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

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CHAPTER XVI
Methods for the Teaching of Reading and Writing
Spontaneous Development of Graphic Language. While I was directress of the Orthophrenic School at Rome, I had already begun to experiment with various didactic means for the teaching of reading and writing. These experiments were practically original with me.
Itard and Seguin do not present any rational method through which writing may be learned. In the pages above quoted, it may be seen how Itard proceeded in the teaching of the alphabet and I give here what Seguin says concerning the teaching of writing.
" To have a child pass from design, to writing, which is its most immediate application, the teacher need only call D, a portion of a circle, resting its extremities upon a vertical; A, two obliques reunited at the summit and cut by a horizontal, etc., etc.
" We no longer need worry ourselves as to how the child shall learn to write: he designs, then writes. It need not be said that we should have the child draw the letters according to the laws of contrast and analogy. For instance, O beside I; B with P; T opposite L, etc."
According to Seguin, then, we do not need to teach writing. The child who draws, will write. But writ­ing, for this author, means printed capitals! Nor does he, in any other place, explain whether his pupil shall write in any other way. He instead, gives much space
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