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BY " 



Translated from the Fourth Edition of " Psychologic 
de TEnfant et Pedagogie Experimentale " 









c 35 


This new edition differs from preceding editions by 
many alterations : the Historical Sketch is included 
for the first time, Chapters II., III., and V. have been 
completed and more or less remodelled ; on the other 
hand, the chapter on Mental Development has been but 
little changed. The volume as a whole has been in- 
creased by nearly 200 pages, and the authors quoted 
now number 630 as against 250. 

In some of the reviews of this work, regret has been 
expressed that it did not contain more practical advice 
for the pedagogue. But my aim in writing the book 
was not to compile a manual of pedagogy ; I simply 
wished to introduce the educator to psychological 
science, and particularly to the psychology of the 
child. The first steps taken in learning a new science 
are always tiresome and difficult : time is lost in 
finding one's bearings, in understanding what exactly 
is the aim of the science, in discovering the problems 
which it tries to solve ; therefore a guide is often very 
valuable. To be such a guide is the function of this 
book, at least a guide to the study of those prob- 
lems which are here treated. And I should be glad if, 
into the bargain, it stimulated personal research, if it 
tempted some practical teacher to abandon the groove 
of ordinary routine, to ask himself from time to time 



some hard questions, which he would try to answer 
by reference to facts. 

It may not be useless to mention here, in order 
to avoid misunderstanding, that when I speak of 
the results of experiments or inquiries, of statistics, 
curves, &c., these results are given chiefly by way of 
example, of illustration, of suggestion, for new re- 
searches, and not as the utterance of a truth already 
classified and definitely determined. 

I have extensively used, and doubtless also abused, 
classification and marginal headings. ... Is it neces- 
sary to say that I attach no intrinsic importance to 
all the divisions, subdivisions, and nomenclature that 
I have made use of : they are chiefly, to my mind, an 
expository device, a simple means of facilitating the 
reader's " apperception " of the subject-matter con- 
tained in this volume, which would have constituted 
an absolutely indigestible mass if it had not been 
classified and arranged under headings. 

Such as it is, and in spite of its imperfections, this, 
work has been judged capable of rendering some 
service, since there have been many requests for a 
translation : a Spanish and a Russian edition have 
already appeared, a German, an Italian, and an Eng- 
lish edition wiU appear shortly. I wish to offer my 
very sincere thanks to the kind colleagues in foreign 
lands who have undertaken to make this book acces- 
sible to a larger circle of readers. 

Ed. C. 

Ohampel, Geneva, 
September 15, 1910. 


The translators feel that if they had merely added another good 
book on Child-study to those already in existence — which are by 
no means too many — they would have had full justification, but 
in translating a work so simple, comprehensive, and scientific, 
and by an author with such a great reputation for his work in 
Experimental Psychology, they are convinced that they have 
attempted something that was well worth doin^. There is, so 
far as the translators know, no book which covers the same 
ground in the same way ; and, in their opinion, such a book has 
long been wanted, and will be eagerly welcomed by those who are 
concerned to know what Child-study really means, and how to 
take part in it. It is a book which should help teachers in the 
schoolroom, and parents in the home. 

They wish to express their thanks to Professor Claparede for 
giving them the opportunity of translating his book, and for the 
help he has given them in the translation. 

It will be noticed that the order of the words in the French 
titlef Psychologie de VEnfant et Pedagogie Experimentale has been 
changed. This was thought advisable so as to distinguish it from 
other books on Child-study. 


Jidy 1, 1911. 

The titles of the periodicals frequently quoted in 
this work are generally abbreviated as follows : — 

Am. J. Psy. . American Journal of Psychology. 

An. Psy. . Ann^e psychologique. 

Ar. de Psy. . Archives de Psychologie. 

Ar. f. g. Psy. . Archiv fiir die gesamte Psychologie. 

At. int. hyg. scol. Archives intemationales d'hygiene scolaire. 

B. J. of Psy. . British Journal of Psychology. 

Bull. S. psy. E. . Bulletin de la Society libre pour I'etude psy- 
chologique de I'enfant. 

Ed. mod. . . L'Educateur modeme. 

Educ. . L'Education. 

H. Sc. , . . L'Hygiene scolaire. 

J. of ed. Ps. . Journal of Educational Psychology (U.S.A.). 

Kf. . . . Kinderfehler (Zeitsch. f. Kinderforschung). 

Ped. S. . . Pedagogical Seminary (U.S.A.). 

Ps. Arb. . . Psychologische Arbeiten. 

Ps. R. . . . Psychological Review. 

R. di Psy. . . Rivista di Psicologia. 

Riv. Ped. . . Rivista pedagogica. 

Z. ang. Psy. . Zeitschrift fiir angewandte Psychologie. 

Z. exp. Pad. . Zeitschrift fiir experimentelle Padagogik. 

Z. f. Psy. . . Zeitschrift fiir Psychologie. 

Z. pad. P. . . Zeitschrift fiir padagogische Psychologie. 


Psychology and Pedagogy 




Historical Sketch 

Historical Sketch — Bibliography. 


The Problems 

1. Theoretical problems, and problems of application — 
Paidology and paidotechny — Experimental pedagogy and 
general pedagogy — Psycho -paidology and psycho -peda- 
gogy — The rational method and the empirical method, 
§ 2. Pedagogical problems — ^Preservation — Gymnastics — 
Acquisition of knowledge — Education proper. § 3. 
General, individual, and collective psychology — ^Individual 
psychology — ^Varieties of individual processes — Indivi- 
duality — ^The relations o the various processes in the 
same individual — ^The reciprocal influence of various 
functions — Collective psychology. § 4. The genetico- 
functional problem. Bibliography. 




§ 1. Methods of research — ^Nature of phenomena collected 
— General conditions of investigation — ^Methods of pro- 
cedure in collecting facts — Methods relative to the nature 
of the subject — Technical method. § 2. Methods of 
interpretation. § 3. Apparatus. Bibliography. 






Mental Development 101 

§ 1. Physical growth. § 2. Repercussion of physical 
growth on mental functions — The health note-book. 
§ 3. Play and imitation : Play — Theories — Sensory 
games — Motor games — Psychic games — Wrestling 
games — Hunting games — Social games — ^Family games — 
Games of Imitation — ^Imitation. § 4. Of what use is 
childhood ? § 5. Attractive education. § 6. Psycho- 
biological conception of interest. § 7. Evolution of in- 
terests — Perceptive interests — Glossic interests — General 
iiitellectual interests — Special interests (fundamental bio- 
genetic law) — Social or ethical interests. Bibliography, 


Intellectual Fatigue 209 

§ 1. Measurement of fatigue — ^Direct methods — Dictations 
— Counting letters — Calculations — Copying letters — 
Filling in blanks — Memorising — Criticisms of direct 
methods — Indirect methods — ^^sthesiometry — ^The algesi- 
metric method — Dynamometric methods — The method of 
tapping — The rhythmometric method — Reaction time 
— Persistence of visual sensations — The method of 
ocular accommodation — Other methods — Average varia- 
tion — General criticism of ponometric methods, and 
precautions to be taken — The method of equivalent 
groups — The method of repetitions. § 2. The fatigue 
curve — Method — Results. § 3. Influence of various 
factors on fatigability — Age — Sex — Intelligence — The 
individual type — The seasons — The time of the day — 
The days of the week — ^Habit and interest — Change of ' 
work — Body position — Orientation — Dietary : alcohol. 
§ 4. The ponogenic coefficient of various subjects. § 5. 
Influence of physical work upt n mental fatigue. § 6. The 
problems of fatigue. § 7. The reservoir of energy. § 8. 
Overpressure. § 9. Rest — When to rest — Length of rest 
— ^How to rest. § 10. Sleep. Bibliography. 

Addenda 321 

Index . 322 




That pedagogy ought to be based upon the know- 
ledge of the child, as horticulture is based upon the 
knowledge of plants, would seem to be an elementary 
truth. It is, nevertheless, entirely unrecognised by 
most teachers and nearly all educational authorities. 
To prove this, it is sufficient to point out that in most 
of the European training colleges for teachers no course 
in the psychology of the child is given. The young 
people who are sent out from these institutions, at 
the age of eighteen or nineteen, are placed by the 
State in primary or secondary schools ; charged with 
the task of developing intelligences, forming char- 
acters, and restraining instincts ; and yet no one has 
ever taught them what is the nature of intelligence, 
character, and instinct, and what are the laws of the 
development of these phenomena — ^laws which they 
certainly ought to know very thoroughly, so that they 
may adapt their methods of teaching to them. 

Doubtless in the schools of horticulture there are, 
upon the time-table, at least a few hours set apart 
for botany and the knowledge of plants. In all times, 
as a matter of fact, people have given much more 
attention to the cultivation of flowers and fruit than 


to the ; ediiiC'atidti' 'of ' cliiliirien. They are also much 
more e6ncerh!ed abOilt'tHe "raising of cattle. Herbert 
Spencer, in his book on Education, remarks on this in 
a very pungent manner, when he pictures to us the 
country gentleman making his daily visit to the stables 
and the pigsty, inspecting for himself the manage- 
ment of his horses and his hounds, but never appearing 
in the nursery to inquire as to the food which is given 
to his children, or to supervise their education. 

More often still, we believe, the educational question 
resolves itself into a question of curriculum. We dis- 
cuss, unendingly, the respective merits of " classical," 
" scientific," or " professional " education. But these 
discussions are in the air ; they are based upon a 
priori assumptions, or upon class or party prejudices, 
and not upon exact observations. The arguments 
which we make use of are mostly arguments of senti- 
ment, prompted by personal preferences and not by 
experiment. Besides, these questions of curriculum, 
however important they may be, are in reality 
secondary ; by which I mean that they are subordi- 
nate to the methods of teaching. The very best and 
most judicious curriculum, on paper, will not bear 
fruit unless the teaching which springs from it is 
adapted to the mind, and to the mental type of the 

But, to adapt the methods of teaching to this end, 
it is necessary to know at least a little of the psycho- 
logy of the child. 

The educational problem comprises, then, two 
things : the matter to be taught, and those to whom 
it has to be taught — the curriculum and the pupil. 
We have hitherto given all our attention to curricula, 
and to manuals ; it is time that we concerned our- 


selves a little with those for whom these are supposed 
to be made. I do not forget that there is also a 
third thing, namely, the educator himself. But what 
he ought to be depends upon the manner in which it 
is desirable that the child should be treated and de- 
veloped. The determination of the qualities which 
the educator ought to possess follows from the psycho- 
logy of the child. 

Many people consider that only the practice of 
teaching is able to form the teacher, and to give him 
the necessary experience. Certainly the value of 
practice is of the highest importance in the making 
of a specialist in any given art. But it is necessary 
to make every effort to reduce to a minimum the 
experiences which we demand of him, especially when 
it is human beings who have to suffer the consequences. 
The teacher who commences the practice of teaching 
without having the least knowledge of psychology is 
naturally reduced to mere gropings, from which his 
pupils suffer. He is obliged to make his experiments 
in anima vili ; and sometimes these experiments are 
very long and very painful for the generations of 
scholars who undergo them. Without doubt practice 
is able, in a certain measure, to make up for an in- 
sufficiency of theoretical knowledge, but at the price 
of what detours, what errors ! Without doubt, by 
force of making bridges which fall down, or machines 
which tumble to pieces, a mere mechanic without 
theoretical knowledge will finish by making a good 
job, because he discovers empirically the formulae of 
construction, which he is incapable of calculating. 
But who would wish to be such an engineer ? 

A teacher without psychological education is placed 
in an exactly similar position ; with this difference, 


however, that when a bridge happens to crack in the 
course of construction one immediately perceives it 
and repairs it, or builds a new bridge. But if it is 
intelligence or character which are being perverted in 
their development, one does not discover this until too 
late for it to be possible to remedy it ; and in any 
case one is not able to reconstruct another. 

It is the aim of theoretical studies, of science, to 
reduce to a minimum the vexatious experiments and 
gropings which always accompany the beginnings of 
the practice of no matter what art. For example, it 
is theoretical knowledge which distinguishes the doctor 
from the bonesetter — often very skilful — who has 
learnt his trade by handling . . . the leg or the arm 
of his patients. The teacher must have nothing what- 
ever in common with the bonesetter ! 

It is true that psychological science is not yet very 
advanced. It has, however, made positive advances, 
and even if these are not sufficiently numerous to 
inspire all the educator's didactic methods, they are, 
nevertheless, sufficient to enable him to avoid certain 
errors ; and this is worth a great deal. That which 
matters most of all is that psychology shall pervade 
pedagogy with its method and spirit. 

All this seems self-evident. How comes it, then, 
that a man so clear-sighted as Professor William 
James, the celebrated American psychologist, refuses 
to subscribe to this ? I do not jest. See the first 
chapter of his Talks to Teachers. He there affirms 
that though the educator ought to have a general 
knowledge of the mental mechanism, it is, neverthe- 
less, not necessary that this knowledge should be very 
profound. " For the great majority of you," he says 


(in addressing himself to teachers), "a general view is 
enough, provided it be a true one ; and such a general 
view, one may say, might almost be written on the 
palm of one's hand." ^ Further he reassures the 
teachers who believe that it is indispensable for them 
to cultivate experimental psychology, or add to their 
daily task personal researches into child mentality : 
" Avoid still more to consider that as a duty of educa- 
tion, the contribution to psychology of psychological 
observations methodically carried out. The worst 
thing that can happen to a good educator is to get a 
bad conscience about her profession because she feels 
herself hopeless as a psychologist. ... I know that 
child-study and other pieces of psychology as well 
have been productive of bad conscience in many a 
really innocent pedagogic breast. I should indeed 
be glad if this passing word from me might tend 
to dispel such a bad conscience, if any of you 
have it." ^ 

These words sound strangely in the countries of the 
old world, where there is certainly not any feeling of 
being " hopeless as a psychologist," which causes in 
the breast of the teacher the trouble of an unquiet 
conscience ; where, on the contrary, too many edu- 
cators have the greatest difficulty in understanding 
the necessity of even a very general knowledge of the 
psychology of the child ; because of which they have 
the greatest fear of departing from the ordinary 
routine, and of seeming to be enthusiastic for inno- 

To understand the true sense of the whole of this 

1 James, Talks to Teachers, p. 12. 

2 Ibid., p. 14. 


discourse of Professor James, it is necessary to carry 
our thoughts to the time and the place where they 
were spoken, and to read between the Knes the 
allusions which are contained in it. 

Under the impetus given by an accomplished 
scientist. Dr. Stanley Hall, the researches in child 
psychology, in America, became extraordinarily wide- 
spread, and created, at one time, a perfect rage for 
them. A large number of societies of "Paidology" 
were founded, and a multitude of periodicals were 
established for publishing documents collected in 
enormous quantity. They like to do everything on a 
grand scale over there. To get on more quickly, 
and to obtain a greater result, they proceeded by 
vast inquiries, of which the utility, not to speak of 
anything else, often remains problematic. Teachers 
were assailed by interminable " questionnaires " that 
the reviews of paidology sent forth ; and those who did 
not engage in this new work were represented as old- 
fashioned. Amongst the inquiries of this kind, which 
have raised great criticism, may be quoted the work 
in 1896, by Dr. Hall himself, on dolls. In this it was 
endeavoured to discover, amongst other things, what 
were the preferences of children as to the material of 
which those toys, dear to the hearts of all young 
people, are composed. And when the statistics were 
completed, it was solemnly reported that out of 
845 children, 191 preferred wax dolls, 163 paper, 
153 porcelain, 144 rag, 11 papier mache, and only 
6 wood, &c. ! 

But a science cannot be built up as quickly as a 
town, even in America, and the faults of this feverish 
and artificial activity were soon apparent. A reaction 



arose against the infatuation for Child-Study — a re- 
action as exaggerated as was the movement which 
gave rise to it. Professor Miinsterberg, a colleague of 
Professor James at Harvard, began the attack and, 
in an article in The Educational Review (1898) which 
made a great sensation, endeavoured to show that the 
teacher has no need to be a psychologist : that the 
purely scientific attitude, abstract and analytic, of 
the latter, was inconsistent with the concrete and 
living attitude which ought to be that of the educator 
towards the child. This without doubt was calcu- 
lated to reassure the minds of the educators who felt 
themselves " useless as psychologists," as Professor 
James said, in 1899, in the words we have quoted 

It is clear, nevertheless, that if we leave out of 
account the circumstances in which they were spoken, 
we shall not entirely accept the statements of Pro- 
fessor James. Without doubt pedagogy is an art 
which demands above everything tact, delicacy, 
and a self-sacrifice which have nothing to do with 
scientific knowledge ; and, in this sense, it is quite 
certain that a knowledge of psychology does not 
suffice for one who is to be a good educator. But if 
it does not suffice, it is none the less necessary, for 
an art is nothing but the realisation of an end, an 
ideal, by appropriate means. It is, therefore, essential 
for the artisan to have a thorough knowledge of the 
material with which he works, and the way to set 
about his work, if he would get from it the desired 

Dare we deny, on the other hand, that a moderately 
deep knowledge of psychology enlarges the horizon of 


a teacher ; enlightens his view of matters, while giving 
him a greater confidence in himself and a greater 
authority towards others, combined with an open- 
mindedness towards methods, the effects of which 
will make themselves felt in a happy manner in tact, 
patience, and kindness towards his pupils ? To have 
taken part in some exact personal researches, even 
though they should in themselves be without prac- 
tical utility, leaves, as a matter of fact, a beneficial 
trace. Even if the educator has forgotten his psycho- 
logy, it is not superfluous that he should at some 
time, in the beginning of his career, have been a good 
psychologist. It is not only what we know which has 
an influence upon our conduct and upon our mentality, 
but what we have known. Professor James, in one 
of his talks, very justly remarks : " It is but a small 
part of our experience in life that we are ever able 
articulately to recall. And yet the whole of it has 
had its influence in shaping our character and de- 
fining our tendencies to judge and act." ^ 

Let us consider the relations of physiology and of 
practical medicine, which are exactly comparable to 
those of psychology and education. From the fact 
that medicine is an art, and from the fact that the 
attitude — practical and sympathetic — of the doctor, 
who needs to take account in his treatment of a crowd 
of extra-scientific considerations, is entirely opposed 
to the calm and impartial attitude of the physiologist 
of the laboratory, it does not follow that experimental 
physiology ought to be cut out of the curriculum of 
medical studies. Even if a medical practitioner has 
no need to be a physiologist, every one will agree that 

1 James, Talks to Teachers, p. 142. 


it is indispensable that he should have gone through 
a course of physiology in his apprenticeship. 

I know, by the way, that a number of teachers 
and principals are the first to regret not having had 
the advantage, during their student days, of having 
their attention drawn to the psychological problems 
which daily present themselves. One may the better 
judge of this by the following lines, which I extract 
from a letter sent to me : — 

" After five years' practice as a primary teacher in 
the canton of Neuchatel, I feel compelled to confess 
that there is, between the efforts which the school 
demands and the results which they produce, a dis- 
proportion which becomes alarming when one stops 
to consider it seriously. 

" Tormented by this very depressing discovery, I 
have brought my thoughts to bear upon this want of 
success which is even more real than apparent. I say 
more real, because it appears to me that nature itself 
is responsible, for the most part, for the progress 
which can be discovered in this domain. If the school 
were to add to this primary force a more suitable 
collaboration, it would meet with a clearer result. 

" Take, not the young people going through the 
higher schools, though the same evil is apparent there, 
but the young people who have been taught only in 
the primary schools ; take them at the age of eighteen 
or twenty, interrogate them, and at once the scholastic 
fiasco reveals itself. Having become possessed of a 
superficial and very abstract word-knowledge, they 
have been regarded as having acquired a satisfactory 
amount of instruction at fourteen years of age ; but 
at twenty years of age there remains with them only 
a melancholy recollection of it, some very vague in- 


formation, and, above all, an absolute indifference in 
relation to intellectual, artistic, or scientific ques- 
tions. . . . 

" After numerous observations and some reading 
upon the questions of psychology towards which these 
same observations drove me, I have come to the 
profound conviction that the fundamental cause of 
the non-success of the people's school proves that in- 
struction pays no real attention to the physiological 
development of the nervous system. 

" We work at the education of the child without 
knowing him ! This is our fundamental mistake. 

" I have submitted this plaint to my colleagues, and 
I have found that they echo it. Everywhere there 
was felt to be the same disproportion between con- 
scientious work and its results." 

The author of these very frank and loyal declara- 
tions afterwards asks me what are the works of 
psychology which he and his colleagues might con- 
sult with advantage. It seems clear, then, that the 
interest which one brings to bear upon the child 
does not suffice, by itself, to insure all the care which 
the child requires. 

Professor James is, moreover, overwhelmingly in the 
right when he affirms that it is in no way the duty 
of the teacher to make contributions to the science 
of psychology, or personally make experimental re- 
searches upon his pupils. A doctor can assuredly be 
a good practitioner though he does not codify his 
personal observations, nor make them the subject of 
a scientific essay. To utilise the results of a science is 
one thing ; to enrich that science is another matter. 
But one certainly does not see that in personally 
making some methodical observations, or some ex^ 


periments upon his scholars, the teacher is Hkely to 
do harm to his caUing.^ 

On the contrary, such a method should prove fruit- 
ful from a threefold point of view : first, in that it 
will bring a valuable contribution to paidology, since 
educators are in a much better position than any one 
else to study the mentality of the child. Such re- 
searches should have, moreover, an immediate utility 
for teaching, since, as we shall see later on, the 
majority of the experiments in school psychology 
furnish for the master useful didactic data, of which 
he is able to make immediate use. 

I am certain, in the third place, that the fact of 
giving his attention to the solving of various problems 
will give to the head of an institution, to whom the 
task is often very laborious, a renewed interest in his 
teaching. He will see things with other eyes, and his 
conceptions will be enlarged ; behind the manual, the 
time-table, and the examination he will more clearly 
see the pupil ; and he will study with greater interest, 
when he is familiar with the problems which are con- 
nected with it, the development of each of the little 
individualities which are entrusted to him. 

The following pages have as their aim to serve as 
a first guide to educators who desire to become 
acquainted with child psychology — ^not by giving a 
resume of all that has been published, up to the pre- 
sent, upon the subject, for many volumes would be 
insufficient for this — but by indicating, through some 
examples taken here and there, the nature of the 

1 We notice that Professor Mimsterberg in a recent book {Psycho- 
logy and the Teacher, 1909) shows that he is completely converted 
from his former prejudices, and ranges himself as a decided partisan 
of experimental pedagogy. AU's well^ that ends well ! 


problems which will present themselves to him, and 
the nature of the methods by which he ought to 
endeavour to solve them. I hope that this little 
sketch of the tendencies of the new pedagogy will 
show in what way we ought to direct our efforts so 
as to realise this ideal — still, alas, far distant — ^which 
is to establish teaching upon its natural basis : the 
knowledge of the child. 



The first systematic observation of the mental develop- 
ment of a child dates from the year 1787 ; and was 
made by Tiedemann/ a German, whose work has 
remained almost entirely ignored. Towards the 
middle of the last century three important publica- 
tions were devoted to the psychical evolution of the 
child : in 1851 the Entwicklungsgeschichte der Seele 
des Kindes, by Lobisch ; in 1856, the Kind und Welt, 
by Sigismund ; in 1859, the Untersuchungen uher das 
Seelenleben des neugeborenen Menschen, by Kussmaul. 
But these works have not received the attention which 
their merits deserved, and it was not until the appear- 
ance of the well-known work by Preyer on The Mind 
of the Child (1881) that there spread, amongst parents, 
the fashion of keeping a daily journal of the signs of 
progress in their babies ; and not till then did they 
completely understand the importance of such obser- 
vations, of which Taine, Egger, and Perez in France, 
and Darwin and Pollock in England, had already set 
the example. 

About the same time, Stanley Hall, in America, 
undertook a propaganda in favour of a reform of 

1 Tiedemann, Beobachtungen iiber die Entwicklung der Seelen- 
fdhigkeiten bei Kindern, 1787 ; new edition published by Ufer, Alten- 
burg, 1897. Some extracts from the 1787 edition were translated 
into French by P^rez, Paris, 1881. 



pedagogy, which he wished to see based upon child 
psychology. But the opposition to be overcome was 
very considerable, and it was not until ten years later 
that the impulse given by this pioneer resulted in a 
definite movement. Then appeared, on all sides and 
all at once, books, journals, and societies devoted to 
child-study. In 1893 Hall founded The National 
Association for the Study of Children ; and in the fol- 
lowing years similar societies were established in many 
provinces of the United States — ^in 1894, in Illinois 
and Iowa ; in 1895, in Nebraska, Ontario ; in 1896, 
in Minnesota and Kansas ; &c. Their organ is The 
Pedagogical Seminary^ of which Hall continues to be 
the editor, and which remains one of the best periodi- 
cals of child psychology. It has appeared since 1891. 

It was in 1893 — to be exact, on Wednesday morning, 
April 26, as he has related in an enthusiastic passage — 
that a pupil of Hall, Oscar Chrisman, invented the word 
"paidology " (from paidos, child, and logos, science) to 
designate this new branch of the science, having for 
its object the child regarded from every possible point 
of view. This new word proved a happy hit. 

Since this time a considerable number of works and 
periodicals have appeared, one after another, and we 
are compelled to give up any idea of making a com- 
plete list of them. We will, however, mention the 
important works by Baldwin, Mental Development in 
the Child and the Race (1895) ; Notes on the Development 
of a Child, by Miss Shinn (1893-1907) ; The Mental 
Development of a Child, by Moore (1896) ; the collec- 
tion of Studies in Education by Earl Barnes (1896- 
1902) ; The Child and Childhood in Folk-Lore, and 
The Child, a Study in the Evolution of Man, by 
Chamberlain (1896, 1900) ; and a number of periodi- 


cals : The Educational Review, from 1891, edited by 
Murray Butler ; The Child-Study Monthly, published 
from 1895, edited by Krohn and Bayliss, and afterwards 
by Campbell ; Paidology, edited by Chrisman, 1901 
(only one volume appeared) ; The Journal of Adoles- 
cence, by Yoder, from 1900 ; Investigations of the 
Department of Psychology and Education of the Uni- 
versity of Colorado, edited by AlUn, from 1902 ; The 
Psychological Clinic, by Witmer, from 1908 ; finally, 
the quite recent Journal of Educational Psychology, 
devoted more especially to experimental pedagogy, 
edited by Bayley, Seashore, Bell, and Whipple, and 
published since 1910. 

We must not forget to mention the names of Dewey 
(formerly of Chicago, now of New York) ; of his 
disciples De Garmo and King ; also a multitude of 
psychologists or of physiologists, who have given 
themselves wholly or partly to the work of psycho- 
pedagogy : Burk, Burnham, Bryan, Elmer Brown, 
Dearborn, Dodge, Donaldson, Gilbert, Goddhard, Ellis, 
W. James, Johnson, Huey, Kirkpatrick, Lukens, 
Meyer, W. S. Monroe, O'Shea, Ogden, Pillsbury, 
Small, Starbuck, Partridge, Tracy, Thorndike, Tyler, 
Tylor, &c., &c. The reviews dealing with general 
psychology, such as The American Journal of Psycho- 
logy (edited by Hall, Sanford, and Titchener), The 
Psychological Review (edited by Baldwin, Judd, and 
Watson), with its satellite The Psychological Bulletin 
(edited by Warren), and The American Journal of 
Religious Psychology (edited by Hall), have always given 
a large amount of space to the psychology of the child. 

Most of the American psychological laboratories 
concern themselves with experimental pedagogy. A 
certain number of them specialise in the subject, 


notably those of Clark University, where Hall has 
just founded a fine Children s Institute ; Pennsylvania 
University, where Witmer has instituted a psycho- 
pedagogical clinic ; Cornell University, under the 
direction of Whipple ; and The Teachers' College, of 
the Columbia University, where J. P. Monroe, Thorn- 
dike, and others teach. 

All this activity has, naturally, had its echo in other 

England was one of the first countries to take up 
the work. In consequence of a visit to the Inter- 
national Congress on Education held at Chicago in 
1893, where they were inspired by the words and 
work of Dr. Stanley Hall, some British teachers started 
The British Child-Study Association in 1894. Branches 
of this society were established in various large towns 
in England and Scotland, and they published a journal 
called The Paidologist. The members of this society 
consisted chiefly of teachers (the majority), parents, 
and doctors. There was also The Childhood Society^ 
founded in 1894, the members of which were mostly 
doctors and scientists. In 1907 these two societies 
were amalgamated, under the title of The Child-Study 
Society, and the Paidologist was re-named Child-Study, 
and became the journal of the new society. 

Before this, without going so far back as the masterly 
works of Spencer (1861) and Bain (1879), Enghsh 
paidology was indebted to important works by Dr. 
F. Warner, The Children : how to study them (1887), 
Lectures on the Growth and Means ol Training the 
Mental Faculty (1890) ; to Romanes, Mental Evolution 
in Man (1889) ; and, above all, to Professor J. Sully, 
author of various essays (since 1880) on the develop- 
ment of the child, most of which have been collected 


in a volume under the title of Studies of Childhood 
(1896), and translated into several languages. More 
recently Messrs. Winch, M'Dougall, Wimms & Burt 
have published, in The British Journal of Psychology, 
some interesting essays dealing with psycho-pedagogy. 
Mention must also be made of works by Rivers on 
Fatigue, and the suggestive book by a London in- 
spector, B. Branford, A Study of Mathematical Edu- 
cation. We must reserve a special place of honour 
for mention of the works of the illustrious Galton, and 
of his disciples Karl Pearson, Heron, Schuster, Elder- 
ton, Spearman, and W. Brown, upon heredity, indi- 
viduality, and intelligence — works which open out the 
vast possibilities of applied psychology. In 1905 
Galton and Pearson founded a Eugenics Laboratory, in 
London, where statistical researches designed to demon- 
strate the factors which influence the qualities of the 
race are made. 

A committee, under the presidency of Professors 
Findlay and Green, have inquired into the present 
condition of experimental pedagogy in England. Their 
report appeared on the agenda of the 1910 meeting 
of the British Association for the Advancement of 
Science, for whom the inquiry was made. 

In France, where the soil had already been prepared 
by Taine, Perez, Compayre, and Queyrat, a vigorous 
impulse has been given to the new pedagogy by A. 
Binet, director of the psychological laboratory at the 
Sorbonne, whose important writings appear in L'Annee 
Psychologique, founded in 1896 ; and to him we owe 
some books of the first rank, e.g. La Suggestihilite 
(1900), L'J^tude experimentale de V intelligence (1903), 
and Les Idees modernes sur les Enfants (1909). In 
1900 M. F. Buisson founded La Societe libre pour 



L'Mude psychologique de L' Enfant, which is now under 
the management of MM. Ribot, professor of the 
College of France, and Bedorez, Director of Primary 
Education. M. Binet is the present president and 
scientific director of the society. The society is 
mainly composed of teachers, who meet at stated 
times to exchange notes as to their experiments, and 
to arrange for carrying on researches upon some de- 
finite part of school psychology. Their observations 
and their studies are recorded in the Bulletin of their 
society, and one appreciates in reading them the 
multiplicity of pedagogic problems which may be 
attacked by the experimental method. Mention may 
be made of the works of A. Belot, an inspector of 
wide views and an open mind ; of Malapert, Claviere, 
Roussel, and Cousinet ; of Mmes. Fuster and Kergo- 
mard ; and the work of Duprat on Le Mensonge 
(1903). In 1905 Binet had the happy idea of founding 
— in a primary school in Paris, with the permission 
of the Director of Primary Education — a laboratory 
of normal pedagogy. This School-laboratory, installed 
in a little room of the school in the Grange-aux- 
Belles street, had for its aim the organising, accord- 
ing to scientific methods, the study of the physical, 
intellectual, and moral aptitudes of children, and also 
the study of methods of teaching. A great number 
of researches have already been carried out by Binet 
himself, with the collaboration of M. Vaney (the 
director of the school). Dr. Simon, and some teachers 
who have thus made themselves familiar with the 
systems of measurement. 

An offshoot of this Societe libre has just been estab- 
lished at Lyons (1909), through the initiative of MM. 
Chabot and Goblot, There has also been instituted 


in the same town, by the municipality, a course of 
" psychology applied to education " — a course for 
popularising the subject, conducted by M. Nayrac. 

At Bordeaux, too, a movement, also aiming at the 
popularising of paidology, has been started by the 
efforts of MM. Persigout and Thamin, and Drs. Regis 
and Cruchet. 

In 1902 there was constituted in Paris a Ligue des 
medecins et des families pour Vhygiene Scolaire, on 
the initiative of Drs. Le Gendre and Mathieu. This 
association, which is very active, naturally lays stress 
upon the study of the physical and mental develop- 
ment of the child : development to which teaching 
ought rigorously to adapt itself, if overpressure is to 
be avoided. It publishes a quarterly paper, L' Hygiene 
Scolaire, and has organised two conferences, which 
were held in Paris in 1903 and 1905. One of its 
members, Dr. M. de Fleury, is the author of a very 
useful work, Le corps et Vdme de V enfant (2 vols., 1900 
and 1905) ; another member. Dr. Dinet, has set forth 
in a thesis. Physiologic et Pathologic de V education 
(1903), the reforms desired. One interesting result of 
the efforts of this Ligue is the construction (1908), in 
Gay-Lussac Street, Paris, of a laboratory of school 
hygiene for the use of the students of the Higher 
Normal School, of which the director, M. Ernest 
Lavisse, is the ardent champion of a pedagogical 
reform based upon a knowledge of the bodily and 
moral needs of children. 

In spite, however, of the movement begun by Binet, 
we are obliged to recognise that, in France, paidology 
is but little studied. The pedagogic problem has some 
difficulty in getting out of the traditional rut of either 
abstraction or phraseology, and placing itself upon the 


solid ground of exact observation and experiment. 
Nevertheless we are able to mention a number of 
works which, although they do not strictly come 
within the limits of experimental pedagogy, never- 
theless contain some suggestive remarks or very 
judicious counsels, and mark a tendency more or less 
clear to take psychology as the basis of the educative 
art, e.g. L' enseignement des langues, by Breal (1891) ; 
L' education de la volonte, by Payot (1893) ; La sugges- 
tion dans r education, by Thomas (1895) ; L'esquisse 
d'un enseignement base sur la psychologic de Venfant^ 
by Lacombe ; La psychologic de Veducation, by Le 
Bon ; U education des filles, by Marion (1902) ; L'art 
et r enfant, by Braunschvicg (1907) ; Comment former 
un esprit, by Dr. Toulouse ; U education de la petite 
enfance, by Mme. Girard (1908) ; the publications by 
Tissie on fatigue and impulse, &c. — ^he has also for 
twenty years been publishing a Revue des jeux scolaires. 
The works of psychologists like Ribot, Fere, Janet, 
Dumas, Pieron, Bourdon, Dugas, B. Leroy, &c., have 
also contributed, one need hardly say, to the progress 
of psycho-pedagogy. Cramaussel, in 1908, collected 
into one volume observations which he had made on 
Le premier eveil intellectuel de V enfant ; and, in the 
work entitled U esprit et le coiur de V enfant (1909), 
Iwindet has collected a number of the words used by 
a child. There remain to be mentioned two good 
reviews, which contribute largely to the new move- 
ment : U Education moderne, founded in 1906 by Drs. 
Philippe and Paul Boncour, and edited since 1909 by 
Compayre ; and L' Education, issued by Bertier from 

Germany, as one can well understand, has not lagged 
behind. Some important periodical publications bear 


witness to this : Die Kinder feJiler, a journal originally 
devoted to abnormal children, to-day, under the title 
of Zeitschrift fur Kinder forschung , embraces the whole 
of paidology : this was established in 1896 by Triiper, 
Koch, and Ufer, who have since been joined by Anton 
and Martinak ; the Sammlung, by Schiller, Ziegler, and 
Ziehen, a collection of writings relating to pedagogical 
psychology (from 1897) ; the Zeitschrift far pdda- 
gogische Psychologie (from 1899), founded by Kemsies, 
and edited since 1910 by Brahn, Deuchler, and 
Scheibner ; the Pddagogisch - psychologische Studien 
(from 1900), edited by Brahn and afterwards by 
Seyfarth ; and finally, more recently, a review of 
experimental pedagogy. Die Experimentelle Pddagogik, 
founded in 1905 by Lay and Meumann, and at pre- 
sent edited by Meumann. It is to be noted that 
the numerous periodicals on physiological psychology 
which appear in Germany also contain essays having 
a direct bearing on pedagogy. In 1899 the Verein fur 
Kinderpsychologie was founded in Berlin, its first presi- 
dent being the eminent Professor Stumpf. And in 
1906 a congress on paidology, conducted in German 
(Congress fllr Kinderforschung und Jugendfilrsorge), met 
in the same capital. At Jena and at Mannheim there 
are also Vereine fur Kinderforschung. 

Among the " epoch-making " contemporary works 
on paidology produced in Germany, we may mention, 
as being in the first rank, those of Karl Groos dealing 
with The Play of Animals (1896) and The Play of 
Man (1899) ; and we shall see later on with what 
new light they illuminate the psychology of the child 
and the pedagogical problem. Lay has vigorously 
drawn attention to Experimentelle Didaktik, through 
a large work bearing that title (issued in 1903). In 


1898, in a book entitled Fiihrer durch den Rechenun- 
terrich der Unterstufe, he had previously shown the 
possibiHty of founding teaching methods upon experi- 
mentation. Meumann has given a general view of 
researches made in this direction in his splendid 
Vorlesungen zur Einfuhrung in die experimenteUe 
Pddagogik (1907). We must also mention the obser- 
vations of C. and W. Stern upon the development of 
language in the child, Die Kinder spr ache (1907), and 
the two books of Levinstein and Kerschensteiner, 
issued simultaneously in 1905, upon the drawings of 

Neither ought we to pass over the works of Griesbach, 
Ebbinghaus, G. E. Miiller, Kemsies, Lobsien, Krapelin 
and his pupils, and Ament, who have given a strong 
impetus to psycho-pedagogy. Griesbach founded, in 
1905, in collaboration with Drs. Mathieu (Paris), 
Brunton (London), Johannessen (Christiania), the 
Archives internationales d' hygiene scolaire. In 1888 
Kotelmann had already brought out the Zeitschrift 
fur Schulgesundheitspflege. 

One might still cite a crowd of names. In no 
country has psychology been studied so much as in 
Germany, and during the last five or six years a large 
number of experimental researches have had for their 
object problems of paidology or of practical pedagogy 
— see the works of Baade, Cohn, Diirr, Elsenhans, 
Ephrussi, Erdmann, Friedrich, Mme. Hosch-Ernst, 
Hopfner, Kriiger, Laser, Mayer, Offner, Pfeiffer, 
Pilzecker, Pohlmann, Schmidt, Schulze, Schafer, 
Schumann, Sommer, Wagner, Winteler, Ziehen, &c. ; 
to which must be added those of doctors like Baginsky, 
Striimpell, and of educators like K. Lange, Miinch, 
Rein, Gaudig, Barth, and Th. Ziegler. Good manuals 


for the popularisation of paidology have been recently- 
issued by Adele Schreiber, Das Buck vom Kind ; Gaupp, 
Psychologie des Kindes, 1908 ; and Lipmann, Grun- 
driss de Psychologie fur Pddagogen (1909). The work 
by Ostwald, Grosse Manner (1909), contains a number 
of most valuable suggestions and documents for 

The teaching body itself is being won over to the 
cause of experimental pedagogy ; or at any rate there 
are some favourable signs in this direction. In June 
1908 the Deutscher Lehrerverein — being of opinion that 
"it is not the curriculum which ought to be the chief 
guide in pedagogy, but the psychological evolution of 
the child " — decided to establish a central bureau, 
Pddagogische Zentralstelle, for the purpose of co- 
ordinating efforts made with a view to educative 
reform. This bureau has already under consideration 
the project of creating a Pedagogical Academy : a 
sort of superior normal college designed for the train- 
ing of members of the teaching body. The Berliner 
Lehrerverein also constituted, in September 1909, 
amongst its own members, a committee of empirical 
pedagogy ; and it hopes to be able to create a 
psycho-pedagogical institute, similar to that which the 
Leipziger Lehrerverein, through the initiative of Schulze, 
has possessed since 1906. The Lehrerverein of Munich, 
following in the movement, has decided, in its turn, 
to found an institute of this kind. 

Finally, a number of educators and psychologists 
have just laid the foundations (October 1909) of a 
Bund fur Schulreform, at the head of which we find 
Cordsen, of Hamburg, supported by Meumann, Stern, 
Krapelin, Triiper, and other savants. This league 
will seek to bring the school into touch with reality 


and life ; and will base its projects of reform upon 
the knowledge of the child, as is indicated in the 
significant device Reform vom Kinde aus. It has a 
good programme, which deserves unstinted praise. 

Before finishing with Germany, we must not forget 
that The Institute of Applied Psychology, founded in 
1906 at Berlin by G. E. Miiller, Stern, and Lipmann, 
is actively working in the domain of paidology. 

In Belgium experimental pedagogy is pursued with 
ardour by Schuyten, who in 1899 established in 
Antwerp a department of paidology, with a labora- 
tory, in connection with the communal schools. The 
numerous studies which have emanated from this 
department have been published in the Paedologisch 
Jaarboek, a periodical written in Flemish, with re- 
sumes in French. A Paidological Society came into 
existence, in the same town, in 1902. It issues a 
Bulletin, which is also written in Flemish, but un- 
fortunately has no resumes in French. In Brussels 
abnormal children have, from the first, been the 
object of the solicitude of doctors and educators — 
Demoor, Decroly, Ley, Jonckheere (author of a little 
outline of paidology. La science de V enfant, 2nd 
edition, 1909), Rouma, Herlin, Marquebreucq, Querton, 
Mile. Degand. And the psychology of the abnormal 
very much concerns that of the normal also. A 
course of paidology was introduced, in 1905, at the 
normal school of Brussels, where there is a laboratory, 
and, in 1906, in the provincial normal schools at 
Charleroi and Mons. Mile. loteyko, who teaches in 
the two last-named towns, has published, since 1908, 
a Revue psychologique, devoted almost exclusively to 
psycho-pedagogy ; and she opened, in 1909, a S^mi- 
naire de pedologie in Brussels. In 1906, Nyns, Decroly, 


Ley, and others founded, at Brussels, a Societe de 
pedotechnie, which pubhshes a small bulletin, and 
which has organised a new thing, and one which 
deserves to be imitated — free paidotechnical consulta- 
tions, having for their object the supplying to parents 
directions and advice concerning the physical and 
moral culture of their children. These consultations 
are held every Sunday morning at Brussels. 

In 1909 M. van Biervliet, of Gand, was engaged by 
the Belgian Government to give a course of lectures 
on psychology applied to education, and he has, more- 
over, just founded an Institut de pedologie, which will 
publish Annales. We may mention also the efforts 
of Eddy (pseudonym of Edw. Peeters) of Ostend, and 
of Varendonck of Ghent. The two reviews, U Educa- 
tion familiale and L'Ecole nationale, started ten years 
ago, give an ever-increasing space to the new paido- 
logy. Since 1907 there has also been published, 
under the direction of Mile. Poelemans, a little bulletin 
devoted to the abnormal, UEnfance anormale. 

In Holland there is no marked paidological move- 
ment. Paidology is, however, represented in the 
Amsterdam University, by van Wayenburg ; at 
Utrecht by Breukink and van der Torren ; and at 
Groningen the work of Heymans and Wiersma on 
psychical correlations and on heredity of character- 
istics will be most helpful to the cause of education. 
In 1887 Dr. Guye, of Amsterdam, rendered signal 
service to practical pedagogy in drawing attention to 
aprosexie nasale, that psychical ailment which accom- 
panies adenoid growths in children. 

Italy, the home of anthropology, ought to have been 
one of the first to take up child-study. As a matter 
of fact there have appeared, from 1879, some works 


upon the psychological evolution of babies, by Luigi 
Ferri, Marro, and Garbini ; in 1887, the short study, 
still a classic, by Ricci, Uarte nei bambini ; after- 
wards, in 1893, Saggi pedagogici, by Vecchia ; in 1894, 
Saggi di psicologia del bambino, by Paola Lombroso ; 
in 1895, the study of Colozza, on the pedagogy of 
children's plays ; later the works of Sanctis, on the 
difficulties of the measurement of attention ; in 1897, 
the famous work by Marro, La puberta ; and in 1899, 
U antropologia pedagogica, by Melzi. 

C. Melzi, now inspector of schools at Alexandria, 
founded in 1897, at Arona, a bureau of pedagogical 
anthropology ; the first institution of its kind in Italy, 
and probably in Europe. His work was continued, 
in 1899 at Crevalcore, by U. Pizzoli, by whom the 
institute of experimental pedagogy was removed to 
Milan in 1904. This institute was purchased by the 
town of Milan in 1909, and was under the direction 
of Z. Treves till his death in April 1911. 

Abnormal children have been specially studied by 
de Sanctis, Ferreri, and Ferrari. The last named 
founded, in 1905, an excellent periodical, the Eevista 
di psicologia applicata. Sanctis and Ferreri publish 
a Bollettino devoted to the pedagogy of abnormals ; 
and, in connection with the abnormals, we may 
mention the Rivista di pedagogia correttiva, edited by 

In 1904 a distinguished educator, L. Credaro, then 
Minister of Public Instruction, established in the uni- 
versities a Scuola pedagogica, that is to say, finishing 
courses for future teachers. To these courses are 
added, at Rome, lessons in experimental psychology, 
given by Professors de Sanctis and Chiarini. Credaro 
started, in 1908, an important Rivista pedagogica, 


edited since 1910 by Vecchia and Raulich. In January 
1910 appeared the first number of another paido- 
logical journal, the Vita infantile, edited by Comba 
and Loreta. 

It would be unjust not to mention, further, the 
names of numerous psychologists, doctors, and philo- 
sophers who have made useful contributions to 
paidology : Assagioli, Badaloni, Bellei, Billia, Cas- 
tagnola, Colucci, Consoni, Cozzolino, Mile. Faggiani, 
Ferrai, Gerini, Guidi, Kiesow, Martinazzoli, Montesano, 
Morselli, Mosso — whose famous work on fatigue 
appeared in 1891, and gave rise to many researches — 
Neyroz, Obici, Patini, Patrizi, Pennazza, Pistolesi, 
Renda, Romano, de Sarlo, Sergi, Tamburini, Vidari, 
Villa, &c. 

Austria-Hungary has some paidological societies : 
Oesterreichische Gesellschaft fur Kinder forschung , at 
Vienna, since 1906 ; and Komitee filr Kinderforschung , 
at Budapest, from 1903, transformed in 1906 into 
Ungarische Gesellschaft filr Kinderforschung, with a 
laboratory of paidology, installed in a school building 
and directed by Rauschburg. As special reviews 
devoted to child psychology we have Gyermek (The 
Child) — ^written in Hungarian and with resumes in 
French — which has appeared at Budapest for four 
years, under the direction of M. Nagy ; Eos, founded 
in 1905 at Vienna, edited by Druschba, Krenberger, 
Mell, and Schloss, and treating of the anomalies of 

Burgerstein published, in 1895, a treatise on school 
hygiene, which is classical ; Heller is the author of the 
fine Grundriss der Heilpddagogik (1904) ; Freud, the 
famous Viennese neurologist, has drawn attention to 
the importance of sexual phenomena in the child, and 


to the part they play in the ultimate development 
of his mentality. We must also mention the names 
of Martinak, Blazek, Pekar, Weszely, and Witasek, to 
whom paidology is indebted for various contributions. 

Russia possesses in Sikorsky, of Kiew, one of the 
pioneers of experimental pedagogy ; for it is he who, 
by his famous study upon the means of measuring 
intellectual fatigue in scholars — published, in 1879, in 
the Annates d' hygiene puhlique (Paris), but remain- 
ing unnoticed for a long time — was the initiator of 
experimenting in the schools. 

In 1900 the Musee pedagogique of St. Petersburg 
instituted courses in experimental psychology which 
were conducted by Netschajeff — the energetic worker 
and author of important and much-appreciated works 
and manuals of school psychology. In 1904 this in- 
stitution was enriched by a laboratory of experimen- 
tal pedagogy and a course in paidology, given by 
Netschajeff himself, Lasursky, Krogius, Lapschin, and 
others. It issued, from 1905, the Cahiers des psycho- 
logie pddagogique ; and was eventually, in 1908, trans- 
formed into an independent Academie pedagogique. 
Among the initiators of this experimental paidological 
movement, we must mention, as being in the front 
rank, Bechterew, director of the laboratory of psycho- 
logy of the medical-military academy, and editor of a 
journal of psychology, founded in 1904. There still 
exists in St. Petersburg an Institut psychopedologique, 
opened in 1906, and designed for the bringing up of 
children, who are maintained there from their birth 
till the age of twenty-one years. 

