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Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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CHAPTER IV
Pedagogical Methods used in the " Children's Houses "
As soon as I knew that I had at my disposal a class of little children, it was my wish to make of this school a field for scientific experimental pedagogy and child psychology. I started with a view in which Wundt con­curs; namely, that child psychology does not exist. In­deed, experimental researches in regard to childhood, as, for example, those of Preyer and Baldwin, have been made upon not more than two or three subjects, children of the investigators. Moreover, the instruments of psychom-etry must be greatly modified and simplified before they can be used with children, who do not lend themselves passively as subjects for experimentation. Child psy­chology can be established only through the method of ex­ternal observation. We must renounce all idea of mak­ing any record of internal states, which can be revealed only by the introspection of the subject himself. The instruments of psychometric research, as applied to peda­gogy, have up to the present time been limited to the esthesiometric phase of the study.
My intention was to keep in touch with the researches of others, but to make myself independent of them, pro­ceeding to my work without preconceptions of any kind. I retained as the only essential, the affirmation, or, rather, the definition of Wundt, that " all methods of experimental
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