedings of the National Educational Association 
(N. E. A.), Irwin Shepard, Secretary, Winona, Minn. Con- 
tains all addresses given in Child Study Section from 1893 to 
the present 

American Journal of Psychology (Am. Jr. Psych.), Worcester, Mass. 
Mostly psychological, but contains a number of valuable 
articles on Child Study. 

Child Study Monthly (Ch. S. Mo.), A. W. Mumford, publisher, 
Chicago, 111. Devoted wholly to Child Study from 1894 to 
1900, then changed and finally merged in Journal of Child- 
hood and Adolescence, Seattle, Wash. 

Education (Ed.), Boston, Mass. Occasional Child Study articles 
of value. 

Educational Review (Ed. Rev.), New York City. 

Journal of Child Study and Adolescence (Jr. Ch. S. and Adoles.), 
Seattle, Wash. 

Journal of Pedagogy (Jr. Ped.), Syracuse, N. Y. Some very good 
articles on Child Study. 

Monograph Supplement to the Psychological Review (Monograph 
Supple. Psych. Rev.), MacmiUan. 

Northwestern Monthly (N. W. Mo.), Lincoln, Neb. (Not now 
published.) The Child Study Department of this Journal, 
edited by G. W. A. Ludcey, 1 896-1 899, was very valuable. 

Paidologist (Paid.), Cheltenham, England. Organ of the British 
Child Study Association. 


Pedagogical Seminary (abbreviation, Ped. Sem.), Worcester, 
Mass. Devoted almost wholly to Child Study. Contains 
all the principal studies made at Clark University. Very 

Popular Science Monthly (Pop. Sd. Mo.) contains many articles 
on topics related to Child Study. 

Psychological Review (Psych. Rev.), Macmillan, New York City. 
Mostly psychological, but a few articles on Child Study are 
found in it. 

Studies from the Tale Psychological Laboratory (Yale Studies), 
New Haven, Conn. 

Transactions of the Illinois Child Study Society (Trans. 111. Ch. S. 
Soc.), Chicago University Press, Chicago, 111. Much of 
interest in the early stage of the Child Study movement, 
and some articles of permanent value, 1894-1900. 

University of Iowa Studies (Iowa Univ. Studies), Iowa City, Iowa. 


Wilson. Bibliography of Child Study. Clark University, Worces- 
ter, Mass. Very valuable. 

McDonald. Experimental Study of Children. Chapters xxi and 
xxv from the Report of the Commissioner of Education for 
1 897-1 898. Contains a very extensive bibliography. See 
also the Psychological Index, issued in connection with the 
Psychological Review each year since 1895. 

Chamberlain. The Child. A large bibliography at the close. 


Abnormalities, in rate of growth, ax ; 
sexual, 116; defined and described, 

Adaptation, to changes in environ- 
ment, 5. 

Adaptive instincts, described, 56; de- 
velopment of, 129-179; ranked 
morally, 167. 

Adenoid growths, 338. 

Adolescence, a transition period, 3; a 
period of rapid growth, 17, 20; 
strength of sex feeling, 116 ; relation 
to altruism or selfishness, 124; re- 
ligious awakening at, 200; a time of 
great individuality, 309. 

Esthetic instinct, mentioned. 62; re- 
lation to sexual impulse, 112 ; dis- 
cussed, 209 ; in drawing, 242. 

Altruism, as a form of the social in- 
stinct, 119; development of, 123. 

Amusements, nature and value, 150 ; 
of children outside of school, 347. 

Anger, relation to fighting and mode 
of treatment, 105 ; as an instinctive 
emotion, 215. 

Approbation, love of, by children, 95; 
as a form of the social instinct, 119; 
development of, zax. 

Arrest of development, 23. 

Astigmatism, 342. 

Atavism, 293. 

Attention, relation to curiosity and in- 
terest, 168 ; in constructive imagina- 
tion, 264. 

Barnes, on interests of children, 173. 
Bentley, experiments of, 253. 
Bergstrom, on card sorting, 25a 
Bolton, experiments on memory, 254. 

Brain, always being modified, 8; 
growth of, 19; development of cells 
in, 24 ; some abnormal states of, 332. 

Bridgman, Laura, 25. 

Bryan, experiments of, 27, 253. 

Cells, increase in number and sixe, 25; 
effects of exercise on, 23 ; union of, in 
heredity, 289 ; germ, in heredity, 294. 