Moscow was not slow to follow the example of the 
capital. In 1906, Bernstein, with the collaboration of 
Baltalon, Ignatieff, Rossolimo, and Bogdanoff, founded 


a Societe pedagogique, which opened a laboratory in 
1908. Professor Tchelpanoff took part in the work 
by conducting a laboratory of psychology at the uni- 
versity. At Odessa paidology is represented by N. 
Lange — the author of the work on L'dme de Venfant 
(1893) — and at Kasan by Iwanovsky. In 1897 
Teliatnik made a study of mental fatigue ; in 1900 
Lesgaft published a work upon types of scholars ; 
and, in 1910, Roumanzieff published a general work 
on paidology. 

In 1906, and in 1909, two Conferences russes de 
psychopedagogie were held at St. Petersburg, and 
they contributed much to the extension of the new 
science. In June 1909 a Societe russe de pedagogie 
experimentale was constituted, under the presidency 
of Netschajeff. 

In Poland also we find that a Societe polonaise 
pour V etude de Venfant was founded in 1897, by 
Mile. Szyc, MM. Weryho, Chodecki, and Bogdano- 
wicz. Since 1887 there have appeared, in Polish, 
various paidological studies, carried out by Dawid 
and A. Szyc. 

In Bulgaria paidology is represented, at Sofia, by 
Professors Gheorgov — author of important works 
upon the evolution of language in children — ^Noicow, 
and Dr. Bonoff ; and in the provinces by E. Ivanoff. 
At Schumna a little journal of empirical pedagogy 
has appeared, since 1909, under the direction of Zoneff 
and Gineif. 

In Servia there was founded, in 1906, a Societe pour 
la psychologie de Venfant, of which the headquarters is 
at Belgrade. It publishes a Bulletin, conducted by 
S. Yevritsch, a teacher. 

In Roumania there are Mme. Conta-Kernbach — 


author of works on pedagogy — Radulescu-Motru — 
professor at Bucharest and director of the Studii 
filosofice — and Vaschide (who died in 1907). 

In Scandinavia the name of Sweden is closely asso- 
ciated, in the minds of educators, with that of Ling, 
the originator of Swedish gymnastics, who, a century 
ago, tried to estabhsh physical education upon a 
rational basis, such as we are endeavouring to-day to 
make for psychical education. In 1889 Axel Key, 
the hygienist, pubhshed his celebrated researches 
on puberty. In 1901 Mme. Ellen Key brought out 
her book Le Siede de F enfant, which achieved a far- 
reaching and deserved success. Psycho-pedagogy, 
properly so called, is cultivated by Alrutz, editor of 
the journal Psyke (founded in 1906), Scheele, editor of 
the pedagogical journal Manhem (1905-1907), Geijer, 
Hammer, Larsson, Beckman, Herrlin, Bergqvist, &c. 

For Norway we may cite the names of the psycho- 
logists Aall and Aars. 

For Denmark we may mention the psychologists 
Hoffding and Lehmann, and Drs. Malling-Hansen and 

Spain has possessed, since 1882, a Musee pedagogique 
national, at Madrid ; which was established with the 
view of bringing together all that concerns teaching, 
and organising conferences, meetings, excursions, &c. 
This museum has had, since 1894, a laboratory of 
psychology, directed by Professor Simarro, and with 
the paidological teaching in the charge of MM. Cossio, 
D. Barnes (director and secretary of the museum), 
and Rubio. Various works dealing with our science 
have been published in the course of the last few 
years : anthropometric researches on children, by 
Rufino Blanco and Luis de Hoyos Sainz ; the language 


of children, by Machado ; the psychology of children, 
by Sanz del Rioz and Giner de los Rios ; and child- 
culture, by Professor Vargas (of Barcelona). Many 
of these works have been published in La Evolucion 
pedagogica, a journal published at Barcelona ; and 
others in the Boletin de la Institucion libre de Ensenanza 
— this institution, founded in 1876, is a free, non- 
sectarian school, which endeavours, with success, so 
I am assured, to instil new pedagogical ideas. Ab- 
normal children are the objects of the devoted care 
of F, Pereira — ^who has published, since 1907, a small 
review, La Infancia anormal, at Madrid. 

We cannot permit ourselves to finish with Spain 
without having done honour to the memory of Fran- 
cisco Ferrer, the apostle-pedagogue, shot at Montjuich 
on October 13, 1909, in the odious circumstances that 
are well known. He conducted, since 1908, a journal, 
UEcole renovee, published in Paris, having for its aim 
— as its name indicates — the reforming of the school. 
The executioners of Ferrer, in making him the martyr 
of free thought, have magnified his name immeasur- 
ably; they have taken his life, but they have made 
him immortal. 

From the Argentine Republic have come, during the 
last few years, some interesting works on child psycho- 
logy and pedagogy, due, amongst others, to Dr. Senet, 
Pinero, Ducceschi, and above all to V. Mercante — 
formerly director of a training college at Buenos 
Ayres, at present director of the pedagogical depart- 
ment of the University of La Plata. He is also the 
author of a large work on the development of the 
mathematical capacity of the child ; and he founded, 
in 1906, the Archivos de Pedagogia y ciencias afines. 

Japan possesses, at Tokio, a Societe de pedologie, 


which has been estabHshed twenty years, and has 
more than a thousand members. It is presided 
over by Professor Motora, publishes a journal, Jido 
Kenkyu, and organises annual conferences. Sakaki, 
professor of psychiatry at Fukuoka, is well known for 
his researches on school fatigue. 

Switzerland, divided into twenty- two autonomous 
cantons for all that concerns public education, does 
not offer very favourable ground for the propagation 
of great scientific movements. School hygiene is repre- 
sented by a large society, Schweizerische Gesellschaft 
fur Schulgesundheitspflege, which publishes a Jahrbuch. 
Abnormal children are also the objects of close study 
by educators ; and every two years a small congress 
of those interested in the lot of these unfortunate 
ones meets — Konferenz fur das Idiotenwesen. The first 
was held in Zurich in 1889. But paidology, as such, 
has not, in Switzerland, a medium which centralises 
or co-ordinates isolated efforts. 

At Zurich pedagogy is represented by F. W. Foerster, 
whose book UEcole et le caractere has obtained a well- 
deserved success. Dr. Schwarz, in Schule und Leben 
(1910), demands that pedagogy should proceed along 
more psychological lines. Pastor Pfister, inspired by 
the new and much-discussed theories of Freud — which 
are represented in Zurich by Bleuler and Jung — shows 
by striking examples, drawn from his personal ex- 
perience, the invaluable help that psycho-analysis can 
give to those who have the care of souls, and lays 
the foundations of an Experimentelle Moralpddagogik. 
Dr. Zollinger, Secretary of Public Instruction, edits 
the Feuilles Suisses d'hygiene scolaire et de protection 
de Venfance. Ebert, a teacher, has studied, in colla- 
boration with Meumann, the education of the memory. 


Among others we may mention O. Messmer, of Ror- 
schach, the author of a work on the psychology of 

At Berne Dr. Vannod carried through, in 1896, 
some researches on the measurement of mental fatigue 
among scholars. At Lausanne Dr. Combe has collected 
a number of anthropometric records from the schools 
(1886), and Larguier des Bancels has studied methods 
of memorising. At Neuchatel Professor P. Bo vet has 
founded a Collection d'acticalites pedugogiques (edited 
by the " Foyer solidariste "), which was started with 
the translation of a work by Foerster, mentioned 
above, and with the Vie mentale de Vadolescent of 

At Geneva, the home of Rousseau and of Mme. 
Necker de Saussure, we doubtless do not do all that 
we should, for the honour of these great ancestors. 
We are, however, able to mention some paidological 
studies — by Boubier on the plays of children during 
lessons ; of Lemaitre, professor at our college, on 
various phenomena discovered among his pupils (in- 
ternal language, s3Tiopses, mental dissociations, &c.) ; 
by A. Ferriere on the new education. Mile. Borst 
published in 1904 some Recherches sur Veducahilite du 
temoignage ; Katzaroff, in 1908, some Experiences sur 
la Memorisation. Most of these essays have appeared 
in the Archives de Psychologic, founded in 1901. The 
Societe pedagogique Genevoise established four years 
ago, at my suggestion, a Section pour Vetude psycho- 
logique de Venfant, It has produced some interesting 
works, of which I will mention only that of Mile. 
Metral, on the memory of spelling — the only one 
which has been published. This section, however, is 
far from having made the progress that it merits. 


The reorganisation of the special teaching of back- 
ward children, which has just been accomplished, will 
doubtless give an impetus to researches in school 
paidology. From 1903 I have conducted at the 
University a course in child psychology, inspired by 
the new methods. At various times, also — through 
the enlightened interest of the Chief of our Public 
Instruction — courses, conferences, or seminaires, on 
pedagogical psychology, designed specially for all 
teachers in the primary schools, or for candidates 
for primary teaching, have been organised at our 
laboratory of psychology at the University. 

The world of teachers appears also to feel the neces- 
sity for a closer touch with psychology and its methods. 
Their principal organs, in Switzerland, UEducateur, 
edited by Professor Guex, director of the normal 
schools of the canton Vaud, and the Schweizerische 
Lehrerzeitung, edited by Fritschi and Conrad, both 
give more and more prominence to questions of school 
psychology. At its last triennial assembly, held at 
Geneva in 1907, the Society p^dagogique romande dis- 
cussed the grave question of how the school ought 
to proceed, so as to secure the normal development 
of pupils in accordance with their individual aptitudes. 
This is a happy sign of the times. 

In 1907 I proposed to Swiss teachers a collective 
experiment upon children's drawings. By means of 
the generous support of M. Guex, this experiment 
produced brilliant results, which have been fully set 
forth by M. Ivanoff . 

Thus we see that, to-day, the pedagogical question 
is pre-eminently " the question of the day." The 
large number of international congresses devoted to 
questions of education or of paidology suffice to prove 


the need that is felt of revising the old pedagogical 
conceptions, and infusing into them some positive 
methods — International Congress on School Hygiene, 
Nuremberg 1904, London 1907, Paris 1910 ; Congress 
on Home Education, Liege 1905, Milan 1906, Brussels 
1910 ; Congress on Moral Education, London 1908 ; 
International Congress on the Teaching of Drawing, 
Paris 1900, Berne 1904, London 1908 ; Congresses on 
General Psychology have also given an important 
place to pedagogical psychology. 

In the month of August 1909 various paidologists, 
gathered at Geneva on the occasion of the sixth Inter- 
national Congress on Psychology, took steps to form 
a committee for organising some future International 
Congresses on Paidology. A fresh meeting, which 
was arranged at Paris on the 27th of the following 
December, definitely constituted this committee, and 
appointed Schuyten as its president. As a result of 
a very striking coincidence there was founded on the 
same day, and also at Paris, a similar committee at 
the instigation of MM. Binet and van Biervliet. This 
second committee, which took the name of " The 
International Committee of Pedagogical Psychology," 
has for its principal object the co-ordination of the 
efforts of paidologists, and the endeavour to introduce 
into the practice of education " the definite and useful 
conclusions resulting from researches in pedagogical 
psychology." Let us hope that these two committees, 
composed partly of the same persons, will lose no 
time in amalgamating. 

All this activity has already begun to bear fruit. 
Some educators have realised the necessity of organising 
school life in a fashion more in accord with the needs 
of the child. In 1898 Dr. Lietz founded in the Hartz 


a Landerziehungsheim, or country school, to enable 
the developing of children to take place in conditions 
less artificial, and less removed from the reality of life, 
than town schools. His example has been followed, 
and to-day we find these " new schools " not only 
in Germany, but also in England, France, Poland, 
Denmark, and in Russia. In Switzerland there are 
half-a-dozen : at Glarisegg (Thurgovie), Oberkirch 
(St. Gall), Chailly sur Lausanne, Chataigneraie near 
Coppet, and Griinau near Berne. 

There are also boarding-houses due to private 
initiative. Shall we ever be able to let the public 
school benefit by this new conception of school life ? 
Efforts have been made in this direction ; and dif- 
ferent towns have already organised some " forest 
schools" (Waldschulen) — in Germany, at Charlotten- 
burg, from 1904, since at Mulhouse, Gladbach, Elber- 
feld, Kiel, Liibeck, Munich, &c. ; in Switzerland, at 
Hessigkofen (Soleure) and Lausanne ; in England, at 
London, Bradford, and Halifax ; in France, at 
Lyons ; in the United States, at Providence and 

And even more, the town of Mannheim, through the 
efforts of Sickinger and Dr. Moses, introduced in its 
schools, in 1905, a system of organisation based upon 
the fact of the diverse capacities of pupils. Each 
class has been divided into three subdivisions : one 
for intelligent pupils, a second for the weak, and the 
third for the very weak. What may be the value of 
this organisation, considered in its detail, we need 
not discuss here, but it is devoted to the great prin- 
ciple of adapting the teaching to the mental nature 
of the scholar. The Mannheim System stands in 
the history of pedagogy as the first administrative 


application of a principle consciously deduced from 
child psychology. 

Truth would seem to be on the march. 


There does not exist, to my knowledge, any work setting forth in 
detail the history of the modern paidological movement. Some 
information, more or less detailed, will be found in the following 
works : — 

The Paidological Movement in General. — Fritzsch, Die Anfdnge der 
Kinderpsychologie und die Vorldufer des Versuchs in der Pddagogik, 
Z. pad. P. XI., 1910. Chrisman, Paidologie, Entwurf einer Wissen- 
schaft des Kindes, Diss. Jena, 1896 ; Evolution of Paidology, Paidol. I., 
1900. Kemsies, Entwickelung der pad. -Psychol, im 19. Jahrhundert, 
Z. pad. P. IV. RouMA, Le mouvement moderne en faveur de Vetude 
scient. de V enfant, Ed. mod., Jan. 1910. 

America. — Stimpfl, Z. pad. P. I. Monroe, Macdonald, ibid. ; 
Hall, ibid. V., p. 112. Meyer, Z. ang. Ps. I., 471. Cameron, 
Wissench. Pddagogik in Amerika, Z. exp. Pad. X. Hall, General 
OiUline of the new Child Study Work at Clark University, Ped. Sem., 
June 1910. 

Europe. — ^Monroe, Ped. Sem. VI., and various articles in Z. ang. 
Ps. I. 

Germany. — On the Institut de pid. exp. de Leipzig, Schlager, 
Z. exp. Pad. VIII. ; Z. pad. P. XI. On the aims of other Teachers' 
Societies, cf. Z. exp. Pad. X., and Z. pad. P. XI. Meumann and 
CoRDSEN, Der Bund f. Schidreform, Z. exp. Pad. X. On the schools 
of Mannheim, Deuchler, Z. pad. P. X. (where will be found a 
bibliography). The nieetings of the Vereine fur Kinderpsychologie 
of Berlin and Jena are summarised in the Z. pad. P. 

Belgium. — Schuyten, Z. ang. Ps. I., 278. Jonckheere, Z. exp. 
Pad. v., 105. France. — On the Laboratoire-ecole, Binet, An. psy. 
XII., 233. Hungary. — Ranschburg, Z. exp. Pad. II., 121. 
Italy. — LoMBROSO, Kf. I., 24 ; Consoni, Ar. de Ps. IX., 147 ; 
Credaro, La scuola pedagogica, Rome, 1907 ; Saffiotti, Das 
Stddtische Lab. f. exp. Pddag., Z. ang. Ps. III., 1910. Russia. — 
JtjRGENS, Z, exp. Pad. III. ; Gretchoulevitch, Ar. de Psy. IX. ; 
Ephrussi, Z. ang. Ps. II., 301 ; Netchajeff, Pddag. Akademie in 
St. Petersburg, ibid. III., 315. 

Some general information will also be found in the articles pub- 
lished periodically by Blum in the Rev. philos. ; by Compayre in 


VEd. mod. on the paidological movement ; by Ament, Fortschritte 
der Kinderseelenkunde (1895-1903), Leipzic, 1906; also in the Arch, 
intern, d'hygiene scolaire and other paidological periodicals, which 
frequently publish reports on the progress of hygiene or school 
psychology, in various countries. 

On the New Schools. — Lietz, Emlohstohba, Roman oder Wirk- 
lichkeit, Berlin, 1897 ; Die deutschen Landerziehungsheime, Leipsic, 
1910; Principes fondamentaux des Landerz., Educ, March 1903. 
Ferriere, Hermann Lietz, Biblioth. Univers., 1909 ; Projet d\'cole 
nouvelle, St. Blaise, 1909; V.cole nouvelle, methodologie et applica- 
tions. Rev. psy. 1910. Badley (head of the Bedales School), 
Educ, December 1909. 

On Open Air Schools. — Baginsky, Ueber Waldschulen, Z. pad. 
P. VIII., 1906. RouviA, L' cole en foret, extr. de la Vie. Intell., 
Brussels, 1908. Schoen, Les nouvelles ccoles sous hois, Educ, 
Sept. 1909. Curtis, Out-door Schools, Fed. Sem., June 1909 
(with a bibUography). 



What are the problems to which Child Psychology 
and Experimental Pedagogy have to furnish solutions ? 

They are very different in kind according to the 
point of view from which we look at them. 

Before setting forth the data, it is necessary to put 
very clearly the meaning of each of these two terms, 
as well as the relations which unite them, both to 
each other and also to Paidology and Pedagogy. Since 
these two terms are often used the one for the other, 
it will be useful to give them a definite and fixed 

1. Theoretical Problems, and Problems of 

Application ( f 

The science of the child embraces all those posi- 
tive branches of knowledge which have to do with 
the child and his development — including the methods 
enabling us to attain to these branches of knowledge. 
This science of the child, like all science, may be pure 
or applied. As pure science it has for its object the 
determining of all the physical, physiological, or 
psychological phenomena which relate to the child, 
and the impartial search for the laws of these pheno- 
mena. As applied science it endeavours to discover 
the practical means for arriving at certain given ends. 


Paidology and Paidotechny. — To distinguish 
more easily between these two terms we shall restrict 
the name of Paidology ^ to the pure science, and that 
of Paidotechny ^ to the applied. 

Paidology includes within its limits a whole series 
of sciences : Child Psychology, Child Pathology, Child 
Physiology, &c. — in a word, all the sciences which may 
of directly concern the child. 

Paidotechny has as many ramifications as there are 
ends to which the knowledge of the child may be 
applied. These ends are manifold : we want to know 
the child so that we may cure him if he is ill ; and 
this medical section of paidotechny is called Paidiatry. 
We wish to know the child so that we may be able 
to judge if he is guilty of a crime, and to regenerate 
him. This is Judicial Paidotechny. We desire also 
to know the child so that we may educate him. This 
is Experimental Pedagogy. 

In fact, I believe that these three branches are 
the only ones which have sprung from the trunk of 
paidotechny — and, further, judicial paidotechny is 
best looked upon as simply a branch of experi- 
mental pedagogy. But we can easily imagine other 

^ It may be objected that since " paidology " signifies " science 
of the child," it is an error in logic to restrict its use to the pure 
science, at the same time as we extend the appellation of " science 
of the child " to all that is included in the term. But what would 
be the use of Greek translations of French words, if it were not 
precisely that it enables us to vary and to enrich the nomenclature, 
by setting apart a special name for a certain category of objects 
which the French word does not expressly designate ? For example, 
" bible," though it is an exact translation of the word " book," none 
the less retains a special meaning, which we find it very convenient 
to use ; similarly, " lithography " is but one definite kind of 
"writing on stone," &c. 

2 This word has been suggested by Persigout, Ed. mod., 1907, p. 243. 


branches : — Cannibals might, and doubtless do, apply 
a knowledge of the child to the culinary art ; manu- 
facturers might ask of child physiology if it is more 
economical to use the child rather than the adult for 
certain manual work. . . . But it matters little to us 
how numerous may be the possible number of sections 
in paidotechny, since we have to consider here only 
one of them, viz. experimental pedagogy. 

Experimental Pedagogy is the knowledge of, or the 
inquiry into, the circumstances favourable to the de- 
velopment of the child, ^ and the means of educating 
him towards a given end. Hence it includes Psycho- 
pedagogy and School Hygiene, and, if it has to do 
with the education of abnormal children. Medico- 
pedagogy or Orthophreny (the putting right of mental 
deformities : Greek orthos, right, phren, mind). But, 
of this total. Psycho -pedagogy is so large a part — not 
only because the formation of the mental functions 
assumes a wide field of knowledge, but, above all, 
because it is to that formation that all other educative 
means ought to be subordinated — that it is often it 
alone that we understand by the term experimental 

Experimental Pedagogy and General Peda- 
gogy. — The definition of experimental pedagogy which 
has just been given marks it off from pedagogy in 
general, of which it is also a part. Experimental 
pedagogy works with a certain end in view, but this 
end is given to it ; that is to say, that it takes it such 
as it is, without discussing it, and without consider- 

^ Experimental pedagogy pushes its roots also into adult and 
animal psychology. It is none the less true, however, that the 
laws derived from the study of adults or animals will be of use to 
pedagogy only in so far as we have reason for supposing that these 
laws also govern the psychic phenomena of the child. 


ing its value. " Being given such and such an end, 
by what means can we attain it ? " "It being given 
that we wish to make a child an honest worker, or 
on the contrary a pickpocket, how can we bring it 
about ? " Such is the kind of problem which it has 
to solve. But it has not to give a decision upon the 
question if this particular child should embrace one 
rather than the other of these professions. 

This study of ends belongs to another part of peda- 
gogy : to Dogmatic (or Teleologic) Pedagogy, which 
will borrow from morals, philosophy, aesthetics, religion, 
sociology, and politics, an ideal, more or less remote, 
or more or less immediate, towards which it should 
direct the educative action. 

We sometimes pretend that science is able to fur- 
nish us with this ideal. But this is an error, and 
we ought to be quite convinced that it is. Science 
explains the course of phenomena, but it never lays 
it down that phenomena ought to follow one course 
rather than another. Chemistry teaches us about the 
explosive power of dynamite, but it does not tell us 
what use we ought to make of this explosive power : 
whether we ought to employ it to blow up a mine 
or a potentate. Physiology teaches us what are the 
effects of morphia, but it does not tell us whether we 
ought to niake use of it to relieve rather than to kill 
the sick : it simply says, " // you wish to relieve, then 
take such and such a dose ; if you wish to kill, go 
up to this dose." And that is all it does ; its recipe 
given, it is not concerned in the use made of it. 

Science being bhnd in regard to the end we pro- 
pose to ourselves, as a Daltonian^ is blind to red 
colour, it is not able, therefore, to point out to us 

1 So named after the discoverer (Dalton) of colour-blindness. 


what we ought to make of a child : towards what 
destiny to embark him. Ought he to become an 
atheist, or a bigot ; a patriot, or an internationahst ; 
a blacksmith, a solicitor, or a sailor ? Science never 
answers questions of this sort ; all that it is able to 
do is to show that the child is more likely to succeed 
in one career rather than in another — it predicts, for 
example, that a very agile and adroit child will be a 
good pickpocket ; but it never tells us whether we 
ought to encourage or, on the other hand, counteract 
these natural dispositions. It does not even tell us 
that it is necessary to make anything whatever of the 
child ; and it declines to have anything whatever to 
do with the serious question as to the knowledge of 
what are " the rights of the child " : whether the 
child belongs to itself, or whether it belongs to its 

Similarly, when purely physical education, or 
hygiene, is in question, we find that the verdicts of 
science remain subordinate to the philosophical aspira- 
tions of those who deal with the problem. Here is a 
striking example of this : Ought, or ought not, the 

^ Compare this portion of the report of the meeting, on March 17, 
1903, of the Chamber of Deputies, at Paris : — 

M. Reille. That concerns only the parents. 

M. Ferdinand Buisson. The child does not belong to the parents. 
{Strong protests from the right and the centre.) 

M. Lasies. To whom does it belong ? 

M. F. Buisson. To whom does the child belong ? To himself. 
He is a hmnan being. If I were to speak in the terms of those who 
interrupt me, I should say that he is a creature of God, and does 
not belong to any other creature. 

On this question of the rights of the child, see Daubresse, 
U emancipation de Venjant, Revue bleue, Mar. 21, 1903 ; and 
Tauro, Fondamento e limiti del diritto di educare, Coenobium, 
April 1910. 


child to be fed on meat ? This seems to be a wholly 
scientific question. But if you consult the doctors, 
you will find that moral considerations are by no 
means omitted from their prescriptions. Dr. de 
Fleury, for example, condemns vegetarianism as 
enervating to both body and mind, disposing to 
sedentary professions, and extinguishing the spirit of 
adventure and conquest. On the other hand, his col- 
league, Professor Armand Gautier, affirms that vege- 
tarianism ought to be adopted, " because it tends to 
make us pacific, and not aggressive and violent " ; 
because it forms " kindly, intelligent, and artistic races, 
who are, nevertheless, prolific, vigorous, and active." ^ 
It is certainly not biological chemistry or physiology 
which enjoins us to be, or not to be, a people given up 
to sedentary occupations, to conquests, or to anything 
whatever. Biology itself, the science of life, ascertains 
what are the circumstances most favourable to life, 
but it does not say that we must live. It teaches us 
how to perpetuate races, but it does not tell us whether 
we ought to perpetuate our own race : whether we 
ought to be celibate or to have many children. 

Pedagogy, then, is marked off from experimental 
pedagogy in that it implies the study of the ends of 
education. It includes also other departments : The 
history of pedagogical theories ; the study of school 
organisations, considered from the material or ad- 
ministrative point of view ; and finally, and above 
all, Propaideutics, that is to say, the art itself of educa- 
tion, the technical apprenticeship of teaching. It is 
not sufficient, in fact, to be a good educator, to know 
the end to be attained, and the means to attain it ; 

1 De Fleury, Le corps et Vcime de V enfant, Paris, 1900, p. 47 ; A. 
Gautier, IJ alimentation et les regimes, Paris, 1904, p. 397. 


it is also necessary to be personally trained in the 
art of applying these means, just as a violinist trains 
himself to carry out the movements which theory has 
taught him. We shall not concern ourselves here 
with these various departments. 

Psycho-Paidology and Psycho-Pedagogy. — Let 
us now return to the psychology of the child and con- 
sider it in its two forms : 1st, yure child psychology 
(Psycho-paidology), which has for its object the ex- 
planation of the processes and of the psychic activity 
of the child, that is to say, the determination of laws 
as general as possible. 2nd, the psychology of the 
child as applied to pedagogy (Psycho-pedagogy), of 
which the problems, being all of a practical nature, 
divide themselves into two classes, according as they 
concern the appraising of a certain given psychical 
state (psychodiagnostics), or the obtaining of a certain 
desired resultant (psychotechnics). 

An example will easily make clear to us the differ- 
ence between these three sorts of problems. Let us 
take the question of intellectual fatigue. Pure psycho- 
logy will ask. What is fatigue ; what is its nature ; 
what are its physiological conditions ; its variations 
according to age, sex, the nature and duration of the 
work ; and what are the laws which synthesise its 
various manifestations ? Psychodiagnostics, on the 
other hand, concerns itself only with the discovery 
of practical methods for estimating, and diagnosing 
the presence or the degree of fatigue in a given case. 

As to psychotechnics, this is the sort of question 
that it puts : How can we fight against fatigue ? 
Given a piece of work to do, how can we carry it 
through with the least possible fatigue ? At what 
point should we interrupt the work so that the pauses 


may be most profitable ? Of what duration ought 
an interval of recreation to be, in order to counter- 
act the fatigue resulting from forty-five minutes of 
work ? &c. 

If, instead of fatigue, we consider memory, the three 
different points of view present themselves anew. 
Pure psychology : What are the laws of memory ; its 
factors ; its evolution ? Psychodiagnostics : How can 
we measure memory, the faculty of acquisition, the 
conservation of recollections in an individual or in a 
given case ? Psychotechnics : What is the best way 
in which to memorise a passage in a given time ? 
How can we educate memory ? &c. 

We see that these three points of view exactly 
correspond to those under which the problems of 
medicine present themselves : pure psychology being 
analogous to physiology and general pathology ; 
psychodiagnostics corresponding to clinical diagnos- 
tics ; and psychotechnics to therapeutics. 

Psychodiagnostics may have for its object the esti- 
mation of a present character or, on the other hand, 
of a future aptitude or condition. We may, in fact, 
be interested in asking not only if, to-day, Paul is 
overworked or not, and what his power of attention 
may be ; but, especially, if he risks overworking him- 
self by undertaking such and such work ; and if he 
shows such aptitudes that we ought to direct his 
attention to the exact sciences, or to the fine arts, or 
to commerce and industry. This diagnosis for a long 
time ahead, which deserves the name of psychoprog- 
nostics, certainly constitutes a problem of first-rate 
importance. What life failures, disillusions, and ruin 
would be spared us if only, in the choice of a career, 
more account were taken of the natural aptitudes of 
















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young people. 1 This is, it is true, a question of the 
future, which assumes a very accurate knowledge of 
the laws of heredity, and an enormous quantity of 
exact records, examined by the help of rigorous 
methods. To-day, however, we are able to begin the 
gathering in of such documents, and the problems 
which present themselves to us are as follows : (1) This 
man of whom we know the character and aptitudes, 
what was he as a child ? (2) This child, who is en- 
dowed in such and such a manner, who shows such 
and such an interest for work, what will he do later 
on in life ? 

Such are the problems which can only be solved 
by many observations, each extending over a long 
period. Old schoolmasters who have retained an 
exact recollection of their former pupils might be able 
to furnish useful hints as to what became of the 
pupils later. And young teachers ought, hencefor- 
ward, to begin to take accurate notes about those of 
their pupils whom, it is probable, they will not lose 
sight of when they are grown up. By systematically 
comparing the school records of pupils who have 
attended the same college for six or seven years 
consecutively, we may, even now, obtain some useful 

Among the psycho technic problems, there is one 
category which, from the point of view of practical 
pedagogy, has a special importance, viz. that which 
concerns the processes of teaching, and which we 
have grouped under the term Experimental Didactics. 

1 Jonckheere has shown, particularly, that the profession of 
teacher is but rarely undertaken because of a vocation for it 
(Jonckheere, Contribution a Vitvde de la vocation, Arch, de Psy. 
VIII., 1909, p. 55). 


This in its turn includes problems of methodology, 
technics, and economics. Methodological Didactics 
determines the best methods for initiating the pupil 
into new knowledge, and for instructing him in that 
branch of knowledge. What is the best method for 
learning to read ? for learning geometry ? for learn- 
ing to speak a foreign language ? for learning to trans- 
late into good English ? to ride a horse ? — such is 
the form in which its problems present themselves. 
Technical and Economical Didactics seeks, once the 
method of teaching is determined, to find the technical 
procedure which enables us to apply this method 
in developing to the greatest possible extent the 
natural aptitudes of the pupil ; in placing him in the 
most favourable conditions for work ; and in making 
him accomplish his task in the most economical 
manner, that is to say, by the expenditure of the 
least possible energy and time. 

Let us take as an example the teaching of the 
English language. We will assume that proper ex- 
periments have shown that one way of training pupils 
to speak this language well is to make them learn by 
heart passages from good authors. Here we have a 
method belonging to methodological didactics. But 
which will be the better process, to memorise passages 
of prose or of poetry ? This is a problem which comes 
within the province of technical-economical didactics. 
A problem which belongs to didactics is that of the 
Educator. Given a group of children to bring up, to 
instruct, what is the attitude that it is desirable that 
the teacher should take on coming face to face with 
them ; and what ought to be the character of the 
teacher ? What are the temperaments which are 
most suitable for the pedagogic vocation ? The 


Psychology of the Master certainly appears to belong 
to psycho technics. 

We still have to describe, as a new-comer into this 
group of problems, Eugenics. This new department, 
created by Galton (see p. 17), and which has for its 
object " the study of the natural social elements which 
improve or debase the native qualities, both physical 
and mental, of the race," is certainly an applied 
science, since it pursues a very definite object, that of 
indicating the practical means of making future gene- 
rations as healthy as possible. That part of eugenics 
which is only concerned with the improvement of 
mental characteristics may be given the name of 

The Rational Method and the Empirical 
Method. — For the finding of the solution of the 
various problems which present themselves, two 
methods offer themselves to psycho -pedagogy — the 
rational method (theoretical deduction), and the em- 
pirical method (gropings). 

If it be possible, psycho-pedagogy will choose the 
rational method, that is to say, it will derive its 
sources of information from pure science. From the 
psycho-physiological laws of mental life it will deduce 
the data which will enable it to act upon the psychical 
functions of the child, or to estimate their quality and 
strength. It is in this way that the general laws of 
mental development point out the line of action which 
should be followed in education and in instruction ; 
the manner in which, for example, the idea of number 
is developed in the race or in the child suggests useful 
ideas as to the beginnings of instruction in arithmetic ; 
and it is thus also, that, from the laws of memorisa- 
tion or of forgetfulness, we are able to derive practical 




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guidance as to the manner of presenting to the child 
the things which it ought to learn ; so, again, from 
the laws governing suicide amongst scholars we may- 
deduce the means of preventing it, &c. Or, yet again, 
to give an example derived from psychodiagnosis : a 
knowledge of the normal development of certain 
functions enables us, up to a certain point, to diagnose 
the amount of backwardness of a child in whom the 
function has not shown itself, &c. 

But pure psychology is too little advanced to fur- 
nish precise answers to a thousand questions which 
present themselves to the educator. And, on the 
other hand, reality is so complex, and such a large 
number of factors intersect, that it will often be 
practically impossible to disentangle the action of a 
single process, even if we knew its laws. Also, it 
will very often be necessary that applied psychology 
should go on ahead, flying, as it were, with its own 
wings. It will then have recourse to empiricism ; it 
will proceed by gropings ; and, in default of general 
laws, it will search for signs, for recipes. Thus, not 
being able to discover anything from the laws of the 
mechanism of fatigue as to the practical manner of 
diagnosing this condition and estimating its degree, it 
will seek to find, by gropings,^ what are the signs of 

1 This word " groping," which is used here for definitely indicating 
the empirical method, does not exclude, it must be clearly under- 
stood, an absolute strictness in the inquiry. The inquiry will 
always be founded upon observation and experiment. " Gropings " 
signifies that the problem consists not in the determination of the 
nature (resolving) of a given phenomenon, but in the inquiry as to 
what is the phenomenon which best suits the proposed end. Thus 
one will explore the various sensorial and motor processes until he 
finds one which, varying in a fashion sufficiently closely with fatigue, 
will serve in the estimating of its amount. 


fatigue, and by what certain and convenient means 
they may be registered. Similarly, not being able to 
deduce from the laws of memory, insufficiently estab- 
lished, any positive indication as to the best processes 
of teaching orthography, psycho -pedagogy will test, 
empirically, what are — among the various possible pro- 
cesses for teaching this subject (spelling, transcrip- 
tion, &c.) — those which succeed best. 

In medicine it is just the same. Medical clinic 
is nearly always in advance of physiopathological 
theories. It employs many medicaments, because 
experience has shown that they succeeded, although 
we do not at all know how they act. What is, for 
example, the mode of action of saUcylate of soda in 
rheumatism ? We do not know. Though many 
theories try to give an account of it, not one is defini- 
tive. Diagnostic signs, like the means of treatment, 
are also far more often empirical than rational. The 
" white tongue " is an excellent sign of gastric dis- 
order. But why does gastric disorder blanch the 
tongue ? Nobody knows anything about this. 

Like medicine, psycho-pedagogy will more often be 
empirical than rational. But that in no wise lessens 
its practical value. Empirical formulae, if they are 
founded upon sound experience, are quite as definite 
as derived laws ; from which they are only distin- 
guished by their lesser generality, and by the different 
practical part which they play : we take them for 
their own worth, and not so much for their explana- 
tory value. But we must not forget that it is the 
accumulation of empirical formulae which leads to the 
discovery of rational laws. Applied science is thus in 
its turn most useful to pure science : each lends to the 
other a mutual support. Between child psychology 


and psycho-pedagogy there will, in consequence, be 
set up a constant exchange of give and take. 

2. Pedagogical Problems 

Since experimental pedagogy is, as we have just 
seen, the science which is destined to furnish the 
means whereby the educator can reach the end which 
he proposes, the first thing to do is to make quite 
clear what is the end which he tries to attain. 

What is the aim of education ? Very few agree 
upon this point. So many persons, so many points 
of view. Each, naturally, wishes that education 
should be taken in the sense of his preferences, social 
or political, philosophical or religious. If we make up 
our minds to wait until the whole world is agreed 
upon the end to be sought, the science of education 
would never be founded. 

Fortunately the problem is by no means so desperate 
as it seems. In the same way as the kneading of the 
paste is quite independent of the form which will be 
given to the pastry, so the manner of teaching is, 
up to a certain point, independent of the matter of 
teaching. The rules of harmony and the musical 
advice which a professor of singing gives, and the 
technical exercises which he makes his pupil perform, 
serve equally well for the execution of a patriotic or 
religious song as for a revolutionary hymn. 

On the other hand, instruction — especially primary 
instruction, and a good part of secondary — is an 
immediate end which is almost entirely independent 
of the final end of education. Many branches of study 
are entirely independent of the use which will be 
made of them, and remain the same whatever may be 


the final aims of the educator — arithmetic, ortho- 
graphy, physics, geography, &c. There is not a 
spirituahstic arithmetic and a materiahstic arith- 
metic, no more than there is a citizen physics and 
an anarchist physics. 

Education, by which I mean the education of the 
heart, the character, and the will — the education 
which ought to dominate the whole of our school 
system, where instruction actually reigns alone — edu- 
cation can hardly be carried on at all unless we have 
before us a clearly defined ideal. It is not necessary 
here to discuss what this ideal ought to be. We 
need only remark that, in spite of inevitable individual 
divergencies, educators are agreed in recognising that 
it is proper to make of the child an honest and healthy 
man, independent in mind, and a lover of the good, 
the true, and the beautiful, and that his physical 
and intellectual potentialities should be developed 
with due regard to his personality. 

The pursuit of this aim brings the educator face 
to face with a certain number of problems of practical 
pedagogy, which may be grouped under the following 
four heads : the preservation of health, intellectual 
and physical gymnastics, memory furnishing, and 
education proper. Each of these aims admits of its 
own special problems.^ 

1. Health Preservation. — The first duty of the edu- 
cator, every one will agree, is to do no harm. The 
primo non nocere (firstly not to harm) is as much in 
its place here as in medical practice. Certainly, it is 
impossible to conform literally to this requirement, 

1 The problems referred to here are those previously included 
under the name of psychotechnics ; but they will now be looked at 
from the point of view of their educational function. 


for all school education is harmful in some way to 
the normal development of the child, if it only be 
that the child is obliged to remain seated the whole 
day in a close atmosphere, and with bent back, instead 
of being allowed to run about freely. 

But the constant care of the educator ought to be 
to reduce the injury as much as possible : he ought 
never to do such harm to a child, under the pretext 
of instructing him, that it outweighs the good that 
results to him from the instruction. What is the 
good of storing the memory of an individual, and 
teaching him the art of thinking, if this teaching 
results in overworking him, enfeebling his vital 
energies, and wearying him with effort ; that is to 
say, to keep him far away from precisely those 
situations in which he might be able to profit by his 
knowledge and his judgment ? 

The problem of health preservation includes, before 
all, the questions of fatigue and overpressure ; of 
overcrowding of syllabuses ; of the arrangement of 
time-tables (so as not to put too many exhausting 
lessons following each other) ; of the allotment of rest 
periods ; and of intellectual hygiene in general ; in 
a word, all the measures taken in order that the 
growth and development of the child may be hindered 
in nothing. 

Among the problems of health preservation there 
enters also the question of economy of work. Given 
that the forces of a pupil are limited, and that it is 
desirable to take from him the least possible amount 
of time, we set ourselves to find out what are the 
means which enable us to accomplish a piece of work 
with the minimum of effort, and in the best time. 
By the best time we do not mean the absolute minimum, 


but the most favourable length of time for the realisa- 
tion of the proposed end, without expenditure of any 
superfluous time or strength. For example : A piece 
of poetry has to be learned ; what is the process of 
study which will enable it to be learned by heart, 
while giving to it the least possible time and energy ? 

2. Gymnastics (mental and physical). — Before learn- 
ing anything it is necessary to learn how to learn. 
The problems which enter into this category relate to 
the education of the senses, of movements, of the power 
of observation, of attention, of judgment, of reasoning, 
and of natural aptitudes. They also have for their 
object the conditions most favourable to the stimu- 
lation or to the play of mental functions. For 
example : What is the normal order of the develop- 
ment of these faculties ? What is the value of such 
and such a study (the dead languages, mathe- 
matics, &c.) as a means of exercising such and such 
a faculty ? At what age ought a certain subject to 
be taught so that its gymnastic value may be the 
greatest ? What is the function of object-lessons, or 
manual work, or play, or physical exercise, in the 
development of intelligence ? Is the memory deve- 
loped by exercise ? Is it better that the pupil should 
work by himself, or, on the other hand, in common 
with his comrades ? For what kind of work is isola- 
tion most (or least) profitable ? 

3. Acquiring Information (instruction proper). — Im- 
portant as it is that we should learn how to learn, and 
however much we may lament the fact that the gym- 
nastics of the mind are too often sacrificed to the 
loading of the memory, it is none the less true that 
the acquisition of a solid capital of knowledge is, in 
fact, indispensable. It is necessary to furnish the 


memory, to make the nervous centres take on certain 
settled modes, and to create fixed habits ; and con- 
sequently questions arise which demand a knowledge 
of : at what age the mind is most apt for acquiring 
a given category of knowledge — through which memory 
(visual, auditive, verbal, or motor) impressions are 
best retained ; if we cannot facilitate the retention of 
facts by presenting them, and associating them, in a 
certain manner ; whether interest or repetition con- 
stitutes the best condition for the fixation of infor- 
mation ; at what time in the day the fixation of 
recollections is most easy (for example, before or after 
a meal, evening or morning), &c. 

4. Education proper. — Here it is not merely a ques- 
tion of exercising the intelligence or furnishing the 
memory, but rather of directing the character aright, 
of stimulating zeal, and of developing the will and 
personality. This task, the most delicate and difficult 
of all, includes alike the exercise or the inhibition of 
certain instincts, the cultivation of certain ideals, and 
the aoquisition of certain habits ; it implies, therefore, 
both gymnastics and furnishing ; it is a synthesis. 
The problems which it raises are numerous. For ex- 
ample : What are the elements of character, and how 
can we bring influence to bear on them ? What are 
the causes of idleness, and how can we act on them ? 
What are the conditions for will, and how can we 
strengthen it ? What is " zeal " ? Is the zeal that a 
scholar shows in his work the cause or the effect of 
his aptitude for that branch of his studies ? Has the 
development of the aesthetic tastes a re-echo in that 
of the moral quaUties ? What are the psychological 
foundations of lying ? How can we remedy fear, and 
timidity ? What is the influence of sports on the 


education of the will ? What are the psychological 
effects of punishments ? &c. 

We could multiply to infinity questions of this kind. 
It is important that we should convince ourselves that 
not one of them can be resolved a priori or by theo- 
retical discussions. Only experience is able to furnish 
the solution of them. But it is a 'priori, or by starting 
from preconceived dogmatic ideas, that the ordinary 
pedagogy — which I should hke to be allowed to call the 
" old pedagogy " — has always decided them, or daily 
decides them, as if they were the easiest things in the 
world, when the least of them is bristling with diffi- 

3. Geneeal, Individual, and Collective 

Having considered the problems of child psycho- 
logy from the point of view of their intrinsic form 

^ We may mention here an interesting classification given by 
Baade of the effects of teaching. This writer distinguishes those 
effects which are primary, belonging to instruction proper, and the 
effects which are secondary, arising unexpectedly and accidentally, 
without having been contemplated beforehand. These secondary 
effects are sub-divisible into three groups — 1st, Useful effects, 
pedagogically, such as that exercise of memory which takes place 
when we learn something ; 2nd, Effects upon the receptivity of the 
scholar : those influences which are able to further (as does interest) 
or to hinder (as does fatigue) the primary effects ; 3rd, Indifferent 
effects, but those which must be taken into account, simply because 
they exist and are liable to absorb energy uselessly, e.g. unmethodical 
repetitions in memorising. (Baade, Exp. und krit. Beitrdge z. Frage 
nach den sekunddren Wirkungen des Unterrichts, Dissertation, 
Gottingen, 1906.) These various categories of effects each raise 
problems connected with the four classes I have distinguished : the 
obtaining of the primary effects implies the problems of memory- 
furnishing and education ; and the secondary effects suggest the 
problems of gymnastics or the preservation of health. 


(diagnostics or technics), and under that of their 
practical bearing, it remains for us to differentiate 
them according to their universaHty. Sometimes, in 
fact, these problems only seek for averages, general 
results, the discovery of laws valid, broadly speaking, 
for all children of the same age : sometimes, on the 
other hand, they have for their object the individual 
in his concrete and personal reality, and they then 
aim to determine the individual differences which exist 
among children ; the various mental types ; that 
special constitution of each which makes John to be 
John and not Peter ; and sometimes they refer to 
children considered collectively. 

Individual Psychology. — The questions belonging 
to the second group, which constitutes what we have 
called individual psychology, are, we take it, of very 
great importance for the educator, whose action always 
affects, in the final result, individuals, each of whom 
has his own psychical character, his own personal 
manner of behaving, thinking, and feeling. 

Individual psychology includes four different prob- 
lems : — 

1. What are the individual varieties of the various 

psychical processes, considered in themselves ? 

2. What are the various types of individuals ? 

What is it that characterises an individual ? 
What is individuality ? 

3. What are the relations existing among the func- 

tions or psychical processes of the same indi- 
vidual ? Are there any processes of greater 
importance on which others depend ? 

4. Do the different functions which exist in the 

same individual reciprocally influence each 
other, and to what extent ? 


1. Individual Varieties of Processes. — This problem 
includes the study of the various types, quantita- 
tive and quaHtative, of memory (strong, feeble), im- 
agination (visual, auditory, &c.), attention (synthetic, 
analytic, concentrated, diffused, &c.), judgment, re- 
activity, aptitudes (Kterary, scientific, &c.), &c. 

2. Individuality. — What is it that characterises an 
individual ? How do the various mental functions 
(sensibility, memory, reactivity, &c.) reflect the peculiar 
character of the individual ? This is how the problem 
first presented itself. If it were solvable in this form, 
it would be very convenient, for in experimentally 
determining the nature or the capacity of certain 
mental functions we might arrive at the diagnosis of 
the individual type. Suppose, for example, that the 
individuality was completely reflected in tactile sensi- 
bility : then we should simply have to measure this 
sensibility by means of Weber's compasses, and we 
should be able to recognise whether we had to do 
with a man of intelligence, an idiot, or a criminal — 
Lombroso, we know, has observed that criminals have 
a very blunt tactile sensibility. 

For the last twenty years various psychologists 
have set themselves to the task of determining the 
mental processes susceptible of revealing individual 
aptitude or character (Cattell in America, 1890 ; 
Kraepelin in Germany, 1895 ; Binet in France, 1896). 
The numerous tests which they have formulated to this 
end are well known under the name of mental tests. 

This method of mental tests, however, is too simple. 
It rests upon a hypothesis which is not proven, viz. 
that the essence of individuality ought necessarily to 
be found in a certain number of functions considered 
separately. But it is only after a theoretic study of 


the structure of individuality that we shall be able 
to know just how far this is the case, and what are 
the tests which have a diagnostic value. This study 
ought itself to be based upon a knowledge of the 
correlations of various functions or aptitudes. 

This is how the preliminary questions present them- 
selves for solution : — 

How far are the various mental functions able to be 
independent of each other, or, on the other hand, how 
far do they reciprocally influence each other ? For 
example, to what extent can an intelligent individual 
be divested of memory ? To what extent may it be 
possible for a pupil strong in arithmetic to be weak 
in orthography ? Or : to what extent ought an indi- 
vidual having a strong memory to show a fixed 
degree of sensibility ? &c. 

