Mental Growth of Children in Relation to Rate of Growth in Bodily Development: A Report of the Bureau of Educational Experiments, New York City

Mental Growth of Children in Relation to Rate of Growth in Bodily Development: A Report of the Bureau of Educational Experiments, New York City

Mental Growth of Children in Relation to Rate of Growth in Bodily Development: A Report of the Bureau of Educational Experiments, New York City

Mental Growth of Children in Relation to Rate of Growth in Bodily Development: A Report of the Bureau of Educational Experiments, New York City

Excerpt

The Bureau of Educational Experiments was organized some seven years ago for the scientific study of the growth of children. We conceive of growth as something that takes place as a whole, though the various complicated processes that go to make up growth may be singled out for special study: indeed, they have been so singled out by physicians, psychologists, and other specialists engaged in making accurate observations of children. Although various aspects of growth have been thus diligently studied, the results have not, on the whole, been brought into organic relation with each other and the findings remain scattered through a wide range of monographs and articles. As yet science nowhere gives an adequate picture of children as integrated growing organisms.

Consequently, while much help is available for psychologists and clinical workers on particular aspects of the development of children, comparatively little information is to be obtained by teachers and parents, whose main dealings are with children as wholes. A school cannot deal with any portion of a child without questioning what its treatment is doing to the rest of the child. It cannot develop children's bodies without questioning how its method of development will affect the children's social adjustments; it cannot develop children's social adaptability without questioning how its method will affect the children's interests; it cannot cultivate children's interests without questioning how its method of development will affect the children's bodies. In short, a school cannot deal separately with the physical and mental conditions of growth. Schools, and homes as well, must in the very nature of the case, regard children as integrated organisms, not as mere conglomerations of parts. Yet the situation we have to face, when we turn to the literature of growth, is that it is only on parts that we get information that is full or accurate enough to be called scientific.

So it comes about that teachers--those who should be plan-

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