Child study, nature of, 1; origin, 2; 
period covered by, 3; problem of, 
10; distinct from psychology and 
physiology, 2 ; basis of education, 3 ; 
subject-matter of, as a science, xx; 
as applied to the problem of interest, 
171; emphasizes individuality, 3x0; 
applied in school, 346 ; purpose of, 
by teachers, 346. 

Chorea, 335. 

Chums, 120. 

Circular reaction, 57. 

Coeducation, 114. 

Collecting instinct, mentioned, 6a; 
discussed, 205. 

Companions, importance in childhood, 
119; influence of, in moral develop- 
ment, 196; imaginary, 138, 261. 

Competition, prominence and value, 
ixx *, in plays and games, 157, 162. 

Concepts, as guides in idealistic imita- 
tion, 133 ; development of, 271. 

Consciousness, instincts and, 35 ; use- 
fulness of; 38; of the young infant, 
70; as a help in learning, 85. 

Constructive instinct, mentioned, 6a; 
discussed, 207. 

Contrariness, set Suggestion. 

Curiosity, as an adaptive instinct, 59; 
excited by attempts to suppress, 217 ; 




in learning new things, x6o; devel- 
opment of, 166 ; attention and inter- 
est, x66; changes in, 171; and 
education, 174. 
Curtis, experiments of, 253. 

Davis, on individuality in learning, 316. 
Defects, in hearing, 339, 36a ; in sight, 


Development, inner and outer factors 
in, 7; of each instinct at a definite 
time, 8 ; generality of inner forces of, 
zi ; child study concerned with the 
laws of, xx ; growth and, aa ; arrest 
and acceleration of, 23 ; natural order 
in relation to exercise, 24; effects of 
specialisation on, 26; native motor 
activities and general order of, 32; 
general principles determining the 
order of, 44; of individual and of 
race, 45; natural order difficult to 
determine, 48 ; of the human infant, 
65 ; of voluntary control, 72 ; of in- 
dividualistic instincts, 91 ; individual- 
ism, the basis of higher, 96; of pa- 
rental instinct, 109 ; of social instinct, 
1x9; of imitation, 129; of play, 14a; of 
regulative instincts, 205 ; of expressive 
instincts, 221 ; of intellect, 247. 

Discrimination, development of, 251; 
in perception, 257, 258; individual 
differences in, 3x1. 

Dramatic imitation, 131, 136. 

Dramatic play, 157, 16a. 

Drawing, 240. 

Education, child study the basis of, 3; 
function, to develop adaptive ability, 
7 ; play as a factor in, 158 ; necessity 
as a means of, 158; curiosity and, 
174 ; aim of, as a science, 177. 

Egoism, of young child, 96. 

Embarrassment, as related to the social 
instinct, 55. 

Embryo, growth by increase of cells, 
15; of a frog, development when 
divided, 16, 294; stages of develop- 
ment, 45 ; characteristics of, in hered- 
ity, 293; effects of food on, 294. 

Emotions, relation to their expression, 
87; changes at adolescence, 123; 
connected with various instincts, 
215; of anger, 105, 2x5; of embar- 
rassment, 55; of fear, 43, 53, 66. 

Environment, variations in, 5; influ- 
ence of, 10 ; in relation to usefulness 
of instincts, 38; helpful in racial 
advancement, 298. 

Equilibrium, of function, 25; infants' 
attempts at, 66, 68. 

Exercise, natural order of development 
in relation to, 24 ; injurious when ex- 
cessive, 26. 

Exercises for Students, see Table of 

Expressive instinct, mentioned, 62; 
shown early in crying, 66 ; develop- 
ment of; 22X. 

Fatigue, nature and causes, 321 ; laws 
of, 324 ; tests and signs of, 331. 

Fear, specialized by experience, 43; a 
form of the individualistic instincts, 
53; of Billing, 66, 100; development 
of, 99 ; of the dark, iox. 

Feeding instinct, specialised by expe- 
rience, 47 ; a form of the individual- 
istic instinct, 53 ; development of, 99, 

Feelings, connection with instincts, 6a; 
relation to instinctive actions, 2x5; 
relation to fundamental stimuli, 2x7. 

Fetichism, xxx. 

Fighting, a form of the individualistic 
instinct, 52; discussion of, 104; re- 
lated to parental instinct, xxx ; rela- 
tion to anger, 2x5. 

Frear, on imitation, 135. 

Friedrich, experiments on fatigue, 329. 

Games, intermediate between work 
and play, 150; use of, in education, 

Gilbert, experiments of, 252, 253. 