If the correlation of various functions, of diverse 
mental characters, was absolute and invariable, it is 
evident that these questions would not present them- 
selves. There would then be no individuality, but 
only identical beings, as though they came out of the 
same mould ; for individuality is only the result of 
variation in the proportion of the characteristics of 
the race among its various representatives. But there 
are individuals ; for all animals, even all vegetables, 
and stiU more all men, diverge more or less from the 
average type of the race. This proves, then, that 
the correlation of divers characteristics is not rigid, 
but presents a certain flexibility, a margin more or 
less large for individual caprices. 

Among the divers characteristics or aptitudes, certain 
are more closely associated among themselves, and 
form as it were correlative constellations relatively 
stable. Others, on the contrary, remain more inde- 


pendent; that is to say, their presence is not neces- 
sarily responsible for the presence of other aptitudes. 
These independent aptitudes, or, as we call them, 
aptitudes " of high variability," are evidently those 
which contribute most to the characterising of an 
individual ; the others representing, on the other 
hand, the commonplace and those common to all. 

The problem of individuality then returns to the 
search for those characteristics or fundamental apti- 
tudes which most distinguish individuals from one 
another, and which may serve to classify them into 
a certain number of definite types. We shall also 
ask ourselves what repercussion these fundamental 
aptitudes have upon the other psychical functions, 
and what is the form which the total correlative 
constellation takes under their influence. This being 
determined, we shall then be in a position to set up 
the various tests enabling us to diagnose the general 
type to which an individual belongs, and we shall 
understand in what the specific nature of an indi- 
vidual consists. 

A special problem of individual psychology is that 
of the psychology of the sexes : What are the dis- 
tinctive psychological traits of boys and of girls ? 

3. The Relations of the various Processes in the 
same Individual. — The problem here consists in deter- 
mining the correlations of which we have just spoken. 
We shall learn also what are the functions or apti- 
tudes which are conjoined. This has also a practical 
interest. If, for example, a child has a strong memory, 
what other faculty ought we to be able to expect 
that he also probably possesses in a high degree ? 
If there be an anomaly in a function, will that anomaly 
entail anomalies in other faculties ? 


The problem is a delicate one, for, as a fact, there 
are neither psychophysiological aptitudes which are 
always conjoint, nor others which are absolutely in- 
dependent. There are only some aptitudes which we 
find more often associated than others. To measure 
the degree of rigidity or flexibility of the correlation 
of two or many mental qualities or attributes, is to 
determine how great is the chance of meeting a certain 
aptitude associated with another given aptitude (or 
many others), in such a way that, if it is shown that 
in a subject a certain function A has a value a, we 
are immediately able to infer that the value h is most 
probably in this subject from another function B. 
As one might anticipate, this kind of problem is very 
delicate, for the calculation of the degree of correla- 
tion is a calculation of probabihty : " What proba- 
bility is there that such a union of functions may be 
due to a fixed cause and not to chance ? " Such is 
the problem to be solved for each given correlation. 
The formulae suggested for arriving at its solution 
are at the present moment engaging the attention of 
mathematicians and biometricians (notably Pearson) ; 
and some psychologists (Spearman, Kriiger, Thorndike, 
Brown, and Burt) are also engaged in the study of 
this question. 

4. The Reciprocal Influence of various Functions. — 
When we educate a certain function, are we acting 
upon others at the same time ? What are they ? 
This problem is very akin to the preceding, to which 
it is a sort of psycho technical pendant. It is not, 
however, entirely involved in it. It is conceivable 
that the functions may be correlative without there 
existing between them a relation of direct influence : 
the cause of the observed relation may indeed be 


mediate ; that is to say, the functions may both 
depend upon a certain common factor, without de- 
pending directly upon each other. Thus we show that 
certain scholars are, at the same time, strong in draw- 
ing and history. This does not prove that there exists 
between these aptitudes a direct relation which im- 
plies a mastery of these two branches of study ; for 
the aptitude for the one or the other may result 
from a common factor, such as application to work. 
The question of the direct dependence of two, or many, 
aptitudes certainly constitutes, therefore, a special 

To solve the various problems of individuality it is 
first of all necessary to collect a considerable number 
of records enabling us to set forth a list of charac- 
teristics met with in various individuals. Two methods 
of procedure have been employed to this end : — 

First, a direct study of living persons, whom we 
subject to a detailed psychological examination ; or, 
second, analysing the published biographies of historical 
personages, or others (principally of great men). The 
first of these has been used, on many occasions, by 
Binet, who has made out the psychological portraits 
of some dramatic authors, and recently of a young 
artist. The second has been carried out with re- 
markable care and patience by Hey mans and Wiersma. 
But it would be better if the enumeration of the 
characteristics of an individual were still more syste- 
matic than even in this case ; and, to make uniform 
and facilitate this enumeration, it would be useful to 
proceed according to a formulary laying down in 
advance all the points upon which information is 
desired. Stern, Lipmann, and Baade have recently 



elaborated one of these schematic formularies. These 
authors have given the name of Psychography to this 
methodical description of the characteristics of an 
individual, and Psychogram to the descriptive form on 
which this description is entered. 

It would also be very interesting to determine to 
what degree the correlations vary according to age. 
Are individual differences greater among children or 
among adults ? Do the links of affinity between two 
given faculties, for example, memory and reactivity, 
become closer or looser when the child grows up ? 
We can easily multiply questions of this kind. We 
will confine ourselves to remarking how extremely 
well placed the teacher is for furnishing to psycho- 
logists those documents useful for the solution of the 
problems of correlation ; since he has occasion to 
follow simultaneously the condition and progress of 
a great number of different aptitudes : aptitudes for 
calculation, memory, will-power, attention, &c. He 
should find a quantity of material already in the 
notes which he has taken of his pupils, in the course 
of the year, with regard to the various branches of 

Collective Psychology. — It has long been ob- 
served that individuals, when they are part of a 
group, a society, or an excited mob, think and act 
in a different manner from what they would if each of 
them was isolated. Beside general psychology and 
individual psychology it is, therefore, necessary to 
reserve a place for collective psychology, the object 
of which is the study of that collective mind which 
emanates from the communion of individual minds, 
and which is a new product presenting characteristics 
markedly different from those possessed by each of 


the units which compose it (in the same way as water 
is very different from oxygen and hydrogen). 

Is there a collective psycho-paidology ? Assuredly : 
though the groupings of children may be more rare, 
less permanent, and less varied than those of adults. 
Do not children of the same school, and the same 
class, form a homogeneous and autonomous grouping ? 
Outside the school, or in their games, do they not 
frequently unite in bands, and societies, which occa- 
sionally contend with rival bands, or societies, and 
which submit to the authority of leaders ? 

It is not without interest for the master, whose 
teaching addresses itself precisely to this well-marked 
collectivity which a class of pupils constitutes, to 
know the psychological characteristics of groupings 
of children. What are the laws of the collective 
psychology of the child ? What modifications or de- 
formations of psychism induce in the child the fact 
of being a member of a definite collectivity ? What 
are the faculties, sentiments, and functions which the 
participation in a collectivity develops ? What are 
the respective advantages of individual and of collec- 
tive teaching ? These are the problems of collective 

4. The Genetico -Functional Problem 

There still remains one category of problems to be 
considered, namely, those which concern the nature of 
the psychical processes and their mechanism. For 
example. What is perception ? What is a sentiment ? 
What are their causes, their effects, &c. ? These 
problems are proper to pure psychology, and we need 
not enumerate them here. I should only wish to 


show in what sense most of these problems should be 
taken, when the child is in question. First of all let 
us recall the two tendencies which are manifested in 
contemporary psychology as to the manner of viewing 
the mental life. Some lay stress upon the description 
of elements which analysis distinguishes in the psychic 
life ; they consider the various processes in a state of 
isolation, so to say. This is structural psychology. 
Others, on the contrary, start from the fact of the 
psychical life itself, of the unity of the individual, 
and inquire, before all else, what are the relations of 
the various processes with this psychical life ; what 
are their roles, function, and significance ; why do 
they appear ; and how do they accomplish their task ? 
This is the point of view of functional psychology. 

These two points of view, far from excluding each 
other, ought to be reconciled. But, if they are equally 
legitimate, they are not equally valuable, for the 
functional problem alone really interests the prac- 
tician, the structural problem having only a transitory 
interest, and its value consists in its giving rise to the 
functional problem or in making its terms precise. 
For example : what constitutes the psychical process 
of the perception of a tree ? It is structural psycho- 
logy which teaches us this ; by submitting this per- 
ception to a close analysis we shall discover that all 
the details of the tree which are impressed upon the 
retina of the subject are not the only ones to be found 
in it, but that, on the contrary, a certain number of 
images, of recollections, and of feelings, foreign to 
the physical impression, make an integral part of this 
perception, in such a way that we may define it thus : 
" an impression of the senses accompanied by an 
escort of images." But why have only certain outside 


impressions been seized upon by the consciousness of 
the subject ; and what is it that has determined that 
certain mental images have mixed themselves up with 
the sense impressions ? What does all this mean ? 
Here it is functional psychology which will reply ; 
and it will show us that it is the actual dispositions 
and needs of the subject which have brought about 
a selection among the impressions or the images con- 
stituting his perception of the tree, and that this 
selection is made in accordance with his interest at 
the moment. Thus the perception of a tree differs 
according to whether it is seen with the eye of an 
artist, a botanist, or a woodcutter.^ 

During the course of the last thirty years structural 
psychology has been almost exclusively cultivated, 
and this need not be regretted, since it has had for 
its result the raising of many problems. But it is 
indispensable that we should adopt the functional 
point of view when, leaving pure theory, we wish to 
acquire such knowledge as will enable us to act upon 
human beings ; for thej^ are wholes, unities, and each 
of their activities is governed by the total needs and 
interests which constitute their personality, at a given 
moment. We are only able, therefore, to grasp the 
significance of the psychophysiological processes of 
which they are the seat, by referring to the organic 
whole of which these processes form an integral part. 

1 With the structural problem, which is concerned to show how 
the psychical processes are constituted, and the functional problem, 
which endeavours to find out what use they are, should also be 
mentioned the problem of mechanism, which seeks, by taking account 
of the structural facts, to show how the functional result is attained. 
But, in most cases, the problem of mechanism evades psychological 
investigation, and it then becomes necessary, in order to find a 
solution, to have recourse to physiological hypotheses. 


When it refers to a child the functional problem 
takes a special form and importance. 

A child is a being which develops and grows. 
Its various mental functions are not in a state of 
equilibrium, but show a constant progress. This 
phenomenon of growth necessarily influences all the 
activities of the child, and gives them a special form 
and manner. It will be an ever-present factor, and 
one of which we must, therefore, always take account. 
The problem, then, will not only be to determine 
what is the significance of a psychological problem, 
in relation to the circumstances of the moment, but 
also the detaching of this significance, having regard 
to the necessities and needs of growth. 

This taking into consideration of the circumstances 
of growth is what we characterise as the genetico- 
functional problem. This problem is a double one ; 
for in the case of a given process there will be occasion, 
as a matter of fact, to ask : — 

1st. What are the conditions of its production ? 

2nd. What is its genetic function ; that is to say, 
what part does it play in the formation of future 
functions ? The appearance of a phenomenon may, 
in fact, be as necessary to form, or cause the pro- 
duction of, subsequent phenomena, as the presence 
of antecedent phenomena were necessary to its own 

This genetic problem is of first-rate importance for 
the educator. To guide the development of the child, 
he ought to know how this development is effected ; 
what favours and what hinders it ; so as to be able 
to determine the correlations of growth. It is from 
the point of view of this creative utility that he ought 
to consider the mental phenomena. 


This point of view, which has been strikingly empha- 
sised by Professor Dewey of Chicago, and his pupil 
Irving King, has been but little regarded, so far, even 
by those who are engaged in child psychology. Most 
writers have believed that it was sufficient to draw 
up a list of the various faculties exhibited by a child 
at certain ages ; as if the problem consisted solely in 
the determination of the date and order of the appear- 
ance of these various faculties — see, for example, 
Preyer. His work contains numerous records ; but, 
on the whole, these records are of very little value 
for the educator, because Preyer has never set himself 
the question as to what part a certain process, or a cer- 
tain activity, plays in the general development of the 
individual ; how and why^ at such and such a period, 
such and such a form of activity disappeared {e.g. 
impulses), to make place for some other form {e.g. 
inhibition s).i 

The various problems which we have just enume- 
rated have not engrossed paidologists to the same 
degree in different countries. Whilst the Americans 
are pre-eminently attached to the biological point 
of view, and have made prominent the problem of 
growth, Europeans have preferred to pursue the ex- 
perimental analysis of the various psychical functions, 
considered separately — some, with Binet, principally 
attack the study of the complex and higher pheno- 
mena, such as intelligence, suggestibility, and intel- 
lectual types ; others, with the Germ-an school, confine 
their investigations to elementary phenomena, such 
as sensibility, reaction, memory, and association. 

1 Cf. King, The Psychology of Child Development, Chicago, 1903 ; 
and the introduction to this work by ProfCvSsor Dewey. 


But these different schools tend towards uniformity 
nowadays. All these forms of research have, how- 
ever, their justification ; but the biological points of 
view, both genetic and functional, ought to dominate 
all others, and it is to it that we must have recourse 
for the co-ordinating and interpreting of them. 


Applied Psychology. — Stern, Angewandte Psychologie, Beitr. zur 
Psychol, der Aussage, I., 1903, p. 4. Wundt, Ueher reine und 
angew. Psychologie, Psych. Stud., V., 1909, p. 1. Cohn, Was hann 
die Psychol, von der Pddag. lernen, Z. pad. P., 1899. 

Subdivisions of Pedagogy. — Persigout, Essais de pedologie 
generale, Paris, Paulin, 1909. 

Pedagogy, its aim and its position. — Durkheim, Pedagogic et 
sociologie, Rev. de metaph. et de morale, Jan. 1903. Celli!;ribr, 
Esquisse d'une science pedagogique, Paris, 1910. Leclere, Ueduca- 
Hon morale rationnelle, Paris, 1909. Gaultier, La vraie education, 
Paris, 1910. Marceron, Vart de V education, Uev. phi]., Feb. 1910. 
Marchand, Un levier puissant dans V education, Porrentruy, 1907. 
Laisant, V education fondee sur la science, Paris, 1904. Durr, 
EinfUhrung in die Pddagogik, Leipsic, 1908. Batjmgarten, Ueber 
Kindererziehung, Tiihingen, 1905. Ostwald, Wieder das Schulelend, 
Leipsic, 1909 ; &c., &c. (see also the works of Lacombe, Le Bon, El. 
Key, Fc)RSter, Schwarz, cited on pp. 20, 29, 32). 

Pedagogy and Experimental Didactics. — Kemsies, Fragen u. 
Aufgahen der pad. psych., Z. pad. P., 1899. Lay, Experimentelle 
Didaktik, Wiesbaden, 1903 (3rd ed., Leipsic, 1910). Meumann, 
Vorlesungen zur EinfUhrung in die exp. Pddagogik, Leipsic, 1907, 
II., p. 143 seq. On the concept of economy and of technique in work ; 
Meumann, ibid. II., p. 12, and (Ekonomie und Tecknik des Geddcht- 
nisses, Leipsic, 1908. Meumann and Lay, Z. exp. Pad. I. 

Eugenics. — Pearson, The Problem of Practical Eugenics, London, 
1909 ; and The Groundwork of Eugenics, ibid. ; The Scope and 
Importance of the State of the Science of National Eugenics, ibid. 

Individual Psychology. — Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty, 
London, 1883. Binet, An. ps. IT., 1896, p. 411. Kraepelin, 
Psy. Arb. I., 1895. Oehrn, ibid. Sharp, Individual Psychology, 
Amer. Jour. Psy., 1899. Stern, TJeher Psychologie der individuellen 


Differenzen, Leipsic, 1900. Del Greco, II problema fondamentale 
della etologia, Report of the International Congress of Psy., Geneva, 
1909, p. 638. Persigout, C. R., ibid., p. 403. 

Psychography and psychographic formulary. — Stern, Baade, Lip- 
MANN, Z. ang. Psy. III., 1909, p. 163. Mental Tests: Cattell, 
Mind (the Magazine), 1890; Jastrow, Baldwin, and Cattell, 
Psy. Rev., 1898; &c. Lucka, Problem einer Charakterologie, Ar. f. 
ges. Ps. XI. Whipple, Manual of Mental Tests, Baltimore, 1910. 

Correlations. — Pearson, Karl, The Grammar of Science, London, 
1900. BiNET and Vaschide, Correlations des epreuves physiques. 
An. psy. IV., 143, 236. Binet, Correlation des mesures cephaliques. 
An. psy. VIII., 363. See, Bull. S. psy. Enf., July 1904, p. 492. 
Spearman, Amer. J. Psy. XV., 1904. Kruger and Spearman, 
Die Korrelation zwischen, verschiedenen geistigen Leistungsfdhigkeiten, 
Z. f. Psy., vol. 44. Heymans, Ueber einige psychische Korrelationen, 
Z. f. ang. Psy. I., 1907. Thorndike, Empirical Studies of the Theory 
of Measurements, New York, 1907. Ivanoff, Ar. de Psy. VIII., 1908. 
TrfORNDiKE, Educational Psychology, New York, 1910. Brown, 
The Use of the Theory of Correlation in Psychology, Cambridge, 1910. 
Dubois, Leprobleme pedagogique, these, Geneve, 1910. Roehrich, 
Philos. d. Vlducation, Paris, 1910. Mlle. Dugard, L'evolution contre 
V education, Paris, 1910. 

Structural and Functional Psychology. — Titchener, The Postu- 
lates of a Structural Psychology, Philos. Rev. 1898, 1899. Caldwell, 
Psy. Rev. 1899. Angell, The Province of Functional Psychology, 
Vsy. Rev. 1907. 

Genetic Psychology. — I^ng, see p. 71. Stern, Grundfragen der 
Psychogenesis, Report of the Congress of Child-Study, Berlin, 1906, 
p. 100. KiRKPATRicK, The Point of View of Genetic Psychology, J. of 
Ed. Psy., Feb. 1910. 



How are the problems mentioned in the preceding 
chapter to be solved ? By intuition ? By theoretical 
discussions ? No ; nothing but the study of facts 
and of actual experience can lead to the desired 

This is obvious. Yet teachers have found and still 
find it very hard to understand. Open some peda- 
gogical treatise and see if you can find any really 
definite directions as to the education of the senses, 
the power of observation, or memory ; as to fatigue, 
or to the teaching of spelling or arithmetic. You will 
see how feeble is the treatment of these subjects. 
What strikes one most is that the author never has 
recourse to facts, but always to opinions ; he quotes 
the teaching of Rousseau, Herbart, Spencer, of this, 
that, and the other person ; often he cites the opinion 
of literati, but never does he make it his business to 
know whether these different writers have based their 
opinions on facts, and whether these facts have been 
observed by sufficiently careful methods. 

Nor does one ever find an author avowing quite 
simply that, in the present state of knowledge, it is 
impossible to decide between the opinions advanced, 
and that more experience is necessary in order that 
the question may be settled. On the contrary, the 



pedagogue appears to think that he possesses some 
sort of innate instinct, the pedagogic instinct, which 
renders him omniscient and infaUible. No one would 
deny that this state of mind does not tend to re- 
search, for doubt alone leads to experimental inquiry. 
And that is why " pedant," which originally meant 
" teacher," has unhappily become a term of contempt, 
which is applied only to those who do not know how 
to doubt. 

Binet, in the preface to his book on Intellectual 
Fatigue, has severely, but on the whole justly, charac- 
terised traditional pedagogy as follows : " The peda- 
gogy of the past, in spite of certain good points of 
detail, ought to be completely suppressed, for it is 
permeated with one radical defect, it is all founded 
upon ' knack,' the result of preconceived ideas, it is 
based on gratuitous assumptions, it confuses exact 
demonstration with literary quotations, it answers 
the most serious questions by reference to authorities 
like Quintillian and Bossuet, it substitutes exhorta- 
tions and sermons for facts ; it is mere verbiage'' 

For this dogmatic method, the worthlessness of which 
is always in evidence, must be substituted the experi- 
mental method, which consists in interrogating facts. 
In order that the desired answer may be obtained, these 
facts must be collected, compared, and investigated 
as to cause and effect. That is the object of special 
methods of research. But when it is a question of 
special research connected with beings on a different 
mental level from our own (animals or children) the 
crude results must in some cases be interpreted. We 
shall therefore add to the explanation of methods of 
research a few words on methods of interpretation. 


1. Methods of Research 

The various methods of child psychology, which for 
that matter are nearly the same as those of general 
psychology, should be regarded from different stand- 
points which do not exclude each other but intersect : 
(1) Kind of phenomena collected; (2) general condi- 
tions of investigation ; (3) collection of facts ; (4) nature 
of the subject investigated ; (5) means of investigation 

This appears very complicated. But these dis- 
tinctions are necessary if one does not wish to risk — - 
as is often done and is a constant source of confusion 
to beginners — regarding as opposite methods which 
are not opposed, but simply come under another 
heading. 1 

(1) Nature of Phenomena Collected. — The 
methods used in collecting phenomena are Introspec- 
tion and Extrospection. 

The introspective method, which consists in the 
direct observation of the facts of consciousness by the 
thinking subject himself, can only be used with great 
circumspection in the case of children : firstly, be- 
cause introspection is a very delicate operation ; next, 
because the child, being very suggestible, has a tendency 
to answer in the manner suggested by the question 
put to him ; lastly, because any verification of the 

^ Certain manuals of psychology, for example, subdivide psycho- 
logical methods into Introspective and Experimental ; but it is 
possible to have introspective experiment ! Others classify as 
follows : Experimental Method ; Genetic Method ; Pathological 
Method ; but the genetic and pathological methods can make 
use of experiment, and the pathological method can itself be 
genetic ! It is as though one classified men as fair men, work- 
men, and invalids ; a man could come under one, two, or even 
all three headings. 


evidence given is impossible. It is therefore necessary, 
whenever possible, to arrange things in such a manner 
that the state of mind experienced may be trans- 
lated into some external, tangible manifestation which 
can be objectively recorded. One might, neverthe- 
less, find valuable introspective records in letters, or 
above all in diaries, written by children {e.g. the journal 
of Marie Bashkirtseff), provided, of course, that they 
were written in all good faith. But private diaries 
containing genuine confidences are just what is most 
difficult to get. Was there ever a young girl, says 
Stumpf, who did not register a solemn vow on the 
first page of her journal that no mortal eye should 
ever behold its contents ? 

If introspection cannot be practised by the child, 
it can be performed by the adult who can recall what 
he thought and felt about such or such a thing when 
he was himself a child. This retrospective method is 
always uncertain, and it is impracticable or dangerous 
when it has to do with reminiscences of early childhood ; 
for not only are such reminiscences very incomplete, 
but they may have undergone transformation in the 
course of years, as one may easily prove to oneself.^ 

Yet it is hardly necessary to say that useful infor- 
mation or interesting remarks can be obtained from 
certain autobiographies, such as those of Goethe, 
Darwin, Renan, or Tolstoi, and even from such litera- 
ture as The Story of a Child by Pierre Loti.^ 

^ For reminiscences of childhood, see V. and C. Henri, An. Ps. 3, 
p. 184, and Diimesnil, Bull S. p. Enf. 1903, p. 300. Yet retro- 
spection may be used efficaciously in the interpretation of children's 
mental states, as Barnes rightly observes (see below, p. 96, note). 

2 Mmes. Baumer and Droescher have made an anthology of 
extracts relating to child-life, gathered from biographies and other 
literary works {Von der Kinderseele, Leipsic, 1906). 


The objective method, or extrospection, is a study of 
psychic states as expressed objectively. These objec- 
tive manifestations are of four kinds : — 

(a) By physical expression : we judge of a child's 
suffering by its cries or pallor ; and we judge of his 
aesthetic enjoyment by his gestures, &c.^ 

(b) By conduct (including play). 

(c) By his work : we judge of a child's attention 
or memory by his drawings or other productions, &c. 

(d) By physical structure : we judge of the psycho- 
logical development of a child of a certain age by the 
anatomical study of the brains of children of that age 
(the anatomical method), or by the size of his head {the 
anthropological method), and by his physiognomy, or 
even by his hands (physiognomical method^). 

(2) General Conditions of Investigation. — We 
adopt here the established distinction between obser- 
vation and experiment. The most simple method is 
that of the observation of children during their daily 
life, in a free state when they are at liberty to do as 
they like, and not suspecting that they are the object 
of attentive curiosity. But the greater part of re- 
search work cannot adapt itself to this kind of pro- 
cedure, and experiment becomes necessary, by means 
of which more varied and more exact results can be 

(3) Methods of Procedure in Collecting Facts. 
— The methods differ according to whether a subject 

1 Cf. the interesting observations of Schultze, Die Mimik der 
Kinder beim kiinstler Geniessen, Leipsic, 1906. 

2 For the method of estimating by physiognomy or by hands, cf. 
Rousson, Lecture d'une physionomie d' enfant. Bull. S. p. Enf., June 
1906 ; Borel, La Methode des majorites (discussing Rousson's ob- 
servations), An. ps. XIV., p. 125 ; Binet, Lea aignea phyaiquea de 
V intelligence. An. ps. XVI., 1910, pp. 23, 27. 


is studied individually or collectively. Individual ex- 
periment is carried on at home, in the laboratory, or 
in some private part of the school. Collective experi- 
ment can be carried on in the class-room itself. Each 
of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages 
according to the end in view. In the laboratory the 
child can undergo deeper and closer investigation ; 
he is not distracted by companions ; and more exact 
apparatus can be used. Experiment in the class- 
room has other advantages : the experiment being 
collective, the number of the subjects examined is 
much larger, and consequently the results have wider 
value ; moreover, pupils take more seriously an experi- 
ment made in the class-room, and which is given to 
them as school work ; lastly, and above all, the con- 
ditions of the experiment are not artificial, the child 
is in his natural surroundings, and the experiment to 
which he is subjected does not differ from ordinary 
school work ; the conclusions drawn from such ex- 
periments have therefore more value for the science 
of education. 

If, instead of an experiment on some particular 
or limited topic, it were a question of studying 
mental development in general, we should still use 
these two ways of getting information : sometimes, 
indeed, one traces the development of a single child, 
i.e., builds up his biography (biographical method) ; and 
sometimes, on the other hand, in order to recon- 
struct the history of mental development, material 
is collected which relates to different children {hio- 
statistical method ^). In fact, the former of these 

1 Miss Shinn {Notes on the Development of a Child, 1907, p. 3) 
calls this latter method " the comparative method." This nomen- 
clature seems to me unfortunate ; first, because the name is already 


methods has been employed, and is specially fitted 
to be employed, in the study of infants, the second 
being more appropriate to the study of older children. 

The collecting of material differs, again, according to 
whether the inquirer is working personally and directly, 
or whether he is having recourse to impersonal, in- 
direct collaboration, more or less widely extended and 
sometimes anonymous. It is the latter case only 
which requires special mention. 

As it is necessary to work on a certain quantity of 
material in order to obtain sufficiently definite results, 
the Method of Inquiry is often used in psychology ; a 
questionnaire is sent to a large number of parents or 
teachers, who are asked to return it after having 
filled it up in the manner desired. 

Thus at one stroke can be obtained thousands of 
observations of a given phenomenon. Stanley Hall, 
who, as we have seen, has used and abused this 
method, has brought out questionnaires on a multi- 
tude of topics : on fear, on honour, on the earliest 
manifestations of personality, on faults, &c. Many 
inquiries have also been organised by the Society for 
the Psychological Study of the Child, in Paris, which 
have led to very instructive results, notably the in- 
quiries on fear, lying, scolded children, and anger.^ 

The questionnaire method has been much criticised, 

in use to designate another kind of method (see below, p. 83) ; 
next, because there is not really any comparison in the process in 
question. It is for this reason that I substitute for it the term 
*' bio -statistical " until a better can be found. One might also 
make use of the terms " mono -biographical " and " poly-bio- 
graphical " to denote the two methods. 

1 See, for example, Binet, La peur chez lea Enfants, An. ps., II. ; 
Duprat, Le Mensonge, Paris, 1903 ; Malapert, La Colere chez lea 
Enfants, An. ps., IX. 


chiefly on account of the impossibiHty of verifjang the 
statements made by those who answer them ; the 
questions also are often Httle understood and are 
answered carelessly. These criticisms are very sound, 
but they are not sufficient to condemn completely the 
system of inquiry, which in certain cases brings out 
truths as no other method can. Naturally this method 
must always be used with discretion. 

A method which is like that of the questionnaire 
without its disadvantages was inaugurated by the 
Society for the Psychological Study of the Child, and 
called " Work Commissions." A certain number of 
teachers undertake simultaneously the same research, 
each in his own class. They have previously discussed 
the question together, have arrived at an under- 
standing with regard to methods, and then proceed 
concurrently. Later on they bring their observations 
together, these observations being naturally much 
more numerous than they would have been had they 
been furnished by one person only, and much more 
exact than if they had been obtained by means of 
the questionnaire. The Society for Child Psychology 
and the Institute for General Psychology in Berlin have 
also started similar commissions ; one for the study 
of untruthfulness in children, and the other for the 
study of the development of language. ^ 

(4) Methods relative to the Nature of the 
Subject. — Let us first of all examine these methods 
from the point of view of general psychology and then 
from the point of view of the particular case of child 

To study a mental process, e.g. attention, investiga- 

1 See Z. pad. P. VII.-VIII., and Z. ang. Ps. II., 1908, pp. 313, 



tion may be directed to the process as displayed by a 
normal adult (normal method). More often, however, 
it will be better to make use of the methods by which 
an analysis may be effected which the normal method 
would not accomplish. For example, one perceives 
more clearly the constituent elements of mind when 
studying mind in the process of evolution, or of dis- 
solution. The method which is designed for the study 
of psycho-physiological phenomena in process of evolu- 
tion, in such a manner that the successive phases of 
their development, and their increasing complexity, 
may be grasped, is called the genetic method. The 
evolution of a function may be traced either in the 
individual (in a child, by growth), which is called onto- 
geny, or in the race (or animals) through all the stages 
it has passed through, when it is called phylogeny. 

The method which makes use of decadence as a 
means of study is the pathological method. This 
method, held in high estimation by Ribot and Charcot 
more than a quarter of a century ago, is a valuable 
auxiliary to psychology ; disease, abnormality, de- 
cadence, by making clear what is abnormal in mental 
mechanism, cause us to realise all the better what 
normal function is, and by ascertaining the disturb- 
ance that is introduced into the economy of mind by 
the loss of a power, we learn the better to understand 
its use in the healthy individual, in whom its working 
is apt to be lost sight of in the general activity. 

One can also get valuable information about mental 
processes by comparing the way in which these pro- 
cesses are manifested in different types of individuals, 
those on different mental level, e.g, the man and the 
child, human beings and animals, the civilised man 
and the savage, the virtuous man and the criminal. 


Comparison causes certain characteristics in pheno- 
mena to stand out in rehef ; it is therefore an extremely 
valuable factor in analysis (comparative method). 
This method has a more extensive ran^e than the 
preceding two ; indeed, comparison has its part in the 
genetic and pathological methods ; the object of these 
methods being, after all, so far as general psychology 
is concerned, to help us to understand normal pro- 
cesses in the adult, it is essential to compare the 
stages in the evolution or dissolution of a function 
with its normal condition. 

The genetic and pathological methods can also be' 
combined ; this is done when one studies the develop-- 
ment of an abnormal person or that of an animal 
from which some portion of the cerebral centres was 
removed at birth, in order to see what change such a 
removal would bring about in development. Another 
form of genetico-pathological combination is found in 
the method lately proposed by Binet, which consists 
in arranging in order of intelligence a certain number 
of backward children (idiots, imbeciles, &c.) and of 
studying some particular phenomenon, such as atten- 
tion, through each step in the scale in order to see 
how the particular power in question evolves, and 
what are the stages it goes through in its develop- 
ment.^ Binet calls this method by the name of 
" psychogenic " ; the less ambiguous name of paiho- 
psychogenic would suit it better. 

Let us now take up the special point of view of 
child psychology, and let us remark, to begin with, 
that the psychology of the child has a twofold posi- 
tion in relation to general psychology : it is at once 
a means by which general psychology is studied, and 

1 Binet, An. ps. XIV., 1908, p. 284, and XV., p. 2. 


also a study by itself having its own methods. When 
one studies the child with the idea of making the 
knowledge gained serve in the elucidation of some law 
of general psychology, one is making use of the genetic 
method ; and when one carries out the same study 
for the sake of getting to know the child himself, one 
is engaged with child psychology. It is a question of 
point of view. 

The methods used in child psychology are the same 
as those of general psychology, with the exception of 
that method which applies to adults only, which we 
have called the normal method. But we now come 
to a method of child psychology which takes pre- 
cedence of all others, viz. the genetic method. The 
child being always in a condition of growth, it is im- 
possible to make any observations or any series of 
experiments on him, without taking into account this 
fact of growth, which will modify the results from 
one day to another. Therefore, in spite of oneself, 
the genetic method is always more or less used in 
studying children.^ 

In child psychology, the ^pathological method con- 
sists specially of the study of backward and abnormal 
children ; the investigation of their minds and of the 
means of developing them sometimes provides valuable 
material for paidology and normal pedagogy. 

The comparative method will make comparisons be- 

1 In certain cases, it is true, the observations (or experiments) 
made may be exactly similar to those of the normal method ; it 
is possible that one may be interested in studying for its own sake, 
and in its present state, a certain function of the child, e.g. the 
sense of touch, without having any regard to the evolution of the 
function. Nevertheless, one will not be able to ignore this fact of 
evolution if, after an interval of some months, one has to compare 
the tests made on the same child. 


tween children of various classes, social and other- 
wise ; between children and imbecile adults ; between 
children and savages or aborigines ; between children 
and animals. In the last two cases the comparative 
method will be closely allied to the genetic method, 
for the comparisons made will be chiefly comparison 
of the evolution of processes ; e.g. one will try to find 
out if the evolution of language, of drawing, &c., is 
the same in the child as in the human race ; or if 
the way of forming a habit is the same in the animal 
and the child, &c. Such genetic comparisons will be 
very helpful in understanding the child ; for instance, 
the succession of developmental phases is sometimes 
so rapid in the child that the study of aborigines or of 
animals in whom, on the contrary, these phases succeed 
each other more clearly, will be of assistance in the 
analysis of the phase ; and, again, the differences that 
we shall detect between the development of the child 
and that of animals or of the race will help us to 
grasp the special characteristics of the mental evolu- 
tion of the child. 

(5) Technical Method. — Under this heading come 
qualitative or descriptive methods, and quantitative 

The qualitative methods, which may be called 
psycholexy, play a very important part, for in psycho- 
logy there are many psychic phenomena which are only 
interesting on account of their quality, or even by the 
mere fact of their presence ; e.g. the visual or auditory 
nature of mental images, the phenomena of language 
or of reasoning, &c. 

The quantitative methods {psychometry) have for their 
aim the measurement of various mental functions ; for 
example, memory, sensibility, &c. Measurement, when 


it is possible, constitutes a valuable means of analysis 
and of comparison ; it is never an end in itself : for 
we do not measure for the sake of measuring, but 
because a knowledge of the quantity of a phenomenon 
enables us the better to detect its variations and con- 
sequently the conditions of its existence. 

As one cannot measure psychic functions by direct 
means, one has recourse to divers expedients : thus 
one sometimes measures a psychological phenomenon 
by measuring the physical cause which produced it 
(psycho-physical process) ; sometimes by measuring its 
duration (psycho-chronometrical process) ; sometimes 
by measuring its dynamic effect, or its physiological 
concomitants {psycho-dynamic process) ; and some- 
times by computing the percentage of individuals in 
whom the particular phenomenon is found {psycho- 
statistical process). It is not possible to enter here 
into more detail as to these various processes. Later 
on we shall have an opportunity of giving examples 
of several of them. 

In concluding this rapid review of methods, let us 
note that psychological investigation, like all scientific 
investigation, may assume the two forms of analysis 
and synthesis. As an example of the analytic pro- 
cess, one might cite mental tests, which have as their 
aim the determination of the various characteristics, 
mental or physical, of an individual : his stature, 
sense-perceptions, reaction time, memory power, &c. 
As an example of the synthetic process one might 
point to the training or educative method ; the way in 
which an educative process succeeds or fails gives us 
insight into the minds of the children with whom it 
has succeeded or failed. No one is in a better position 
to apply this method than the educator himself. 


Let us take an example in order to better understand 
the distinction between the method of tests and the 
method of education, which, by the way, supplement 
each other. Here is a child who appears backward 
and abnormal. One can find out whether this child 
is really mentally defective, and what the nature of 
the defect may be, either by tests, when one would 
examine one function after the other, hearing, sight, 
memory, &c., or by the method of education, when 
one would try to find out if the child could be de- 
veloped by the ordinary school methods which succeed 
with normal children of that age ; and if that is not 
the case, the deficiencies in the educational results 
allow of our inferring with a certain degree of accuracy 
the nature of his mental defectiveness. 

2. Methods of Interpretation 

When observation and experiment have provided 
the psychologist with a certain amount of material, he 
still has to interpret it. 

There are many kinds of interpretation. First there 
is the logical interpretation of experiment, which 
consists in tracing the relation of cause and effect 
between the ascertained phenomena, and for that pur- 
pose one will have recourse to the four well-known 
methods of agreement, difference, concomitant varia- 
tions, and residues, I need not speak of them here, 
since they are to be found in text-books of logic. 
How useful it would be to teachers if they would 
saturate themselves with these methods, instead of, 
as they so often do, taking as proven the results of 
a certain school method without having previously 
eliminated causes of error arising from other factors 
acting simultaneously ! 


Another kind of interpretation, with which also we 
need not here occupy ourselves, is the physiological 
interpretation : a mental process having been ascer- 
tained, it may be profitable to consider what are the 
physiological foundations. Most psychologists admit 
that to every mental phenomenon there is a corre- 
sponding physical change ; to this postulate has been 
given the name of Law of psycho-physical parallelism. 

The psychological interpretation is the kind of in- 
terpretation which most concerns the paidologist ; it 
is necessary when investigation is directed to beings 
sufficiently different from ourselves for us to be unable 
to infer with any degree of certainty that the feelings, 
thoughts, and motives which cause them to act are 
the same which we should ourselves experience in the 
same circumstances. It is especially the actions of 
animals which call for this kind of interpretation ; it 
has even been claimed that animals are so different 
from men that all idea of making out their psychology 
must be abandoned, and that we must confine our- 
selves to studying such of their manifestations as can 
be directly apprehended through the sense-organs of 
the observer, that is to say, organic and physiological 

When it is a question of children the matter is much 
less difficult than in the case of animals, for children 
are much nearer to ourselves, and quickly, by word of 
mouth, do they inform us of what they experience or 
wish. But just for this very reason psychological 
interpretation is particularly delicate and insidious, 
for, even more than when one has to do with animals, 
one is tempted to make use of, not anthropomorphism 
— that word is not suitable here — but teleiomorphism, 
if I may be permitted that new word, indicating the 


tendency to think of the child-soul in terms of the 
adult-soul (Greek teleios, complete, adult, and morphe, 
form). The first thing, indeed, which it is necessary 
to be quite clear about, when one begins paidological 
research, is that the child is not, as one often fancies, 
a man in miniature. His mind is not only different 
in quantity but also in quality ; it is not only less, it 
is different. One must always guard against drawing 
hasty conclusions from adult psychology about the 
psychology of the child. 

The questions relating to the psychological inter- 
pretation of a process can be reduced to three : (1) The 
question of mentality : Is the phenomenon observed 
really accompanied by consciousness ? (2) The ques- 
tion of complexity : What is the nature of the mental 
process with which one has to do ? On what plane is 
it ? (3) The question of function : What is the exact 
function of the process ? 

There is really no question of mentality in the case 
of the child. One may wonder whether crystals, 
plants, and worms have mental life ; but I do not 
know that any one has ever doubted its existence in 
children. 1 

1 It is true that some writers would limit the study of children 
to objective manifestations (reflex movements, secretions, circu- 
latory or other reactions) without trying to interpret them, and 
without paying attention to the psychic process which these may 
reveal {e.g. Bechterew in his recent article, Objektive Untersuchung 
der neuropsychischen SpMre im Kindesalter, Zeits. f . Psychotherapie, 
1910, p. 129). Legitimate as this method may be for those who, 
like the eminent psychologist of St. Petersburg (M. Bechterew), 
have pre-eminently in view the physiology and anatomy of the 
nervous centres, it would not suffice for the psycho -pedagogue who 
desires a much deeper analysis of the motives of a child's actions 
than that which is made possible at the present day by the rough 
drafts and vague concepts of the physiology of the nervous 


The problem of complexity, on the other hand, is 
constantly coming in. One has to judge of the struc- 
ture of a phenomenon, whether it is simple and in- 
ferior, or more complex and superior, in the mental 
hierarchy. For instance, does a certain act show 
judgment and reasoning, or is it simply the result of 
mere consecutiveness of ideas ? Is it instinctive, or 
is it acquired ? Does this child repeat like a parrot 
what it has heard said, or does he understand the 
meaning of his words ? It is said that young children 
give a particular name to a whole class of objects ; 
does that indicate that they generalise ? Here is a 
young rascal who has cured himself of some bad 
fault ; is that the result of fear of punishment, or a 
sign that his moral sense has developed ? &c. 

Unhappily there is no absolutely certain means of 
solving this problem of complexity. But we must 
bear in mind the law of economy, a law which applies 
to all scientific interpretation, which is a safeguard 
against superfluous hypotheses, and which the English 
psychologist, Lloyd Morgan, has expressed in the 
following rule, drawn up for psycho-zoologists : "In 
no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of 
the exercise of a higher psychical faculty, if it can be 
interpreted as the outcome of the exercise of one which 
stands lower in the psychological scale." i 

This rule, which I have called " Morgan's Principle," 
certainly deserves to be taken into account by the 
psycho-paidologist. But its application is beset with 
difficulties, for we do not always know whether one 
faculty is " higher " than another ; neither do we know 
whether that which appears to us simpler and more 

1 Lloyd Morgan, Introduction to Comparative Psychology, London, 
1894, p. 53 ; Chapared ^ Ar. de Psy., V., 1905, p. Ij. 


economical has also been more economical for nature. 
For instance, is a hereditary, instinctive act more, or 
less, economical than an acquired act ? It is impos- 
sible to say. Moreover, it is not always the process 
which we conceive to be the simplest which is the 
simplest in reality. If it is legitimate to try to 
account for the mental life of the child on the most 
economical principle, one must nevertheless make sure 
that the simplicity involved in the explanation squares 
well with the facts. 

Another principle of interpretation, which will prove 
more serviceable than the foregoing, consists in judg- 
ing of the degree of advancement of a child's action 
by the level of his general conduct. Thus one would 
not assume that the words of a young child have 
a general and abstract meaning if the child does not 
show in other ways a capacity for abstraction, or 
if his general conduct reveals a lack of power of 
abstraction. This might be called Descartes' prin- 
ciple : for it is known that the great philosopher 
refused to consider that the industrial instincts of 
animals revealed intelligence, on the ground of the 
lack of intelligence evinced in their behaviour in other 
domains.^ This " Descartes 's Principle," which we 
instinctively make use of in ordinary affairs, furnishes 
only problematical help when it is a question of inter- 
preting the first beginnings of a new activity which 
are manifest only at distant intervals. 

^ " Although there are several animals that display more industry 
than ourselves in some of their actions, it is also evident that the 
same animals show none in many other actions ; so that it cannot 
be inferred from those of their actions in which they excel us that 
they have intelligence, for in that case they would have more than 
any of us, and would do better in everything." (Descartes, Dis- 
cours de la methode.) 


Let us mention finally a third method, which we will 
call " Meumann's Principle," that writer having pro- 
pounded it for the interpretation of the phenomena 
of language ; ^ but which certainly has a wider bear- 
ing. It consists in judging retrospectively of the 
nature of a process according to observations made 
of the nature of the subsequent development of the 
individual in whom it has been observed. If, for 
example, it is certain that abstraction has been lack- 
ing during the years which follow the time when it 
was considered that abstraction had been observed, 
one would conclude retrospectively that it had been 
absent on the former occasion. In this way a deeper 
study of a child five or six years old helps us to under- 
stand better the mentality of the same child when 
younger. Meumann would have us remark that this 
principle is purely negative ; it only shows what prin- 
ciples of explanation to exclude. 

Helpful as these various methods may be, there is 
a rock upon which we might make shipwreck and 
from which they do not protect us, and which it is 
absolutely necessary to avoid when one wants to inter- 
pret a psychic process in a child ; it is to this rock 
that I alluded just now under the barbaric name 
of " teleiomorphism." To describe the processes of a 
child according to adult standards, or to apply to them 
the criteria of adult* psychology, is for science barren 
in results, and for pedagogical practice dangerous ; 
for by forcing ourselves to make the phenomena fit 
into a framework not made for them, one runs the 
risk of • a double mishap : either, not finding in the 
child such and such a process corresponding to one 

1 Die Entstehung der eraten Wortbedeutungen beim Kinde (2nd 
ed.), Leipsic, 1908, p. 5. 


of the categories of an adult, we shall declare that 
the child does not possess a function of the kind ; or, 
on the other hand, we shall pronounce processes alike 
which are in reality different, and consider the infantile 
process identical with that of the adult. 

Let us suppose that we have to describe a hamlet 
by making use of the terminology and concepts suit- 
able to the description of a capital. We should be 
in. danger either of giving the name " Cathedral " to 
the modest chapel by the roadside, of calling the 
miserable erection which does duty for the mayor's 
office the " Town-hall," and the little den in which 
the police lock up thieves the " Central Prison " ; or, 
on the other hand, of declaring that this hamlet pos- 
sesses neither cathedral, town-hall, nor prison ; and 
in both cases we should be wrong in accepting such a 
superficial statement. For if a hamlet has no prison, 
it has nevertheless something which takes its place, 
and which in its way plays a like part to that of the 
central prison in the life of a great city. 

This somewhat rough comparison helps us to under- 
stand on what lines the interpretation of the mental 
processes of a child should proceed : we have not to 
ascertain whether a child does or does not possess 
certain faculties belonging to the adult, but " The 
child must be interpreted in terms of himself," as has 
been so truly said by I. King, and after him by another 
disciple of Dewey, viz. I. E. Miller.^ 

To quote an example from the latter writer : do 
young children think ? " Evidently," will say those 
who have based their ideas of the child-mind on the 
pattern of that of the adult ; " and since they think, 

1 King, op. cit., p. 7; Miller, The Psychology of Thinking, New 
York, 1909, p. 111. 


and to think is to reason, therefore children reason." 
"Not at all," others will reply; "children do not 
reason, therefore they do not think ; they are purely 
receptive beings." 

Which is right ? Neither. And the mistake arises 
from the fact that both these classes of people con- 
ceive of thinking only in its adult and complete form, 
that is, as reasoning ; but while the former, who may 
be called the " positive teleiomorphists," assert that 
the child thinks, which is true, and deduct from that 
that he must reason, which is false — the latter, the 
" negative teleiomorphists," assert that the child does 
not reason, which is true, and infer that he does not 
think, which is inaccurate. 

The error in interpretation arises solely from the 
fact that the adult process has been taken as the 
criterion of that of the child. 

This example shows us clearly that interpretation 
as to complexity must always be subordinated to 
interpretation as to function. One must begin by 
discovering the meaning of a process and the part it 
plays in the mental life of the child ; only after this 
will one discover what form the function assumes. 
Thus, to return to our illustration, one would consider 
whether thinking was going on in the form of reason- 
ing, or in some other less elaborate form. One 
would also ask whether this process does not contri- 
bute in some way to the development of the individual, 
an idea which would have no meaning if applied to 
the adult, because in the adult the conditions for the 
functioning of the process no longer exist ; exactly 
as one could not understand the gill slits in the frog 
if one did not remember that batracians are aquatic 
animals in their early life. I will not here elaborate 


this point, which has been sufficiently explained in 
connection with the genetico-functional problem. 

This matter of interpretation being of great prac- 
tical importance, it will be well again to quote one of 
Dewey's examples which illustrates clearly the method 
of genetico-functional interpretation. 

