Intellectual Growth in Young Children

Intellectual Growth in Young Children

Intellectual Growth in Young Children

Intellectual Growth in Young Children

Excerpt

This volume is based upon the records of work carried on at The Malting House School for young children, at Cambridge, in the years from October, 1924, to Christmas, 1927.

Very few detailed and strictly psychological records of the behaviour of a group of young children, over long periods and under relatively free conditions, are so far available. There is little in this direction to be compared with the admirable studies of individual development which have been made from time to time by various psychologists, and which are in everyone's library. Yet such records would seem to be indispensable material, not only for an adequate social psychology, but also for the understanding of intellectual growth. The importance of "inter-subjective intercourse" was, of course, brought out long ago by G. F. Stout.

The data gathered from our group of children do in fact throw light upon both the intellectual and the social aspects of mental development. I had originally intended to deal with the two aspects, and their effect upon each other, in one book. In the end, however, it became clear that this would result in too large and unwieldy a volume; and that if I divided the material, I should have more room for adequate theoretical discussion. But I shall feel this to have been an error if it gives rise to the impression that I think the two problems can be fully understood apart; or if the picture I have drawn of the school here, in describing the educational technique, should lead anyone to feel that we neglected the emotional and imaginative development of the children in favour of the factual and scientific. For the purposes of this first volume, I have picked out those aspects of the school life and of the methods used which are particularly relevant to the theoretical problems discussed under the topic of discovery, reasoning and thought. But in fact, the children lived a whole and complete life, in which the processes taken up and studied here were but one thread among many. They . . .

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