Gregariousness, a form of the social 
instinct, 1x9; development of, 119. 

Groos, on theory of play, 147. 

Growth, and development, 15; gen- 
eral phenomena of, 15 ; factors de- 



termining, 17; of ports, 19; and; 
health, 90 ; rate of, and health, ax; 
and development, 22; arrest and 
acceleration of, S3 ; individuality in, 

2C Habits, in moral training, 186; in re- 
ligious training, xooMn intellectual 
development,^^ ^formation of, in 
school, 350V& inattention by chil- 
dren with defective hearing, 363. $/* 
Hale, theory of the origin of language, 


Hall, O. S., as the father of child study, 
vi; theory regarding doll play, z 11; 
as a collector of data regarding ideas 
of natural phenomena, 917 ; on con- 
tents of children's minds, 273. 

Hall, Superintendent I. F., description 
of how his little girl learned to walk, 

Hancock, experiments of, 27, 253. 

Hastings, on relation of sise and intel- 
ligence, 311. 

Hearing, defects of, 339 ; treatment of 
pupils with defects of, 362. 

Heredity, as an inner force of develop- 
ment, xi ; meaning, 289; laws, 290; 
general theory, 293; social, 297; re- 
lation to individuality, 307. 

Hertel, investigations of, 20. 

Humor as an instinctive feeling, 216. 

Ideals, m idealistic imitation, 133, 141 ; 
in moral training, x88, X92, 195. 

Images, in dramatic imitation, 131; 
power of forming, 259; in construc- 
tive imagination, 263. 

Imagination, as related to fear, xox ; in 
dramatic imitation, 136; in play, 155, 
161; growth of constructive, 263; 
development of creative, 265. 

Imaginary companions, common with 
children, 138 ; of young children, 261. 

Imitation, as one of the adaptive in- 
stincts, 58; as a mode of toning, 
83; when best used in learning, 85; 
development of, 129; characteristics 
of, in children, X29; classification, 

131; reflex, denned, 131, discussed, 
133; spontaneous, defined, X31, dis- 
cussed, 134; dramatic, defined, 131, 
discussed, 136; voluntary, defined, 
132, discussed, 136; idealistic, de- 
fined, 133, discussed, 141; in play, 
157 ; as a cause of interest, 169 ; as a 
factor in language learning, 223, 227. 

In-breeding, effects of, 292. 

Individualism, prominent in first school 
years, 95 ; the basis of higher devel- 
opment, 96. 

Individualistic instinct, described, 52 ; 
development of, 91; strength of, 91 ; 
prominence in the young, 92; de- 
velopment into motives, 94; opposed 
to sympathy, 121; ranked morally, 

Individuality, asserted in contrary sug- 
gestions, 135 ; developed by dramatic 
imitation, 143 ; significance, 302; bio- 
logical value, 303 ; commonality and, 
305 ; factors producing it, 307 ; time 
of greatest, 308 ; illustrations of, 3x0 ; 
necessity of recognising, 3x2; how 
developed, 3x4; types of, 3x5; in 
fatigue, 332. 

Individuals, measurement of, 17; 
growth peculiar to, 17; causes of 
differences in, 46 ; treatment of, 354 ; 
suggestions for observing, 358. 

Infancy, significance of, 3 ; why long in 
man, 4; plasticity of, 6. 

Infant, early development of, 65. 

Inheritance, in learning movements, 
83 ; from both lines of ancestry, 290 ; 
of acquired characteristics* 297. 

Instincts, a definite time for develop- 
ment, 8 ; in relation to structure, 34 ; 
and consciousness, 35; always blind. 
38; numerous in man, 39; condi- 
tions affecting the usefulness of, 40 ; 
fixed and indefinite, 42 ; continuous, 
transient, and periodic, 44; general 
principles determining order of de- 
velopment of, 44; when plastic, 43; 
classification of, 51 ; individualistic, 
described, 52; parental, described, 
53; social, described, 54; adaptive, 



described, 56; regulative, described, 
60; resultant and miscellaneous, 
mentioned, 6a ; relation o( to mental 
activities, 86 ; development of the in- 
dividualistic, 91 ; development of the 
parental, 109; development of the 
social, 118 ; development of adaptive, 
129; imitative, 129; of play, 147; of 
curiosity, 166; development of regu- 
lative, 181 ; development of resultant, 
205 ; development of expressive, sax ; 
relation to intellect, 347; develop- 
ment by natural selection, 996. 