Let us suppose that, as the result of inquiry, it is 
stated that 73 per cent, of eight-year-old children 
own to a predilection for so-called "criminal" litera- 
ture, a kind of police-news romance, Nick Carter, and 
so on. Here is a fact. But how is it to be inter- 
preted ? What truth about child-nature can one get 
out of it ? If we consider it only in the light of adult 
consciousness, the fact will not be of great interest ; 
we make a note of it, catalogue it, give it a name, 
classify it — but we cannot explain it, nor get anything 
out of it. If, on the other hand, we interpret it by 
the genetic method it becomes a different matter, and 
this fact, so barren and dry, becomes fertile in results 
both theoretical and practical. We shall ask ourselves 
what it means ; whether it marks a stage in mental 
development ; and, above all, whether it supplies a 
need at a certain period in development. And then, 
since the fact cannot have its full meaning unless one 
considers it in relation to the circumstances in which 
it first appeared, we shall inquire into these circum- 
stances and try to reconstruct the context. We shall 
get information especially about those other children, 
the remaining 27 per cent., who did not own to this 
criminal predilection. And one will perhaps discover, 
in following up this clue, that the predilection of cer- 
tain children for stories about brigands is nothing 
else than a reaction against a too severe discipline 
which oppresses them ; or it may perhaps be a pheno- 


menon of compensation, destined to supply some 
deficiency in the environment, so that if the surround- 
ings in which the child developed had been more 
favourable, the child's interest would have assumed 
an entirely different form. 

One word more. I said just now that the child is 
different from ourselves. This is certainly the case. 
His psychological processes assume other forms than 
ours. Yet there is something in which the child is 
very nearly like and almost identical with the adult, 
viz. in the general function of activity. This function 
has as its aim the satisfaction of the needs of the 
individual — needs which are ultimately the mainten- 
ance of life, the extension and assertion of personality, 
the realisation of self. And certainly in the child as 
in the adult the law of activity is the same : desire 
and interest stimulate activity ; and we cannot in 
any better way represent to ourselves what makes a 
child act, imagine, think, will, and make efforts, than 
by recalling what we do ourselves when we think, 
invent, or make efforts to attain some desired end.^ 
The means which the child uses is different, but the 
psychological end is the same ; just as in the tadpole, 
breathing has the same function as in the frog, 
although the function is accomplished by different 

Likeness in the raison d'etre of activity, difference in 
the form of activity, or, in other words, community of 
aim, diversity of means — such are the two relations 
between the adult and the child. 

1 This is doubtless what Barnes meant when he wrote that the 
study of personal reminiscences was the most useful method for 
schoolmasters and psychologists who wish to understand children. 
(Barnes, Methods of Studying Children, Studies in Education, 1896, 
p. 8.) 


It is necessary that these relations should be kept 
well to the fore in the mind of the pedagogue. 

Unfortunately it is not so. In the school the exact 
opposite of this formula has been adopted : the child 
is considered as identical with the adult as to the 
form of his mental functions, and it is in regard to the 
biological basis of this mental activity that he is con- 
sidered as constituting a type sui generis. On the one 
hand, is it not a fact that from beginning to end of 
the eight or ten years of school-life the same teaching 
methods are used, as if the minds of the scholars 
from seven to eighteen years of age were alike ! And 
these methods, these systems of exposition, are every- 
where copies of the logic of the adult, and in no 
wise are they in accordance with the natural ten- 
dencies which characterise each successive age of 
the child. We teach (or think we teach) the mother- 
tongue by grammar and rules ; drawing by rules 
and compass ; arithmetic by syllogisms and ab- 
stractions ! 

And, moreover, it does not appear to dawn upon 
the mind of the pedagogue that the child is a living 
being whose motives are fundamentally the same as 
those of the adult — desire and interest. People neglect 
to provide favourable conditions, as if the scholar 
were some sort of a demi-god floating above the things 
of earth, capable of doing everything simply because 
he must, and without any of the conditions, empirical, 
psychological, or physiological, which engender action. 
Never would it occur to any one to demand from an 
adult work of any merit under the sterilising condi- 
tions of artificiality which the school imposes on its 
unfortunate scholars ! 


3. Apparatus 

It would be out of place to attempt here to describe 
or even to enumerate the apparatus which the psycho- 
paidologist might need, and if I devote a paragraph 
to the subject, it will be chiefly with the intention of 
reassuring those who think that an elaborate labora- 
tory is a sine qua non for paidological researches. I 
have at various times received letters from teachers 
who were anxious to undertake experiments on their 
pupils, asking me to furnish them with a list of the 
instruments which would be necessary. It is im- 
possible to provide such a list, because the kind of 
apparatus and also its use vary according to the 
object of investigation ; and I strongly advise be- 
ginners to procure instruments gradually according to 
their requirements, rather than to collect at the out- 
set a large quantity of which the greater part might 
never be used. Still, if funds are available, one might 
purchase a few generally useful instruments, such as 
a chronometer and registering cylinders (kymographs). 
But let every one be fully convinced that many instru- 
ments are not in the least necessary in order to make 
useful observations. The teacher who is disposed to 
carry out some experiments may collect ample material 
in the way of records without having recourse to other 
apparatus than pencil and paper, e.g. experiment in 
association of ideas, mental images, memory, accuracy, 
intellectual types, aptitude for drawing, &c., inquiries 
into interests, play, fear, &c. 

There is, however, one instrument which is very 
useful, the pocket-chronometer, marking one-fifth of 
a second, of which the hand is started and stopped 
by pressing a button, and which is well named a 


" stop-watch." It will prove useful in very many ways 
(measuring of association times, time taken in arith- 
metical calculations, or in other mental operations). 
It is moderate in price ; it can now be purchased for 
less than a pound. There are some which cost from 
two to four pounds, but I do not find that they get 
out of order less frequently than those which cost 
less. In my opinion, if one can spend two pounds, it 
is better to buy two of the less expensive kinds (one 
to take the place of the other when it gets out of 
order) than one of the more costly sort. And for the 
consolation of those who cannot purchase a " stop- 
watch " of any kind we would add that in many cases 
an ordinary watch with a seconds hand can be used 
as a substitute for the chronometer ; for the mental 
operations of children are generally slow, and measure- 
ment by seconds will in most cases be sufficiently 

Other instruments, such as exhibitors (designed for 
displaying to the eyes of an observer a picture or word 
for a certain period of time), weights (for testing 
muscular sensibility or power to judge of differences), 
cesthesiometers with single or double points (for 
measuring sensations of touch), &c., may be easily 
constructed by the experimenter himself. Teachers 
who wish to record physical growth can for a small 
sum set up a six-feet measure by which to ascertain 


Methods of Research. — See psychological manuals, being careful 
to guard against the confusion indicated on p. 76. For a general 
sketch of psychological method, see article by Claparede, Classi- 
fication et plan dea methodes psychologiques, Archives de Psychologie, 


VII., 1908 (published separately by Kiindig), and Ai.iOTTA,IrO misura 
in psicologia, Florence, 1905. Lehmann's little text-book, Lehrbuch 
der psychologischen Methodik (Leipsic, 1906), deals only with methods 
of measurement, errors in observation, and methods of ascertaining 
averages. The work of Toulouse, Vaschide, and Piebon, Technique 
de psychologic experimentale, Paris, 1904, contains, especially in its 
second part, hints which will be useful to the psycho -pedagogue ; un- 
fortunately the greater part of the methods and processes suggested 
have not been tested. In Sommer's Lehrbuch der psychopatholog. 
Untersuchungsmethoden (BerHn, 1899) will be found instructions 
concerning the registration of movements of expression. Cf. also 
Barnes, Methods of Studying Children, Studies in Education, 1896. 
Stumpf, Zur Methodik der Kinder Psychologic, Z. pad., Ps. II., 1900- 
RiBOT, De la valeur des questionnaires en psychologic. Journal de 
psychologie, 1904. Ioteyko, M(thodologie de la psychologic peda- 
gogique. Sixth International Congress on Psychology, Geneva, 
1909, p. 423. CLAPARfcDE, Die Metoden der tierpsychologischen Beo- 
bachtungen und Versuchc, Congress on Experimental Psychology, 
Frankfort, 1908 (reprinted by Barth, Leipsic, 1909). E. Jonj:s, 
Psycho-analysis and Education, J. ed. Ps., Nov. 1910. 

Methods of Interpretation. — Cf. the works of King and Miller 
quoted above. On the " Question of Mentality " : Claparede, 
Les animaux sont-ils conscients ? Rev. Philos,, May 1901 ; The 
Consciousness of Animals, The International Quarterly, 1903 ; 
La psychologie comparde est-elle legitime ? Ar. de Ps., V., 1905; Die 
Bedeutung der Tier psychologie f. die Padagogik, Z. f. pad. Ps. und 
exp. Padag., 1911. On " Objective Psychology " : Beohterew, 
Rev. scientif., 1906, and International Congress on Psychiatry, 
Amsterdam, 1907, p. 20 ; Nuel, La psychologie comparee est-elle 
legitime ? Ar. de Ps., V., 1906, p. 326. Yerkes, Comparative 
Psychology, Journal of Comparative Psychology, 1906, p. 380; &c. 

Apparatus and experimental methods. — Schulze, Aus der Werk- 
statt der experimentellen Psychologie und Padagogik, Leipsic, 1909 
(an excellent introduction to experimental psychology, with nume- 
rous plates and descriptions of apparatus). For anthropometry: 
Giroud, Observations sur le developpement de V enfant, Paris, 1902 (a 
small practical guide to family and school anthropology). Advice as 
to methods of cephalometric measurements is given by Manouvrier 
and BiNET, in An. ps. V., p. 558, and VIIL, p. 345. 



It seems to us quite natural that there should be 
children, and that children should not come into the 
world " grown-up." But in reality there is no logical 
necessity for this. One can quite well imagine beings 
springing into the world fully armed, like Minerva, 
for the combat. Low down in the zoological scale we 
do indeed find animals which are born " grown-up " ; 
they have no youth. But the higher we go in the scale 
of beings, the more we find the period of youth pro- 
longing itseK. Is not that something to be surprised 
at ? A young human being, a child, is a creature 
very ill adapted to life ; it is weak, it might easily 
become the prey of other animals ; left to itself it 
cannot supply its own wants. Yet we know that the 
struggle for existence has constantly eliminated and 
pitilessly sacrificed, in the course of evolution, all those 
who were unfit and those who showed any trace of 
inferiority to their kind. Why, then, has nature, who 
generally shows herself so economical, not only pro- 
tected this period of youth, but even developed and 
prolonged it ? There is only one way out of the 
difficulty, which is to admit that if this period of 
youth has thus triumphed, it is because it has a 
certain utility either for the individual or the race. 

This brings us to the point : "0/ what use is Child- 
hood .? " 



I dd ri6t think that pedagogues in the olden days, 
nor many pedagogues in the present day, ever asked 
themselves that question, which will perhaps be con- 
sidered absurd. " Oh," they might say, " childhood 
is simply a period of intellectual immaturity which 
separates birth from adult life, an immaturity which 
depends on lack of experience of life." That is true 
to a certain degree. But the question is whether 
childhood is simply a contingent circumstance, secon- 
dary and accidental as it were, a necessary evil — as, 
for example, senility — or whether it has a particular 
function of its own. In other words, is the child a 
child because he has had no experience, or is he a 
child in order that he may gain this experience ? Is 
the child little because he is not big, or is he little in 
order that he may grow big ? 

We shall see later on that this distinction is less 
subtle than it appears, and that the way in which it 
is decided is of considerable practical importance. 

Before studying mental development, we must take 
a glance at physical development ; firstly, because the 
destinies of mind are, as every one knows, closely 
connected with those of the body, and that to under- 
stand one is to understand the other. Next, because 
the phenomena of physical growth have a certain 
interest from the point of view of school work. 

1. Physical Growth 

We have said above that the child is not a minia- 
ture man, but that, on the contrary, he presents a 
special type. Nothing so clearly proves the truth of 
this assertion as the phenomena of physical develop- 



ment. It is already established that the growth of 
the child is not a simple increase in bulk, like the 
formation of a crystal ; the adult that is to be is not 
already formed in the embryo, according to the theory 
of the " homoncule " of the physiologists of the 

IiG. 1. — This plate is specially designed to show how much the type 
of the new-born child differs from that of the adult. To make 
this difference more striking, the skeleton of a new-born child 
(A) and that of an adult (C) are here represented drawn on 
different scales. (B) represents the new-born child drawn on 
the same scale as (C). (From a photograph by Prof. Sanford, 
published by S. Hall, Adolescence, I.) 

seventeenth century. No ; the development of the 
animal, and of that of man in particular, consists in a 
succession of creations, of new formations, appearing 
sometimes here, sometimes there, without apparent 
order — like a firework, from which rockets fall out 


into space, blazing up suddenly in the darkness with- 
out anything that could help us to foresee the place 
or time of their appearance. 

Without entering into details about the individual 
development of the different organs, which would 
be of no direct interest to the educator — with the 
exception of that part which concerns the brain, 
about which a few words will be said later on — ^let 
us pass on to examine the general growth of the 
body by considering two chief aspects, heiglit and 

If one measures and weighs a child regularly — 
say every three months — and records the results of 
growth by a curve on a chart, it will be observed 
that the curve of growth is not continuous and 
regular, but proceeds spasmodically, that is to say, 
there are times when growth is much more consider- 
able than at others. The periods of this acceleration, 
of these crises in growth, vary according to different 
circumstances : of race (peoples of the south are more 
precocious) ; of social conditions ; of state of health ; 
and specially of sex. Moreover, the crises of increase 
in height do not correspond with the crises of increase 
in weight. 

Let us take height first. There is a strong increase 
during the first year, then a slackening until about 
the age of six or seven ; then a fresh up-shooting, 
but of short duration only, after which the annual 
increase in height becomes less and less till it reaches 
a minimum at about twelve years ; then all of a sudden 
growth again becomes more rapid until about fifteen 
years of age. Then it steadies down, and though 
there may be increase until about twenty or thirty 
years of age, it will be barely perceptible. 



The curve showing increase in weight has an analo- 
gous appearance ; nevertheless, from the fifteenth year 
onward increase in weight is relatively greater than 
that of height, and it is a little slower. As may be 
seen by the accompanying chart, in the first years of 









^^ W 


^/^ ff 



'/ /f 



y ^^j" 


/^' /^^ 



r ^^'^^ 






) 1 

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 



Fig. 2. — The continuous lines represent the curve of growth in 
boys, the dotted lines that of girls. On the lower horizontal 
line the figures represent years from to 20. 

life and up to the fifteenth year, the child increases 
in height more than in breadth ; the chubby little 
child gives place to the tall and slender boy. After 
fifteen years of age the relation changes ; height 
has attained its maximum, or nearly its maximum, 
while weight begins to increase considerably ; the 


adolescent grows in breadth more than in height, he 
fills out, becomes stouter — his density increases, if we 
may so express it. 

What is specially interesting from our point of view 
in the evolution of growth is the abruptness of these 
shootings-up, these crises or sudden increases often 
following upon a period of perfect calm. Each abrupt 
rise in the curve is preceded and followed by a 
flattening which seems to bear witness to the effort 
which the organism is going to make or has just made. 
Before the crisis there is a period of repose — as though 
the organism fell back and pulled itself together for 
making a better spring ; then comes the upward leap, 
the outburst, as though some mysterious blast from 
a blow-pipe had suddenly kindled all the vital forces ; 
then comes the stage of exhaustion : out of breath, 
and as if conscious of the effort it has made, the 
organism allows itself a well-earned rest. 

The last of these crises is especially formidable ; it 
is so formidable that it has been remarked upon by 
every one, in all times, and has received the name of 
puberty. It is true that this name is used in a more 
or less wide acceptation ; while for some the period 
of puberty is that which corresponds to the nascent 
period of the sex functions (which is the true meaning 
of the term), for others it denotes the entire period of 
this crisis of growth of which we have just spoken. 
Hence confusion ; the pre-pubescent period of the 
former corresponds with the pubescent period of the 
latter. It seems to me that, so far as possible, one 
should let words retain their own exact meaning ; we 
shall, with Godin, let puberty denote the period when 
the reproductive organs mature, and to the period of 
rapid increase in height we shall give the name of 


adolescence, which is, by the way, the correct term 
(adolescere, to grow). And as it is convenient also to 
have a name for the period of calm, organic prepara- 
tion which precedes adolescence, we will call it " the 
pre-adolescent period," or " pre-adolescence," for this 
will be less equivocal than the term " pre-pubescent." 

What makes an exact nomenclature in this con- 
nection difficult is that the age when the crisis of 
growth takes place varies very much in individuals. 
In one case it takes place rather later than in another ; 
in one case the change is very marked, while in 
another it might be represented by a very slight in- 
crease in the curve of growth.^ That is the reason 
why curves constructed by means of averages based 
on large numbers of children are only slightly irre- 
gular. They do not show in a striking way the zig- 
zags, the ups and downs, which would be recorded in 
the growth of a single child, for the individual zig- 
zags cancel each other ; the phase of active growth 
of one child superposes itself on the phase of quietude 
of another. In this way individual variation has been 
antagonistic to the establishment of a subdivision 
of the different periods of development, which might 
have had a somewhat general validity. 

If individual differences are very great, the differ- 
ence which exists between the sexes is still greater. 
The growth of girls, whether in height or weight, has, 
as a whole, the same appearance as that of boys, 
but it is less vigorous, less irregular, and consistently 

1 In what degree are these abrupt accessions of growth normal ? 
Is comparatively continuous growth better than irregular growth ? 
These questions are difficult to answer, for up to the present we lack 
data for comparison. In any case we may say that we have no 
authority for supposing that irregularity in growth is a sign of 


more precocious ; the crisis of increase in stature 
belonging to second infancy, which with boys takes 
place wheii they are about seven years old, begins 
with girls when they are about six, or before ; that 
of adolescence begins with the girl when she is about 
ten or eleven instead of twelve or thirteen, and it 
ends at thirteen or fourteen instead of at fifteen years 
of age, as with the boy. In other words, the compara- 
tive growth of boys and girls is like a running match ; 
boys and girls start together, but the girls, outstripped 
for a moment by the boys, soon gain the advantage, 
then the boys catch them up and pass them, but the 
girls again take the lead until the boys definitely win 
the race. 

Let us try now, in accordance with the foregoing 
data, to determine approximately the chief stages of 
physical growth, and to give them the names which 
correspond, or should ^ correspond, to them. 

1 The most complete confusion still prevails in these names : 
Lacassagne, for example, understands by first infancy only the 
first seven months ; second infancy, from seven months to two years ; 
third infancy, from two to seven years ; adolescence, from seven to 
fifteen; puberty, from fifteen to twenty. Verrier makes use of 
entirely different t^rms : earliest years, from birth to seven years ; 
second infancy, seven to fourteen years ; adolescence, fourteen to 
twenty-one. Springer: first infancy, from birth to two years; 
second infancy, from two years to puberty (ten to twelve years) ; 
youth, from puberty to twenty or twenty-two years. Alvarez ; 
new-born infant, from birth to sixteen days ; first infancy, from 
sixteen days to three years; second infancy, from three to fifteen 
years (for this writer adolescence means all the period of growth 
from birth to twenty-four years). (Lacassagne, Precis de medecine 
judiciaire, Paris, 1886 ; Verrier, Le premier age et la seconde 
enfance, Paris, 1893 ; Springer, La Croissance, Paris, 1890 ; 
Alvarez, Anatomia y fisiologia especiales del nino, Madrid, 1895 ; 
quoted from Chamberlain, The Child, 2nd ed., p. 70, London, 1906.) 

It should be one of the tasks of a paidological conference in the 
near future to bring a little unity into this terminology, and it 


Boys. Girls. 

1. First Infancy From birth to 7 From birth to 6 or 

years. 7 years. 

2. Second Infancy . From 7 to 12 years. From 7 to 10 years. 

3. Adolescence • . From 12 to 15 years. From 10 to 13 years. 

4. Puberty . . . From 15 to 16 years. From 13 to 14 years. 

The great oscillations of which we have just spoken 
appear to have an internal, inter-organic cause, and 
to depend on the rhythm of the processes of growth. 
There are others of less importance which seem, on the 
contrary, to depend on external causes ; for example, 
on the seasons of the year. These secondary oscilla- 
tions have the effect of causing the curve of growth 
to undulate slightly through all its course, indepen- 
dently of the great zigzags which it forms. 

Research into variations in growth as affected hy the 
seasons could well be carried on by a schoolmaster. 
It is true that the schoolmaster has not always a 
weighing machine at hand, but it is at least easy for 
him to measure the height of his pupils by placing 
them (without shoes) against a vertical wall, to which 
has been nailed a graduated rule, and by causing to 
slide longitudinally in this vertical rule a half-square, 
the horizontal arm of which would rest on the top of 
the head of the child who was being measured. By 
repeating this little operation every two or three 
months, he would get records of the changes that 
growth goes through during the school year. 

The influence of the seasons on the process of growth 

could be done all the more easily because these are con- 
ventional and involve no doctrinal question ; it would be suffi- 
cient to come to some understanding as to the physiological criteria 
(dentition, access of growth, sexual maturity) or psychological 
criteria (sensations, language, &c.) which are the most suitable for 
fixing the limits of these different periods. 


is still the subject of discussion ; observations do not 
agree. Some find that growth is accelerated during 
the summer months, while others have it that this 
occurs rather during the spring and autumn. Here 
again it is necessary to distinguish between height and 
weight. The very patient research of Malling-Hansen, 
Director of the Institute for Deaf-mutes in Copen- 
hagen, who measured and weighed his 130 pupils 
every day for three years, show that there is alterna- 
tion between increase in weight and increase in stature. 
Thus weight increases specially in the autumn, only 
slightly in winter and spring, and remains quite 
stationary in summer. The exact contrary takes 
place with regard to stature. Here the period of 
maximum increase is in the summer, the period of 
minimum growth in the autumn, and the intermediate 
period in the spring. But these measurements are of 
children in a northern country; it would be well to 
repeat the experiment by taking measurements of as 
many children as possible in other regions. 

Variations in growth during the course of the year 
are not without interest for the educator. The ques- 
tion is, indeed, whether these variations are natural, 
or whether they are the more or less pernicious con- 
sequence of school regime. To solve the problem it 
would be necessary to compare either the variations, 
according to season, of children who do not go to 
school at all, with those who attend school regularly — 
or with the variations of children subject to a different 
school regime. 

Ten years ago Binet hit on the ingenious plan of 
studying the way in which organic activity displays 
itself during the school year, by investigating another 
special phenomenon which accompanies this activity, 


namely, appetite — appetite being measured by the con- 
sumption of bread. Researches were carried on in the 
Normal Schools of France. The necessary informa- 
tion was gained from the school housekeeping book ; 
this book shows the quantity (in pounds) of food 
bought each day for the school, and the quantity not 
consumed. Food-stufPs being very different in their 
value as nutriment, Binet took bread alone into con- 
sideration — bread, which is a complete food in itself, 
remains sufficiently invariable from one end of the 
year to the other, and the consumption of it is there- 
fore a fairly exact measure of appetite ; in schools, 
" when one is very hungry, one goes for the bread." 
Binet states that the consumption of bread diminishes 
during the course of the school year ; and he draws 
the conclusion that intense intellectual work injures 
the appetite.^ Schuyten, who has made a similar in- 
quiry in Belgium, also states that there is decrease 
in the consumption of bread during the summer 
months. This decrease is very surprising, for child- 
development is along the lines of aggrandisement 
during the summer period, and this aggrandisement 
ought to be accompanied by a larger appetite in the 
summer ; since this is not the case, there must be in 
the environment some disturbing factor. Schuyten 
incriminates the school ; he says it is permissible to 
suspect the pernicious influence of the school when- 
ever a phenomenon differs in its course of evolution 
from what one has a right to expect. The school, 
therefore, has a noxious influence on physiological 
activity. What is to be thought of this conclusion ? 
It does not seem to me to be a certainty, for the 

1 Binet, La Consommation du pain pendant une annee scolaire, 
Annee psych. IV., 337 ; Schuyten, Paedolog. Jaarb., 1908. 


phenomena with which one has to do are very com- 
plex, ^ but it might well be true. And this possibility 
alone shows us the vital importance of research of 
this kind, which school authorities ought to facilitate 
and even to encourage. 

2. Repercussion of Physical Growth on 
Mental Functions 

The chief interest for the teacher in the phenomena 
of physical growth lies in the fact that they have a 
repercussion on psychic functions and on the energy 
available for mental work. But what exactly the 
effect of this repercussion is has not yet been definitely 

Let us see, first of all, how far it has been possible 
to establish a relation of cause and effect between 
growth and mental energy. 

Many writers have investigated how such or such 
a mental function evolved with age — e.g., Bolton, 
Bourdon, Netschajeff, Lobsien, Pohlmann, Kirkpatrick, 
have studied the development of memory; Gilbert 
has studied the development of a series of functions 
(memory, reaction time, discrimination of colours, &c.) ; 
Stem, the evolution of the power of giving evidence ; 
Guidi, of suggestibility, &c.2 In schools researches of 

1 One might ask, among other things, whether the decreased 
desire for food during the summer does not arise in some degree 
from the fact that during that time the need for caloric is less. 
Schuyten has, however, observed that among labouring men there 
is an increase in the food they consume during the summer. 

2 Bolton, Amer. Joum. of Psychol., 1893 ; Netschajeff, Con- 
gross of Psych, at Paris, 1900 ; Bourdon, Rev. philos., 1894 ; 
Lobsien, Zeitsch. f. Psychol., 1902 ; Pohlmann, Exp. Beitr. z. 
Lehre vom Geddchtniss, 1906 ; Gilbert, Studies from the Yale 
Lab., 1894 ; Stem, Beitr. z. Psychol, der Aussage ; Guidi, Exp. 
8ur la suggestihilite. Ax. de Ps. VIIL, 1908 ; Kirkpatrick, Studies 
in Development^ New York, 1909, p. 6. 



this kind can easily be undertaken. One might try 
to find out what is the average value of a certain 

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 l: 

Fig. 3. — Curves of motor aptitude and of reactivity according to 
Gilbert ; the curve of memory has been constructed according 
to results obtained by Pohlmann {op. ciL, p. 112). The lower 
curve represents the annual increments in height. It will be 
seen that the periods of depression in the curves of function 
correspond approximately to the periods of large annual in- 
crements. (The curve of reaction time descends from left 
to right ; this does not signify that reactivity diminishes with 
age, but that reaction time diminishes more and more as re- 
activity increases with age. All these curves are constructed 
upon observation made on boys. The figures on the lower 
horizontal line indicate age.) 

aptitude among children of one age ; thus one would 
obtain a curve of its quantitative development. 



Also it is observed that the curves thus obtained, 
showing the evolution of different mental functions, 
offer a striking analogy to those of physical growth ; 
they, too, show during the time of adolescence a 
descent, followed by a more or less sudden ascent, 
and then a fresh descent. This zigzag is more 
accentuated among girls than boys. 

Nevertheless, these curves of functional growth can- 
not be exactly superimposed upon those of physical 
growth ; their minimum and maximum points do not 
precisely coincide — on the contrary, it is often found 
that a depression in the functional curve corresponds 
to a stage of accelerated growth in the physical curve, 
and one is confronted with the question whether the 
crises in physical growth, especially those in height, 
do not exercise a depressing influence on mental 
function. It is not, however, possible to say at what 
exact moment in adolescence this antagonistic in- 
fluence is strongest. Is it at the outset, or, on the 
contrary, when adolescence is in full swing ? The fact 
that the curves of functional development which we 
possess were not taken from the same children as the 
curves of physical growth, prevents any deflnite reply. 
The relations between the two groups of curves also 
vary according to the mental function considered. 
It always seems to me that one fact stands out con- 
stantly when examining these curves, especially those 
curves published by Gilbert, namely, that mental 
functions are unfavourably affected especially during 
the initial and final stages of adolescence. In order 
to elucidate this point it would be very helpful if more 
exact investigation of the same children could be 
carried on for several years. 

However this may be, it is evident from the general 



examination of the process of functional development 
that at a given moment this development is affected 
by physical growth ; it is therefore very probable 
that there is antagonism between the energy required 
for growth and mental energy. And there would be 
nothing surprising in such antagonism. The amount 

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 

Fig. 4. — Evolution of suggestibility. It will be noticed that sug- 
gestibility has a general tendency to decline with age, but 
between seven and nine years of age and between thirteen 
and fifteen there occurs a heightening of the curve, which 
corresponds to the periods of vigorous growth. This diagram 
is taken from an article by Guidi (Ar. de Ps. VIII., p. 53), 
who measured the suggestibility of little schoolgirls in Rome 
by means of apparatus which suggested sensations of heat. 

of energy which the organism has at its disposal is 
not unlimited, so there is nothing surprising in the 
fact that if it is employed in supplying the needs of 
organic growth it must be to the detriment of cerebral 
function. On the other hand, whenever growth is 
less vigorous, the energy set free is thus appHed again 
to psychic work. 

This equilibrium between the two regions of vegeta- 
tive and functional processes respectively, which the 


living being is called upon alternately to flood with 
energy, is also met with in the alternations of sleep 
and waking : when the exhausted organism begins to 
monopolise for purposes of restoration the energy 
which previously was employed in the active life of 
waking hours, that activity ceases and sleep sets in. 
And sleep in its turn ceases when, the process of 
restoration being accomplished, this energy is once 
more set free. 

The repercussion of physical growth on work and 
mental energy seems to be only a particular case of 
the general law of the alternation of vegetative and 
psychic activities, an alternation which arises from the 
limitation of energy furnished by the organism. 

Whatever may be the explanation of this reper- 
cussion, it appears that the child is less apt for work 
during the periods of vigorous growth. This is a fact 
very useful for the educator to know. If a teacher 
observes a certain slackness in his pupil, before punish- 
ing, let him reflect that this falling off is perhaps only 
the natural and inevitable result of the revolutions 
which are taking place in the very depths of the 
child's being. 

It must be confessed that these two chief crises of 
growth both fall at a particularly unfortunate age — 
at six or seven, when the child's school life begins, 
and at fourteen or fifteen, when the preparation for 
important examinations begins. 

The beginning of school life is an important time 
for a child, who, having been hitherto free in his 
movements, finds himself suddenly shut up in a room, 
often dark and ill ventilated, and forced into an 
immobility which is contrary to all his instincts — trans- 
ported, in short, into surroundings to which, whether 


he will or not, he has to adapt himself. This com- 
pulsory immobility, above all, is probably very inju- 
rious to the development of physical power by the 
repression of one indispensable stimulus, that is, free 
movement. We must therefore try to make school 
discipline during this first school year as little coercive 
as possible.^ 

The mental tension and perpetual preoccupation 
which, about the fifteenth year, are made necessary 
by preparation for adult examinations, or even for 
the school examination at the end of the year — the 
apprehension which is thereby aroused — all this is very 
prejudicial to adolescence. It is just from this con- 
flict between the mind (which would for its own 
needs direct organic energy into one channel) and the 
body (which will not give up that energy, for it re- 
quires it to carry on its own growth) that over- 
pressure often proceeds, with the break-down which 
does not fail to follow. It is true that more often 
there is neither overwork nor break-down ; that is 
because pupils, endowed with an instinct of self- 
preservation which triumphs over the desire to pass 
brilliant examinations, work with only half their 

^ According to Drs. Engelsperger and Ziegler, who have made 
minute inquiries in schools in Munich as to the influence on growth 
of the first two years of school Hfe, school exercises a pernicious 
influence only on those children who are less than six years of age. 
But, as these writers admit, the investigation was undertaken in 
the autumn, which is a period of acceleration in growth ; it is 
therefore possible that the effect of school life may have been 
obscured by the favourable influence of the season of the year. 
Other medical men, such as Schmidt-Monnard, are said to have 
proved the depressing effect on growth of entry upon school life. 
{Cf. Engelsperger and Ziegler, Beitr. Zur Kenntnis der physischen 
und psychischen Natur des sechsjdhrigen in die Schule eintretenden 
Kindes, Z. exp. Pad. I., 1905.) 


powers, make memory supplement the real work of 
intelligence, and thus secure for themselves a regime 
of accommodation which enables them to double this 
dangerous cape with safety, fortunately for their 
health, but to the great detriment of their intellec- 
tual and moral education ; for they have contracted 
the habit of doing things by halves, and they have 
derived from the work nothing that will be of benefit 
in the future. 

The only method by which instruction can be 
harmonised with physiology appears to be the sup- 
pression of those absurd encyclopaedic examinations 
which terminate the secondary school course. Adoles- 
cence does not preclude intellectual work, but what 
is hurtful is the undigested surcharge. Let us lighten 
the time-table, and have fewer subjects studied at 
one time ; it would be an advantage both for health 
and for education itself. By hunting fewer hares at 
a time there would be less danger of returning home 
with an empty bag. 

Growth is a process infinitely more delicate than is 
supposed : it puts the organism in a state of unstable 
equilibrium. Also, the organic disturbances coming on 
at the time of rapid growth may be very serious. 
The different organs are a collective whole ; the 
evolution of one determines or regulates the evolution 
of another ; it is therefore easy to understand that 
the arrested or retarded growth of one of these organs 
may have far-reaching consequences ; the organ which 
does its work abnormally, or insufficiently, influences 
on abnormal lines the subsequent course of organic 
development which depends on it. 

If, then, intellectual work is forced during one of 
the phases when mental energy ought to give way to 


vegetative energy, the growth of certain organs is 
checked and the remote effects of such accidents 
are only too real. It is true it is no longer the 
teacher who is called upon to record them — it is 
the doctor. 

The Health Note-hook. — A knowledge of the course 
of the physical development and the state of health 
of his pupils is indispensable to an educator ; so the 
institution of health note-books is called for on all 
sides, or " individual medical forms " for each of the 
children in a school, upon which should be recorded 
all the various incidents of a medical or biological 
nature which occur in the course of school life : ill- 
ness, vaccination, crises in growth, accidents, &c. 

If every one is agreed in the desire for these note- 
books (which would be of the greatest advantage not 
only to the doctor but also to the schoolmaster of the 
future, by stating the moral and physical character- 
istics of each scholar individually), people are by no 
means so agreed when it is a matter of determining 
what ought to be recorded in the booklets, and by 
whom it should be recorded. Complete information 
about a child ought certainly to include all that has 
to do with heredity : alcoholism and other diseases of 
the parents. But what would become of medical 
secrecy ? One can foresee the difficulties in the way 
of carrying out the proposal. Some have laid it down 
that these note-books should be filled up by doctors 
only, and should be kept in such a way as not to 
violate professional secrecy. But there are many 
details of a moral or psychological nature which could 
only be entered by a teacher. 

Among the facts to be noted in this book let us 
mention, in the first place, the records taken periodi- 


cally from term to term of the height, weight, and, if 
possible, chest measurements ; in the case of children 
with defective sight or hearing, the results of examina- 
tions, &c., upon the condition of these senses should 
be noted. 

These health note-books, already adopted in many 
towns (including Geneva), wiU prove valuable docu- 
ments for the sociologist and the demographer, who 
will be able to study with their assistance the influence 
of the hygienic conditions of such and such a school, 
or quarter of a town, or of the general social conditions, 
on the physical development of youth. For further 
details about these note-books and their uses, see 
articles by Drs. LetuUe, Teissier, Roux, Dinet, in the 
Reports of the First and Second Congresses on School 
Hygiene in Paris (Paris, 1904 and 1906) ; Drs. PhiHppe 
and Boncour, Ed. mod.. May, 1906 ; Binet and Simon, 
Revue Scient., January 26, 1907 ; Mathieu, L'Hygiene 
Scolaire, April 1907, p. 75. 

3. Play and Imitation 

Let us now begin to consider psychological de- 
velopment. The study of its mechanism will enable 
us to answer the question asked above : Of what use 
is childhood ? 

Psychological development is not accomplished en- 
tirely of itself ; I mean, it is not simply the result 
of the unfolding of inner forces which the new-born 
infant received as an inheritance. No ; the child must 
himself develop himself. The two means to which he 
instinctively has recourse to effect this development 
are play and imitation. 

First, let us consider play, which comes first in point 


of time, being made use of from the moment of birth : 
whilst imitation appears only after some months. 


What is play ? And why does the child play ? 
There are four theories which have been advanced 
for the solution of this, at first sight, embarrassing 

(1) The Theory of Relaxation. — This is the old- 
fashioned and popular theory : play is recreation, its 
purpose is to rest the tired mind and body. But 
this theory cannot be supported : why should fatigue 
incite to play rather than to rest ? Moreover, as a 
fact, little children begin to play as soon as they 
awake in the morning, at the very time when they 
are not tired. And kittens and puppies, which play 
all day from morning till night — what work have 
they done that they should be so much in need 
of rest ? 

(2) The Theory of Superfluous Energy. — A child has 
an excess of vitality ; his strength, not being used up 
by any serious occupation, accumulates. This excess 
of energy discharges itself as it can, flowing naturally 
along the channels that nature has already created in 
the nervous centres. The movements thus produced, 
having no immediate utility, constitute play. This 
theory, propounded first of all by the poet Schiller, 
and defended by Spencer, bears criticism very little 
better than the former. Doubt less superfluous energy 
favours play, but does it account for it ? Not at all. 
This theory does not explain the fixed forms which 
play assumes in all animals of the same species. 
Indeed, it is incorrect to say that children rehearse 
in play their habitual actions; they rather perform 


actions which are new to them. Also, children play 
till they are very tired and until they fall asleep over 
their toys. And convalescent children amuse them- 
selves in their cots as soon as strength begins 
to return, without waiting for energy to be in 

(3) The Theory of Atavism^ — Play is nothing but the 
rudimentary activities of foregone generations, which 
persist in the child, in accordance with the well- 
known " bio-genetic law " of Haeckelm : " The develop- 
ment of the child is a brief recapitulation of the 
evolution of the race." This theory, which was 
advanced later than one which we will examine 
presently, was propounded by Stanley Hall in 
1902. Hall's idea is that play is an exercise 
which is essential to the disappearance of those rudi- 
mentary functions which have now become useless, 
" but must be exercised like the tadpole's tail, if they 
are to vanish." This idea is interesting, but it 
does not seem to fit in with the facts ; it is not pro- 
bable that an exercise so persistent as play can result 
in weakening rather than in strengthening the activities 
which it calls forth. Can it be that the little girls 
who play with dolls will afterwards be less good 
mothers than those who had a contempt for dolls ? 
In a later work Hall appears to have slightly modified 
his opinion ; the play of a rudimentary function has 
not as its object to make the function disappear by 
weakening it, but rather to make it possible for it to 
exercise a temporary influence on the development of 
other functions. Returning to the illustration of the 
tadpole. Hall modifies it thus : play exercises many 
atavistic functions which will disappear in adult life 
"like the tadpole's tail that must be both developed 


and used as a stimulus to the growth of legs, which will 
otherwise never mature." ^ 

This new point of view is much more fertile than 
the former ; but I do not think that Hall, when 
modifying his illustration of the tadpole, wished to 
modify his original idea. It is I, not he, who set up 
these two theories in opposition to each other. They 
seem to me to have a very different bearing : in one 
case play is nothing more than a means of elimina- 
tion ; in the other it becomes an instrument of pro- 
duction. This last-mentioned hypothesis seems to 
me to become confused practically with that which 
we are now going to examine, and which I have 
kept to the last because it is the crown of the whole 

(4) The Theory of Preparatory Exercise. — This was 
formulated by Karl Groos in 1896.^ This psycho- 
logist, at that time a professor at Basle, recognising 
the inadequacy of the theories of relaxation and of 
superfluous energy, was the first to recognise that, in 
order to solve the problem of play, it must be con- 
sidered from a biological standpoint. 

This biological standpoint, be it said in passing, is 
far too much neglected by psychologists, who would 
often gain thereby a deeper insight into mental 
activity and its disturbances ; for the observer who 
takes up this standpoint is led to consider the various 
activities not only of human beings but of all animals 
— and to investigate not only the immediate end of 

1 S. Hall, Adolescence, London, 1904, p. 202. The passage in 
italics is not in italics in the original. The first quotation is from 
the Ped. Sem. IX., 1902. 

2 Groos, Die Spiele der Thiere, Jena, 1896 (EngHsh trans.. The 
Play of Animals) ; Die Spiele der Menschen, Jena, 1899 (Eng. 
trans., The Play of Man); Der LeMnswert des Spieles, Jena, 1910. 


these activities but their functional meaning, the part 
they play in the maintenance of life. 

And if from this exalted position a glance is cast 
at the ludic activity {ludus, play) in general, it is 
immediately recognised that play varies according to 
the kind of animal, and that the activity displayed 
in the play of a certain kind of animal resembles very 
closely the activity displayed by adult animals of the 
same species. There are, in short, nearly as many kinds 
of play as there are instincts ; there is wrestling play, 
hunting play, fighting play, love play, &c. The kitten, 
for example, pounces on the piece of paper drawn in 
front of him, or on a withered leaf blown about by the 
wind, just in the same way as later he will pounce on 
mice or birds, his favourite prey. '''' Kids ^amuse them- 
selves by knocking their heads together, a prelude to 
future butting with the horns, &c. But one never 
finds in the play of one kind of animal an exercise 
of the instincts belonging to another kind : in vain 
would one rustle a piece of paper before a kid ;, he 
Vould never throw himself upon it ; and, on the other 
hand, kittens do not play at butting each other with 
the forehead. 

One is therefore led to think of play as preparatory 
exercise for the serious work of life. The greater 
part of inherited instincts are not sufficiently de- 
veloped at birth (especially in the higher animals and 
in man) to fulfil their purpose at the outset ; they 
have to be exercised or completed by new acquisitions. 
It is by play that they have to be completed. Just 
as it is necessary to have played scales in order to be 
a good pianist, so it is necessary to have been young 
in order to be a good adult. 

Doubtless this preparatory process is reduced to a 


minimum in the case of the lower animals ; I do not 
think that a little oyster would have to play at 
oysters for a long time in order to become an accom- 
plished oyster. But in proportion as the animal is 
high in rank the apprenticeship is long. A little 
rabbit must have played the rabbit for a certain time 
in order to become a perfect rabbit ; a chick must 
have played the cock or the hen for some months in 
order to become a good one ; the kid must have cut 
many capers before becoming a goat or a chamois 
worthy of the name. Also, our children must have 
played long years at being men and women in order 
to truly become men and women. It may therefore 
be said with Groos that it is not because the animal is 
young that he flays, hut that he has youth because he 
needs to flay. 

-Many other writers before Groos anticipated more 
or less clearly this function of play, among others 
Souriau ; ^ but it was the German psychologist who 
first perceived it in its entirety, and formulated its 
biological bearing. This new conception is, to my way 
-of thinking, of capital importance to the paidologist 
and to pedagogy. I shall try to show this in the 
following paragraphs. 

It must at the same time be recognised that the 
preparatory exercise of instinct is not the motive of 
aU play ; as Carr, an American author, has rightly 
shown, play has a more extended biological utility. ^ 
Among other things, it procures for the organism the 
stimulation which is necessary to the growth of its 

1 Souriau, Le plaisir du mouvement, Rev. scient., 3rd series, 
XVII., 1889. 

2 Carr, The Survival Values of Play. Investig. of the Department 
of Psychology of the University of Colorado, I., 1902, 


organs. As has been said by experts occupied with 
the problem of variation of species in the course of 
evolution, the formative agents of the body of the 
animal do not all come from the mother-cell which 
produced it, but many are furnished by the outside 
world. The development of the individual is the 
result both of the natural tendencies (as yet but 
dimly understood) which have been transmitted by 
heredity and of the action of the surrounding world. 
It is for this reason that variation in environment 
can have a repercussion on the morphology of the 
animal : such as regression of organs which have 
become useless, and development of stimulated organs. 
Play, then, acts as a stimulant to growth. It acts 
especially on the nervous system. At birth the 
nervous centres are far from having acquired their 
definite structure : the brain, above all, is not in a 
condition to function.^ A great many of the nerve 
fibres of the brain have not yet acquired their medul- 
lary sheath, that is, the fatty covering which will 
isolate them from each other as an india-rubber 
covering isolates the wires of an electric installation. 
When they are without this sheath they cannot 
function. But the stimulation of these fibres is one 
of the factors which help them to acquire this medul- 
lary sheath, and therefore their functionary power. 
Play, by giving rise to and multiplying this stimula- 
tion, is therefore an important agent in the develop- 
ment of the nervous system. Observation verifies 
this view : if the eyelids of a new-born ki^en are 
sewn together, a certain arrest in the development of 
the visual centres of the brain will be noticed, because 

1 Probst, Oehirn und Seele dea Kindes, Berlin, 1904, p. 124. 


they have not received the necessary stimulation. ^ 
The motor centres of the brain become atrophied in 
people who have had an arm or a leg amputated in 
childhood. In these cases we find a certain confirma- 
tion of the biological adage that it is function which 
makes the organ. The play of the limbs also favours 
muscular growth ; the mere activity of a muscle is, as 
every one knows, a factor in its development (biceps 
of athletes). 

Another use of play, to which Carr has also drawn 
attention, is to maintain newly acquired activities by 
constantly reviving them. This is specially true of 
the play of adults ; in time of peace the soldier plays 
at war, shoots at a target, rides on horseback, just "as 
the virtuoso between two concerts practises scales and 
trills in order not to grow rusty. 

According to Carr, play has also a social role of first- 
class importance ; parties, balls, matches, are useful 
in developing feelings of solidarity, &c. This appears 
to be very probable, but the sociological conception 
of play is not opposed to the biological conception of 
Groos, it is only a particular case of it. 

Carr finally attributes to play a cathartic, that is a 
purgative, effect : we bring with us into the world 
a certain number of instincts, which still persist and 
which are generally injurious in the present state of 
civilisation ; it is the role of play to purge us from 
time to time of these anti-social tendencies. When in 
tragedy men kill and fight, they give vent in a blood- 
less way to their sanguinary tendencies. In the same 
way, by boxing, or playing football, the child gets 
rid of his anti-social instincts while satisfying them 

1 Moles have atrophied eyes because they have not " played " 
•enough with light. 


at the same time. What is to be thought of this 
hypothesis ? Might not the same objection be made 
to it as to Dr. Stanley Hall's ? If in certain cases 
play develops instincts, why in other cases should 
it diminish them ? It must be admitted that Carr 
hardly explains this point. But I think that this 
hypothesis is different from Hall's. Carr's idea is not 
that play suppresses these harmful tendencies, but that 
it directs them ; as to the idea of a veritable purging, 
it might be maintained, it seems to me, if it were 
admitted that it is emotions, and not definite activities, 
which are thus expelled, and that they are only tem- 
porarily expelled. If one is angry, it is soothing and 
pacifying to break a plate, to slam a door, or to 
flog an arm-chair. By fighting with his companions, 
the child will not definitely eliminate his wrestling 
instinct, which it is necessary he should possess for 
legitimate defence, but he will temporarily give vent 
to the aggressive tendencies that this instinct gives 
birth to, and which will be socially inconvenient until 
a necessary struggle gives him the chance to express 
them in real earnest.^ 

Let us now consider some of the plays of children. 
We shaU see that all of them exercise some physio- 
logical or psychological function, in accordance with 
the theory of Groos as completed by Carr. Some 
exercise the general functions of mental life, such as 

^ But one must not conclude from this cathartic hypothesis that 
a child can be purged of his warlike instincts by making him play 
at soldiers. Alas, no ! Rigault in 1858 said in his charming article 
on Children's Playthings [Conversations litter aires), " Prussia is de- 
cidedly the leading power among lead soldiers ! " The Prussians 
in 1870 do not appear to have lacked military aptitude because they 
played at soldiers as children, at the time when Rigault was writing 
his witty words. 


perception, motricity, ideation, feeling ; others exer- 
cise special functions, such as wrestling, hunting, love, 
sociability, imitation. 

I. Games in the first category comprise sensory 
games, motor games, psychic games. 

(1) Sensory Games. — Children, especially quite 
young children, take pleasure in the simple fact of 
experiencing sensations. It amuses them to taste the 
most diverse substances in order " to see what that 
tastes like," to make sounds (with whistles, trumpets, 
castanets, rattles, musical boxes ; vibrations of various 
kinds, such as that of string tightly stretched and 
played like a guitar, or of the nib of a pen placed on 
a table and made to vibrate by finger-taps, &c.) ; it 
amuses them to examine colours (tops, kaleidoscopes, 
coloured counters, painting in colours, &c.). Little 
children play at touching and feeling objects. 

(2) Motor Games. — These games are innumerable ; 
some develop co-ordination of movements (games of 
skill, cup and ball, jugglery, ball games, hoops) ; 
others develop strength or promptitude (gymnastics, 
running, jumping, stone-throwing). Language move- 
ments also have their part in this kind of play. We 
are all familiar with sentences that it is difficult to 
say quickly, such as " Peter Piper," or " Round the 
rugged rock the ragged rascal ran," &c. 

(3) Psychic Games. — These may be divided into 
intellectual and emotional games. 

Intellectual games are those which call into requi- 
sition comparison or recognition (lotto, dominoes), 
association by sound (rhyming games), reasoning 
(chess), reflection or invention (enigmas and riddles), 
creative imagination (invention of stories, drawings). 
Imagination plays a very important part in a child's 


life ; it enters into all a child's occupations. As 
imagination occupies a place of the highest import- 
ance in the mental life of a man, it is necessary that 
it should be exercised early. It is creative imagina- 
tion which raises man above nature by enabling him 
to group elements in new combinations. Representa- 
tion of this creative kind implies very considerable 
independence of the mind in reference to actual facts. 
Animals do not seem to possess it ; and in acquiring 
it the human race has made an immense step forward. 
It is a comparatively new faculty, and it has to be 
" played " a great deal in order that the child may 
master it. It is not necessary to recall at length the 
inexhaustible power of fancy of which a child gives 
proof when, for example, it invests the most trifling 
object with all the qualities it is pleased that it should 
have ; a piece of wood may represent to him a horse, 
a boat, a locomotive, a man. He makes inanimate 
things live, he personifies the letters of the alphabet, 
attributes to himself very diverse personalities, and 
transfigures reality till he really deceives himself.^ 

Sometimes this imaginative impulse oversteps the 
play boundary and a tendency to illusion in real life 
is observed : the child misrepresents truth and earns 
the name of liar ; but he has nevertheless no intention 
of deceiving, he merely prolongs a comedy of which 
he is himself to some extent the dupe. This is a fact 
which should make us cautious in allowing children 
to be witnesses in courts of law. 

^ For the development of imagination, see Ribot, Essai sur rim- 
agination creatrice ; and for instances of the part which imagination 
takes in the plays of children, see books by Compayre, Sully, Perez, 
&c. On the tendency to personify, see Lemaitre, Audition coloree 
et phenom'nes connexes observes chez des ecoliers, Geneva, 1901, 
and Arch, de Psychol. I., 24. 


Finally, there is another kind of intellectual play, 
that of curiosity, which with Groos we may define as 
intellectual experimenting, or as a play of attention.^ 
Why is a child curious ? Why does he want to touch 
everything, to see what there is in the bellows that 
makes it blow, in the top which makes it spin ? Why 
does he want to know the why and wherefore of 
everything ? For the reason that he needs to do it 
in order to effect his development. Nature has not 
implanted in us an innate knowledge of the cause 
and effect of phenomena, but she has implanted in us 
the desire to procure it for oneself and the means of 
doing so, which is a thousand times more precious. 
This desire, which takes the form of a question, springs 
from the feeling of discomfort caused by the non- 
comprehension of things (maladaptation), and the 
means of satisfying it is observation, experiment, 
investigating the mechanism of things. Indeed, the 
curiosity of the child is nothing else than the pre- 
paratory exercise of this questioning and experiment- 
ing instinct which sets itself at work upon everything 
and nothing. This play-curiosity is distinct from the 
curiosity of the scientist, in that the pleasure of 
the former consists in the act itself, while that of 
the scientist depends on the desire for discovery : the 
child is curious because it is pleasant to be curious ; 
the scientist is curious because he wants to know. 
But that does not prevent the curiosity of the child 
from being very useful to his development, by drawing 
his attention to all things that are new to him, and 
consequently by exercising his attention and enrich- 
ing his store of knowledge. It is also, as Groos so 

^ To be exact, curiosity is a need, an appetite, and it is rather 
the gratification of curiosity which constitutes a play of attention. 


rightly points out, a salutary counterpoise to the fear 
of the new, an instinct which, however valuable it 
may be, would certainly interfere with intellectual 
development if it preponderated. 

In emotional games pleasure is found in the arousing 
of the emotions, even of disagreeable ones. Grief is 
sometimes amusing if it is voluntarily accepted ; im- 
mersion in an icy bath has in itself little charm, but 
there is a certain delight in braving the shivering 
that it produces. I remember that once upon a time 
my little companions and I used to amuse ourselves 
by striking each other on the calves with a stick " to 
see how much one could bear without crying out." 
The aesthetic sentiment is developed by a great many 
games (drawing, painting, modelling, music). 

Fear also furnishes material for many games : stories 
of robbers which make one's hair stand on end ; 
games of " wild beast," when a child hides in a corner 
and jumps out on his companions, who, though trem- 
bling with fear, try to find him ; all sorts of prac- 
tical jokes, such as ringing the front-door bell of some 
strange house and then running away as fast as one's 
legs can carry one for fear of being caught by the 

The exercise of the ivill gives rise to many childish 
plays, such as games of imitation, which will be men- 
tioned later. We will here consider only games of 
inhibition, the essential of which is voluntary arrest 
or repression of movement. This is very important, 
for the more the adult human being is civilised the 
more he has to restrain his impulses ; with animals, 
savages, imbeciles, and inebriates, impulse is immedi- 
ately followed by action. But in order that an act 
may be intelligent it must be judged and its. conse- 


quences weighed before being accomplished. " Think- 
ing," said Bain, " means refraining from speech and 
action." Therefore, in order that a child may become 
a thinking being, he must first learn to restrain action. 
The exercise of this power of arrest gives occasion 
for many games : repression of laughter, of certain 
reflex movements (e.g. trying not to blink when a 
hand is brought near the eyes), repression of voluntary 
movements, exercises in immobility (the child plays 
at being a statue or at tableaux vivants) ; and, above 
all, by the " game of contraries." 

II. We pass on to games of special functions. They 
are all weU known, and it will be sufficient to mention 
a few by way of example. 

(1) Wrestling Games. — Bodily wrestling ; mental 
wrestling (in matches and discussions). Children fight 
and quarrel not only amongst themselves, but they 
often exercise their combative instinct against their 
master, whom they look upon as a dreadful tyrant. 
Carl Vogt relates in picturesque fashion what used 
to take place in this way at the Giessen Gymnase 
when he was a pupil there. " Learning and work 
were for the greater number incidental only ; the 
greater part did nothing but tease their schoolfellows 
and annoy their masters. The study of the peculi- 
arities of character of these scholastic tyrants soon 
showed us the weak side of each, and after some 
experiences, of which some were truly smarting ex- 
periences, we knew how to get at the weak point 
without running the risk of punishment. All the 
time spent at school was nothing but a continual 
war against the teaching body, sometimes single com- 
bats or skirmishes at the outposts, sometimes com- 
bined movement directed by ' scientific ' tactics — a 


war, interspersed sometimes with momentary truces, 
but never followed by a lasting peace." ^ 

That took place in 1830, but things have not im- 
proved since then. There is still between masters 
and boys a hostility of which, in a very fascinating 
article, M. Cousinet explains the cause. ^ There is 
between them great divergence of interests ; their 
aims, motives, and ideals are different. This is true ; 
but there is also, no doubt, the pleasure of fighting for 
fighting's sake. It is not necessarily out of hatred 
that a schoolboy plays pranks on his master ; it may 
be simply for the pleasure of playing a trick which 
satisfies some want in his nature. 

(2) Hunting Games. — These are first of all games 
of pursuit, hide and seek, &c. Then those which are 
more closely allied to real hunting : birds-nesting, 
hunting flies or butterflies, gathering fruit or flowers. 
In 'this class may be placed the collecting instinct 
which is so strongly developed in animals who have 
to hibernate. This instinct in the child gives rise to 
collecting plays : collections of stamps, insects, &c. 
There need not necessarily be any dominant idea in 
the work undertaken. The mere fact of filling an 
empty space in a stamp-album constitutes pleasure. 
The child collects for the pleasure of amassing The 

^ Carl Vogt, Alts meinem Leben, Stuttgart, 1896, p. 70. 

2 R. Cousinet, La solidarite enfantine. Rev. phil., Sept. 1908. 
In some later articles (Bull. S. ps. E., Jan. 1910, and Ed. Mod., 
July 1910) Cousinet considers the " ragging " of the boys to be 
an instinctive expression of their contempt for those masters who 
have no authority, " whom they feel to be inferior to themselves." 
The " ragging " is said to be a kind of punishment that the pupils 
inflict on a master quite unfitted for his work (as is being laughed 
at in the theory advanced by Bergson). This view is doubtless very 
near the truth ; it is no less true that the " ragging," whatever may 
be its final cause, covers, in the scholar, a purely playful character. 


quantity is to him more than the quahty. He takes 
everything. Have you ever seen the contents of a 
child's pocket ? It is a genuine museum of curio- 
sities : little white stones, postage stamps, tram- 
tickets, shells, old nails, dried flowers, silver paper, 
corks, unnameable fragments, pieces of lead, wood, 
and putty, all that has attracted the attention of the 
boy and has been carefully preserved by him. With 
what an enchanting imagination has he surrounded 
all these little objects ? What intimate signification 
has he given them ? In order to understand it we 
must go back for a moment to our own childhood ; 
but, alas, on the road of time there is no such thing 
as retracing one's footsteps ! 

(3) Social Games. — Under this heading come 
" chums," excursions, the formation of camps, of 
clans, and of little childish societies in imitation of 
the societies of grown-up people, with a president, 
secretary, &c. Most games concur indirectly in 
furthering the development of social instincts. 

(4) Family Games. — One may thus designate those 
games which are based on the maternal or on 
the family instinct. The place of honour here is 
accorded to the doll, the most widely spread and 
perhaps the most ancient of plays, which calls out the 
instinct of maternity, of domination, authority, and 
imitation, all at the same time. Little girls and boys 
sometimes join together to play at being " Father and 
Mother " ; they make their home in the window bay, 
adorn it with imaginary furniture, and do not fail to 
correct little Miss Dolly, their daughter, if she should 
object to swallow the bowl of diluted chalk which 
does duty for a cup of milk. 

(5) Games of Imitation. — Imitation is a very 


valuable auxiliary of play. Let us here make two 
delicate distinctions : the game of imitation, in which 
the child imitates for the mere pleasure of imitation 
{e.g. the monkey game : a child makes faces or ges- 
tures more or less absurdly funny ; other children have 
to imitate them as closely as possible) ; and the 
imitative game, in which the purpose of imitation is to 
provide elements for the carrying out of the game. 
Thus, in their wrestling, children imitate Redskins if 
a troupe of Red Indians should happen to be perform- 
ing just then at the fair ; or they will be Japanese or 
Boers if a war in the extreme East or in the Transvaal 
should be engrossing public attention at the time, &c. 

This rapid sketch is sufficient to show that, according 
to the biological theory, every kind of play is indeed 
the preparatory exercise for some useful activity or 
function. It is hardly necessary to say that many 
plays exercise many different functions at once : 
movement, imagination, reflection, &c. 

We will now mention an objection which is often 
brought against this theory of preparatory exercise : 
it is not the purpose of play, it is said, to prepare for 
future activity, and play is not characteristic of the 
young only, for adults play. But, we answer, all 
activities and all faculties are not wholly developed 
nor entirely acquired in the adult, and if the adult 
experiences an instinctive want to exercise or keep up 
certain activities, it is because those very activities, 
the exercise of which is play to him, are just those 
which are not yet entirely developed nor definitely 
acquired. In regard to those imperfectly developed 
activities which he feels inclined to exercise, is not 
the adult still young ? There is no play, indeed, that 
is not the exercise of some activity more or less im- 


perfect. The performance of an action which can 
already be perfectly accomplished is not a game. 
Thus it is play even to an adult to throw stones or 
shoot with a rifle at a target situated at a certain dis- 
tance from him ; it would certainly be no longer a 
game if the target were placed sufficiently near for him 
to be certain of hitting the bull's-eye at every shot. 

Further, every adult is young in relation to subse- 
quent generations of adults, and his games prepare 
for acquisitions which will be useful to them. The 
history of humanity shows the influence that play has 
had on scientific and industrial progress : the game 
of chess has given rise to various mathematical prob- 
lems ; the amusements of " Popular Science " have 
been the cause of many important discoveries ; it 
was in play that the properties of electricity were 
discovered ; also it was play that led to the invention 
of the bicycle, that useful means of transport, the 
child of the velocipede of former times, a simple 
instrument of amusement. Aeroplane races and com- 
petitions, which are at the present moment games 
and sports without immediate utility, are preparing 
for the period of practical usefulness upon which 
aviation will soon enter, as balloons have already 
done, for balloons too were at one time mere toys. 
And, in a general way, was it not by playing with 
natural phenomena that great scientific geniuses dis- 
covered the great laws of nature, which they would 
never have perceived if their experiments had had 
nothing in view but material benefit ? 

The question remains : What is the psychological 
nature of play ? Why does play please the child so 
much ? In what category of methods can it be 
entered ? 


The answer to the first question is easy. Play is 
pleasant because it satisfies a need. It is a general 
law that everything that has to do with development 
of life and of the personality is accompanied by 
pleasure (eating when one is hungry, sleeping when one 
is tired, &c.). There is therefore nothing mysterious 

Is play an instinct ? This is chiefly a question of 
terms. If it is held that an instinct is a definite act, 
it is certain that play is not an instinct, since it brings 
into working the most diverse activities. This is 
Groos' opinion, to which no objection can be taken. 
Play is related to instinct, apparently, in the sense 
that, like it, it consists in the spontaneous perform- 
ance, in response to some internal or external stimulus, 
of a complicated act, the mechanism for which is 
registered in the nervous centres, and of the purpose 
of which the individual is not conscious. We will 
say, then, that play is an instinctive impulse. Physio- 
logically it is based on the excessive excitability of 
the nervous mechanism, which excitability itself de- 
pends perhaps on the fact that the neurons in process 
of growth are in a state of instability which facilitates 
their disturbance. 

It is now time to pass to a second factor in mental 
development, that of imitation. 

^ The special attractiveness of play has led writers on the subject 
to introduce into the discussion, in order to explain it, the joy of 
causation and the feeling of liberty which fill the soul of the child who 
plays. But this joy and feeling do not seem to me to be the causes 
of the attraction of play, but themselves to proceed from the ob- 
jective conditions of liberty, which are necessary to play in order 
that it shall be play. 



Imitation is a very important function with which 
earlier psychologists did not much concern themselves, 
and which gives a great deal of trouble to those of 
modern times. Its limits are undefined : on one side 
imitation is confused with simple motor adaptation, 
on another with habit, which in a way is imitation of 
oneself, and again with a voluntary act which may 
be regarded as the imitation of an idea. And then 
comes the question, as with play, whether imitation 
is a separate instinct, or whether it is only the name 
given to the starting of certain sensory-motor co-ordi- 
nations which already form part of definite instinctive 
tendencies. Finally, what is the relation between 
imitation, suggestion, and mental contagion ? 

I hope to be excused from discussing all these 
points, which indeed matter little to the present 
study, the aim of which is simply to determine the 
place which imitation occupies as an agent in mental 

There are three ways in which a child can be put 
in possession of the functions necessary to his exist- 
ence as a man : (1) heredity, (2) personal experience, 
(3) imitation. 1 

Heredity, as we have seen, is insufficient in itself, 
and play has to come to its assistance, not only in 
order to reinforce the lines imprinted by heredity on 
the nervous centres, but to make new ones. And 

1 Instruction by others, didactic teaching, may be inckided under 
the heading of imitation. To profit by a lesson is to imitate the 
experience of others of which the lesson has given an account, or 
to prepare to imitato it as soon as occasion offers. 


even this is not enough. If there were only these two 
factors childhood would have to be excessively long, 
for every one would have to rediscover for himself 
the greater part of the experiences of preceding 
generations. Fortunately imitation spares us this 
continual beginning again, by inviting us to profit 
by the experience of others. 

Imitation is, then, an instrument of capital im- 
portance for development. But this instrument is 
not given to us all ready for use : we have to 
acquire it, as other functions have been acquired, 
in play. 

In order to clearly understand the role of imitation, 
let us see what psycho-physiological process the act 
I is based upon. To imitate is to reproduce oneself 
I what one has seen done or what one has heard. In 
^rder to imitate, it is necessary that a visual or audi- 
tory percept should evoke precisely those movements 
of the limbs (or of the larynx if it is a question of 
sounds) suitable for reproducing it. This evoking 
implies the existence of an association between this 
percept and the motor images which control the 
movement. In physiological terms one might say 
that this evocation presupposes the existence of a 
connection between the neurons of a sensory centre 
corresponding to this perception, and the group of 
motor neurons which control the movement. 

But the greater part of these motor-sensory associa- 
tions are not furnished by heredity, and this is not 
astonishing," for those which man needs to have at his 
disposal ai^^|idefinite. He must then create them 
for himse^^Frhis is the use of imitation-play. The 
little chipr*who tries to reproduce the movements 
which Me sees made, or the noises which he hears, 


appears to concentrate all his interest in the mere 
reproduction of these movements or sounds. 

Up to this point things go on by themselves. But 
this is where the situation becomes complicated — not 
for the child, but for the psychologist : (1st) Why has 
the baby a tendency to reproduce what he sees ? 
(2nd) Why does he repeat these reproductions until 
he has succeeded in copying his model ? 

The simplest answer would be to attribute these 
tendencies to instinct : the instinct of imitation. This 
is what is generally done. But there is a difficulty 
in such a supposition. An instinct is, by definition, 
a very definite act, such as the construction of a nest, 
the seizing of prey, &c. But the acts which one imi- 
tates, or which one might be called on to imitate, are 
undefined. Must we therefore conclude that imita- 
tion is not an instinct ? This is the opinion of Groos, 
for whom imitation is nothing more than a particular 
case showing the motor power of images. ^ It is a 
fact that all our images have a tendency to translate 
themselves into movement : you probably know the 
little parlour game which consists in asking every one 
what a rattle is ; nine out of ten times the person 
questioned will illustrate his answer by a rotatory 
gesture descriptive of a rattle. This tendency of an 
image to pass over into the action which expresses it, 
which is incontestable, solves, I quite admit, the first 
question ; but it throws no light at all on the second. 
The motor tendency of images certainly explains that 
a percept starts a movement, and that th^s movement 
may be imitative when the sensory-motor co-ordina- 
tion already exists, but it in no wi^^kplains the 
tendency of the child (who as yet posaB^s no co- 

1 Groos, The Play of Man, p. 289 (Eng. transf 


ordinations) to repeat a movement till it is like the 

It is in this phenomenon of the search for conformity 
— entirely neglected by psychologists — that lies, to 
my thinking, the instinctive element in the process of 
imitation. This search after conformity is the same 
in all imitated acts, whatever they may be. It is, 
then, a well-determined tendency and always uniform ; 
we are perfectly justified, therefore, in considering it 
an instinct : the instinct to conform. I am not now 
speaking of voluntary imitation, in which this search 
after conformity is clearly perceived and becomes the 
aim of the subject ; while with the child the end is 
pursued without conscious purpose, which is what 
characterises an instinctive act. This instinct reveals 
itself in consciousness as a " desire for conformity," 
just as the alimentary instinct is revealed through 

We now know why the child imitates, and how he 
imitates. There is yet another obscure point to be 
cleared up : What does he imitate ? 

The child, as a matter of fact, does not imitate 

To begin with, the power of imitation is limited by 
the anatomical structure, which predisposes the in- 
dividual to reproduce certain phenomena rather than 
others : if linnets were placed with larks when young 
they would adopt the song of the latter ; but they 
would not adopt the barking of a dog if they were 
brought up with dogs. 

Yet among the models which are suitable to serve 
as copies the child makes a selection, a choice. What 
prompts this choice ? The necessities of develop 
ment ; a great many potentialities which we bring 


with us into the world when we are born are not 
susceptible of development without the impetus given 
by imitation.^ That is to say, the choice will vary 
with age, and according to the needs of the moment. 
The child will imitate what it is important he should 
imitate in the interest of perfect development. 

But the child reproduces many acts only recently 
acquired by the human race — such as reading a news- 
paper, smoking, or turning the steering-wheel of an 
automobile — acts of which the physiological element 
was certainly not transmitted by heredity. If he is 
induced to imitate them, it is in consequence of the 
ascendancy that is exercised over him by persons who 
are older than he is, or whom he feels to be in some 
way superior to himself. It is surely to the advan- 
tage of his development that he should constantly try 
to conform to that which appears to him to be above 
his level, and it is this interest in copying adults 
in general, or such and such a person in particular, 
which determines his individual choice in the acts he 
reproduces. The child imitates an act much less be- 
cause the act itself interests him than because he is 
interested in the person who is accustomed to perform 
that action. 

A fact that introduces a certain amount of con- 

, fusion into the question of imitation is that, in the 

case of the young child, imitation is hunting two hares 

at one time. On the one hand, the little child imitates 

in order that he may learn to imitate — this is just the 

^ An American psychologist, Berry, has stated that in the case 
of certain kittens the instinct to devour mice is aroused by the 
stimulus of imitation only : if they are brought up apart from their 
kind, so that they never see cats devour mice, they play with thes© 
animals without hurting them. (Berry, An Experimental Study of 
Imitation in Cats, Journ. of Comp. Neurol., XVTII., 1908.) 


play which accompanies " the instinct to conform " ; ^ 
on the other hand, he imitates in order to acquire 
other knowledge by means of imitation. The imita- 
tive function is both the end and the means. And 
it is both at the same time. It is educative while it 
is still being educated. The student in the training 
college has to give lessons in the schools in order to 
learn his work as a teacher ; he is at the same time 
master and pupil. This is precisely the condition of 
imitation, which educates itself by educating, and 
which educates while educating itself. 

It would be useless to return now to the sponta- 
neous exercise of imitation, which is only a particular 
manifestation of the ludic function ; let us rather 
ask ourselves what it is that is educated by means 
of imitation. 

We may subdivide into two groups the acquisi- 
tions which are due to it : (1) Acquisition of general 
functions ; (2) acquisition of special functions. 

( 1 ) Acquisition of General Functions. — These functions 
are motor adaptation in general, voluntary movement, 
and the comprehension of our environment! 

Motor adaptation : — we have stated that imitation 
is confused in one direction with simple motor adapta- 
tion. When a young child follows with his eyes the 
light that passes in front of him, or tries to reach with 
his hand the ribbon on his cradle, he is in a sense 
trying to imitate with his eyes the movement made 
by the candle, or to imitate with his arm the space 
which separates him from the ribbon. The idea of 

* Groos, for whom imitation implies no instinct, is rather per- 
plexed how to account for the play of imitation, since all play is 
the preparatory exercise of some instinct {Play of Man, p. 289, 
footnote) ; this difficulty disappears if one recognises in the act of 
imitation the instinct to seek for conformity. 


imitation becomes confused here with the idea of 
play-adaptation . 

Voluntary movement : — in order that volition may 
be efficient in a movement, it is necessary that there 
shall be, not only a representation of the whole act, 
but that this representation shall stimulate the motor 
images or the motor neurons which control its execu- 
tion. Imitation, which, as we have said, creates and 
multiplies sensory-motor and ideo-motor associations, 
is therefore an important agent in the acquisition of 
the power of voluntary motricity. 

Comprehension : — i.e. comprehension of things, for to 
comprehend or understand an object is to know how 
to use it, and it is imitation which makes it possible 
for us to acquire a knowledge of the handhng of things. 
Further, there is the understanding of the emotions, 
the understanding of others : by instinct we are in- 
clined to reproduce the facial expression of those who 
surround us ; serious faces make us wrinkle our fore- 
heads, smiling faces smooth out these wrinkles, en- 
thusiastic faces stimulate our being and incite us 
to action. Having reproduced, having imitated ex- 
pressions of grief, joy, transport, or admiration, we 
have also by the same act ourselves experienced and 
understood the different emotions. Imitation of this 
kind is at the root of that sympathy which we, 
members of one society, ought to feel for each other. 
As an English writer has rightly said, " Being children, 
we imitate everything without understanding it, and 
by virtue of this imitation, we have learnt to under- 
stand it."i 

(2) Acquisition of Special Functions. — These acquisi- 
tions are innumerable, and it is superfluous to name 

1 Hirn, Origins of Arts, London, 1900, p. 79. 



them : by imitating the dancing-master one learns 
to dance, by imitating the carpenter one learns to 
plane, &c. Among the more important of the acquisi- 
tions gained by the help of imitation, language should 
be mentioned. In the domain of morals imitation 
plays a very important part : every one knows the 
power of example. 

4. Or WHAT Use is Childhood ? 

We are now able to reply to the question with 
which this chapter opened : "Of what use is child- 
hood ? " Childhood is for play and imitation. A 
child is not a child because he has no experience, 
but because he has a natural necessity to gain this 
experience. It is not because he is not full grown 
that a child is young, but it is because a secret in- 
stinct urges him to do all that is necessary in order 
to become full grown. And (we have just seen) this 
instinctive tendency to develop shows itself by play 
and imitation. 

Juvenile activity, the childish mind, it should be 
carefully remarked, is in no way a necessary conse- 
quence of simple lack of experience or development, 
as popularly supposed. Insufficiency of function is by 
no means sufficient to create the child type. A cow, 
for example, is certainly very deficient as far as reflec- 
tion and social virtues are concerned ; but it is not a 
child. It is not the fact of a child's ignorance that 
makes him a child ; it is the fact that he wants to 
know, that he tends to become something more than 
he is. The little calf is a cow-child, because it tends 
to become a cow ; but the cow is not a child-man 
(in spite of her insufficiency with regard to human 


mentality) because she shows no tendency to become 
a man. I, who am no musician, am not a child in 
the art of piano or harp playing, because I have no 
tendency whatever to become a pianist or harpist (I 
am in this matter nothing at all, not even a child) ; 
on .the other hand, a pupil at the Conservatory who 
has not finished his course will be a child, a young 
thing, in relation to music, because he has the wish 
to develop himself musically still more. 

The essential quality in the child, then, is not that 
he is insufficient, but that he is a candidate. 

We understand now why animal species which have 
a long childhood have survived in the course of evolu- 
tion : it is because those animal species were the 
kinds which by this fact attained a higher degree of 
development. Indeed, the longer childhood is, the 
longe^ is that plastic period during which the animal 
plays, imitates, experiments, that is, multiplies its 
possibilities of action, and augments by the fruit of 
its individual experience the too small capital which 
was transmitted to it by heredity. 

Adult age is crystallisation, petrification ; the aim 
of infancy is to defer as long as possible that moment 
when " being," losing its aptitude for " becoming," 
congeals, takes its definite form, like a piece of iron 
which the blacksmith has allowed to grow cold. 

Thus girls, who, as we have seen, arrive more quickly 
at maturity than boys, pay for this precocity by 
attaining a less degree of intellectual development. 
This relation between the inferior evolution of feminine 
mentality and the shorter extension of their period of 
childhood is of the highest biological interest. It 
shows how, in spite of strong individual variations 
and economic and social conditions which seem to 


have turned upside down the mechanism of selection 
and evolution, one finds the hard-and-fast law of nature 
which regulates the destinies of species always vigilant. 
It is necessary in the interest of the race that woman 
should be more passive, more conservative, that she 
should have in a less degree the taste for research 
and for those enterprises which would carry her far 
from the domestic hearth, and from those children 
with whose fate her own should be associated. It 
seems as if this comparative abbreviation of the 
period of childhood were the means that nature has 
used to put restraint upon the intellectual evolution 
of the woman. On the other hand, the woman has a 
more developed emotional life than her male com- 
panion, and in this she may find ample consolation 
for her inferiority in the region of abstract thought 
and in the power to make new acquisitions. 

5. Attractive Education 

I affirmed that the manner in which this ques- 
tion of the significance of childhood should be solved 
had considerable practical importance. The time has 
come for demonstrating this. 

If childhood were nothing more than a pis-aller, an 
accident, a secondary consequence of development, all 
those phenomena without any immediate utility that 
childhood brings in its train (play) ought to be re- 
pressed, dammed up, swept away as rubbish — just as 
one sweeps away tHe cinders caused by combustion 
in a furnace ; in no case would it be well to stimulate 
and to make capital out of them from an educational 
point of view. Pedagogy would then have to be in 
a great measure repressive, disciplinary, and rigid. 


Such a conception of education has prevailed for a 
long time, and, alas, still prevails. But this was not 
always the case ; the ancients, who had in many 
respects a much juster conception than we have of 
normal life, gave to games, in education, the place 
of honour which is now being restored to them and 
which such thinkers as Plato and Aristotle accorded 
to them. But later in the Middle Ages, under the 
dominion of perverted religious creeds, began a crusade 
against everything which could bring any joy into 
life : the arts, including music, were proscribed ; also 
good living, and even bathing and walks. Children's 
games were included in this pernicious ostracism, for 
it was believed that virtue and suffering were neces- 
sarily allied, and that a lesson in order to be useful 
must necessarily be tiresome. This fatal conception 
still weighs down modern pedagogy ; schools and 
colleges are still synonymous with prisons of youth. 
The present school system is dominated by authority, 
intimidation, coercion, the repression of natural in- 
clination, and consequently by ennui. 

And this would be more or less justified if childhood 
were nothing but an accident, the reverse of growth, 
without more significance in itself than the wrong side 
of a piece of tapestry. But all that has gone before 
has abundantly shown — at least I hope it has — that 
childhood is not an accident, a wrong side, but that 
it is the actual form that development of the being 
assumes. The most trifling manifestations of the 
characteristics of this childish state should be fol- 
lowed with the greatest care by the educator, who, 
far from thwarting nature, could not do better than 
follow it, for fear of ending in failure. Nature does 
well what she does ; she is a better biologist than all 


the pedagogues in the world, and the way in which 
she sets about turning a child into an adult should be 
our sole guide. 

And what do we see ? We see that nature has 
implanted in children certain wants, certain desires, 
corresponding to developmental necessities, and that 
everything which is capable of satisfying these wants, 
or of realising these desires, has a particular attractive- 
ness. The actual accomplishment of these educative 
activities is play ; even when imitation intervenes, 
it is always in the form of play, or in connection 
with play. 

We have here the fundamental elements of a peda- 
gogy which is, I believe, the true one. It consists 
in exercising a child's activity only when he feels the 
natural need for doing so, or after having skilfully 
created the need, if it is not instinctive — ^in such a way 
that the object of this activity may captivate the 
child, may excite in him the desire to acquire it, pro- 
vided always that the activity itself shall have the 
characteristics of play. An education which has due 
respect for the laws of natural development of the 
child — the only effective education — ought to be at- 
tractive : the subject-matter taught should interest 
the scholar ; and the activity which he will display 
in order to acquire it, the work that he will accom- 
plish in order to assimilate it and to master it, will 
then quite naturally take the form of play. 

I know very well that by saying this (which, by the 
way, is no new thing) I am bringing a hornet's nest 
about my ears. Moralists, dogmatisers, and pedants 
of every shade of colour, who from the depths of 
their arm-chairs prescribe what the child ought to be 
without ever having asked themselves what he is, 


will rush upon me, or, if not upon me, who am un- 
worthy of the honour, at any rate upon psychology, 
as capable in their eyes of overthrowing all the old 
sacrosanct principles. Just think ! Make school 
attractive ! But all school-work would be nothing 
but amusement ! Nothing would be taken seriously 
any more ! It is necessary that the child should be 
trained to make effort ! 

It is necessary that the child shall be trained to 
make effort ! This, out of all the protestations, is 
the only one worth taking up. Yes, no doubt the 
child should be enabled to make effort. Yet we must 
not, under pretext of training him, disgust him with 
effort or make him incapable of it for ever. 

A distinction should be made here : do not let us 
confuse the teaching of effort with teaching by effort. 
It is not by any means clear that the latter will 
realise the former. It is not by compelling a child 
to make unseasonable efforts that his power of making 
effort later in life will be developed, any more than 
by compelling a babe to eat beef-steak will he be 
trained to have a good appetite and robust digestion 
when he is grown up. Aptitude for effort is not an 
autonomous faculty which can be developed by exer- 
cise as one develops a biceps muscle. Do you seriously 
think that because you have made a schoolboy grow 
pale with doing Latin prose, that this same boy, 
when he is grown up, will be the better able to resist 
the temptations of life, will conduct himself better, 
will show more civic courage . . . ? No, certainly not ; 
school ineptitudes have not ^hese virtues. If we look 
around, we find quite the contrary : we find men 
suffering from nervous break-down in consequence of 
having made too great efforts ; and we see others 


capable at any given moment of surmounting enormous 
difficulties, because they must, although nothing what- 
ever in their manner of life has previously habituated 
them to such a display of energy.^ 

If apprenticeship in effort-making is not the uni- 
form result of the discipline imposed by the school, 
it is nevertheless certain that, for the greater part of 
the scholars, study means effort : children are taught 
by means of effort. The idea of work also implies the 
idea of difficulties to be overcome. But it does not 
follow from this circumstance that play should not be 
the root-principle in education and instruction. On 
the contrary, it is only when effort is solicited under 
cover of play that it will be executed in an efficient 
manner, and that the effort-maker will derive the 

^ This is not the place to expatiate on what the teaching of effort 
should be. We wUl only remark that if the moral gain were pro- 
portionate to the painful effort demanded in the course of study, 
a much more highly developed morality ought to be found among 
the unintelligent than among the intelligent, since the unintelligent 
have had much more trouble than others in following the school 
curriculum. And further one would arrive at the amazing conclusion 
that it is advantageous in the education of character and of will 
to be a simpleton ' All this has not convinced my excellent friend 
Professor P. Bovet ; in the Journal de Gentve of 17th July 1909 
he regrets that I have not " based on facts" this affirmation that 
aptitude for effort does not develop, like the biceps, by exercise. 
That is, I know, a point of capital importance, which deserves to 
be thoroughly threshed out, and which the limits of this book will 
not permit ; I hope to return to it elsewhere. I should, however, 
like to draw the attention of Prof. Bovet, and of many others who 
doubtless agree with him, to the following questions ; If the exercise 
of effort suffices in itself (inasmuch as it is exercise) to develop the 
aptitude for effort, how can it be accounted for that so many young 
men, who, having been subject all through their youth to strict and 
severe paternal discipline, to which they submitted without resist- 
ance, sow their wild oats as soon as they reach their majority, 
and suddenly show an absolute incapacity for applying themselves 
to continuous work ? Another question : Why, if the method of 


satisfaction to which he is entitled. It follows that, 
far from being decreased, the effort which a difficult 
piece of work requires will be all the more vigorously 
and victoriously carried out if the work assumes the 
psychological characteristics of play.i This is quite 
easy to understand. 

Let us ask ourselves under what circumstances we 
make efforts. We make an effort when work is diffi- 
cult or painful, and when it is necessary to rivet our 
attention upon it, because our attention has an in- 
clination to wander. It is precisely this compulsion 
of a volatile attention when it tends to wander which 
constitutes effort. Why does our attention want to 
wander ? Is it not possible for attention to remain 
fixed on an object ? Certainly ; when we are at the 

drudgery has had such good results, is there such an outcry on all 
sides at the failures of the schools, which certainly have not failed 
to make abundant use of this method ? Third question : Is there 
not a kind of opposition between the idea of exercise and that of 
effort ? When you try to do something which, to begin with, gave 
you a great deal of trouble, the thing becomes more and more easy , 
thanks to habit ; that is, by exercise one develops habit, not effort. 
Even if the exercise has to do with different kinds of work, certain 
general habits may be developed (sitting at one's table, shutting 
oneself up, using tools, &c.) which diminish the effort required. 
Is not the mistake of attributing to the development of an effort - 
making power that which proceeds simply from a diminution in the 
resistance to be overcome, the source of the belief in development 
of effort by exercise ? A fourth question : If the fact of develop- 
ment by exercise of an aptitude for effort-making can be demon- 
strated, would it not be incumbent on those who arrogate to 
themselves the right to apply to the child, of set purpose, the 
method of coercion and ennui, to furnish this demonstration 
themselves ? 

^ Think for a moment of the really considerable work and per- 
severing effort accomplished by the little child when it is learning 
to talk ; the fact that this work and this effort constantly assume 
a playful character does not in any way injuriously affect the success 
of the result. (See p. 178.) 


circus, for example, we can watch for a long time 
consecutively the acrobat or circus-rider. If, when 
engaged upon difficult work, attention refuses its ser- 
vices, it is because attention is induced to behave 
thus by the general wants of the organism, which is 
so made that it protects itself against fatigue. Our 
organism is a good fat animal which has never been 
able to understand how it is that the mind should 
exhaust itself in trying to solve difficult abstract 
questions, or by undertaking other tasks of which it 
does not itself feel the immediate need. Its only care 
is to preserve itself in perfect health. Thus, as soon 
as the Mind sets to work upon a task after its kind, 
that is, some work without apparent utility, the Animal 
does all it can to put a stop to it, for this prolonged 
intellectual work is going to use up its cerebral cellules. 
Its way of putting a stop to it is by bringing into 
action its defensive reflexes, of which it pulls the wires. 
These reflexes are at first momentary inhibition, or 
the turning aside of attention, weariness, disgust, 
then fatigue, and finally sleep. It is against such 
reflexes that the working mind has to fight. And 
the feeling of conflict between the interests of mind 
and those of the animal is precisely this feeling of 

What must be done so that mind may be victorious, 
so that effort may be efficient ? It must do what 
always has to be done in order to be victorious : be 
stronger than the enemy. The superior interest of 
mind must be stronger than the limited interest of 
the organism. If my interest is strong enough to 
enable me to take my attention by the collar and 
put its nose to the grindstone of my work, for me to 
despise fatigue and even sleep, then I shall get to the 


end of my task, and I shall be rewarded for my 

Let us return to the child. You wish him to make 
an effort. For this, as we have just seen, three con- 
ditions are necessary : a difficult piece of work, de- 
fensive reflexes which will divert him from this work, 
and a superior interest which will make him capable 
of definitely triumphing over them. How are these 
conditions, or at least how is the third, to be realised — 
for, as to painful work, you, schoolmasters, will under- 
take without any help to supply him with that, and 
with defensive reflexes he is already armed to the 
teeth ? But what must be done in order that the mind 
may not be immediately floored or put to flight by 
these defensive weapons, in order that it may be able 
to maintain the struggle for one instant (of effort- 
making) and, if possible, gain the victory ? You will 
succeed if you can arouse in the soul of the child 
an interest sufficiently powerful to hold in check the 
antagonistic reflexes of which we have just spoken. 

Interest ! One always returns to that in whatever 
way one may be treating the problem of education. 
But what sort of interest can be aroused in the soul 
of the child ? One alone : the play interest, for one 
might define a child as a being who is interested in 
nothing but play, who is captivated by nothing but 
that which will bring about his development in con- 
formity with natural evolution. It will only be by 
enlisting for work the joyousness and attractiveness 
of play that we shall succeed in retaining the atten- 
tion of the child and of giving him the psychological 
strength necessary for the accomplishment of his task. 

But here the adversaries of attractive education 
will return to the attack, crying out that they too 


stimulate the interest of scholars in that they punish 
them if they do not do their duty. Is not the interest 
in not being molested one of the most powerful to 
which recourse can be had ? 

This objection is specious. Observation shows, as 
a fact, that the value and fertility of work are in 
direct proportion to its intrinsic interest. By substi- 
tuting for this intrinsic interest an extrinsic interest 
(like that of avoiding punishment) one cuts off the 
spontaneous assistance of the mind ; for, not having 
created in mind any desire for knowledge that the 
accomplishment of work might satisfy, one has not 
set in motion any of the mental processes specially 
adapted for securing its accomplishment. This in- 
ferior form of work is what is called drudgery. 
Drudgery, since it does not respond to any need in 
our nature, repels us, as a meal repels us when we 
are not hungry ; also it sets in motion a crowd of 
defensive reflexes (disgust, inattention, &c.) which, to 
begin with, have to be kept in check, and this entails 
expenditure of energy without any effective work to 
show for it. Drudgery is therefore particularly ex- 
hausting and discouraging, since for a minimum of 
work it exacts a maximum of energy. 

The more interesting a difficult piece of work is in 
itself, the less it arouses defensive reflexes which 
would have to be subdued. If the interest be com- 
plete no defensive reflexes at all will be aroused : the 
only opposition to be overcome will be the purely 
passive resistance inherent in all "work," the resist- 
ance of nervous matter against that modification to 
which even the pursuit of a desired end tends to give 
rise. The fact is that when interest is complete the 
pursuit of the object of interest responds to an im- 


mediate want. And the Animal of which we spoke 
just now, whose incentive is always the gratification 
of an immediate want, ceases to act as pohceman and 
becomes an ally of Mind by giving up to it the energy 
it requires. 

But it is precisely in play that this superior form of 
work is realised, and in which interest depends quite 
as much on the means used as on the end pursued.^ 

Let us suppose, however, that by some sufficiently 
imposing disciplinary artifice, one has succeeded in 
making a pupil " swallow " a lesson which is for him 
entirely devoid of interest. Still one would not be at 
the end of the trouble, for the wearisome lesson is 
not only distinguished from attractive study by diffi- 
culty in absorption, but also by impossibility of 
assimilation ; for the mind, hke the body, refuses to 
assimilate and to make part of itself what is repug- 
nant to it. 

One could not form a better idea of what drudgery 
is in relation to normal work than by comparing a 
meal which one forces oneself to swallow to please 
one's host — a drudgery-meal — with a meal eaten with 
appetite. If you do not like oysters, and you were 
to find yourself obliged to eat them, you know what 
trouble you would have to cause the viscous mass 
to make its way through the isthmus of the throat. 
All the defensive reflexes are set up and do all they 

1 Let it be clearly understood that the word " play " is here used 
in its widest sense, and that it is not synonymous with " amuse- 
ment." The dictionaries, it is true, do not make any great difference 
between play and amusement, which they define the one by the other, 
or which are both made synonymous with diversion ; but it is 
necessary to make a distinction between the two ideas ; " amuse- 
ment " implies ease and passivity, while " play " is essentially 


can to make the repugnant food take the contrary 
route to that which indirect interest wishes to make 
it continue to take. At last you find yourself the 
conqueror in this first struggle . . . but in appear- 
ance only, for as the mollusc does not stimulate the 
interest of the stomach (that is, its contractions, or 
the processes of gastric secretion adapted to its diges- 
tion), it will " lie on the stomach " and will very 
soon be returned intact to the light of day. 

This drudgery-repast, whatever the virtue of the 
effort that it called forth, has profited nothing. 

The intellectual meals that the school prepares for 
its young guests are subject to the same laws as other 
meals. They must be consumed with relish if they 
are to do good to those who eat them. 

If it be once admitted that play and attractiveness 
ought to be the pivot of all education, we shall still 
have to find out exactly up to wlxat point the realisa- 
tion of this desideratum is possible. We agree that 
it is often difficult to give an al^ractive form to cer- 
tain teaching. The difficulty arises from the fact that, 
with the human race, social evolution has proceeded 
much more quickly than the evolution of the indi- 
vidual ; to such a degree is this true that the latter 
still possesses no instinctive desire to know and to 
do a number of things that the social necessities of 
a world (a so-called civilised world) oblige him to 
know and to do. If the kitten is consumed with the 
desire to leap upon everything which resembles a 
mouse, the little boy, on the contrary, does not feel 
the least desire to know the affluents of the Yangtse- 
kiang or the ports of Chili. It may well be, it is 
true, that the dose of these subjects, which do not 
respond to any natural interest, might be consider- 


ably diminished. But I will not here enter upon a 
discussion of this kind. It is a fact that many things 
ought to be learnt although they are devoid of imme- 
diate interest, because later on one will want to know 
them (the multiplication table, for example, spelling, 
or reading). Can the study of these things be a game ? 
Not directly, perhaps, but indirectly. These different 
studies can be associated with the natural interests 
of a child, and thus an attractiveness they do not 
possess may be transmitted to them. In some cases 
this might be difficult ; that is just where the edu- 
cator's skill would come in. I cannot here touch on 
a question of pure application. 

This necessity for making education and instruc- 
tion attractive has been emphasised by all pedagogues 
worthy of the name ; ^ but it is still entirely misunder- 

1 It suffices to mention the names of Fenelon, Rousseau, Pesta- 
lozzi, Herbart, Spencer. " Notice a great defect in ordinary systems 
of education," said Fenelon ; " all the pleasure is put on one side 
and all the trouble on the other ; all the trouble into study, all the 
pleasure into amusement. . . . Let us try to change this order : let 
us make school pleasant ; let us hide it under an appearance of liberty 
and pleasure " {De Veducation des filles). " What must we think 
of a barbarous method of education which sacrifices the present 
to an uncertain future, which loads a child with chains of all kinds, 
and makes him miserable to begin with in order to prepare hiin 
later for I do not know what pretended happiness ? . . . liOve 
childhood, encourage its games, its pleasures, its lovableness," 
cried Jean- Jacques {Emile, Bk. II,). Herbart has made interest 
the centre of pedagogy. Quite recently W. {Talks to 
Teachers) has reminded us how much it would be to the advantage 
of the teacher to ally himself with the interests of the child. K. 
Groos declares that work which assumes certain playful charac- 
teristics, that is, work with which is associated the joy of creating 
and the pleasure of overcoming difficulty, is "the 'highest and 
the most noble form of work " {Play of Man, p. 400). And a mathe- 
matician, Laisant, in his little work ^initiation mathematique 


stood in the everyday practice of schools. The pre- 
sent school system ought, in this respect, to be 
revolutionised from top to bottom, in accordance, by 
the way, with the desire of many parents, who tacitly 
support the above-mentioned idea by their uncon- 
sidered demands about what it is " worth while " 
their children should know, if " knowledge " must be 
acquired under conditions which absolutely nullify 

(Geneva and Paris, 1906), has given excellent examples of the way 
in which pupils can be interested in arithmetical problems, simply 
by formulating them in a picturesque fashion. " Above all," says 
this author, " set yourself to interest and amuse the child, do not 
oblige him to learn anything by heart. . . . Let the play periods 
— they should not be called lessons — never be prolonged beyond 
the time when attention flags, or curiosity ceases. . . . We will 
make a pedagogical use of amusing questions, to arouse the curiosity 
of the child, and thus succeed in getting into his mind, without 
effort imposed from without, the most essential elementary ideas." 
*' Our schools," adds another mathematician, " might be a place 
of pleasure. Let people say this to themselves ; When the school 
ceases to be attractive to the child, it is always the school that is in 
theivrong^^ (Camescasse, LHnitiateur mathematigue, Paris, 1910). 

It is interesting to oppose to these smiling declarations the follow- " 
ing mournful recommendation which Brunetiere made to a College 
Principal : " You must not give your scholars to understand that 
the hours of study and rest will be arranged in such a way that work 
may seem to be amusement. Instruction is not amusement I " 
(letter published by the Debats, 20th July 1903). Villeneuve, from 
whom I borrow the following quotation, comments thus upon it : 
" Though the effort which brain development demands, occasionally 
but rather rarely affects the rhythm of hilarity, it (brain development) 
might become a joy if wisely conducted. ... It is amid shouts of 
laughter that a baby learns from its mother to name familiar objects, 
and, in spite of M. Brunetiere's sermons, we see no danger in mixing 
a few chocolate letters with the infant's first alphabet " {L' ennui 
scolaire, L'Hygiene scolaire, Jan. 1904). 

1 "If your schools really achieved their purpose," wrote a 
Geneva pedagogue, who died prematurely — A. Tschumi — " pupils 
would leave school with a desire to learn. Their memory would be 
less loaded with useless things, their knowledge would be less frag- 


The chief mistake which people make when insist- 
ing that the child should make efforts from the pure 
love of duty, or from genuine respect to abstract 
disciphne, is to forget that the child is not a man, 
and that in place of the scale of values which prevails 
amongst adults he has a corresponding scale of other 
values of his own. The manifold values which have 
to do with the necessities of social and industrial life, 
with the moral or aesthetic side of activity, with the 
ideal of truth or of science, with moral, social, or 
economic obligation — these do not exist for him, and 
ought not to exist for him. One simple and only 
function replaces them all : this is play. With the 
child play is work, is good, is duty, is the ideal of 
life. Play is the only atmosphere in which his psycho- 
logical being can breathe and, consequently, act. 

It is true that by coercion one can obtain from 
certain very docile scholars some school successes. 
But see what comes of it later ! Tired out, disgusted, 
without initiative, incapable of energetic action, the 
unhappy beings never succeed in being men because 
they have never been children. 

By exacting from the child work-efforts founded 
on anything else than play, one is behaving like the 
imbecile who shook an apple-tree in spring to make it 
give him apples ; far from getting apples, he wholly 
deprived himself of them by shaking down the very 
blossoms which should have produced the autumn 

mentary, and they would not carry away with them into hfe that 
feeling of satiety and of disgust which they get from most schools. . . . 
Pedagogy ought to become entirely experimental and to be based 
on nimierous observations." \Bevue de Gendve, Dec. 1886.) 