Instinctive movements defined, 33 ; re- 
lation to feelings, 215 ; stage of lan- 
guage, 226. 

Intellect, development of, 247. 

Intelligence, relation of movements to, 
38, 87 ; functions of, 247 ; favored by 
natural selection, 296. 

Interest, relation to curiosity and atten- 
tion, 168; empirical and speculative, 
172; in language, 239; in drawing, 

Jacobs, experiments on memory, 254. 

James, on instincts and emotions, 215. 

Jastrow, experiments on memory, 254, 

Jealousy, as related to the social in- 
stinct, 55; as an instinctive feeling, 

Jennings, experiments on parameda, 

Judd, on unconscious modification of 

illusions, 248. 
Jukes family as illustration of heredity, 


Kohler, on interests of children, 173. 

Lancaster, on appreciation of beauty 
at puberty, 112; on early success of 
great musicians, 2x2. 

Language, of natural signs, aai ; broad 
meaning of, 222; auditory, 222; fac- 
tors in its acquisition, 222; stages of 
learning, 226; instinctive stage, 226; 
playful and imitative stage, 227; 

word-learning stage, 228 ; sentence- 
making stage, 233; visual, 937; 
stages of secret languages, 239; 
stages compared with those of draw- 
ing, 240; as a means of imaging, 259; 
as an end in forming concepts, 271 ; 
lessons as means of child study, 349. 

Law, respect for, produced by games, 
153; in obedience, 189; regard for, 
in transition stage, 193. 

Learning, to walk, 79; modes of, 81: 
stages of, in language, 226; visual 
language, 237. 

Learoyd and Calkins, on continued 
stories, 268. 

Loeb, on analysis of instincts, 34, 37. 

Lombard, experiments on fatigue, 326. 

Memory, in voluntary imitations, 132; 
in play, xoa; development of, 26$; 
individual differences in, 3x1. 

Mental activities, in infancy, 69; re- 
lation to instincts, 86. 

Mental development, similar to mus- 
cular, 28. 

Mental differences between children 
and adults, 2, 

Mental grasp, increase in, 254 ; in con- 
structive imagination, 264. 

Migratory instinct, 2x3. 

Moore, Mrs^ illustration of pronun- 
ciation, 231. 

Moral instinct, described, 6x ; develop- 
ment of, 181; preparatory stage, 181; 
training during the preparatory 
stage, 182; transition stage, 191; 
training in the transition stage, 193. 

Motives, development of individual- 
istic instinct into, 94; appeal to the 
highest, 186; rank of, 187. 

Movements, kinds, 32; automatic, de- 
fined, 32; reflex, defined, 33; in- 
stinctive, defined, 33; spontaneous, 
56; of an infant, 65; reflex, at birth, 
65 ; instinctive, 65 ; spontaneous, in 
infants, 67, 8a; increase in complex- 
ity of , 67 ; development of voluntary 
control of; 73; relation to mental 



Natural selection, in heredity, 296; in- 
dividuality necessary to effective ac- 
tion of, 303. 

Necessity, as a factor in education, 158 ; 
compared with curiosity, 167; as a 
(actor in language learning, 224 ; in 
perception, 256. 

Nerve signs, 333. 

Nervousness, 334. 

Nutrition, as a factor in growth, 18; 
influence on sex, 294; relation to 
fetigue, 334. 

Obedience, in moral training, 189. 

Old age, a field for study, 3 ; effects of 
exercise in, 24. 

Optic nerve, experiments on, 9. 

Outlines for observation, 356; for the 
study of a new school, 357; for ob- 
serving individual pupils, 358; for 
observing a recitation, 359. 

Paidology, 2. 

Paramecia, experiments on, 36. 

Parental instinct, described, 53 ; devel- 
opment of, 109; relation to other in- 
stincts, in; right development of, 
113; ranked morally, 184. 

Partridge, experiments of, 253. 

Perception, tested in play, 156, 161; 
development of, 256. 

Phillips, on color and number associa- 
tions, 262. 

Plasticity, necessary in changes of en- 
vironment, 5 ; in human infancy, 6 ; 
less after puberty, 271. 

Plato, on curiosity, 174. 

Play, specialization in, 26 ; as a correc- 
tive of special training, 28; as an 
adaptive instinct, 58 ; of infant, 68 ; 
relation to sexual impulse, ziz; 
theory of, 147 ; compared with work 
and amusement, 149; changes as 
regards freedom, 151; changes as 
regards powers used, 153; changes 
as regards instincts involved, 156 
as a factor in education, 158 ; in re- 
lation to interest, 169 ; as a factor in 
language learning, 224, 227. 