6. Psycho-Biological Conception of Interest 

We have spoken again and again of interest as an 
important factor in directing mental tendency to one 
end or another, and we shall still often have to allude 
to it. Before going further it would not be unpro- 
fitable, therefore, to understand clearly the meaning of 
the term, of which the use is somewhat elastic. 

We say that something is interesting if it is im- 
portant to us at the moment when we are considering 
it, if it responds to a physical or intellectual want : 
food is interesting to a starving man because it is 
important to him to possess it ; a rare flower in- 
terests the botanist because it is important to him 
to know it, &c. 

The word " interest " expresses an adequate corre- 
spondence, a relation of reciprocal convenience between 
the subject and the object. An object is never in 
itself interesting ; it always derives its interest from 
the psycho-physiological disposition of the subject who 
considers it : indeed, an object never interests unless 
the subject is disposed to be interested by the object ; 
and further, the subject never feels any interest in the 
presence of an object unless this object means some- 
thing to him. It follows from this duality of the 
factors impHed by the phenomenon of interest that 
this term can be applied equally to the object which 
interests and to the psychic state aroused in the 
subject by the object which is important to him. 
One may either say, " Botany has great interest 
for Paul," or "Paul takes great interest in botany." 
The latter is psychological interest, and its correspond- 
ing objective should be called the interest-object. 


But usage admits of other and different extensions 
of the word "interest." There is, to begin with, an 
objective extension of it : interest is made an abstract 
quahty, an attribute in things which are interesting, 
e.g. " Botany is full of interest." This might be called 
the interest-attribute. 

Also there are two subjective extensions : Some- 
times one applies interest to the subjective cause of 
interest, that is, the want to be supplied (a want which 
may exist in the absence of the object fitted for its 
satisfaction) ; " Paul does not find anything to satisfy 
his interest." Sometimes the name " interest " is 
applied to the subjective effect, attention, activity, e.g. 
" This flower monopolises Paul's interest (attention)," 
" Botany is his sole interest (occupation)." These 
are special ways of looking at the psychological 

Finally, the word " interest " is also used in the 
utilitarian sense of profit or gain, as when one says, 
for example, "It is to the interest of Paul to study 
botany." That is the vital and practical sense of the 
word " interest." In this case one might speak of 
biological interest. Biological interest is that which is 
useful to the being from the point of view of his pre- 
servation, or the development of his personality. 

A viable being (a creature capable of living) is by 
definition a being who reacts every moment in such a 
way that this reaction is useful to the maintenance 
of his existence (since if it were not so he would die). 
That is the same as saying that to live is, for a being, 
to act at every moment along the line of his greatest 
interest. Interest here is to be understood in its 
utilitarian or in its teleological sense, that is, biological 


interest. Biological interest is therefore implied in 
the idea of life.^ 

Interest-object, psychological interest, interest-attri- 
bute, practical or biological interest — these are many 
interests ! That is true, but this plurality is not 
inconvenient, for all these words relate in reality to 
one psycho-biological phenomenon. These expres- 
sions differ according to whether, in thought, the in- 
terest centres in the object or in the subject, but they 
are in reality absolutely equivalent ; to say, " This 
flower is an interest for me," or " This flower has an 
interest for me " ; or, again, " I take an interest in 
this flower," "It is to my interest to consider this 
flower," is to state one and the same fact. 

A few words must, however, be said to explain a 
little difficulty about this statement as to the equiva- 
lence of these different interests. 

Does the psychological interest always correspond 
to the biological interest ? In other words, is that 
which really interests us, which holds us enthralled, 
always that which ought to interest us from the point 
of view of our preservation, from the biological point 
of view ? 

Among animals the psychological interest always 
coincides with the biological interest, that is, animals 
are always interested in that which it is to their 
advantage to be interested in, and they are not 
attracted by that which might harm them. But we 
must recognise that, for man, this is not always the 

1 It is interest thus understood which is the spring of all our 
actions, of all our thoughts, which gives them an orientation adapted 
to the necessities of the moment. Every instant it is interest which 
determines the kind of reaction ; I have proposed calling this fun- 
damental biological fact " the law of momentary interest ^^ (Arch, de 
Psychol. IV., 1905, p. 280). 


case : he is often interested in that which is not 
advantageous to him ; often, too, he is not interested 
in that which would be profitable to him. To quote 
one example only, the drunkard has a love for alcohol, 
the absorption of which is nevertheless directly con- 
trary to his personal biological interest and to that 
of his race. 

This abnormal divorce of the psychological and the 
biological interests arises from the partial deterioration 
of instinct in man, a deterioration for which reason 
and acquired experience are called upon to atone. 
As the result of this circumstance, little by little a 
divergence has been created between the psychological 
and the biological interests. But it is evident that 
this divergence cannot increase very much, for those 
who act against their interest, that is, who are 
(psychologically) interested in that which is not to 
their interest (biologically), are very quickly elimi- 
nated. The families of drunkards, for instance, soon 
become extinct. This auto-elimination of those who 
show an aberration from the psychological interest, or 
an inversion of it, ensures and maintains a nearly 
perfect agreement between the biological and psycho- 
logical interests. So in the following pages we shall 
consider these two aspects of interest as equivalent ; 
this equivalence is the rule in the case of the normal 
individual, if one considers as normal the individual 
whose acts tend to the preservation of his species.^ 

1 With man, in consequence of the development of his intellectual 
and social life, the system of interests is very complicated. There 
are many degrees of interests which are not always in harmony with 
each other. Also, an act which may satisfy an interest of one kind 
may be contrary to an interest of another kind, e.g. the tortures 
to which a woman submits in order to be in the fashion. The 
European woman by squeezing herself in corsets, and the Chinese 


Once it is recognised that, with mankind as with 
animals, it is interest which decides what act shall be 
accomplished at a given moment, there still remains 
the question by what mechanism this wonderful ad- 
justment can be carried out. As a matter of fact, 
at every moment an organism is exposed to a con- 
siderable number of excitations, and its reactionary 
possibilities are multiple. How is the organism going 
to make its choice, its selection of the most suitable 
reaction ? 

Old-fashioned psychology settled the difficulty by 
placing in the individual an entity (Soul, Ego, 
Will, Apperception) which had just this " faculty " 
of choice, of decision. But that does not solve the 
problem ; it simply avoids it by substituting a word 
for an explanation. ^ 

In order to explain this process of choice, we must 
not attribute the power to one special faculty, but 
we must show how choice results from the given cir- 
cumstances at the moment when the decision occurs. 
These circumstances are in the main the following : 
there is a need to be satisfied, and an object (per- 

woman by crushing her feet, act according to their immediate 
biological interest, which is to conform to custom, to harmonise with 
what the taste of the time considers beautiful. But they are acting 
at the same time against their more remote biological interest, which 
is not to injure their health by compressing or mutilating necessary 
organs. It need scarcely be stated that in a community absolutely 
normal, and conscious of what is good and what is bad for itself, 
all these individual interests, social and racial, would harmonise, 
so that, by satisfying one, others would be satisfied at the same 

1 In contemporary psychology, the " Centre O " of M. Grasset 
is an entity of this kind. But if this Centre O is useful in indicating 
the place, so to speak, of the reflective and volitional activity, yet 
it gives no account of it, in spite of the anatomo -physiological 
aspect of its name. 


ceived or represented) capable of satisfying it. These 
circumstances concur in giving rise to the reaction 
adapted to this object. The choice as to which 
reaction shall take place among the thousand re- 
actions possible at any given moment is the resultant 
of the above-mentioned need and of the perception 
(or representation) of an object adapted to its satis- 

Suitable choice {" choix adapte," i.e. a decision that 
harmonises with the well-being of the organism) is a 
process of the reflex-action type. It is not some 
mysterious power that chooses, but it is the want 
and the object combined which together effect the 
selection of the reaction most appropriate to the 
organism. One can conceive how this process of 
choice is carried out in a purely mechanical fashion ; 
we all know " the penny in the slot " automatic dis- 
tributers of chocolate, which are so constructed that 
they bring out a tablet of chocolate when they con- 
tain one, and return the coin when they are empty. 
Our organism is similar to this apparatus, with this 
difference, that instead of having been made all at 
once, its interior works have been fashioned little by 
little by the experience of preceding generations, by 
heredity and by selection. 

Let us now try to picture to ourselves how this 
physiological mechanism can be worked, by virtue of 
which only those stimuli which correspond to the 
interest of the moment are permitted to set up a re- 
action, while those stimuli which awaken no interest 
remain a dead letter for the organism. 

Let us suppose that there is in the organism a 
large reservoir of energy, the function of which is 
to irrigate with energy and to bring into play useful 


reactions. This reservoir is furnished with a number 
of taps, each of which controls the irrigating pipe of 
a special reaction, so that when one of these taps is 
open the energising force carried through the pipe will 
start the reaction which depends on the opening of 
this particular tap. Each tap is provided with a lock, 
and the key is the stimulus or exciting cause. In a 
viable organism it is evident that the tap would not 
be capable of being opened unless the reaction it 
controlled were of use to the organism. To ensure 
this, the opening of each tap would depend not only 
on the stimulus but also on the need of the moment. 
These double dependences would be realised if the 
lock of each tap were provided with a keyhole which 
varied in its shape according to the wants of the 
organism, so that each tap could only be turned by 
a key which fitted the keyhole (that is, by the 
stimulus corresponding to the need of the moment). 
By this arrangement a key (a stimulus) would only 
be able to turn on the tap of a certain reaction if the 
turning on of the tap by this key were for the good 
of the organism — and consequently the dynamogenisa- 
tion of useful reactions would take place only in 
conformity with the well-being of the organism.^ 

This is a very rough outline ! It appears to date 
from the time of Descartes, who, in order to explain 
reactions, introduced little pipes running all over the 
body. But the physiology of to-day hardly permits 
of any more exact metaphor. And it may be said 
that things do go on as ^7 this reservoir, these taps, 

1 In some previous works I gave the name of "reaction of in- 
terest " to this process of opening the tap of energy, of dynamo- 
genisation by that particular stimulus which has a right to excite 
reaction because it is in touch with present interest. 


and these locks, with their variable, changeable key- 
holes, really existed. The exact way in which these 
arrangements are made in the nervous system matters 
little to us psychologists. What is most important 
here is to convince ourselves that the selection of a 
reaction can be carried out mechanically by the 
stimulus, under the influence of interest. 

7. Evolution of Interests 

Interest is a symptom of want ; in children it is a 
symptom of some want connected with the growth of 
mind or body. In fact, the objects or actions which 
arouse sympathy in a child vary with his develop- 
ment. How does this progressive variation of inte- 
rest proceed ? or, in other words, what is the evolution 
of interests ? This is evidently the question which 
the educator should put to himself, if he desires to 
work in accordance with nature, and to adapt the 
course of his teaching to the natural course of psycho- 
logical evolution. 

This problem admits of two kinds of solution : one 
may try to fix the date when each category of interests 
appears ; or one may try to determine the order in 
which interests appear. The second question is the 
more important. By reason of the individual diver- 
sities in children, it would not be very profitable to 
fix the exact age when such and such interests appear ; 
while, on the contrary, the order in which interests 
succeed each other exhibits remarkable constancy : it 
corresponds to the successive stages that the develop- 
ment of the being goes through in its inflexible course. 

How is one to discover this order of the evolution 
of interests ? 

Two ways present themselves to us : the former, 


the extrospective method, will consist in observing 
the conduct of the child, his activities and games, and 
in noting the variations which they undergo with 
age. From the nature of the activities one will be 
able to infer the interests which excited them, and 
from the interests one will infer the wants of each stage 
in development, since an object is only interesting to 
a child in so far as it responds to some want.^ 

A child's works may also be considered : his draw- 
ings, short stories, &c. Drawing is one of the most 
appropriate of all the means by which the child-soul 
reveals its preoccupations to us : ^ one child affects 
men, another engines or motor-cars, &c. One prefers 
to draw what he sees, another draws what he imagines. 
Apart from these individual preferences, the observa- 
tion of a large number of drawings by children of all 
ages teaches us that children draw first of all human 
beings, then animals, and only later, plants and in- 
animate objects. Drawing shows us further what it 
is in any special object that strikes or does not strike 
a child, and how a certain detail in the external 
world attracts his attention more and more as he 
grows up. To take one example only : the neck is 
generally forgotten in the drawings of men made by 
the youngest children ; under eight years of age the 
child rarely draws this part of the body (at six years 
of age, only 20 per cent.).^ And this can easily be 
understood : what interest could this neutral and 

1 I am, of course, alluding now only to those interests which have 
a certain permanence, a certain duration, not to those interests 
which are essentially temporary, which respond to fleeting wants, 
such as eating when one is hungry, or sleeping when one is tired. 

2 Of. Katzaroff, Qu'est-ce que les enfants dessinent ? Ar. de Ps. 
IX., 1910, p. 125. 

^ Partridge, ChildrerCa Drawings, Stud, in Educ, II., p. 167. 


comparatively motionless part of the body have for 
a child, especially as in close proximity to it are parts 
which concentrate attention on themselves — the head, 
the arms, and the chest with its row of buttons ? 

Language, the reflection of inner life, furnishes in- 
formation as to the evolution of a certain category of 
interest ; every advance in language arises from the 
fact that a new group of qualities, feelings, or ideas 
has aroused interest in the child : it may be interest 
in objects (substantives), in qualities (adjectives), in 
the tenses of verbs, in abstract words, in methods 
of expression. 1 

The other way open to us of discovering the inte- 
rests of the child — and which is not practicable in the 
case of younger children — is the introspective method : 
children are questioned about their interests, their 
preferences, their wishes, their ideals. This procedure 
can give no tangible results unless it is applied to a 
number of children. For example, the pupils in a 
class might be asked to answer in writing the follow- 
ing question : " What person whom you know or have 
ever heard or read of would you most like to resemble ? " 
That was the question put by Miss Darrah, the first 
author who undertook a study of this kind (in 1898).^ 

1 Conradi, Children'' s Interest in Words, Ped. Sem. X., p. 359 ; 
Stem, Die Kinder spr ache, Leipsic, 1907. 

2 Darrah, A Study of Children's Ideals, Pop. Science Monthly 
1898. See also Vostrovsky, A Study of Children's Reading Tastes, 
Ped. Sem., 1899; Taylor, Wissler, ibid., 1898; Earl Barnes, 
ibid., 1900, and Studies in Ed., vol. ii. ; Goddard, Ped. Sem., 1906 ; 
Varendonck, Les ideals d'enfants, At. de Ps. VII., 1908 ; Friedrich, 
Die Ideale der Kinder, Z. pad. Ps., 1901 ; Lobsien, Kinderideale, 
Z. pad. Ps., 1903 ; Stern, ibid., 1905 ; Wiederkehr, Statist. 
Untersuch. iiber die Art und den Grad des Interesses bei Kindern der 
Volkschule, Neue Bahnen, 1908 [cf. Keller's review of same, Z. ang. 
Ps. III., 97). 


The question might also be stated thus : " Who would 
you like to he ? And why ? " as was done by Friedrich 
in 1901. Or again : What lesson or branch of study 
do you prefer ? Which is your favourite hook ? the 
game you like hest ? &c. One must not forget to ask 
children to give reasons for their choice or preference ; 
that is a very important point. 

This kind of inquiry, very easy to initiate, brings 
to the educator a quantity of useful and often un- 
expected information, and is capable of suggesting 
ideas very fertile in results for his practical work. 

We cannot here give the detailed results obtained 
by procedure of this kind. We will only add just a 
few words about the chief stages in the evolution of 

Every one who has taken up the subject of child- 
hood has been led to subdivide it into a certain 
number of periods. It seems at first sight as if it 
might be chimerical, or at least very arbitrary, to wish 
to cut up into distinct periods anything so continuous 
and insensibly progressive as an unfolding life. But 
let us not forget that development proceeds by leaps 
and bounds, as we have already seen. The main 
stages into which authors divide psychological evolu- 
tion correspond on the whole with the various stages 
in physical growth, such as are shown in the chart 
on p. 105. 

Here, for example, is Stumpf's ^ subdivision : 

1st period, from birth to the appearance of language ; 

2nd period, from the appearance of language to the 
school age ; 

3rd period, from the school age to adolescence ; 

4th period, adolescence itself. 

1 Stumpf, Z. pad. P. II., p. 2. 


However justifiable this division into periods may 
be, periods which, as Stumpf says, present each " its 
own particular problems and difficulties," it still re- 
mains to be determined what it is that characterises 
each from the point of view of psychology, that is, 
what is the great interest that culminates during the 
course of each, and what is the fundamental motive 
of the corresponding activities ? 

The physiologist Sigismund has described the first 
stages in mental development by means of the prin- 
cipal activities which they exhibit, and he has given 
them some charming names : stages of the Sdugling 
(suckling), Sehling (seer), Greifling (grasper), Ldufling 
(trotter), and lastly of the Sprechling (chatterer). 
Sucking, looking at things, taking hold of them and 
handling them, walking, then trying to speak — those 
are in reality the great leaders in the way of interest 
which successively direct the baby's activity during the 
first two or three years of existence. But afterwards ? 

Afterwards interests diverge and multiply. Different 
functions develop along parallel lines, and I think we 
should be unduly forcing things if we tried to arrange 
one after the other, in order of time, the periods 
during which each of these functions monopolises the 
activity of the child. But always, in spite of this 
parallelism in development, there is a culminating 
point in the reign of each interest during which that 
interest often predominates over, if it does not eclipse, 
all other contemporary interests. The following is a 
rough sketch of the order of succession of the main 
classes of interests, based solely on their periods of 
predominance. 1 

1 The ages indicated in this table are obviously approximate 
only, on account of the great individual diversities ; ages are men- 


I. Stage of Acquisition and Experimentation 

1. Period of perceptive interest, during the first 

2. Period of glossic interest (Gr. glossa, tongue), 
during the second and third years. 

3. Period of general interests ; intellectual awaking 
(questioning age) ; from three to seven years. 

4. Period of special and objective interests, from 
seven to twelve years. 

II. Stage of Organisation and Valuation 

5. Period of sentiment ; ethical and social interests ; 
specialised interests ; sexual interests ; from twelve 
to eighteen years and after. 

III. Stage of Production 

6. Period of work. The various interests are them- 
selves subordinated to a superior interest ; it may be 
an ideal, or simply the interest of personal preserva- 
tion, and in reference to this they are simply a means 
to an end. Adult age. 

If we try to deduce the general law which governs 
the succession of interests, the guiding lines of their 
evolution, we shall observe that this progression is : — 

from the simple to the complex ; 

from the concrete to the abstract ; 

tioned only for the sake of making more definite the idea wo wish 
to convey. 

A Hungarian author classifies the different stages in the evolution 
of interests as follows: (1) Sensorial interest, from to 2 years. 
(2) Subjective interest, from 2 to 7 years. (3) Objective interest, 
from 7 to 10 years. (4) Specialised interest (permanent, " be- 
standig"), from 10 to 15 years. (5) Logical interest, after 15 years. 
(Die Entwicklung des Interesses, Z. exp. Pad. V,, 1907.) 


from passive receptivity to spontaneity ; 

from indetermination to specialisation (this means 
that, to begin with, various objects are interesting only 
inasmuch as they give rise to the play of general 
functions — feeling, adapting a movement, seeking for 
the cause or the " wherefore " — while later, interest 
specialises in certain objects, certain occupations, cer- 
tain problems) ; 

from subjectivity to objectivity (understanding by 
these terms that at first objects are interesting only in 
so far as they are a pretext for bringing functional 
activities into play, and that later only are they con- 
sidered for their own sake) ; / 

from the immediate to the mediate in space and in 
time (at first there is interest only in the immediate 
environment, and in the present ; later on the distant, 
the past, and above all the future, in turn insist on 
their share in interest). 

To enter into the details that the examination of 
these different evolutionary periods would admit of 
would exceed the limits of this paragraph. Neverthe- 
less a few words may be said about each : — 

1. The Period of Perceptive Interest. — In early days 
we see the child interested in everything which strikes 
his senses : he watches attentively the curtain of his 
cradle, the shadow which flickers on the ceiling, &c. 
He also takes interest in his own movements in so 
far as they help him to reach the objects around him. 
In short, this first period is characterised by interest 
in what is at hand, in the immediate surroundings, of 
which the child's body and limbs are a part, for he 
treats these as strange objects which he must learn 
to handle. 

The interest of the baby is not concerned with 


objects considered in themselves for their intrinsic 
interest, but with objects in that they are things upon 
which he can exercise motor adaptation. An object 
is for him simply something " suckable," " seeable," 
*' foUowable with the eyes," " takeable," " touchable," 
" feelable," " tearable " — ^not a body made up of 
different component parts. Only much later will he 
distinguish these parts. At first the object is per- 
ceived in toto only. Perception, in fact, like all our 
mental activity, is controlled by interest ; we perceive 
things in the way in which it matters most to us that 
we should perceive them at that particular moment. 
If we look at a tree, we shall see it differently according 
to whether we look at it from the point of view of one 
who is only taking a walk, or from the point of view of 
a botanist ; in one case our vision will be spherical 
or integral, in the other it will be analytical. Per- 
ception is not analytic, unless we have some interest 
in analysing. And the child evidently has to begin 
with interest only in the object as a whole, considered 
as a coloured mass, more or less extended, more or 
less irregular in form, and which requires, in order to 
be seized or looked at, such or such movements of the 
head or arms. He must be indifferent to the details, 
as we are indifferent to the details of an engine or of 
a motor-car which we have to get out of the way of 
in order not to be run over. 

This fact of " vision of the whole," of the per- 
ception of the general appearance of things, is so 
marked in children that it is worthy of a special name. 
I proposed elsewhere ^ to give it the name of syn- 

1 In my note Exemple de perception syncretique chez un enfant. 
At. de Ps. VII., p. 195. See also the remarks on integral perception 
{perception globule) by Jonckheere, ibid. II., p. 296, and VII., p. 84. 


cretism, by which term Renan designates that " first 
general, comprehensive, but obscure, inexact view," 
in which " all is heaped together without distinction," 
which is the first view of primitive man.^ Let us 
remark in passing that this syncretic and confused 
perception is a fusion of the whole and has nothing in 
common with perception of the complex. We have 
said that the mind proceeds from the simple to the 
complex ; the fact that the child sees the whole before 
perceiving its parts does not contradict this state- 
ment. For the child, the whole not being a collection 
of parts, but, on the contrary, a block, a unity, to go 
from the simple to the complex is to proceed from the 
whole to its part. This remark is important from the 
educational point of view : what is simple for us is 
not ipso facto simple for the child ; let us beware of 
judging the perception of the child by our own adult 
standard, and let us not require him to proceed from 
the complex to the simple by treating subjects in 
an order which for us (who have gone through the 
work of analysis) proceeds from the ''simple to the 

This is the irrational mistake made in teaching read- 
ing. For the person who has grasped the mechanism 
of written language, the letter is undoubtedly more 
simple than the syllable, the syllable more simple 
than the word. But this is not at all the case with 
the child who sees the written text for the first time. 
For him the word, or even the sentence, makes a 
drawing the general appearance of which engages his 
attention much more than the drawing of isolated 
letters, which he does not distinguish from the whole 
word ; so it is often an advantage to teach children 

* Renan, Vavenir de la science, p. 301. 



to read by beginning with words in place of isolated 

It is above all during the first year of life that this 
interest in the perceptible characteristics of objects, 
and in their external configuration, is predominant. 
Doubtless long after this the child will open wondering 
eyes at the things around him, but this perceptive 
interest will not be long in allying itself to other 
interests — the glossic interest, such as knowing the 
names of things ; or the intellectual interest, such as 
knowing the why and wherefore of phenomena. 

2. Glossic Interests. — With the second year springs 
up a new interest, which monopolises the mind of the 
child for a long time : interest in language and in 
words. Long before this the baby has given vent to 
a charming gurgling of syllables, but it is only toward^ 
the end of the tenth or twelfth month that he begins 
to attach some meaning to a few of them. 

We shall not now speak of the beginnings of lan- 
guage and of the psychogenetic problems raised by 
them. We will only call attention to the pleasure 
that the child takes in carrying through the colossal 
task which confronts his feeble powers : learning to 
speak. There could be no better example of the 

1 This is the well-known method of Dr. Decroly. For details, 
see his articles published in collaboration with Mademoiselle Degand 
in the Rev. scient., March 10, 1906, and in the Ar. de Ps. VI., 1907. 
With intelligent children learning to read by the current method 
is so easy that it does not seem that there would be any advantage 
in introducing Decroly's system into ordinary teaching, especially 
if reading is not begun too early. But for backward children, or 
the mentally deficient, this system produces remarkable results, 
and makes children take to reading who otherwise dislike it. I 
have had opportunities myself for noticing with what facility an 
abnormal child succeeds in writing correctly from dictation whole 
words, such as " nest," " tree," &c., of which, however, he may not 
Jcnow a single isolated letter. 


persevering effort a creature can make to accomplish 
a piece of work in which his interest is enlisted. 

The brain is so made that, at a given moment in 
its development, it needs to fabricate or assimilate 
words, just as it needs to assimilate phosphates and to 
fabricate neurons. So we see the child bent on storing 
up words and expressions even if he does not under- 
stand their meaning. The word itself is for him 
sufficient explanation and justification. If, seeing on 
the table an unknown tool, he asks what it is, and 
is told " pincers," he is satisfied. His curiosity does 
not go beyond the name of the thing. 

He loves the word for its owtl sake. To have 
learnt a new word is a delight to him. For a while 
this amounts to a veritable mania : he hunts for 
words ; he makes a collection of them ; when he 
finds a rare one he brings it home in triumph. He 
fills " his mouth " ^ with words, as later he will fill 
his pocket with everything he has picked up on the 
road. His instinct to collect displays itself first of all 
in collecting words. 

Master Baby occasionally takes stock of what his 
" shop of words " contains. One can hear him in the 
morning, in his bed, unpacking his store. He repeats 
the words, puts them together, one after the other, 
making most delicious nonsense ; he turns them this way 
and that, plays with them, and seems to find pleasure 
in the simple fact of possessing them and of jingling 
them — as the miser, shut up in his room, enjoys the 
tinkling of the crowns tumbling between his fingers. \ 

1 At four years of age, my little boy, who had been reproved for 
not having used the right word to designate some object, replied 
quite shamefacedly : " And I had chosen it so carefully from the 
shop in my mottth.'^ 


The purpose of this sort of glossic ^ passion may 
easily be imagined. Just think of the great quantity 
of words and expressions which the child has to learn 
at an age when his voluntary attention is relatively 
weak, even if it exists, and when no system of logical 
classification could as yet help him with his stupendous 
task. The pleasure alone of the sound of hearing 
words stimulates him to remember those that he has 
heard pronounced, and to pronounce those that he 
has remembered, until they are definitely engraved on 
his memory. 

The evolution of language comprises in itself quite 
a series of successive interests : at the outset the 
child makes use of substantives only, designating con- 
crete objects ; then verbs appear in his vocabulary, 
then conjunctions, then adjectives, then numerals, and 
then pronouns. This order (into the details of which 
I need not enter) is very constant. We wish to call 
attention to this constancy because it is of great 
theoretical importance ; it is one of the most patent 
proofs of the strict connection between the different 
phases of mental development. 

This order of succession is, moreover, independent 
of the age at which language may appear and of its 
mode of acquisition. Thus, in the case of Helen 
Keller, that celebrated and brave American blind- 
deaf-mute, the development of language took place in 

^ The word " glossic " seems to me preferable to " linguistic " for 
designating that which has to do with the psychological process 
involved in language. " Linguistic " really nieans " that which 
has to do with the science of language," and not with its acquisition. 
It is therefore incorrect to speak of " pre -linguistic babbling," as in 
Sully's Studies of Childhood ; a chapter in this same book is entitled 
"The Little Linguist," But linguist is a name applied to one who 
studies language, not to some one who is learning to speak. 


identically the same order as in that of a normal child, 
although she did not learn to speak till she was seven 
years old, and by means of touch. ^ 

Pedagogy should make better use than it does of 
this natural aptitude for the acquisition of language 
which the child possesses. It is especially in the first 
years of school life that foreign languages ought to 
be taught (I am speaking of modern languages only). 
But they should be taught in the same fashion as the 
mother-tongue — by conversation.^ 

1 But her progress was more rapid : she spent only seven months 
in going through the different stages, while the normal baby spends 
two years over it. See, on this evolutionary parallelism, Stern, 
Helen Keller, Berhn, 1905. 

2 A Belgian schoolmaster who conceals his name under the 
pseudonym of Eddy objects, in his Causeries pedagogiqiies (Ostend, 
p. 212), that " the mother-tongue should first be well known to 
children before they begin to study a second language, otherwise 
the whole of education may suffer." I confess I do not understand 
very clearly why this should be so. The acquisition of a language 
(I understand acquisition to mean the power to speak a language, 
not the knowledge of its linguistic curiosities) is a matter of habit, 
and not of reflection or reasoning ; let us, then, take advantage of 
those years when the mind is not ready for logical work. Thus we 
should be in harmony with nature ; and it would be so much to 
the good later on. There is ample illustration of the astonishing 
facility with which children who have had the chance of learning 
two or more languages in childhood have assimilated them, while 
those who have only learnt them by the ordinary school methods 
are incapable, in a foreign country, of asking merely for a railway - 
ticket without having recourse to a dictionary, and even then they 
cannot be understood because they do not know how to pronounce 
the words. Lacombe, in his Esquisse d'un enseignement (p. 117), 
demands that the study of language shall be relegated to the two 
latter years of school life, from 16 to 18 years. This author starts 
with the idea that a language can only be well learnt by passing 
six months in the country where it is spoken ; it would therefore 
be useless to encumber the school with instruction which could be 
acquired without trouble in an out-of-school fashion. Doubtless 
this method would have its advantages ; but we should be leaving 
the sphere of psychology if we were to discuss it here. All that 


3. General Intellectual Interests. — Long before the 
time has passed away when the child cultivates the 
word for its own sake, a crowd of new interests invade 
his Hfe. These interests are connected with all those 
things that set ideation and imaginative fancy at 
work. We spoke above of imagination in play, and 
shall not return to it. 

Then appear in their turn interests which are 
essentially intellectual, and they soon predominate. 
The child is preoccupied with the relations of things, 
with their origin, their constitution. It is " the 
questioning age " of Sully, which begins with the 
third or fourth year. Every one knows how endless 
and how odd are the questions of children, which 
the mothers — and often also the fathers — find very 
hard to answer : " Why is the moon round ? Why 
has the cat hairs on its nose ? " &c. 

It is true that, if this desire to know is imperious, 
it is also very easy to satisfy. A child, having asked 
his nurse, " Why are pavements hard ? " and she 
having replied, " Because all pavements are hard," 
considers the thing explained. To explain is for the 
child, as for ourselves, to bring a particular case under 
a general rule, a law. 

Most grown-ups are accustomed to consider these 
incessant questions as a sign of foolishness, of in- 
quisitive curiosity, and to answer them frequently with 
a dry " Be quiet," or again with an ironical " Because." 
This is quite wrong ; far from repressing this desire 
to know, it should be encouraged, for it is the fulcrum 

psychology can say is that if one wishes to teach a language to a 
child at school, it is advantageous to place this teaching as early 
as possible, on condition, I repeat, that it shall take the form of 
free conversation. 


upon which the lever of instruction should be placed. 
And without it no cultivation of mind is possible, 
as is seen in the case of idiots. 

Childish curiosity should disappear from the list of 
vices, in order that it may be inscribed on the list of 
virtues.^ In schools, the various subjects of instruc- 
tion are often entered upon without the pupil having 
been shown to which of his " whys and wherefores " 
they will furnish an answer. This is a grave fault, 
which nevertheless can easily be remedied. A lesson 
should be nothing else than an answer, an answer which 
a child will welcome with enthusiasm if he has himself 
been led to formulate the questions to which it is a reply. 

Among the questions asked by a young child, those 
which concern the uses of things preponderate. One 
can turn to account this utilitarian attitude of mind 
by getting a child to define objects. One will receive 
a number of answers of this kind : A knife "is to 
cut with," a horse "is for drawing carriages," &c. 
A pupil in a primary class said to me one day : A 
mother " is for getting dinner ready and washing up 
the plates." And a little girl questioned by Binet 
said : A snail " is for crushing." ^ 

Parents or teacher might often exploit these utili- 
tarian inclinations with a view to education. By 
showing a child the practical reason of an order, or 
prohibition, or lesson, given to him, one would over- 

1 Ribot {Psychol, des sentiments, 1896, p. 360) describes three 
stages in the development of curiosity : (1) surprise, which is a 
shock, and which one notices from the fifth month ; (2) astonish- 
ment, a more stable state than surprise ; (3) lastly, interrogation. 
Stanley Hall and Smith have made a study of the first signs of 
curiosity in a child. Out of 465 questions asked by children, 75 
per cent, had to do with the cattse of things {Curiosity and Interest, 
Ped. Sem. X., 1903). 

2 Binet, Perceptions d'enfants, Rev. philos., 1890, II. 


come without any trouble the instinctive resistance 
that he offers to the accompHshment of what, in his 
eyes, responds to no want.^ 

4. Special Interests. — When once the general psychic 
functions have developed, such as perception, adapta- 
tion of movement, expression of desire by language, 
measurement of space, seeking cause and purpose, 
then interest speciaHses, concentrates itself on certain 
objects, on certain occupations, on certain more definite 
problems. And so special instincts become one after 
the other the source of a child's play. In what order 
do these different interests appear ? 

Many psychologists agree that the order is the same 
as that in which they appeared in the course of the 
development of the human race. According to this 
view, the life of each child would be only an accelerated 
and abridged recapitulation of the different phases 
through which its human ancestors have passed. 

This idea of parallelism between the psychological 
development of the individual and that of the race is 
not new ; one meets with it in a more or less explicit 
form in the eighteenth century and at the beginning 
of the nineteenth, in the works of such writers as 

1 That pupils do really suffer from the ignorance in which they are 
kept with regard to the purpose and the utility of their studies is 
shown by the following words quoted from a pamphlet which I pub- 
lished on leaving College, and in which were expressed the impres- 
sions, at that time quite fresh in my mind, of my years of secondary 
studies : " Would it not be reasonable for a professor, in the first 
lessons, to give a logical analysis of the course, as well as some idea 
of the usefulness of the subject-matter he proposes to teach, either 
from a practical point of view, or from the point of view of 
intellectual development ; to show what are the special points to 
be insisted on, either because they are of importance in them- 
selves, or because they would be helpful in making other points 
intelHgible ? " {Quelques mots sur le ColUge de Gendve, Geneva, 
1892, p. 9). 


Lessing and Herder, of poets such as Goethe, of 
philosophers such as Rousseau, Hegel, Aug. Comte, 
Spencer, and of the pedagogue ZiUer, who have shown 
the important bearing of this paralleHsm on educa- 
tion. " Education must reproduce in miniature the 
history of civiHsation," said Spencer; and Ziller ex- 
pressed himself in the same fashion. This concep- 
tion has been named the " Theory of civilisation 
epochs " (kuUurgeschichtliche Stufentheorie ; Culture- 
epoch theory). At the same time an analogous hypo- 
thesis was developing itself in the region of morphology 
and embryology : naturahsts were also discovering strik- 
ing resemblances between the successive forms through 
which the human embryo has passed and the forms 
which compose the animal series ; this " recapitula- 
tion " of racial development by the individual, dimly 
perceived by the physiologist Harvey in 1628, then 
rediscovered in turn by G. St. Hilaire, Meckel, von 
Baer, Agassiz, Serres, was supported by the solid 
arguments of Fritz Miiller in 1864, and raised by 
Haeckel to the dignity of a law, the Fundamental 
biogenetic law, expressed by the following celebrated 
formula : ontogenesis = phylogenesis (development of the 
individual = evolution of the race). 

We cannot here examine in detail the strong and 
weak points of this theory, which in these latter days 
has been attacked by the embryologists themselves : 
it is a fact that this biogenetic law has a great many 
exceptions, and that the parallelism which it enunciates 
is only approximate. Thus, to take one example, 
there is exaggeration in affirming that the mammifer 
passes, when it is very young, through a fish stage, 
because even if it does possess for a while gill slits and 
a spinal cord like a fish, it has not at any time in its 


life the heart or the eye of a fish ; on the other hand, 
one finds it in possession at this same epoch of a 
quantity of organs quite unknown among fish. Also, 
the child is not, at any age, psychically a " primitive 
man," or a " savage." The characteristic features 
(cruelty, nature worship, &c.) which these ancestors 
have bequeathed to us may be more evident in the 
child than in ourselves, but the mentality of the child 
never ceases to be childish mentality; while, if one 
interpreted the biogenetic law literally, the child would 
be successively a man of the stone age, then a man of 
the bronze age, &c., which is obviously not the case, 
since he has none of the adult characteristics which 
primitive man possessed, such as sexual instinct, 
courage, &c. 

However, there are many phenomena which bear 
out the recapitulatory hypothesis, and which can 
hardly be explained without it. As, for example : 
Why have the embryo of certain fish teeth, when 
the perfected animal has none ? Why is a tail of 
vertebrae formed in the horse, which retrogrades after- 
wards, and in the grown-up animal is nothing more 
than a tuft of hair ? Finally, what is the meaning of 
those branchial arches which are so clearly traced in 
the human embryo ? And in the realm of psychology, 
in what other way than by innate instinct can the 
liking for playing at Indians, for pursuit, for ruses 

1 Further, if the mentality of a young child recalls in certain 
respects that of an animal, the parallel must not be carried far ; 
very quickly do the lines of interest followed by the child on the 
one hand and by the animal on the other diverge, as has been 
demonstrated in a striking fashion by the experiments of Katz 
and Rev6sz on the memory of fowls compared with that of a baby 
(Z. f. Ps., vol. 50, 1908, p. 107 ; cf. also Shinn, Notes on the Develop- 
ment of a Child, p. 229). 


and surprises, so general among children, be ex- 
plained ? Whence can come to them that passion for 
living in the open air, for climbing trees, for building 
houses, for digging caves and establishing themselves 
therein in improvised colonies, of paddhng in streams, of 
making primitive weapons, and of parading on hobby- 
horses made of a simple stick ? And is not the 
uniformity in these manifestations of child-life in all 
climates and latitudes most astonishing ? There is 
more in this than imitation : imitation alone would 
not cause the child this joy which is the invariable 
symptom of the satisfaction of a vital instinct.^ These 
facts, and many others, show that an incontestable 
parallelism exists between the evolution of the race 
and that of the individual.^ 

But what is the fundamental reason for this 
parallelism ? Two theories offer themselves : some 
there are who think that this likeness arises from a 
genuine repetition by new generations of the phases 
that former generations passed through — this repe- 
tition being an effect of heredity ; others hold that 
this likeness is nothing more than simple conformity : 
if the development of the individual recalls the de- 

1 Ferriere, La loi biogenetique et V education, Ar. de Ps. IX., 
pp. 168, 173. In a work entitled Spontaneous Constructions and 
Primitive Activities of Children analogous to those of Primitive Man 
(Amer. J. Ps., Jan. 1910), Acher describes the buildings children 
love to make out of sand, soil, snow, blocks of wood or stone ; he 
also describes other activities, emphasising their analogy to those 
of primitive peoples. The author shows that imitation is not 
sufficient to account for the greater part of the activities. (The 
data for this study were provided by an inquiry made by Stanley 

2 From the biogenetic liw has been derived a method of investi- 
gation called the coTnparcmve genetic method, of which mention was 
made above, p. 85 ; the evolution of the race and of the individual, 
when compared, mutual J elucidate each other. 


velopment of the race, it is because living beings are 
all formed in accordance with regular laws, and nature 
employs identical means for effecting the evolution 
both of the individual and of the race.^ 

These two conceptions, far from being contradic- 
tory, ought not, it seems to me, to be separated ; each 
mutually implies the other, for the development of an 
organism is assuredly under the influence of heredity. 
Nevertheless, it would be possible to adopt the first 
without the second, and to see in the onto-phylogenetic 
repetition nothing more than the simple echo of past 
forms, atavistic rudiments, which no longer play any 
part in the actual development of the individual, and 
only reappear from force of habit, as one might say. 
But this point of view would be untenable : for it is 
very evident that all these transitory organs, which 
last for a certain time in the embryo of vertebrates 
and are replaced by definite organs, have something 
to do with these latter, which they either engender 
or help to form. Their temporary presence is, 
indeed, to the building up of the organism what 
provisional scaffoldings are to the construction of a 

In the same way, in the region of psychology, we have 
to look at these transitory stages in relation to their 
genetic -functional utility (see above, pp. 70 and 94). 
And if the child goes through certain stages which 
recall the animal, the savage, or barbarian, we should 
consider these stages as necessary to his ulterior 
evolution. As Tyler says, the barbaric period of 
childhood is a stimulus to the development of the 

^ In paidology, the former of these theories is represented by the 
school of Stanley Hall (see above, p. 122), the latter by the school 
of Dewey. 


capacities of the adult, just as the dorsal cord of the 
embryo is a stimulus to the ulterior formation of the 
vertebral column. ^ In conclusion : One is justified in 
calhng to one's aid the history of the primitive ages 
of humanity in order to understand the successive 
stages of progress in the child-mind, and in order to 
adapt to them the different steps in teaching.^ 

Certain authors,^ however, hold that education has 
nothing to gain from the analogy between the child 
and his primitive ancestors, for the child, finding 
himself in quite different circumstances from the 
savage or the barbarian, ought to be immediately 
adapted to his actual circumstances, without its being 
necessary for him to trace again all the deviations 
and errors of the evolution of humanity. That is 
right to a certain extent ; it is obvious that it is only 
cum grano sails that the biogenetic theory can be 
applied to practical education. When it is said that 
certain " savage " or " barbaric " impulses of the child 
should be allowed free expression, because it is useful 
to development, no one means that he must be taught 
to handle the boomerang, to hunt the bear, or worship 
idols. We must be careful, however, for it is quite 
possible that what seems to us and to our pedantic 
reasoning "deviations and errors" may be in reality 
the shortest way to the goal, because it is the way 
that nature herself has made — and it may possibly be 
the only practicable way. It may be a detour for the 
frog to pass through the tadpole stage ; might it not 

1 Tyler, Growth and Education, Boston, 1907, p. 55. 

2 It is especially for the teaching of mathematics that people 
have been anxious to retrace the route that the human race has 
traversed ; cf. notably Branford, A Study of Mathematical Educa- 
tion, Oxford, 1908, chap. v. 

^ Such as Lange, JJeher Apperzeption, 10 Aufl., Leipsic, 1909. 


be simpler that the frog should be born with feet, and, 
above all, without that tail which is only " a detour 
and a mistake " ! But this detour is no doubt neces- 
sary ; you do not imagine that the formation of 
grown-up frogs would be much hastened by cutting 
off the tail of the tadpoles . . . which would pro- 
bably be done if the frogs had schools ! 

But let us return to the evolution of special inte- 
rests. W. Hutchinson describes four distinct periods 
in the evolution of the child, which recall the phases 
of the evolution of civilisation, and which are each 
marked by some characteristic interests : 1st, interests 
of the chase, of capture, and of war ; 2nd, pastoral 
interests, by following which the child attempts to 
tame and train animals, and amuses himself by dig- 
ging holes and by building huts ; 3rd, agricultural 
interests, which show themselves in playing at gar- 
dening ; 4th, and last, commercial interests, which 
lead to barter, the selling of objects of small value 
to realise profit.^ 

The truth is, we still stand in need of facts for 
establishing ever so uncertainly the scale of special 
interests. As we have said, each of them reigns for 
a rather long period, but only culminates during a 
relatively limited period. For a knowledge of this 
period of culmination the comparative method does 
not help us, and it is necessary to have recourse to 
the psycho -statistical method : we find out how many 
amongst a hundred children of each age have a given 
interest. We may thus describe the curve of the 
interest : the point of culmination of the curve will 
correspond to the age at which we most frequently 
come across the interest in question. 

1 Hutchinson, quoted from Varendonck, Ar. de Psy. VII., p. 381. 



Let us take as an example the collecting interest, 
which has been dealt with before apropos of plays 
(p. 134). An author named Burk has shown that 
this interest increases up to the age of 10, and then 
decreases very gradually.^ Or, again, doll play : the 
famous inquiry by Stanley Hall (of which we spoke 
in our Introduction, p. 6) has furnished, among other 
things, wha tis not lacking in interest, the curve of 
the evolution of doll play (among girls) ; it is from 
7 to 10 years of age that the passion for dolls is 
greatest among the little 
Americans, and the apogee 
of the passion is found at 
8J years of age (see fig. 5).'^ 

Each interest, we have 
said, progresses on its own 
lines, in certain definite 
directions. Collecting, for 
example, which deals at 
first with objects indis- 
criminately, speciahses gradually. The direction of 
the interest which it excites also changes ; at first 
the child collects for the immediate pleasure of amass- 
ing and of possessing. Later it is in consequence of 
a more objective interest, and for a more remote end ; 
it attaches a certain value to the things themselves. 

If we observe play in general, this progressive 

1 Burk, Ped. Sem. VII. 

2 The diagram is unfortunately based upon only 98 observations. 
To secure the necessary information, the authors asked some women 
students in a normal school to indicate, according to what they 
remembered, the age at which their passion for the doll had been 
strongest (Ellis and Hall, A Study of Dolls, Ped. Sem. IV., 1896, 
p. 156). In the article by Croswell, Amusements of Worcester School, 
Ped. Sem. IV., 1899, diagrams of the evolution of various plays 
are to be found. 

4 6 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 

Fig. 5. — Curves of frequency, 

according to age, of playing 

with the doll. (After Ellis 

and Hall.) 



specialisation is also found, and the constant move- 
ment from the concrete to the abstract, from the 
immediate to the mediate. At first all that comes 
into the hands of the child serves to amuse him ; 
afterwards the plays* are specialised, then concrete 
amusements, involving a toy, make room for amuse- 
ments of an abstract nature. 

This centrifugal progression of the mind continues 


10 11 


Fig. 6. — Diagram representing the variations in the choice of 

father and mother. Dotted line for boys, continuous line for 

girls. (After Varendonck, quoted above.) 

to be met with, again in a very clear manner, in the 
answers which children give to questionnaires on their 
ideals. At the very first, it is the immediate inti- 
mates, parents, big brothers and sisters, who are 
chosen as " ideals " by the children who are asked, 
" What person would you wish to be like ? " But 
parents quickly lose ground, as is seen by one of the 
diagrams, drawn up by Varendonck (fig. 6), and the 
ideal is found in a less immediate sphere : in con- 
temporary celebrities, the heroes of history, or those 
in books (fig. 7). 



If we make inquiries into the reasons for the choice 
of such or such an ideal, we find that young people 
are preoccupied above all with material possessions 
or pleasure ; for example : "I should like to be like 
M. Paul, who is a veterinary for dogs ; because I like 
that " (boy of 8). "I should Kke to be hke Martha V., 
because she has lovely ear-rings " (little girl of 9). "I 


Fig. 7. — Diagram representing variations in the choice of historical 
or contemporary personages, and of authors. 

should like to be like M. Rothschild, because he is 
a millionaire " (boy of 11).^ 

But very soon material considerations influence the 

1 These examples are taken from the work of Varendonck, already- 
quoted. We may add this one, more interesting, however, from 
an economical and social point of view than from the purely 
psychological ; "I should like to be like Marie V.," writes a little 
girl of 10, " because she has two woollen petticoats and I have only 
one. She works at a dressmaker's, and I have not had any work 
for five weeks." " Is not this a proof," justly remarks Varendonck, 
" that no high ideal can be attained when one is not provided with 
the necessities of life ? " 



choice of ideals less, above all among boys (girls, 
according to Varendonck, remain longer attached to 
them), and then it is the intellectual, aesthetic, or 
moral qualities which dictate the choice (fig. 8) ; and 
declarations of this kind are obtained : " What I 
should like to be, is to know how to write well like the 
great authors " (boy of 12). "I know a girl whom I 
admire very much. She has a heart of gold and helps 
poor people who are in want. . . . She is very kind 
to everybody. If she sees any one ill-treating an 
animal she weeps bitterly at the man's brutality " 
(girl of 12). "I should like to be like one of the good, 
charitable souls who help the unfortunate, rescuing 
them from misery " (boy of 15). 

The way in which the interest for the different 
branches of study evolves has very great pedagogic 
importance. One cause of error to be avoided in this 
kind of inquiry is the fact that the pupils may detest 
a certain branch in spite of its intrinsic interest, 
simply because it is badly taught, or because a child 
has a personal dislike to the master in charge of it. 
It is necessary, therefore, to work upon a great number 
of scholars, belonging to different schools, or even in 
different towns, so as to be sure that the interest, or 
the lack of interest, for such and such a branch does 
not arise from accidental circumstances. 

Researches of this kind — which every director of a 
school ought to repeat for himself — show that the 
branches preferred or disliked vary from one year to 
another. It is evident that if a study generally pre- 
ferred at the age of 8 falls to the rank of those 
generally disliked at the age of 12, this proves either 
that the mind of the child is more apt in assimilating 
this branch at 8, or that the method employed later 
is bad, or that we have not followed, in teaching this 



branch, an order conforming to the natural develop- 
ment of the mind. 

And, vice versa, if a branch preferred later is dis- 
liked by the younger pupils, this indicates that its 
teaching is commenced too soon, or that it is badly 
presented. To give a single example, taken from the 
work of Stern : the religious lesson — which never 
appears anywhere among the branches preferred ! — is 
found to be less detested by the older than by the 
younger pupils. Such a statement makes us suspect 

Q Cgirls). 

P (girls). 
Q (boys). 

P (boys). 

10 „ n 


Fig. 8. — Variation in children's reasons for their choice. 
Q = intellectual qualities, ? = material possessions. 

that the way in which this lesson is given to classes 
of little ones in Germany is not in accordance with 
the degree of development which the pupils have then 

It is during this period, from about seven years, 
that interest commences to be objective. The child 
no longer acts for the pleasure of acting, but is in- 
terested in the concrete aim of its action, the success 
of its effort ; that is to say, it consciously appre- 
hends the relation between the means employed and 
the end to be attained. It is easy to understand 
all the advantage that pedagogy may derive from 
this propensity of the mind. 


Lastly, interests vary according to sex : common 
with the little ones, they differentiate more and more 
with age. The running games and physical exercises, 
which persist among boys until the end of adolescence, 
rapidly decline amongst girls from about the eighth to 
the ninth years. On the other hand, they more and 
more prefer manual occupations. ^ 

Psycho-statistical researches of the kind indicated 
above (inquiries concerning ideals, favourite read- 
ings, &c.) clearly bring to light the difference of 
interests of boys and girls, differences which stand 
out more prominently in proportion as the children 
advance in years. Thus, whilst boys prefer to read 
accounts of adventure, inventions, history, and science, 
the library of young girls is composed, above all, of 
purely imaginative narratives (myths, legends, novels), 
and especially of narrations concerning children.^ Here 
is an example, simply by way of illustration, to show 
the great difference existing between the sexes : in 
his inquiry upon the reading matter preferred, Vos- 
trovsky found that 76 per cent, of the boys, and 24 
per cent, only of the girls, showed a taste for narra- 
tives of adventures ; on the contrary, books in which 
children are the heroes are only liked by 12 per cent, 
of the boys, while they are liked by 52 per cent, of 
the girls. In a word, as is said by Brittain, the inte- 
rests of boys have pre-eminently a dynamic character, 
while those of girls have rather a static character. 

Free drawing is a test which also reveals very 
marked differences in each sex. In looking through the 

1 Always excepting drawing, which is preferred by boys (see 
Ivanofl, Le deasin des ecoliers de la Suisse romande, At. de Psy. VIII., 
p. 21). 

2 Vostrovsky : article quoted, Ped. Sem., 1899 ; Brittain, Smith, 
and Guillet, various articles in Ped. Sem.. 1907. 


drawings of more than 2 500 children — drawings furnished 
by the collective experiment previously mentioned (p. 
34), Katzaroff found that the boys, as compared with 
the girls, drew by preference animals, scenes of life, 
boats, railways, men on horseback, and bicycles ; while 
the girls preferred to draw flowers, geometrical patterns, 
and various objects (furniture, utensils, &c.).i 

Girls have a more lively and precocious sentimen- 
tality than boys ; they show their feelings of friend- 
ship and affection in effusions which are often 
exaggerated. Boubier, having collected a certain 
number of " notes " which the pupils of a primary 
school had written to each other during lessons, re- 
marks how clearly they show the profound psycho- 
logical difference of the two sexes. ^ "As compared 
with the little girl, the little boy is not very fond of 
writing. As a rule he restricts himself to writing a 
few words under a caricature, so that its meaning 
may be better understood by the recipient. His notes, 
properly so-called, convey little more than a more or 
less trivial insult, some naughtiness more or less 
heinous, or a simple joke more or less witty. For 
example : ' Chaffinch, chaffinch, how are you ? Tell 
me if you always sleep in your bed, or in the moon, 
or in the stars, or in the sun.' Another specimen, 
relating to a fat boy of the name of Grombal : ' The 
sea-mammal Grombal gives 150 kilogs. of sindon and 
220 of cod-liver oil. A grombal weighs 370 kilogs. 
This animal was discovered in 1901 by the celebrated 
physician Dupen.' Dupen is another comrade. 

"As for the young girl, on the contrary," Boubier 
shows, " the note is her great preoccupation, her fixed 

^ Katzaroff, article quoted, Ar. de Psy. IX. 

2 Boubier, Les jeux de V enfant pendant la classe, Ar. de Psy. T., 
p. 56 and following 


idea, in which she dehghts, because she is able to put 
into it all her mind, all her soul. As a rule there is 
not the least need of drawing to embellish what she 
writes, the words are everything. . . . She is more 
preoccupied with chatter and gossip, while war or 
politics already powerfully interest the boy to a high 
degree." Her epistles are often full of tender words, 
such as these : "I love you, I love you, I love you 
more than myself, more than myself ; I love you more 
than myself." Or again : " Adieu, Helen, I am come 
to bring some eggs and I am come to say good-morning 
to you ; adieu, my well-beloved." 

We might notice other differences in interests accord- 
ing to age and sex, but these examples suffice to show 
in what way we can bring them to light, and to inspire 
teachers with the desire to enrich our knowledge of 
the subject. 

5. Social or Ethical Interests. — The age of 12 is an 
important date in the history of the development of 
the child : it marks a turning, a changing of direction, 
of orientation. Unsuspected regions suddenly disclose 
themselves to his eyes ; social consciousness awakes, 
and the axis of interests is changed. 

At this age, the child, who until then has hardly 
concerned himself at all about the role which he was 
able to play in society, becomes conscious of his char- 
acter as a member of a collective whole. He seeks to 
gain the esteem of certain persons, and becomes more 
sensitive to their influence. As, at this moment, his 
sensitiveness to the influence of others is still not 
tempered or governed by the critical spirit or any 
definite ethical ideal, the boy of 12 is particularly 
sensitive to evil suggestions.^ It is therefore at this 

^ Marro, La puberte, p. 67 ; King, The Psychology of Child Develop- 
ment, 1903, p. 193. 


moment that it is necessary to supervise the acquaint- 
ances that he makes, and the comrades with whom 
he associates. 

The child, at the same time that he becomes con- 
scious of others, also becomes conscious of his own 
personality. To become conscious of oneself and to 
become conscious of others are, in effect, only two 
aspects of the same act of differentiation, of classifica- 
tion. The individual defines himself only in relation 
to the collective whole. The essence of self is made 
up of the feeling of responsibility, of duty, of the 
role that we are called to play : sentiments which 
are evidently of social origin and significance. 

The period of adolescence is also characterised by 
concentration of interest upon a small number of 
objects. Often we find a single dominant interest, 
which is the centre around which gravitates all the 
occupations, all the thoughts, of the young man or 
the young woman : painting, music, a certain kind 
of charitable work, of collection, or of society. The 
value (moral and aesthetic) of these occupations begins 
also to dominate their purely intellectual interests. 

Then follows the crisis of puberty, a crisis which 
is both physiological and psychological. The im- 
portance of this phase is so great that a whole volume 
ought to be devoted to it. The culminating interest 
is the interest, more or less conscious, and more or 
less avowed, for all that relates to the other sex, for all 
that is able to attract it : coquetry, dress, physical 
beauty, the reading of forbidden novels. . . . 

This is the period of forbidden fruit. A new life 
bubbles up in the depths of the soul ; yet we cloister 
the adolescent in the four walls of a college, or in the 
workshop of a boarding-school ! 

But the nascent instincts are no more able to 


remain long confined than the sap of spring-time : 
if an obstacle prevents their normal ascent, they 
break out by some lateral way. 

It has often been remarked how much puberty pre- 
disposes to religious exaltation. In his statistics upon 
the age of conversion-, Starbuck has shown that this 
phenomenon has its maximum of frequency at 16 
among boys and at 13 among girls. ^ It seems un- 
deniable that the religious emotion and the sexual 
instinct may have some common psychological roots. 
Religion, like love, proceeds from a sense of imper- 
fection, of personal insufficiency, of isolation or dis- 
tress, of want ; like love it supplies the individual 
with an opportunity for self-sacrifice, for intercourse 
with others, which are felt as needs by the adolescent, 
because they are in the interest of the race. By 
brutally repressing, in the name of some " positive " 
dogma, these religious tendencies, we may produce 
amongst young men, and above all amongst young 
women, grave troubles, notably among those who are 
of a nervous temperament or predisposed to hysteria. 
Even supposing that religion does not correspond to 
any objective " verity," it may be, for the moment, 
of great utility by serving as a support and a means 
of expression to those sentiments which in themselves 
are. very real, and the expansion of which undoubtedly 
permits the personality to pass through a difficult 
stage of development. 2 To ask if such an interest is 

1 Starbuck, The Psychology of Religion, London, 1899. 

^ By suddenly destroying the religious beliefs of an adolescent, 
we risk producing a gap in his mental system. Given the instability 
which characterises this period, it may be followed by a complete 
disorganisation. If this mishap takes place just at the moment 
when the young man has taken these religious beliefs as the support 
of all his ideas, as the fulcrum of his conduct, this sudden demolition 
Is likely to bring on a catastrophe : a crisis of melancholy, pes- 


a " verity " or an " error " has no meaning for the 
paidologist ; the only thing he has to take into 
account is whether it has biological utility. When 
the little baby sees a ship in a piece of straw which 
floats with the current of the water, we may ask our- 
selves if this belief is useful or useless to him, but it 
is no use whatever to raise the question whether it is 
true or false. 

To hinder an adolescent, who feels the natural need 
for it, from normally accomphshing his religious evolu- 
tion, under the pretext that rehgion is not " true," 
is to act as a dogmatic who decrees what is true and 
what is false, and what ought to be believed — not 
like an impartial psychologist who finds out what re- 
sponds in fact to a need of growth, nor as a pedagogue 
who ought to promote the natural evolution of the 
mind, by guiding where this is necessary, but without 
thwarting it. One might as well hinder a baby from 
walking on all-fours when he does not know how to 
stand up on his feet, under the pretext that to walk 
on all-fours is an " error." 

Repressed by circumstances, the sexual instinct is 
still able to express itself, apart from the religious in- 
clination, under various forms of substitutions for love : 
uncontrolled friendship for comrades of the same sex/ 

simism, or suicide. Proal has noted in his V education et le suicide 
des enfants, 1907, p. 127, the complement furnished to suicide by- 
adolescents through precocious scepticism. Suicide is the natural 
and logical termination of a being in whom has been destroyed the 
interest which was the motive -power of life. 

1 Marro {La puberte, p. 64) publishes some curious specimens 
of letters by yoiTng girls in a boarding-school, written to one another : 
" Why, mademoiselle, are you ashamed to write to me ? You do 
not know, then, that a word from you makes me happy. ... If you 
knew what a void I indeed feel in my heart, you would hasten to 
fill it. ... I look forward so much to the end of your holidays 
that I might come to meet you, to see you again and repeat to you 


passion for animals, the cultivation of art, of philo- 
sophy, &c. 

But we must stop. . . . 

The question of the evolution of interests requires 
new and conscientious researches. From this moment, 
however, we can affirm that this evolution follows a 
definite and constant progress. The suggestions which 
spring from this fact are clear : 1st, education ought 
not to thwart this natural evolution ; 2nd, it ought 
as far as possible to assist it. Varendonck rightly 
says in his study : "If education precipitates or 
retards these stages of development, it may result in 
a void in the character, perhaps a serious disorganisa- 
tion." As we have already remarked apropos of 
physical development, the various stages of growth are 
bound up together. To pass over one stage is to do 
a wrong not only to the processes the development 
of which corresponds at this stage, but also to all 
the succeeding stages which they condition. To wish 
to begin a piece of education before being assured that 
the development has attained the point when it is 
able to support the burden, is to build in the air, as 
we should build in the air if we wished to commence 
the construction of a story of a house before the 
lower story upon which it must rest had been built. 

By making the interests of each step in education 
correspond to the natural interests which characterise 
the various stages of infantile evolution, teachers 
would bring to an end that " radical unintelligibility " 

by word of mouth that I love you 1 Do you remember the day of 
your arrival ? If we had been alone I do not know what I should 
have done to you ; without exaggeration, I should have smothered 
you with kisses ..." &c. Another ends her letter thus : "If you 
wish to see me somewhat comforted, mademoiselle, continue to 
turn on me, from time to time, a kind and loving look." See also 
Smith, Types of Adolescent Affection, Ped. Sem., 1904, p. 178. 


which M. Cousinet, in the article to which allusion 
has been previously made, shows to exist between 
the pupils of a class and their master. " There is no 
common measure," says M. Cousinet, " between chil- 
dren and grown-up people. The children live in a 
world constituted by means of an insufficient experi- 
ence and a confused imagination, an unreal world for 
us, but very real for them. That which interests us is 
to them unintelligible ; that which interests and en- 
thrals them, their plays, and all the details of that 
world which is for them the world, appears to us 
insignificant and puerile. . . . This divergence of inte- 
rest is one of the principal causes of the little confidence 
which children show in the grown-up people. . . . 
Not only does the master consider the ordinary 
occupations of the pupils contemptible, and not only 
do his thoughts remain unintelligible to the pupils, 
but he is also opposed to satisfying their childish 
desires ; he destroys, as though it were a house of 
cards, the romantic world which so delights the child, 
and he forces him to accept as motives those interests 
which he (the master) judges to be superior. ..." 

That this unintelligibility exists is quite certain, and 
M. Cousinet very rightly shows on what it depends ; 
that it must necessarily exist is, on the contrary, very 
doubtful, and I am unable to share the pessimism of 
our author when he writes : " Whatever progress may 
be made by pedagogy and child psychology, and what- 
ever effort may be made by one to adjust itself to the 
other, even with schools 'made to measure' (like 
clothes) as advocated by M. Claparede (which, by the 
way, is, in my opinion, unrealisable), there will remain 
between the child, and above all between a group of 
children, and the master a radical unintelligibility." 

But why should the teacher not be able to espouse 


the interests of the child as the doctor espouses, for 
example, the interests of his patients ? Doubtless, in 
order to do this, he must know these interests. And 
this is exactly the aim of child psychology, to draw the 
attention of the educator to them, and to invite him to 
determine them. Now, if a master is incapable of bring- 
ing down his mind and heart to the level of the heart 
and mind of the child, it shows that he has chosen a 
profession for which he unfortunately has no vocation. 

Let us conclude this too long chapter. The child 
develops naturally by passing through a certain 
number of stages which succeed each other in a 
constant order. Each stage corresponds to the de- 
velopment of a certain function or aptitude, and the 
play connected with each of these gives pleasure to 
the child. All objects susceptible of bringing into 
play this new-born function or aptitude naturally 
interest the child, captivate him, and attract him, 
while those which do not correspond to the play of 
any existing aptitude leave him indifferent or are 
instinctively repugnant to him. 

The secret of pedagogy consists in making use of 
these natural aptitudes of the child, instead of repri- 
manding him because of those which he lacks — those 
with which he may not be endowed, or which ho does 
not yet possess. 


Physical Growth. — Quetelet, Anthropometrie, Brussels, 1870. 
Malung- Hansen, Perioden im Gewicht der Kinder, Copenhagen, 
1886. ScHMiD-MoNNARD, Ueber den Ein/luss der Jahreszeit und 
der Schule auf das Wachstum der Kinder. Jahrb. f. Kinderheilkunde, 
1895. Combe, Korperldnge und Wachstum der Volksschulkinder 
in Lausanne, Z. f. Sclmlgesundheitspflege, 1896. Wiener, Das 
Wachstum des menschlichen Kdrpers, Karlsruhe, 1890. Vierordt, 
Daten und Tabellen, Jena, 1888. Warner, The Study of Children, 


London, 1897. Burk, Growth of Children, Am. J. Psy. IX., 1898 
(containing a good bibliography). Godin, Recherches anthropome- 
triques sur la croissance, Paris, 1903 (chiefly anatomical, and without 
immediate interest to pedagogues). Masterly resumes of all the 
preceding have been made by Varigny in the article Croissance 
in Richet's Dictionnaire. Hoesch-Er'nst, Anthropolog.-psycholog, 
Untersuch. an ZUricher Schulkindern, These de phil. de Zurich, 1906. 
Chaumet, Croissance des enfants des ecoles de Paris, These de Med. 
de Paris, 1906. Bianco, Enfants de Madrid, Rev. de I'Hypnot., 
Feb. 1910. King, Measurements of the Physical Growth of two 
Children, J. ed. Psy., May 1910. On the Growth of the Brain, see 
Mano'uveier, art. Cerveau, Richet's Dictionnaire. Donaldson, The 
Growth of the Brain, London, 1905. Heubner, Z. pad. Psy. II., 
1900, p. 73. Probst (quoted, p. 126). For Anthropometry, see 
GiROUD, Manouvrier, Schulze (quoted, p. 100), Melzi, Antro- 
pologia pedagogica. Arena, 1899. 

Repercussion of Physical Growth on Mental Functions. — Gilbert, 
Researches on the Mental and Physical Development of School-children, 
Stud, from the Yale psych. Lab. II., 1894. Dawid, Schwankungen 
in der geist. Entwickel, III. int. Congress f. Psychol. Miinchen, 1896, 
p. 449. LoBSiEN, Schwankungen der psychischen Kapazitdt, Berlin, 
1902 (Conclusion : Physical and psychical development do not 
progress on parallel lines during the course of the school year). 

Play. — Besides the worlcs of Groos and Carr, that of Colozza, 
Psychologic und Pddagogik des Kinderspiels, Altenburg, 1900 (much 
historical information upon play in pedagogy ; the original Italian 
edition of this work was unfortunately published before the works 
of Groos appeared). Queyrat, Les jeux de V enfant, Paris, 1905 
(a very good resume, inspired by the theory of Groos). Winch, 
Psychology and Philosophy of Play, Mind, XV., 1906. Groos, Das 
Seelenleben des Kindes, 2nd edition, Berlin, 1908 (the title of this 
book is a little misleading ; it is not so mvich a treatise on infantile 
psychology as a treatise on general psychology, with, it is true, 
many examples taken from recent researches on the child. In 
chapter vii., devoted to play, Groos replies to the criticisms of 
Carr). Racine, Les jeux it Vecole, Ed. mod., 1907. Huguet, Jeu 
des enfants dans le Nord-Afrique, Ed. mod., 1906. Smith, Play of 
Japanese Boys, Ped. Sem., June 1909. Rouma, Jeux educatifs, 
Ed. mod., 1908, p. 171. Gulick, Psychol., Pedag., and Religious 
Aspects of Group Games, Ped. Sem., March 1899. For playthings, 
consult FouRNiER, Histoire des jouets et des jeux d^enfants, Paris, 
1889 (in anecdotical and literary form). Hildebrandt, Das 
Spielzeug im Leben des Kindes, Berlin, 1904 (a brief survey of the 
innumerable toys and playthings sold everywhere in shops). H. 
D'Allemagne, Les jouets a la World's fair en 1904 d St. Louis; 


histoire des jouets, with plates, Paris, 1908. Enderltn, Das Spielzeug 
in seiner Bedeutung fiir die Entwicklung des Kindes, Kf., 1907. 

Attractive Education. — Bridoit, Le role de la gaiete dans Veduca- 
tion. Arch. int. hyg. scol., I., 1905. Assagiotj, Gli effetti del riso e 
le loro applicazioni pedagogiche, Riv. di Psy., 1905. Lucie BERiiiLON, 
Veducation attrayante. Rev. de I'hypnotisme, March-May 1909 
(an excellent article, showing clearly that " attractive education, 
far from suppressing effort, provokes, on the contrary, spontaneous 
and joyous. impulse, which leads to voluntary effort, and maintains 
attention." It contains numerous quotations from authors, from 
which I select the following. From Montaigne : " One should give 
nothing but that which tempts the appetite, or the result is donkeys 
loaded with books." From Rollin : " What we want to get is will, 
and it is gained by sweetness, persuasion, and especially by the 
attraction of pleasure." From Georges Sand : " The child who 
studies has already all the needs of the artist who creates. By 
closing him up in a bare and dull room, you stifle his heart and his 
mind as well as his body." From Michelet : " One only works 
well when happy." From Anatole France : " The art of teaching 
is nothing but the art of awakening curiosity in young souls in order 
to satisfy it afterwards. And curiosity is only lively and healthy in 
happy minds "). J. Girard (woman inspector), Veducation de la 
petit enfance, Paris, 1908. Rouma, La vie heureuse au jardin 
d'enjants, broch., Brussels, 1908. Chantavoine, Veducation joyeuse, 
Paris, 1910. An interesting attempt to apply attractive instruction 
to the study of solfeggio and music has been made with great success 
by Jaques-Dalcroze (professor at the Conservatoire of Geneva), 
Gymnastique rythmique, Neuchatel, 1906. 

Interest. — Herbart, Pedagogie generale, 1806. Ostermann, 
Das Interesse, Leipzig, 1895, J. Dewey, Interest as related to Will, 
second suppl. to the Herbart Yearbook, Chicago, 1895 ; The School 
and Society, New York, 1899. De Garmo, Interest and Education^ 
New York, 1902. W. James, Talks to Teachers. The fundamental 
role which interest plays as a factor of our mental activity has not 
been noticed by German psychologists. Wundt, for example, 
never speaks of interest ; in the fourth edition of his Psychology, 
this term is not even indicated in the alphabetical index of subjects ; 
in the fifth edition, it is only indicated accessorily (aesthetic interest). 
English psychologists, on the contrary, have clearly perceived the 
importance of this viltimate factor in the determination of our acts 
and thoughts : see, for example, the Principles of Psychology of 
W. James, 1891. In my work on V Association des idees (Paris, 
1903) I have several times insisted on this selective role of interest, 
on the dynamogenisation of the useful reactions which it causes 
(see pp. 136, 172, 230, 378, &c.). See also my conamunication to 


the Congress of Psychology at Rome (1905), VinUrSt principe 
fondamental de Vactivite Tnentale. The primordial role of interest 
has also been clearly attested by Engle, Analytic Interest Psychology, 
Baltimore, 1904, and by Luquet, I dees generales de psychologic, 
Paris, 1906. See also Munch, Unterricht und Interesse, Z. pad. 
Psy., 1910 (the author is of the opinion that, in order that the 
pupils may not lose the habit of effort, the master should not make his 
instruction more interesting than is necessary to make the pupil feel 
that it is worth while to make an effort). For ciiriosity : Ingegnieros, 
Psicofisiologia de la curiosidad, Arch, di Psiquiatria, June 1910. 

Imitation. — Baldwin, Mental Development. Haskell, Imitation 
in Children, Ped. Sem., 1894. Frear, ibid., 1897. Pistolesi, Vimi- 
tazione, Torino, 1910. 

Biogenetic Law.— F. Muller, Fiir Darwin, 1864. Haeckel, 
Morphologic generate, 1866. For a general exposition, see Chamber- 
lain, The Child, pp. 51-64. Ferriere, article quoted above. 
ViALLETON, Un prohleme de revolution, Montpellier and Paris, 1908 
(history and criticism). Baldwin, Mental Development, chap. i. 
LuKENS, Seeley, Dewey, &c.. The Culture Epochs, Second Yearbook 
of the Herbart Soc, 1896. Criticism of the biogenetic law, from 
the morphological point of view : Hertwig, Elements d^anatomie 
et de physiol. generate, 1898. From the psychopedagogic point of 
view : Bolton, Unsoundness of the Culture Epochs Theory of Educa- 
tion, Journ. of Pedagogy, 1903, p. 136. Compare also Chamber- 
lain, Note on some Differences between "Savages*' and Children, 
Psy. Bulletin, 1909, p. 212. 

Evolution of Interests. — See the good bibliography given at the 
end of the work by I. King, and consult the collection of the Ped. 
Sem. Cf. Trettien, Psychol, of the Language Interest of Children, 
Ped. Sem., 1904. 

General Development. — Besides the works of Tiedemann, 
Lobisch, Sigismund, Sully, &c., quoted in Chapter I., see Mme. 
Necker de Saussure, L' education progressive, 1828-1838. Perez, 
Les trois premieres annees de V enfant (1st edition, 1878) ; V enfant 
de trois a sept ans (1st ed. 1886). Compayre, devolution intellec- 
tuelle et morale de V enfant, Paris, 1893. Baldwin, Mental Develop- 
ment, London, 1895 (this work, although containing paidological 
observations, has especially a philosophical interest ; the author 
tries to show that imitation is the foundation of the adaptation and 
progress of the mind). Vinay, La psychologic du nouveau-ne, Sem. 
Med., 1897, p. 33. Ament, Die Entwicklung von Sprechen und 
Denken beim Kinde, Leipsic, 1899. Sikorsky, Die Seele des Kindes, 
broch., Leipsic, 1902. Tracy, The Psychology of Chitdho'od, Boston, 
1903 (very concise compendium ; succinct resume of the observations 
made on the development of the different faculties). Irving King, 


The Psychology of Child Development, Chicago, 1903. Stern, Tat- 
sachen und Ursachen der seelischen EntwicJclung, Z. ang. Psy., Bd. I., 
1907. Vhitiff-e, La psychol.desecoliers, 'Ed. mod., 1906. Buchner, 
Die Entwicklung der Gemuthshew. im 1. Lebensjahre, Kf. 1908, p. 166. 
Vecchia, Nei primi anni di vita di due bambini, Riv. ped., 1909. 

Monobiographies (journals) relating to the development of a child. 
— During these last years a great number have appeared, some of 
which we quote : Taine, L' acquisition du langage. Rev. philos. I., 
1876. Darwin, A Biographical Sketch of an Infant, Mind, 1877. 
Pollock, An Infant's Progress in Language, Mind, 1878. Egger, 
Observations sur le developpement de V intelligence et du langage, 
Ac. des X. Morales, 1879. Preyer, Die Seele des Kindes, 1882, 
tr. f. Viime de Venfant, Paris, 1887. Espinas, 06s. sur un nouveau- 
ne, Ann. de la Fac. des Lettres de Bordeaux, 1883. Shinn, Notes 
on the Development of a Child, Berkeley, 1893-1907. Moore, The 
Mental Development of a Child, Ps. Rev. Mon. Suppl. 1896. St. -Years, 
De un jour a dix arts., Ed. mod., 1909-10 (notes by a mother). 
Gheorgov, Die ersten Anfdnge des sprachlichen Ausdrucks filr das 
Selhstbevmsstsein bei Kindem, C. R. 2nd Congress of Philosophy, 
Geneve, 1 905, p. 520. Zur gramtnatischen Entwicklung der Kinder- 
sprache, Leipsic, 1908 ; Le vocahulaire dans le langage des en f ants (in 
Bulgarian), Sofia, 1910. Whipple, The Vocabulary of a Three-year- 
old Boy, Ped. Sem., 1909. Stern, Monographieen iiber die seelische 
Entwicklung des Kindes, Leipsic, 1907, 1909. Cramaussel, Le 
premier eveil intellectuel de Venfant, Paris, 1908 (2nd ed. 1910). 

Autobiographies. — Loti, Le roman d\in enfant. H. Keller, 
Histoire de ma vie : sourde, muette, aveugle, 1904. 

Adolescence. — Marro, La puberte, Paris, 1901. Stanley-Hall, 
Adolescence, 2 vols., London, 1904 (an important work, a rich 
mine of documents and ideas. M. Compayrl has made a resume, 
unfortunately too concise, of some of its chapters in a little book, 
L' adolescence, Paris, 1909). Schmidkunz, Die oberen Stufen des 
Jugendalters, Kongress Kinderforsch, Berlin, 1906, p. 245. Men- 
DOUSSE, LVime de Vadolescent, Paris, 1909. Lemaitre, La vie 
mentale de Vadolescent, St. Blaise, 1910 (a collection of observations 
on mental anomalies of scholars). Moll, Sexuelle Erziehung, Z. pad. 
Psy., 1908. WiLLE, Die Psy chosen des Piibertdtsalters, Leipsic, 1898. 
Axel Key, Die PiXbertdtsentwicklung und das Verhdltnis derselhen 
zu den Krankheitserscheinungen der Schuljugend, 10th International 
Medical Congress, 1890. Mme. Francillon, Essai sur la puberte chez 
la femme, Paris, 1906 (a thesis by a doctor of medicine, a physio- 
logical and medical study). Siredey, La puberte et Veducation des 
jeunes filles. Arch. int. d'hyg. scol., IV., 1907. 

Consult also the paidological periodicals, which contain numerous 
articles on all these questions. 



The. question of fatigue is undoubtedly one of the 
most important of those which concern pedagogy, 
since it involves the study of the resistance of the 
organism to work. This study has been completely 
neglected by the old school of pedagogy, which con- 
cerned itself with decreeing what the pupil ought to 
do, without ever concerning itself with what he was 
able to do. But — according to a figure borrowed from 
Professor Kraepelin, the eminent psycho-pathologist of 
Munich — to subject a child to a programme of studies 
without having previously considered whether that 
programme can be followed without inconvenience to 
his brain, is to act like a mariner who ventures his 
ship upon the high seas before having tried it in port. 

How is school work borne by the child ? How 
much ought we to impose upon him ? What relation 
is there between the manner of presenting or appor- 
tioning the various lessons and the fatigue which 
they create among those who study them ? What 
are the different factors conditioning intellectual work, 
and capable of counteracting, retarding, or, on the 
contrary, augmenting fatigue ? Such are some of the 
innumerable questions which present themselves to 
the educator who cares about his responsibilities. 

The solution of them is by no means obvious : far 
from it. It is, in most cases, very difficult for a 
master to realise, with any approach to exactness, the 

209 Q 


degree of exhaustion of his pupils, or the progress of 
their fatigue. Here is a very striking example of 
this : Mr. Winch, a London psychologist, who carried 
out an investigation with a view to find out if evening 
classes were in any special way fatiguing, found that 
exhaustion was produced much more rapidly during 
such evening lessons than during the day lessons. 
Nevertheless, the teachers of the evening courses, " men 
having a long experience of day schools and evening 
schools," all declared — with only one exception— that 
the mental capacity of their pupils increased in the 

Vague appreciations and " impressions " ought to 
be replaced, here as elsewhere, by precise facts. The 
first thing to do, to arrive at these, is to obtain a 
means of measuring fatigue. It is indeed indispen- 
sable to be able to express by figures the amount 
of fatigue, if we wish to appreciate the manner in 
which it varies under the influence of circumstances. 
We proceed, therefore, at once to review briefly the 
principal processes for measuring fatigue. 

1. Measurement of Fatigue 

This is a problem which has for a long time pre- 
occupied psycho-physiologists. It is far from being 
solved, and it is very necessary that the various pro- 
cesses so far proposed should still be closely studied. 

These processes divide themselves into two groups : 
one consisting of those for estimating the lowering of 
the capacity for work, which accompanies a state of 
fatigue — these processes are called direct, because they 
measure intellectual fatigue by intellectual work ; the 
others, the indirect processes, determine the modifica- 

^ Winch, Some Measurements of Mental Fatigue in Adolescent 
Pupils in Evening Schools, J. of Ed. Psy., Jan. 1910, p. 17. 


tions which follow fatigue due to mental work in 
various other functions, such as sensibility, muscular 
energy, pulsations of the heart, &c. 

A. Direct Methods 

1. Dictations. — We give the pupils a dictation at the 
beginning of a lesson, and another at the end of the 
lesson, both being similar in length and difficulty. 
Afterwards we count the mistakes in each of the 
dictations, leaving out of account those due to ignor- 
ance, so that we have only those due to inattention. 
The amount by which the number of mistakes is in- 
creased in the second dictation enables us to estimate 
the fatigue produced by the lesson which interposed 
between the two tests. We are able also to take into 
account the corrections and erasures, which increase 
with fatigue. 

As an example we give the results obtained by a 
German teacher, Friedrich, drawn from a very great 
number of experiments of this kind : ^ — 
40 mistakes in the morning before lessons. 
70 mistakes after 1 hour of lessons. ^ 

160 mistakes after 2 hours of lessons. 

190 mistakes after 3 hours of lessons, without any 
break for recreation. 

We see that the differences are very clear and con- 

This process, contrived by Sikorsky in 1879, is simple 
and good, and best adapts itself to school experiments. 
If we wish to compare the results from the different 
classes, it is indispensable that we should express in 
percentages the amount of increase in the number of 
mistakes made in the test carried out during a con- 
dition of fatigue. 

1 Friedrich, Z. f. Ps., vol. 13, 1897. 


2. Counting Letters. — This test, which has to be 
done before and after a lesson, consists in striking out 
or counting, as quickly as possible, certain letters (for 
example the e's) in a printed text. The more letters 
there are struck out (or counted) in a given time, the 
less is the fatigue. This method was first made use of 
by Oehrn (counting) and by Ritter ^ (striking out), but 
it possesses few advantages. The difficulty of finding 
texts exactly alike, of counting the letters omitted, 
and the very marked influence of practice, are some of 
its disadvantages. 

3. Calculations. — In these the counting is replaced 
by simple arithmetical calculations : additions or mul- 
tiplications. For example, sheets of paper are distri- 
buted to the children, and upon these are printed 
the additions or multiplications to be done, and the 
children have nothing to do but carry out the calcula- 
tions. The value of the work done may be estimated 
in two different ways : either by counting the number 
of figures that have been added (or multiplied, &c.) in 
a given time, three minutes, for example ; or else by 
counting how much time was necessary in each case 
to carry out a certain number of given operations. 
The second method is evidently not practicable if a 
collective experiment is to be done, except by asking 
each pupil himself to take note of the time that he 
takes to do his work. 

But, besides the quantity of the work, there is also 
the question of its quality ; and the number of mistakes 
made ought also to be taken into account, especially 
if the experiment is made with children. The fatigue 
will then be determined by means of the quantity of 

^ Oehrn, Stvd. z. Individualpaychologie, Diss. Dorpat., 1889, and 
Ps. Arb. I. ; Ritter, Ermiidungsmessungen, Z. f. Ps., vol. 24, 1900, 
p. 424. 


work done — the less the additions done in a given time, 
or the greater the amount of time taken for a given 
calculation, the greater the fatigue ; and by means of 
the mistakes made — the greater the number of mis- 
takes, the greater the fatigue. 

The determination of the number of mistakes is 
often more important than that of the amount of 
work, for it may happen that, in consequence of the 
decline (due to fatigue) of the quality of the work, its 
rapidity is increased. But, on the other hand, we 
cannot neglect the amount of work done, for it is 
evident that if the work is done very slowly mistakes 
will not be made. 

It is necessary, therefore, to take account of both 
of these two factors : speed and mistakes. As this 
duality is rather inconvenient in practice, we shall try 
to bring the two variables to only one, by determining 
the percentage of mistakes made in the work done. 
This will give us figures which will express both the 
quantity and the quality. This figure, however, will 
have only a rather doubtful value. If, in one minute, 
Peter does 100 additions and has 10 mistakes, while, 
in the same time, John does 10 with 1 mistake, their 
coefficient of error will be identical, viz. 10 per cent. 
But it is quite obvious that Peter's work is worth 
more than that of John, since he has done 10 times 
more work in the same time, with relatively the same 
number of mistakes — for John will, in fact, require 
10 minutes to make 100 additions and 10 mistakes. 
I give this example to show what care we ought to 
take in the interpretation of experiments of this kind. 

Another method which may be used with the col- 
lective method, to eliminate the mistakes factor, will 
be only to take account of tests which are wholly 
correct. We shall thus base our estimate exclusively 


upon speed : the number of operations executed. A 
certain number of scholars having engaged in adding 
for three minutes, we retain only those tests having no 
mistake, and we take the average of the number of 
additions done. By repeating this experiment under 
varying conditions, we shall see whether this average 
increases or decreases. But here, again, it may happen 
that a cause of error may slip in arising from the fact 
that the number of pupils calculating correctly does 
not remain the same for another test. It is evident 
that if the number diminishes much with fatigue, in 
such a way that the average depends on the strongest 
pupils in arithmetic, the result of the experiment will 
be whoUy false. In order that a comparison may be 
made between various experiments, it is necessary that 
the conditions shall remain approximately the same. 

We can also, and this method is certainly the 
simplest, allow the pupils enough time for all of them 
to do all the operations : no longer taking account of 
the speed of the work, but only of the number of mis- 
takes made. But we are able to employ this method 
only with pupils who calculate so badly as to be certain 
to make some mistakes — it is true that if we count the 
mistakes of the collective effort considered en bloc, we 
shall be sure nearly always to find some ! 

The method of calculation was employed for the first 
time by Burgerstein in 1891,^ and has been much 
used since; for, in spite of the inconveniences which 
have just been pointed out, it is very serviceable. It 
is more particularly made use of when we wish to 
determine the curve of fatigue. (See section 2 of this 

Instead of easy calculations we can give more diffi- 

^ Burgerstein, Die Arbeitskurve einer Schulstunde, Z. f. Schulge- 
sundheitsflege, 1891. 


cult problems as a test. This was done by Mr. Winch 
in the researches mentioned above. We assign a value 
to the work done by a numerical mark, or a quality 
mark (G., F., &c.), in the same way as for work done 
in an examination. By giving tests of equal difficulty 
before and after a lesson, we shaU see how the marks 
vary. This method requires that the marking of the 
worked problems shall be done by men accustomed to 
marking, and marking exactly. 

4. Copying Letters. — Schuyten ^ has made use of 
this method, which is easily adaptable to a collective 
experiment. The teacher writes upon the blackboard 
a certain number of combinations of the letters 
a, e, i, o, u, v, r, n ; and the pupils are given five 
minutes for copying them. Exercises of the same kind 
take place at various times during the day, morning 
and evening. Fatigue is estimated according to the 
number of mistakes or omissions made. 

5. Filling in Blanks. — This tests ability in associa- 
tive activity and in judgment. 

In 1895 the town council of Breslau, wishing to 
know if the system of teaching, which consisted in 
having five consecutive lessons in a morning, did 
not produce overpressure, appointed a commission 
composed of teachers, doctors, and the psychologist 
Ebbinghaus, to study the matter experimentally. It 
was then that Ebbinghaus conceived the method of 
blank filling, which consists in putting before the pupils 
a printed test in which certain words or syllables are 
omitted and are replaced by lines. ^ The pupil is re- 
quired to reconstitute the text by filling up the blanks 
as quickly as possible. The more fatigued the pupil is, 
the fewer blanks he fills in, and the more mistakes he 

1 Schuyten, Ar. de Ps. IV., 1904, p. 116. 

2 Ebbinghaus, Z. f. Ps., vol. 13. 


makes. The method is complicated, and the counting 
of the mistakes made is difficult, for the point is not only 
to estimate the quantity of mistakes but their quality. 
6. Memorising. — We can conceive a number of yet 
other tests of the measure of fatigue based upon the 
variation of work done. We will mention only one 
more. This is also due to Ebbinghaus, and consists in 
reading to the subjects of the experiment a series of 
figures, asking them to write them down immediately 
after. Errors or omissions made in the reproduction 
of the series are counted, and these are found to be 
more numerous according as the attention is more 
fatigued at the moment when the series is presented 
to the subject. This method is little to be recom- 
mended, as the numbering of the mistakes is very 
difficult — for example, when two figures have been 
correctly reproduced, but are interchanged as to the 
given order ; and besides, the retention of the series 
depends too much upon variable factors, e.g. mnemonic 
means, for it to be able to constitute a reliable measure 
of fatigue. 

Criticism of Direct Methods 

The direct methods which measure fatigue accord- 
ing to the decrease of work have some advantages and 
some drawbacks. It is expedient to give some account 
of each of these. 

Advantages. — The methods of this kind have, firstly, 
the advantage that they explore intellectual fatigue in 
a direct manner. In order to understand the fatigue 
of the mind, tests are employed which appeal to the 
mind. It would seem, therefore, theoretically at any 
rate, that they come closer to the thing to be measured 
than the indirect methods of which we shall speak 


Another advantage, especially for school researches, 
is that they lend themselves very well to collective 
experiments, which can be done in class, and that they 
serve so much the better because many of them have 
all the appearance of being ordinary work {dictations, 
for example, and calculations). 

Drawbacks. — There are very many of these. The 
most serious is this : fatigue is not the only factor 
which intervenes in a task ; there is also the question 
of willingness and the effort made by the worker, 
which are able to make up for the depressing effects 
of fatigue. 

Another drawback is found in the fact that the test 
itself is a cause of fatigue. This fatigue adds itself to 
that which it is desired to measure, and it is not known 
according to what laws this addition is made : whether 
the increase of fatigue produced by the work of the 
test is proportional to the amount of fatigue exist- 
ing before the test. We notice that the carrying out 
of the tests is done mostly by writing. The writing 
movements also help to fatigue the subject, and that 
in a proportion unknown. 

The tests submitted in the different experiments in 
a series are not exactly of the same difficulty. It is 
difficult to find two dictations of exactly similar diffi- 
culty, or two problems equally intricate. But this 
drawback disappears if the experiments are repeated 
sufficiently often to eliminate this cause of inequality. 

In the direct methods the errors are difficult to 
compare as to their value. Do all the errors denote 
fatigue ? Are there not some which come from un- 
skilfulness, from confusions or omissions, from in- 
attention connected with a cause other than fatigue ? 
And the errors supposed to come from fatigue, do they 
all express the same quantity of fatigue ? 


Yet other drawbacks : the tests take time, and they 
are to a large extent affected by practice or habit. 

Let us add that most of these drawbacks might be 
avoided by a suitable arrangement of the experiments. 
Besides, if our aim is less to study fatigue in itself than 
simply the effective capacity for work (whatever may be 
the factors on which this capacity depends), the direct 
methods alone are applicable, and they are capable of 
rendering very great services from the point of view of 
the school. 

B. Indirect Methods 

1. ^sthesiometry. — We pass now to the methods of 
the second group, namely, those which measure the 
fatigue resulting from a certain functional activity, by 
the correlative variations of other functions, such as 
tactile sensibility. 

Everybody knows — since the psychologist Weber 
made the discovery in 1829 — that if the two points of 
a compass are placed upon the back of the hand, it 
is necessary to separate the points by several milli- 
metres in order that they may be perceived as double : 
less than a certain distance, which we call the threshold 
of touch discrimination (or " Weber threshold "), the 
two points are fused in a single contact. Now, a 
doctor of Miilhausen, Griesbach, has noticed that, in 
the case of a fatigued person, the separation neces- 
sary for distinguishing the two points is consider- 
ably more than that for the same person when fresh. ^ 
He thought he had in this way a means to express 
fatigue in millimetres : the lowering of the tactile 
sensibility being proportional to the fatigue. 

^ Griesbach, Ueher Beziehungen zwischen geistiger ErmiXdung und 
Empfindungsvermdgen der Haul, Arch. f. Hygiene, vol. 24, 1896. 
See also liis more recent work, in which he replies to the criticisms 
which have been addressed to him, Ar. int. hyg. Scol. I., 1905. 


Here, by way of example, are the figures of a number 
of experiments made by Vannod in the schools of 
Berne. ^ In the morning, at 8 o'clock, the threshold of 
sensibility (measured on the forehead) of a boy 16 years 
of age was equal to 3 millimetres. At 10 o'clock, after 
two hours of lessons, the threshold rose to 3.5 mm. ; 
at noon it attained 4.5 mm. ; at 2 o'clock it had fallen 
to 2.5 mm. (this fall is due to the midday rest till 
2 o'clock) ; finally, at 5 o'clock in the evening, the 
threshold had again risen to 3 mm. 

The instrument by which we set the points for 
determining the threshold of tactile determination 
bears the name of " Weber's compasses " or " double- 
point sesthesiometer." Various models of this instru- 
ment are made, of which some are reproduced on p. 221. 
The working of them is easy to understand : little by 
little the two points of the instrument are separated 
until the subject perceives two distinct contacts, and 
we immediately note, by reading off from the graduated 
scale on the instrument, the distance in millimetres 
which separates the two points. It is impossible to 
enter here into the rather complicated details of the 
construction and of the manipulation of the apparatus, 
which ought to be familiar to those who propose to 
work with it. 

Instead of the compass, of which one of the points 
is separated more or less from the other, we can also 
use (as Binet has done) a series of little cardboard 
plates, each having two needles fixed in their thick 
part (see fig. 9). The distance between these needles 
varies in a series, in such a manner as to form a scale 
including, at least, the following distances : mill, 
(this absence of distance is represented by a cardboard 

^ Vannod, La fatigue intellectuelle et son influence sur la sensibilite 
cutanee. Rev. med. Suisse rom., 1896. 


having only one needle) ; 5 mm., 10 mm., 15 mm., 
20 mm., 25 mm., 30 mm. The skin of the subject is 
touched successively, and for a certain number of 
times, with the needles of the various cardboards, and 
we note the responses — " one point," or "two points " 
— ^which are given for each distance. When the experi- 
ment is finished, a statistical summary is made of the 
responses, and we thus see from what distance the 
responses " two points " began to be more frequent 
than the responses " one point." The threshold is 
represented by the distance which has furnished an 
equal number of responses of each kind. 

Here are the results of an experiment made by 
Binet, which illustrate better than a long description 
the nature of the method.^ The table is made up of 
the measurements taken in a school before and after 
lessons. The first column shows the various distances 
of the needles, and the following columns show the 
number of responses for " one point " and " two 
points " which were given for each of the distances : — 

Before fatigue. 




"One point." 

" Two points." 

" One point." 

" Two points." 


. 124 






. 113 


. 126 





47 [163 


24 \ 108 

J ■ 



93 J 





















^ Binet, Sur la fatigue intellectuelle acolaire, An. ps. XI., 1905. 
^sthesiometric cardboards of this convenient type, and so made 
that any one can easily make them for himself, have been devised 
by Buzenet (Bull. S. ps. E., 1905, p. 633). The needles used by 
Binet are number 8 ; they are fixed in the piece of cardboard by 
the point. 



Fig. 9, — A, Griesbach's aestbesiometer (with an arrangement which 
permits of the measurement of the force of pressure of the 
points). B. Compasses with each leg bifurcated at its ex- 
tremity, with one point bkint and one sharp. C, SHding 
compasses. D. Simpler compasses. E. Two eesthesiometric 
cardboards, with needle distances of 5 and 10 mm. F. Collin's 


As we see, the number of responses " one point " 
increases after fatigue, for the small distances, whilst 
the responses " two points " diminish. Thus, for the 
distances of 5, 10, and 15 mm., we have before fatigue 
a total of 163 responses " two points " ; whilst after 
fatigue this number falls to 108. That is to say, the 
points are less well distinguished —and more often con- 
fused — after fatigue than before. 

This method of determination (by the cardboards) 
has received, from Binet, the name Method of irregular 
variations ; and it constitutes a special form of the 
psychometric method well known under the name 
'' Method of true and false cases," or " Method of 
constancy " (Konstanz-methode of Miiller). The method 
of determination by compasses works, on the contrary, 
by means of continued variations, and belongs to the 
" Method of barely perceptible differences," or " Method 
of limits " (Method der Minimaldnderungen, or Grenz- 
methode, of the Germans). I give these particulars as 
a guide to those of my readers who may wish to seek, 
in general treatises on psychology, more ample informa- 
tion, theoretical and practical, about these methods. 