Porter, on relation of size and intelli- 
gence, 31 x. 

Pronunciation, in learning to talk, 229; 
in relation to stuttering, 337. 

Puberty, a critical period, 20; sexual 
influences slight until, izo ; apprecia- 
tion of beauty at, zza; ambitions 
stirred at, iaa; impulse to act for 
others, 271; vivid images at, 262; 
brain less plastic at, 271. 

Public sentiment, growth of regard for, 
113 ; in moral development, 196. 

Punishment, results of lack of, 98; 
versus necessity and play, 160 ; should 
be adapted to the individual, 354. 

Reaction time, changes with age, 253. 

Reasoning, in plays, 156 ; development 
of, 274. 

Records of reports and tests, 360. 

Reflexes, defined, 33; and conscious- 
ness, 35; instincts analyzed into, 


Regulative instinct, described, 60; 
development of, 181. 

Religious instinct, described, 61; de- 
velopment, 197. 

Reports of tests and records, 36a 

Resultant instincts, described, 62; de- 
velopment of, 205. 

Reversion, defined and illustrated, 293. 

Rhythm, in fatigue, 326. 

Rhythmic instinct, 214. 

Rivalry of individuals, 95; of group 
with group, Z25; treatment of, by 
teachers, 353. 

Rules, effects of; 98; in games, 151; 
in moral training, 194. 

St. Vitus's dance, 335. 

Self-control, in moral development, 

Z9Z, Z94. 
Selfhess, extreme in children, 95 ; really 

present at puberty, 124. 
Sensations, as elements in perception, 

Sentences, of young children, 233. 
Sexual feelings, when experienced, 109 ; 

relation to other impulses and feel- 



tags, izi ; avoidance of premature 
development, 113; instruction, 114. 

Shaw, on interest of children, 173; ex- 
periments on memory, 969. 

Sight, defects of, 341; treatment of 
pupils with defects of, 364. 

Small, on imitation of animals, 130 ; on 
suggestibility of children, 957. 

Smedley, experiments on memory, 954, 


Social instinct, described, 54 ; develop- 
ment of, xz8 ; ranked morally, 187. 

Spaulding, experiments on chickens, 49. 

Specialization, likely to interfere with 
natural order of development, 96; 
in the work of the school, 97 ; rela- 
tion to play, 151. 

Spencer, on theory of play, 147. 

Stuttering and stammering, 337. 

Suggestibility, of children, 957. 

Suggestion, in the schoolroom, 353; 
contrary, 135. 

Suggestions for reading, see Table of 

Sympathy of child, of the reflex type, 
95 ; based on regard tor self, 96 ; a 
form of the social instinct, 1x9; de- 
velopment of, X9o; as a factor in 
language learning, 995. 

Taste, when prominent, 99. 

Teacher, needs to know both general 
and individual instincts, 12 ; parental 
instincts of, in ; approval of, desired 
by pupils, 199; should utilize public 
sentiment, 193; should utilize play 
instinct, 160; often identities amuse- 
ment with interest, 275; child study 

by, 346; study of a school by, 348; 
should observe habits of school, 350; 
should keep herself in good health, 
359; should study social relations in 
school, 353; study and treatment of 
individual children, 354; manage- 
ment of partially deaf children, 369. 

Tests, 36a 

Thomdike, on imitation, 130 ; on prac- 
tice in judging' length of lines, 950; 
on fatigue, 394. 

Trial and success, as a mode of learn- 
ing. 83 ; when best used, 85. 

Understanding, as a mode of teaming, 

84 ; when best used, 85. 
Ungraded rooms, need of, 355. 

Vocabularies, of children, 939. 

Volition, development of voluntary 
control, 79 ; developed from instinc- 
tive reactions, 87. 

Voluntary imitations, 13a, 134. 

Vostrovsky, on interests of children, 274 

Walk, learning to, 79, 939. 

Warner, on defects of development, 333. 

Weismann, theory of heredity, agsjajp. 

Will, a new state of consciousness in 
the infant, 73. 

Wolfe, experiments on images, 969. 

Words, stage of learning, 998 ; closely 
associated with objects, 960; a 
means of abstract thought, 979. 

Work, relation to play, 248. 

Writing, in relation to muscular de- 
velopment, 97; in learning visual 
language, 938.