The question of the value of the sesthesiometric 
method has given occasion for lively discussions — 
notably at the International Congress on School 
Hygiene at Nuremberg in 1904. Whilst some, with 
Leuba, Germann, Ritter, Bolton, Kraepelin, completely 
reject it, others, on the contrary, with Vannod, 
Wagner, Blazek, Ley, Schuyten, Sakaki, Bonoff, 
Noikow, and Abelson, affirm that they have proved a 
fixed relation between fatigue and the raising of the 
threshold of Weber. This relation appears to be in- 
contestable. Binet, after having denied the possibility 
of measuring the threshold of the double sensation, ^ 

1 Binet, An. ps. IX., 1903, p. 247. 


has gone back upon his conclusion as a result of new 
experiments, made upon a set of scholars. But he 
has shown that the raising of the threshold by fatigue 
does not take place with all the pupils taken individu- 
ally : thus 21 boys out of 45, and 18 girls out of 38, 
were found to be unaffected by this test of fatigue. 
It is only in considering the mass of the results of a 
whole class that one observes the answers " one point " 
are as a whole more numerous, for the same separation 
of the compasses, when the pupils are fatigued than when 
they are not. Thus Binet holds that the sesthesiometric 
method makes possible the measuring of the scholars' 
intellectual fatigue, but it informs us only about the col- 
lective fatigue, and not about the individual fatigue. ^ 

If this is so, the aesthesiometric method loses a great 
part of the practical value which we had anticipated, 
namely, the permitting of a rapid diagnosis, settled in 
one or two minutes. If it is necessary, so as to obtain 
an estimate of the fatigue of a class, to test the sensi- 
bility of all the pupils, this complicates matters, for 
the examination, naturally, can only be individual, 
and it ought to be made by the same experimenter — 
inasmuch as the manner of placing the compasses upon 
the skin of the subject, &c., plays a certain part, it is 
best that this manipulation should be done by the 
same operator for the same series of experiments. 

On the other hand, Schuyten ^ has found that the aes- 
thesiometric method is less dependent than others upon 
the interest of the moment, or the other contingencies 
of the experiment. This should be a great advantage. 

Another objection to the sesthesiometric method is 
that it is not a method of " measure," since we do not 
know if the variations of the threshold are proportional 

1 Binet, An. ps. XI., 1905, p. 1. 

2 Schuyten. Ar. de. Psy. IV., 1904, p. 126. 


to the variations of the state of fatigue. This is true, 
but the criticism appHes quite as much to the other 
ponometric ^ methods, and one cannot deny that — ^if it 
were estabhshed that there exists a paralleKsm between 
the variation of these phenomena, however gross and ap- 
proximate this paralleHsm might be — the sesthesiometric 
method would be very useful for estimating whether the 
fatigue increases or decreases in given circumstances. 

Whatever may be its advantages and disadvantages, 
the sesthesiometric method is a very delicate one to 
make use of, in that the manipulation of the sesthesio- 
meter demands great experience. It ought not, there- 
fore, to be applied by untrained persons. It is most 
difficult for the teacher to use. I do not suppose, 
however, that he will lose his time in undertaking, 
by way of a trial, a certain number of experiments 
upon the threshold of Weber. Nothing will better 
show him what delicacy and steadiness are required in 
the carrying out of a psychological experiment. He will 
certainly make, during the experience, a large number 
of interesting notes, however little he may have of the 
ingenious and inquiring mind. Binet,^ for example, has 
shown how very differently children react to the Weber 
compasses, according to the type of their intelligence — 
a fact which ought to be taken into account when 
we make use of this instrument to estimate fatigue. 

2. The Algesimetric Method.— Vannod (1896) had 
the idea of measuring fatigue by the variations in 
sensibility to pain which were produced by the state 
of fatigue. Intellectual fatigue, at least when moderate, 
aggravates the sensibility to pain. To measure this 

^ It seems iiseful to create this adjective (from ponos, fatigue) 
to designate that which relates to the measure of fatigue. 

^ Binet, La mesure de la sensibilite ; lea simplistes, lea distraita, 
&c., An. psy. IX., 1903, pp. 78-245. Compare also Schuyten, 
Report of Sixth Internat. Congress on Psy., Geneva, 1909, p. 781. 


sensibility to pain we employ the algesimeter, an in- 
strument consisting of a point fixed to a spring in such 
a manner that the intensity of the pressure exerted 
may be read (expressed in grammes or in millimetres) 
on a graduated scale. 

This method is much simpler than the preceding one, 
and appears to be more practical. The differences due 
to fatigue are quite clear, as is shown by the results 
obtained by Vannod in the schools at Berne. For 
example, the pressure which it is necessary to exert 
on the front or inner side of one of the fingers of a 
certain scholar to cause pain is, at 8 a.m., 45 grammes ; 
at 10 A.M., 39 gr. ; and at noon, only 29 gr. 

This method was employed by Swift in 1900, and 
he obtained analogous results from it in American 
schools. It was re-invented by Binet in 1905, to whom 
it has given, much to every one's surprise, results dia- 
metrically opposite ; for, according to Binet, intellectual 
fatigue diminishes the sensibility to pain ! This is a 
point to be restudied with care.^ 

3. Dynamometric Methods. — Intellectual and mus- 
cular fatigue are not so distinct as is generally believed. 
They react on each other. This is a very important 
fact for pedagogy, to which we shall have to return. 
The psychognostic has used it as a means of measuring 
fatigue. In fact, if to intellectual fatigue there corre- 
sponds a certain degree of muscular fatigue, we shall 
be able to measure the first by the same apparatus as 
that which we use to determine the second. The most 
convenient of these instruments is the hand dynamo- 
meter — well known to everybody — which consists of a 
steel ellipse that has to be pressed by the hand : the 
force exerted is indicated upon a dial-plate (see fig. 9, F). 
Certain precautions are necessary in the handling of 

1 Swift, Am. J. Psy. 1900 ; Binet, An. Psy. XI., p. 32. 



the instrument : we should take care not to hurt 
the hand of the subject, as this would result in 
stopping him before he had reached his maximum. 
The steel ellipse ought always to be held in a uniform 
manner, and pressed exactly in the middle. It would 
be well to require on each occasion many successive 
pressures, for example, ten, and to take the average of 
them. These pressures should follow at strictly equal 
intervals, say one every five seconds. 

Claviere did some researches in a philosophy class, in 
Paris, with this method. By comparing the force of 
pressure that he obtained from the students before and 
after two hours' lesson, he showed that : "1st, With 
intense and prolonged intellectual work lasting for two 
hours, there is a corresponding proportional diminution 
of muscular force as measured by the dynamometer ; 
2nd, With a moderate intellectual effort there is 
no appreciable diminution of muscular force ; 3rd, 
With no intellectual effort there is a corresponding 
augmentation of the muscular force. This last pro- 
position means that if we pass two hours in talking, 
smoking, singing, and laughing, without having made 
any definite effort, this simple intellectual activity acts 
as a stimulus to the organic forces. 

Here is an example of some figures obtained by 
Claviere (pupils from 15 to 18 years) : ^ — 

Average of the Pressures Obtained 


Before intellectual effort. 


ir intellectual effort. 

A . 

43.2 kilos. 

36.2 kilos. 

B . 



C . 



D . 



E . 



F . 



1 Clavi5re, Le travail intellectuel dans ses rapports avec la force 
musculaire, An. Psy. VII., 1901. 


The differences between the values taken before and 
after the effort are very clear. It is necessary to add 
that the pupils from whom the measurements were 
taken were well used to the handling of the dynamo- 
meter. Among subjects not familiar with the instru- 
ment the differences are less marked, being in part 
hidden by the irregularities in the manner of working 
the pressure. 

There have been but few researches in schools with 
the dynamometer, an instrument which deserves more 
attention. Its price is comparatively moderate — ^about 
twenty-five shillings. Those who wish to undertake ex- 
periments with it would do well to carry out a number 
of preliminary trials so that they may clearly under- 
stand the sources of error which arise in the handling 
of the apparatus ; and they will profit much by reading 
the remarks and directions drawn up by Binet in his 
essays on the use of the dynamometer in schools. ^ 

Various new models of dynamometers have recently 
been devised, with arrangements which allow of a much 
greater steadiness in the manner of operating the 
pressure with the hand. They are very much to be 
recommended, but they are more costly. ^ 

Though the dynamometer has some small difficulties 
in application, it has as a set-off a great advantage 
which is not to be disdained in experiments with 
children : it interests them. Children are delighted to 
test their strength, and we may be sure that they press 

^ Binet and Vaschide, Experiences de force musculaire et de fond 
chez les jeunes garcons, A\ psy. IV., 1898 ; La mesure de la force 
musculaire chez les jeunes gar<^ons ; Critique du dynamometre, same 

2 Amongst others, the dynamometer {Arbeitsschreiber) of Weiler, 
which has, in addition, an arrangement by means of which successive 
pressures register themselves on a paper disc : Weiler, Psy. Arb, V., 
1910, p. 538. 



the apparatus with all the energy of which they are 

Another apparatus for measuring muscular fatigue, 
and, by its medium, mental fatigue, is the ergograph, 
invented by the celebrated Italian physiologist Mosso.^ 
This instrument has the advantage of allowing the 
registering, upon a cylinder covered with smoke black 
and slowly revolving, of the work done until complete 
exhaustion is reached. The work consists in holding 
with one finger a weight of from 6| to 11 pounds, 

Fig. 10. 

Fig. 11. 

attached to a string which turns upon a pulley. The 
ergograph is, however, open to a certain amount of 
criticism of a technical kind, into the details of which 
we cannot enter. ^ 

Its principal advantage is that it gives immediately, 
in a visible manner, the way in which fatigue occurs, 
and the character of the fatigue curve ; and this curve 
varies from one person to another. Here, for example, 
schematically presented, is the appearance of two of 
these ergographic curves, the one showing fatigue 

^ Mosso, La fatigue, Paris, 1894. 

2 See, amongst others, Binet, Critique de Vergographe, An. psy. IV., 
1898 ; Treves, Le travail, la fatigue, Veffort, An. psy. XII., 1906 ; 
Hirschlaff, Z. pad. psy., 1901, p. 184. 



regularly developed, and the other an abruptly super- 
vening fatigue. 

Dubois (of Berne) has constructed a very convenient 

Fig. 12. 
form of ergograph, which does not involve the use of 
a registering cylinder : the given work recording itself 
directly upon a paper band by means of a pencil fixed 
perpendicularly to the string which the subject holds 
(see fig. 12). 


Philippe has suggested the utilising, in class, of a 
kind of simplified ergograph, without registering, to 
which he has given the name" of ergometer. This ergo- 
meter, like the ergograph, includes a weight attached 
to a thread which turns upon a pulley. The subject 
pulls in a uniform manner, and we record how many 
pulls have been made up to ih6 moment when he says 
that he is tired ; or we may require the subject to 
make the greatest possible number of pulls in a given 
time, and count the number made.^ 

A still simpler ergographic method, in that it re- 
quires hardly any apparatus, has been employed by 
Weichardt : the subject takes, in each hand, a heavy 
dumb-bell weighing from 4 J to 11 lbs., raises them, 
with the arms extended, starting from the horizontal 
position in such a way as to make them describe a 
quarter of a circle, then lowers them again. The 
movements are made rhythmically according to the 
beats of a metronome. At the end of about twenty 
seconds it is found that the arms fall down tired. 
The fatigue is measured by the number of liftings 
performed. 2 

4. The Method of Tapping. — This method brings in 
and combines physical fatigue with mental fatigue. 
The subject should tap as quickly as possible with the 
finger the handle of a telegraphic keyboard, or some 
other transmitter, in such a way that each blow is 
marked on a registering drum, and so that we are able 
to count the number of blows made per second.^ The 
experiment may be made to last for an indefinite time, 
for example, 45 seconds. We count how many taps 

^ Philippe, Un nouvel ergomctre. Bull. S. psy. E., 1900, p. 60. 
See also an ergometer of the same kind described by Bourdon in 
An. psy. VIII., p. 328. 

2 Weichardt, Ueher Ermudungsstoffe, Stuttgart, 1910, p. 40. 

3 Dresslar, Rapidity of Voluntary Movements, A. J. Psy., 1892. 


have been given during the first five seconds, and how 
many during the last five. The second number is less, 
and this decrease is due to fatigue. The relative 
diminution of the taps given in the last five seconds 
enables us to measure the fatigue, or the susceptibility 
to fatigue. If 40 taps have been given in the first 
five seconds, and only 30 in the last five, the relative 

difference, i.e. ~' =25 per cent., will measure the 

fatigability. This method, which has been employed 
by Gilbert in school researches, as we have already 
said, is very simple ; but it has been too much neglected 
up to the present. It is true that it necessitates an 
arrangement for registering which is only found in 

In a recent work Wells seeks to extend this method 
of measurement. He shows what advantages it has : 
the method permits of a precise measurement, and the 
measurement can be carried out in a time sufficiently 
short for avoiding the feeling of ennui which accom- 
panies the carrying out of tests by the other methods, 
such as that of additions. 

Lastly, it is probable that the act of accelerated 
tapping is an act involving the intervention of a 
nervous process, of an organisation already highly de- 
veloped. It is this last fact, he says, which ought to 
give the method of tapping preference to the ergo- 
graphic method. With the ergograph we measure the 
force of movements ; but the quickness of movement, 
says Wells, ^ more deserves to be taken into considera- 
tion than force, for it is more dependent upon the 
nervous centres. 

1 Wells, A Neglected Measure of Fatigue, Am. J. of Psy., July 1908. 
See also Normal Performance in the Tapping Test, ibid., Oct. 1908 ; 
and Sex Differences in the Tapping Test, ibid., 1909. 


5. The Rhythmometric Method. — We must not 
confound quick tapping with " rhythmic " tapping 
(Taktklopfen), which Stern used for estimating what he 
called psychic tempo (psychic rhythm). This method 
consists in allowing some one to tap as he pleases (and 
not as quickly as possible, as in the preceding method) 
a rhythm in triple time, in such a way as to show what 
is the speed which the subject naturally adopts. Stern 
assumes that this speed expresses the psychic energy 
of the subject. He has shown, by experimenting on 
several persons, that the rhythm varies in a charac- 
teristic fashion, for the same person, according to the 
time of day. 

Lay repeated these experiments on school children. 
He asked each pupil to beat with the finger, upon 
the table, a rhythm in triple time (dactyl) during a 
minute. By counting the number of strokes made 
during the minute, the speed of the rhythm is obtained. 
Like Stern, Lay showed that the rhythm is beaten 
more allegro at certain hours of the day, notably about 
10 A.M. and 5 p.m.^ 

These experiments are very interesting, but we do 
not know what part fatigue plays in the rate of the 
rhythm. If, as we may infer, the speed is propor- 
tional to the intensity of the psychic energy, we must 
conclude that psychic fatigue ought to slacken it. 
But fresh experiments are necessary in this matter. 

We are certainly able to apply rhythmometry in a 
collective experiment : if we make all the class beat a 
rhythm in triple time by tapping upon the desks, we 
notice that the pupils soon agree among themselves 

1 Stern, Ueber Psychologie der individuellen Differ enzen, Leipsic, 
1900, p. 122 ; Lay, Experimentelle Didaktik, Wiesbaden, 1903, 
p. 410 (3rd ed. 1910, p. 171). See also Lobsien (Pad. psy. Stud. V.), 
quoted by Lay. 


and instinctively choose a certain speed, as do the 
impatient spectators at a theatre when stamping their 
feet in cadence to demand the raising of the curtain. 
We thus obtain the rhythm of the whole class con- 
sidered in globo (in the lump), and we are easily able 
to follow the variations of the rhythm, and to study 
especially in what measure it depends upon fatigue. 

6. Reaction Time. — Reaction time, that is to say, 
the time necessary for a reaction to a certain excitation, 
or a certain order — time that we are able to measure 
very exactly by means of a chronoscope — generally 
lengthens under the influence of fatigue.^ I do not 
lay stress upon this method, which is only applicable 
in laboratories ; besides which, the relation between 
the lengthening of the reaction time and fatigue is far 
from being exactly established. 

Keller sought to measure fatigue by means of the 
time taken in reading. The method consists in reading 
as quickly as possible ; the number of syllables read in a 
given time being counted, or, which amounts to the same 
thing, the average time for the reading of a syllable. ^ 
This author found that fatigue due to gymnastic exer- 
cises lengthened the reading time about 15 per cent. 

7. Persistence of Visual Sensations. — P. Janet has 
shown that in persons with certain psychoasthenic 
diseases visual impressions persist longer than with 
normal people. If a disc, having coloured sections, is re- 
volved before their eyes, less speed is required to bring 
about a uniform sensation (therefore the fusion of re- 
tinal impressions) than in the case of normal subjects.^ 

1 Oehrn, Bettmann, Psy. Arb. I. ; Ley, Varrieration mentale, 
Brussels, 1904, p. 206. 

2 Keller, Pddagogisch-psychometr. Studien, Biol. Centralblatt, 
1894 and 1897. 

^ Janet, La duree des sensations visuelles elementaires, Bull. Institut. 
general psy. IV., 1904, p. 540. 


The method that Janet employed to measure patho- 
logical mental depression may be applied also to ordi- 
nary fatigue. Experiments ought to be made in this 

8. The Method of Ocular Accommodation. — Every 
one knows that we are unable to see clearly objects 
which are too close to our eyes. This comes about 
because we are unable to contract beyond a certain 
limit the muscle which makes convex our crystalline 
lens, and permits near sight. This limit is called the 
punctum proximum [near-point]. But the action of 
the accommodating muscle of the crystalline lens is 
subject to the influence of fatigue : when we are 
fatigued we are unable to see clearly objects at the 
same distance as when we are fresh. Dr. Baur, a 
school doctor in Germany, had the excellent idea of 
founding upon this fact a method for measuring 
fatigue.^ For this purpose he made use of the arrange- 
ment invented by Scheiner, of which we find a de- 
scription in treatises on physiology, or optics. If we 
look at a pin through a card pierced by two little holes, 
we find that the pin appears to be two when it is 
brought sufficiently near for it to be inside the near- 
point [the minimum distance for an object so that the 
eyes can focus for clear vision]. To make more easily 
appreciable, especially for children, the precise moment 
when the pin appears as double, Baur replaced the two 
little holes in Scheiner' s card by two coloured glasses, 
the one red and the other green. When the pin is in 
focus for the sight it looks white, the two colours 
(complementary) being fused. But when it is brought 
inside the near-point it appears as two, one image 
being red and the other green. Then we measure, 
by means of a special arrangement, and one easy to 

^ Baur, Die Ermudung im Spiegel des Auges, Langensalza, 1910. 


devise, the distance of the pin from the eye at the 
moment when the subject says that he sees it as two 
— that is to say, at the moment when the accommo- 
dating muscle has done all that it is able to do. 

Numerous experiments have proved to the author 
the validity of this method, which recommends itself 
by the following advantages : by reason of its great 
resistance the accommodating muscle is more influ- 
enced by general than by local fatigue ; and it there- 
fore serves well for estimating intellectual fatigue. 
Suggestion does not have any part in this measure- 
ment, the action of the muscle being independent of 
the will. The arrangement is simple, the experiment 
rapid ; and we are easily able to control the result 

We may recall here that the influence of fatigue 
upon the accommodating muscle of the crystalline lens 
had previously been studied by Moore, who had ob- 
served that fatigue influenced the perception of depth 
and caused an over-estimation of distance. This author 
has shown that fatigue exercises an analogous action 
upon the apparatus for converging the eyes : the act 
which consists in moving the gaze from one point to 
another, since it demands more effort, suggests that the 
distance travelled over is greater — in the same way as, 
when one is fatigued, a mile walk appears longer than 
when one is fresh and active. ^ Moore further remarks, 
in the same work, how fatiguing it is to the eyes of 
pupils to copy in the usual way sentences written on 
the blackboard : in order to carry their gaze from 
the board to their writing-book, they must continually 
change the convergence of the eyes. 

9. Other Methods. — It has also been proposed to 
measure or estimate fatigue by the determination of 

1 Moore, Studies of Fatigue^ Stud. Yale Psy. Lab. III., 1895. 


the pulse/ by the breathing, by the body tempera- 
ture, ^ by kinsesthetic memory (the repetition of an 
extension movement of the arms, of which we measure 
the displacement by the aid of the kinetometer : the 
movements carried out under the influence of fatigue 
are generally too short) ^ ; and by the estimation of 
the time.* Seashore has invented a "psychergograph," 
and M'Dougall has tried a method consisting, for the 
subject, in marking in ink points imprinted upon a 
revolving cylinder,^ &c. 

We cannot enter into details of these. The various 
methods here spoken of have not been sufficiently 
tested, or are too complicated, to be applied to the 
diagnosis of school fatigue. 

10. Average Variation. — In all the methods which 
we have passed in review, fatigue was measured by a 
value expressing the lowering of the quantity, quality, 
or rapidity of a certain psychic function. But there is 
another value, which varies with fatigue, as Moore 
showed (in his work quoted above), and which we are 
able to take as a measure of that phenomenon : that 
is, the average variation of the results, which indicates 
the regularity with which the successive trials consti- 
tuting the test have been accomplished. The average 
variation is calculated by taking the average differ- 
ences which exist between the result of each of the 
trials and the average of the total results. 

^ Binet and Henri, La fatigue intellectuelle, Paris, 1898 ; Larguier 
des Bancels, An. psy. V., 1898, p. 190. 

2 Larguier, as in ^ ; Gley, Etudes de psychologie, Paris, 1903. 

^ Gineff, Zur Messung geistiger Ermildung, Diss. Zurich, 1899, 
p. 63. 

* Lobsien, Ermudung und Zeitshdtzungen, Psy. pad. Stud. IV., 

5 Seashore, Iowa Stud, in psy. III., 1902 ; M'Dougall, On a New 
Method for the Study of Mental Fatigue, B. J. of Psy. I., 1905. 


Suppose, for example, that a subject presses the 
dynamometer five successive times, before fatigue, and 
that he gives the following results : 46 (lbs.), 44, 43, 
41, 41. The average of these values will be 43, and 
the average variation is obtained by calculating the 
average of the differences of each of the five results 
with the average 43. These differences are 3, 1, 0, 2, 2, 
and their average (the average variation) is 1.6. Sup- 
pose, however, that our subject, being fatigued, gives 
the five following values on the dynamometer : 42, 36, 
40, 32, 30. The average will be 36, and the average 
variation 4. 

Thus we see that we are able to estimate fatigue 
not only according to the lowering of the work in the 
second trial, but also according to the augmentation 
of the irregularity : the average variation which is 
equal to 4 represents an irregularity stronger than the 
average variation which is equal to 1.6. I must add 
that the example I have just given is fictitious, and 
that it would be interesting to pursue the study of 
this question experimentally. 

General Criticism of Ponometric Methods, and 
Precautions to he taken 

Ponometric methods, which may be either direct or 
indirect, nearly all assume that the subject executes 
with the maximum of application, attention, and effort, 
the trials serving for the test. But this supposition is 
not always a reality. Also, as Schuyten has clearly 
shown by striking experiments, the interest that the 
subject takes in the experiment is far from being con- 
stant, and varies, from one trial to the other, more 
than one would think possible. 

If we take, for example, a first measure of fatigue 


in the morning, and a second measure in the evening, 
we find — particularly in the case of the sesthesiometer 
— that the evening results will be less good than those 
of the morning. But we must not rush to the conclu- 
sion that it is because the children are more fatigued in 
the evening. No ; for if we take the first measure in 
the evening and the second in the morning, we shall 
find that it is the results of the morning which are 
inferior. In other words, the first measure is frequently 
the best, whether it be taken before or after work, 
because the children are specially interested in the 
first trial, and this interest stimulates their attention 
and improves the results.^ It is necessary, therefore, 
if we wish to have valuable results, to eliminate this 
interest factor. 

Another factor which interferes with attempts to 
determine fatigue, and tends to render the .results 
useless, is that of practice. Most of the tests which we 
have reviewed are influenced by practice, by habit ; the 
more one practises the trials involved, the more easily 
are these trials done : practice has an influence not 
only upon the direct methods, which involve a certain 
amount of work, but also upon the indirect methods, 
such as the sesthesiometric, the dynamometric, &c. 

To eliminate these agents which may hide the real 
influence of fatigue, we have recourse to certain arti- 
fices, of which the two principal are The method of 
equivalent groups and The method of repetitions. 

The method of equivalent groups was recommended 
for the first time, I believe, by Schuyten, for the pur- 

1 Schuyten, Sur lea methodes de mensuration de la fatigue des 
ecoliers. Ax. de Psy. II., 1903, p. 321 ; Comment doit-on mesurer la 
fatigue des ecoliers, ibid. IV., 1905. See also a minutely critical 
section on the various methods of measuring fatigue in Baade's 
Exf. u. kritische Beitr. zur Frage nach den sekunddren Wirkungen 
des UnterrichtSy Diss. Gottingen, 1906. 


pose of avoiding the variability of interest ; but it is 
also good for eliminating practice. It is necessary, 
says this writer, to operate not upon the same pupils, 
but upon groups of children identical as to age, in- 
telligence, and social position. These groups should 
be examined only once, and in conditions absolutely 
comparable. If, then, one of the groups is submitted 
to the test before school and the other after school, 
we Bhall obtain results which evidently will be equi- 
valent with regard to the interest which the novelty of 
an experiment excites among children, and with regard 
to the absence of practice. But the difficulty is to make 
up equivalent groups, which is not always possible. 

Winch, whose researches in London schools I have 
already drawn attention to, has got some very inte- 
resting results from the method of equivalent groups. 
The tests which he used to estimate fatigue comprised 
six complex sums, or little problems, of this sort : — 

0.03576 X 42.75, &c. 

" If a man is able to row 3 miles an hour against the 
stream of a river which runs at the rate of 2 J miles 
per hour, how far will he be able to row in 6 hours 
with the current ? " &c. 

A preliminary experiment was made for classifying 
the subjects, who were arranged in order of merit, 
according to the marks they obtained for their work. 
This classification being made, they were subdivided 
into two groups, A and B, the first on the list (top 
pupil) being put in the group A, the second in group B, 
and so on, in such a way that the total of marks 
obtained by all the pupils in each group was very 
nearly equal. These two equal groups being formed, 
they were given an identical task (and analogous to 



that of the prehminary exercise) to perform ; but one 
group did the work at 8 p.m., and the other at 9 p.m. 
Here, as an illustration, are the results obtained for 
some of the subjects : — 


Group A. 



Group B. 


Prelim. Exper. 

At 8 P.M. 

Prelim. Exper. 

At 9 P.M. 

A . 

. 79 


B . 

. 79 


C . 

. 63 


D . 

. 68 


E . 

. 57 


F . 

. 64 


G . 

. 53 


H . 

. 44 


I . 

. 30 


J . 

. 43 


This table shows very clearly the action of fatigue, 
freed from other factors which might have intervened. 
The subjects of group A have all done better in the 
second trial (8 p.m.) than in the preliminary trial (this 
may be due either to practice or to the fact that the 
second trial was easier). On the other hand, none of 
those in group B have done better in the second trial : 
for two of them the marks are unaltered, while the 
marks of three are lower. All other things being equal 
(the groups having been made equal), it is clearly to 
fatigue that we must attribute the difference in the 
results obtained. 

The Method of Repetition — employed formerly by 
Kraepelin to unmask the effects of certain toxics 
upon the rapidity of psychic processes ^ — consists in 
annulling the influence of practice by causing a great 
number of preliminary experiments to be made until 
practice has developed all its effects : since there is a 
limit to the results of exercise, for we cannot perfect 
ourselves indefinitely ; and once this limit is attained, 
the influence of practice is no longer felt. 

^ Kraepelin, Ueber die Beeinfluasung einfacher psych. Vorgdnge 
durch einige ArzneimiUd, Jena, 1892. 


This method has the inconvenience of needing a 
very great number of experiments. But it is not 
necessary to reach the limit of the effect of practice 
in order to demonstrate the presence of fatigue. It 
suffices if series of experiments are arranged as follows : 
if we wish, for example, to study the fatigue produced 
by a day at school, we shaU make an experiment on 
Monday morning before school ; on Tuesday evening, 
at the time of dismissal ; on Wednesday, at the be- 
ginning of the morning ; on Thursday, in the evening, 
and so on. We shall be able, in this way, to recognise 
very clearly the presence of fatigue ; for if practice 
produces an acceleration of work from day to day, it 
is evident that the gain due to this practice will be 
noticed less on the days when fatigue is shown than on 
the days without fatigue. We shall also have, from 
one day to another, unequal progress. This relative 
decrease of progress, if it coincides with the days 
when the experiment took place in the evening, wiU 
certainly be attributable to fatigue. 

It will be well, also, in such series of repetitions, to 
vary the order of the experiments, so as to eliminate 
with greater certainty other possible factors which 
might falsify the results. Thus, if during one week 
the morning experiment was taken on Monday, then 
the following week the Monday experiment should be 
done in the evening, &c. In this way the influence of 
the order of the tests will be completely annulled, even 
when operating on the same children. 

2. The Fatigue Curve 

The methods which we have just passed in review 
have been devised for estimating, or measuring, what 
is the state of fatigue of an individual at a certain 



moment. But most of them also serve, particularly the 
direct methods, for studying the manner in which 
fatigue develops, from what it begins, and its progress 
in a worker. For this it is sufficient to employ a 
method which allows of the measurement, at each 
moment, of the work done. We thus obtain the varia- 
tion of work while it is being performed, and we 
are then able to establish the curve of work, from 
which we can deduce, with more or less exactness, the 
fatigue curve. We have already seen that an instru- 
ment, the ergograph, automatically gives the outline of 
such curves ; but these principally concern muscular 

1. Method. — The principle of the experiment is very 
simple : we give a person a continuous piece of work 
to do, during a certain time, advising him to do it as 
rapidly and as well as possible, and we then observe if 
the speed and the quality of the work varies in the 
course of the time (Method of continuous work). 

It was Oehrn who, in 1889, first employed this 
method. Burgerstein in 1891, Hopfner in 1894, and 
Holmes in 1895 made use of it to determine the 
curve of work during an hour of school. Since then 
Kraepelin and his pupils have applied it to numerous 
laboratory researches, which have opened out a number 
of new possibilities.^ 

As to the work to be done, we can take a long 
dictation, or the counting of letters, &c. ; or we can 
simply have a series of numbers written, e.g. from 100 
to 999, or beginning from 1000, The best test is the 
doing of sums, since this is a more intellectual work. 

^ Oehrn, Burgerstein, see articles quoted above ; Hopfner, Ueher 
geistige ErmiXdung der Schulkinder, Z. f. Psy. VI. ; Holmes, The 
Fatigue of a School Hour, Ped. S. III. ; Kraepelin, &c., Psy. Arb. 



Kraepelin has published books specially for this, in 
which there are long prepared columns of figures ready 
to be added. ^ The subject is made to add these 
figures two by two, and to write the total each time at 
the side of the column, ignoring the figure for the tens 
so as to gain time. For example (the figures in italics 
represent those written by the subject) : — 


3 1 

5 8 

7 S 

9 0, &c. 

This is added thus : — 8 + 3=11 (only the second 1 
of 11 is written) ; 3 + 5 = 8 ; 5 + 7=12 (only the 2 is 
written) ; &c. This method of writing the sum has 
been strongly criticised, Binet and Henri condemn it 
as bringing motor fatigue into the experiment, which 
finally becomes extremely annoying and very much 
exceeds the mental fatigue. To avoid this inconveni- 
ence, Oker-Blom used columns of ten figures, which 
had to be added in full.^ But this system does not 
permit us to see exactly what is the number of errors 
committed : we see only the error in the total. 

An intermediate method, which I have employed 
for an experiment, and of which I shall speak 
presently, consists in adding four figures of Krae- 
pelin's columns each time, and writing down, at the 
right of the fourth figure, the total of the addition. 
This method has the advantage, on the one hand, 
of augmenting the mental effort, since it is necessary 
to take care not to add too many or too few numbers ; 

1 Rechenhefte, Bvichdruckerei Horning, Heidelberg. 

2 Binet and Henri, La fatigue intellectuelle, p. 232 ; Oker-Blom, 
Ueber die Entwickl. der geistigen Leistungsfdhigkeit bezw. der Ermu- 
dung, Z. exp. Pad. X., 1910, p. 76. 


and, on the other hand, of diminishing, and suffi- 
ciently separating, the writing actions, so that their 
intervention becomes neghgible. For example : — 



7 S3 




5 28, &c. 

What we can fairly object to in the test of continued 
addition is that it is very little like school work, which 
is never so monotonous and exacting. The method 
of dictations, employed by Hopfner, should have an 
advantage in this respect. But the method of 
additions is extremely valuable for exact laboratory 
researches, by reason of its uniformity. 

While the subject is doing his work, the director 
of the experiment sounds, at regular intervals (for 
example, every two, three, or five minutes) a signal of 
some kind (a bell, or blow on the table) ; the subject 
should then, without interrupting his work, make a 
mark at the place where he was when the signal 
sounded. We can thus find out afterwards how many 
additions (or other operations) had been done in the 
unit of time which had been chosen. These signals 
can also be made by an apparatus, such as a striking 
clock, or other analogous arrangement. 

The method of additions is very well suited for a 
collective experiment. Fig. 13 shows 8 tracings ob- 
tained in a collective experiment made upon the 
students of my laboratory with the Kraepelin books, 
additions being made of each group of four figures, 
as I have pointed out. The work lasted 45 consecutive 


minutes. Signals were given every three minutes. 
The curves were then drawn according to the number 
of additions (of four figures) done in each interval of 
three minutes. 

2. Results. — The curves which are obtained by 
operations of this sort do not in the least resemble 
what we might have expected. Fatigue, it seems, 
ought to give regular decreases. But, very much to 
the contrary, these curves — independently of great 
individual differences, upon which I cannot dwell here 
— have a tendency to rise at least in a certain part of 
their course, and it is only if the work is prolonged 
beyond an hour that we see them waver. 

What are the factors which are opposed to fatigue ? 
It is to the honour of Kraepelin and his school that 
they have, with much sagacity, discovered these. And, 
though the last word upon this very complex subject 
has by no means been said, it seems to me that the 
most important factors have already been brought to 

The first of these factors antagonistic to fatigue to 
which we may direct attention is practice (usage). If 
the curve does not fall, but, on the contrary, presents a 
tendency to rise at the end of a certain period of work, 
it is because the subject is habituated to his task ; by 
force of repeating the same task, the operations are 
done more easily in the brain. We have here a factor 
really antagonistic to fatigue, for it is not restricted 
to masking the effects, but it really diminishes it during 

certain time : in effect, the more an activity is 
exercised the less trouble it takes, and therefore the 
less it fatigues. In the long run, however, activities 
even when practised finish by fatiguing : fatigue gets 
the best of it, and tends to lower the curve of work. 

1 Kraepelin, Die Arheitskurve, Philos. Stud. XIX., 1902. 


Another fact which also immediately strikes us is 
the zigzags, the oscillations, often very considerable, 
of the curves. We might say that the subjects, feeling 
their work waning, make a vigorous effort of applica- 
tion every now and again : they make a " spurt." And 
it is so in fact. Two of these work impulsions are 
characteristic : the spurt initial, and the spurt terminal. 
We have a good illustration of the first in the curves 
A, E, and F of fig. 13 ; and of the second, in the 
curves B, D, F, and H. These spurts are due to the 
will, to interest. We shall speak again of them later 
(see section 7). 

But there is a third factor which can also be seen 
in certain curves : the getting up steam (start, attack). 
Certain persons are unable to give their maximum at 
the first start ; it is necessary for them to get their 
steam up. This short phase of getting up steam, which 
produces a rise at the beginning of the curve, is char- 
acteristic of the curves C, D, and G in fig. 13. 

To these three factors yet others have to be added : 
those which are brought out by the comparison of 
curves taken under different conditions, notably those 
curves of work which is interrupted by a pause more 
or less long. The pause is found to be an excellent 
instrument of analysis, which the Kraepelin school has 
ingeniously exploited. 

If, at the end of an hour of continued additions, we 
cause the subject to take a rest for five minutes, we 
perceive that the rest favourably influences the work. 
The work which follows the interval is superior to that 
which preceded it. Such an effect from rest is easily 
understood. But this is less easily understood : if, 
instead of stopping the work for five minutes, there is 
an interruption for fifteen minutes, the interval has an 
unfavourable influence on the work, which becomes 





less. Does this come from losing the effect of acquired 
practice ? By no means. Practice is a possession 
which is preserved for a considerable time, even after 
an interval of one or many weeks, as experiments on 
the point have shown. After only 15 minutes' arrest 
this loss is very small and is compensated for, and more 
than compensated for, by the rest. There is then a 
new factor in play, and this factor is " swing " (anima- 
tion). The very fact of working stimulates us, ex- 
cites us, puts us in the mood for work, in a specially 
favourable humour for activity. Everybody knows 
how much harm is done by an untimely interruption 
when one has got into the swing of a piece of work. 

We may notice as a final factor familiarisation, 
which acts in the same manner as practice, but is dis- 
tinguished by the fact that it is more a psychical than 
a physiological factor. When a certain work has been 
going on for some moments, we understand it better, 
we know it better, we perceive the intricacies better, 
we adapt ourselves to it — in a word, we are familiarised 
with it. Wundt ^ gives to the Gewohnung (accustom- 
ing) of Kraepelin the very characteristic name of 
apperceptive, or intelligent, practice, opposing it to 
mechanical practice, which he calls associative practice. 

Familiarisation includes, to some extent, habitua- 
tion, understanding by this word resistance to noxious 
agents, i.e. indifference with regard to the painful sensa- 
tions which accompany forced and fatiguing work. 

To examine in detail each of these factors would 
take up far too much time. They are not recognised 
by all the psychologists, e.g. Schulze and Meumann no 
longer admit the influence of practice when operating 
with subjects already practised, and the latter author 

^ Wundt, Grundziige der physiologischen Psychologic, 5th ed., 1903, 
III., p. 622. 


reduces the various factors of work to two principal 
ones : the adaptation of attention and fatigue. ^ 

We must not forget, when interpreting these diffe- 
rent curves, to distinguish between the speed and the 
quahty of work, two properties which, we have seen, 
do not always go hand in hand. The curve of errors 
reveals, much better than that of speed, the appear- 
ance of fatigue. Burgerstein, for example, had arith- 
metic done in his class for an hour, with slight pauses 
every ten minutes, and afterwards counted how many 
operations had been done, and how many mistakes 
made in each of these periods of ten minutes. He 
found that the work had constantly augmented in 
speed, but that the number of mistakes had also in- 
creased : 3 per cent, of mistakes in the first quarter 
of the hour, and 6 per cent, in the last quarter. 

3. Influence of Various Factors on Fatigability 

Once in possession of the various methods of measure- 
ment, it is possible, theoretically at least, to study 
the influence which the most diverse factors of age, 
sex, time of the year, &c., have upon the appearance 
of fatigue. 

We propose to give a sketch of some of the researches 
undertaken up to the present. Of course the results 
are only provisional, since the methods of investiga- 
tion are still imperfect. It is also probable that all 
the methods are not of equal value, and that, in a 
given research, the result would have been more or 
less different if another method than that actually 
made use of had been employed. 

Nevertheless, all the investigations are most sugges- 
tive, and they are worth repeating and checking. 

^ Schulze, Aus der Werkstatt der exp. Psy., Loipsic, 1909, p. 255; 
Meumann, Vorlesungen, II. pp. 11 and 133. 


1. Age. — The variation of fatigue according to age 
has been investigated in schools, by Gilbert, by the 
method of taps, of which we have spoken. Fatiga- 
bility decreases with age, but the curve of this de- 
crease is not regular ; it rises abruptly at 8 years, at 
13-14 years, and at 16 years. We know what this 
means : at these epochs there is an acceleration of 
growth, and the available energy being diminished, 
fatigability is augmented. 

2. Sex. — There are hardly any researches in this 
domain. Schuyten has attempted to compare the 
fatigability of boys and girls, but he has not obtained 
definite results.^ Binet has shown that the diminu- 
tion of sensibility after a fatiguing lesson was a little 
greater amongst the girls than amongst the boys.^ 

It is only by the method of tapping that any sys- 
tematic researches have been done. Miss Thompson, 
and Wells, found no very marked difference between 
the sexes : the men, however, better sustain rapidity 
of movement, and, according to Wells, women are 
usually more subject to " spurts." ^ According to the 
figures pubhshed by Gilbert,* who has worked with 
the same method, it seems that boys are fatigued more 
quickly. But we must remember that they have also 
worked more (that they have given more taps per 
second) ; if we take account of all the factors involved, 
we ought to conclude that they are fatigued less easily 
while appearing to be fatigued more severely. We have 
now got our finger on the real difficulty of such experi- 
ments : fatigue depends both upon the quantity of 

1 Schuyten, Paedol. Jaarb. X., 1906, p. 85. 

2 Binet, Ann. Psy. IX., p. 29. 

^ Thompson, The Mental Traits of Sex, Chicago, 1903, p. 14; 
Wells, Sex iJifferences in Tapping, Amer. J. of Psy,, 1909. 
* Gilbert, Stud, from the Yale Psy. Lab. II., 1894, p. 68. 



the work done and its speed. To compare the fatigue 
of two categories of individuals, it is necessary to 
make them do the same quantity of work in the same 
time, a condition which, when it has to do with mental 
work, can never be obtained except by " groping " or 
by chance. 

One means, which has not yet been tried, and 
which, I believe, will be very suitable for compar- 
ing the fatigability of individuals having a different 
capacity for work, consists in utilising the method of 
pause : a given pause is introduced at a given moment 
in the working of the test, and we judge the existing 
fatigue at the moment when the work had been in- 
terrupted, according to the favourable effects of the 
pause (the more the pause revives the subject, the 
more was he exhausted). 

3. Intelligence. — The difficulty of the method to 
which we have just alluded appears when we try to 
establish the relation of fatigability to intelligence. If 
the dullards are less fatigued, is it because they are, 
by nature, more resistant to fatigue ? Might they be 
perchance -of a more robust nervous texture, whereas 
intelligence would imply, on the contrary, an exagge- 
rated nervous sensibility, of which the highest limit 
would be a psychopathic state favourable to the pro- 
duction of a genius (whom some think is merely 
a neurotic person) ? Or does this diminution of fati- 
gability arise from the fact that the dullards work 
less ? The second way of looking at it appears, till 
there is proof to the contrary, much the more probable. 

With equal work, on the contrary, the intelligent 
subjects will be less fatigued — at least that is what 
Schuyten believes he has established in his aesthesio- 
metric researches.^ But we do not know if, all allow- 

1 Schuyten, Paedol. Jaarb. X, 1906, p. 89, 


ances being made, the intelligent are more fatigued 
than the unintelligent. This question is almost in- 
soluble, for I assume that if we wished to try to 
determine what is the amount of work which gives 
an imbecile exactly as much trouble to do as a cer- 
tain amount of work done by an intelligent subject, 
we should be obliged, so as to be able to solve this 
sort of psychological rule of three, to bring in precisely 
the amount of time taken and the fatigue occasioned 
by each of these amounts of work. We should be 
able, however, also to try in this case the method of 
pause just suggested. 

4. The Individual Type. — Individuals are distin- 
guished according to the degree of their fatigability, 
and according to the manner in which they become 

There is nothing in particular to say upon the first 
of these characteristics : that every one does not offer 
the same resistance to fatigue is a well-known fact, 
although we do not know how great, in this respect, are 
the individual differences. A master assumes a priori 
that all his pupils have the same capacity for work. 
Up to what point is he justified in believing this ? 

The manner in which one becomes fatigued is a 
characteristic still more important for individual 
psychology. Mosso, at the time of his ergographic 
experiments, had already noticed that the curves 
which he obtained did not all have the same outlines, 
but varied according to the individuals. Certain per- 
sons did work which remained at a maximum for a 
certain time, after which it suddenly fell to zero. 
Others, on the contrary, showed work decreasing from 
the commencement in a regular way (see figs. 1 1 and 12). 
" I have not been able to explain to myself the reason 
of this fact," he says, " and I have had to come to the 


conclusion that this was really a constant fact which 
indicated the variety which each person presents in the 
manner in which he is fatigued." 

Kraepelin's experiments have also thrown light upon 
the diversities of fatigue and of work. Unfortunately 
this most interesting question has given rise, up till 
now, to but very few systematic researches. We 
know only a few which can be quoted, as those of 
Kemsies, and of Blazek, made upon school children, 
and those of Meumann upon adults. 

Kemsies worked, in a communal school in Berlin, 
upon 55 children of 10 to 11 years. At different hours 
of the day they were set to do a dozen sums mentally, 
e.g. 417 + 338, or 74x8, or 291 + 7, &c. They were 
allowed to take 12 minutes for the work. Then the 
percentage of mistakes was reckoned. These experi- 
ments have revealed the existence of four different 
types of work : — 

In the 1st type, which we may call the type of 
increasing work, the number of mistakes goes on de- 
creasing, from the first to the last experiment of the 
day ; for example, 40 per cent, mistakes at 8 a.m., 29 
at 9 A.M., 27 at 10 a.m., 28 at 11 a.m., and 23 at noon. 

In the 2nd type, or decreasing work, the number 
of mistakes increases with the range of the experi- 
ments ; for example, 54 mistakes at 8 a.m., and 77 
at noon. 

In the 3rd type, which we will call the convex curve 
work, at the beginning the work shows a rising phase, 
to which succeeds a descending phase. 

In the 4th type, the concave curve work, the work 
begins to decrease from the very beginning, and then, 
after having attained its minimum, increases. 

We may conclude from experiments of this kind 
that each pupil shows his " best work " at a certain 


time of the day. Amongst a third of Kemsies's pupils 
this optimum was found to be before 10 a.m. 

Blazek took the curve of fatigue with the sesthesio- 
meter, during 5 successive hours of morning school. 
He found 3 different types : a type of crescendo work 
found in about 20 per cent, of the cases (among the 
industrious pupils), an ascensional with relapses type 
(the relapses in the middle of the curve) found amongst 
two-thirds of the pupils — children less gifted, who, at 
the end of a certain time of work, relaxed so as to rest 
themselves — and finally a horizontal type amongst the 
best pupils. According to Blazek, there are no pupils 
who work 5 consecutive hours : 17 per cent, would 
work 4 hours consecutively, 55 per cent. 3 hours, 17 per 
cent. 2 hours, and 11 per cent. 1 hour. 

Meumann has described 3 types : increasing, de- 
creasing, and an intermediate type in which the maxi- 
mum of work is not found either at the beginning or 
at the end of the curve. 

How shall we interpret these diverse facts ? Is it a 
question of types of fatigue or types of work ? Does 
the increase or the decrease of the yield of work result 
from organic diversities — e.g. in some people fatigue is 
produced and accumulates more quickly, whilst among 
others, on the contrary, a sort of habituation is created 
which renders the organism more resistant to the 
phenomenon — or, again, is it a question of differences 
in the nature of the voluntary reaction, of excitement, 
or of the aptitude to profit by practice ? 

These two circumstances have to be taken equally 
into account. Beside the net fatigability, which de- 
pends entirely upon physiological causes, and which 
varies from one individual to another, there is gross 
fatigability, that which we actually observe in the 
complexity of life. Now, this gross fatigability de- 


pends upon all the factors which constitute personality. 
Certain of them specially concur with fatigability in 
impressing their particular mark upon the curve of 
work. These factors, which were pointed out by 
Kraepelin, are : the aptitude to profit by practice, 
the aptitude to retain the good effects of practice, 
to become "worked up," to profit by repose, to be 
distracted, and to become familiarised. 

The general forms of character also modify, in a 
large measure, the rate of fatigue. Tissie has made 
some judicious and excellent remarks about this. 
" Each subject," he says, " is fatigued or not, accord- 
ing to his will. The passive ones are not fatigued 
very much, because it is necessary to urge them into 
activity ; the sensitive ones are timid and afraid of 
fatigue, but they become emboldened as soon as they 
become aware of their own value. The assertive ones 
rise above fatigue, they overwork themselves ; it is 
necessary to calm them, for they are always ready to 
commit excesses. An obstacle is always vanquished 
by the assertive, more especially if the obstacle seems 
to say to them : ' You shall not pass.' " ^ 

5. The Seasons. — The cycle of the seasons and the 
changes of temperature, or other things which accom- 
pany them, act upon the organic life. It is therefore 
probable that it also influences fatigability, which is 
an organic function. But the determination of this 
influence is a very delicate matter. Schuyten, and 
afterwards Lobsien, in experimenting upon children 
found that the curve of fatigue is subject to periodic 
oscillations from September to July ; but, on the whole, 
the curve would rise. If this is the case, if fatigability 

1 Tissi6, Bull. off. de I'instr. primaire, Dep. des Basses -Pyrenees, 
Oct. 1903. See also La fatigue et V entrainement physique, Paris, 
1897, by the same author. 


only increases from the commencement to the end of 
the school year, this augmentation must be put to the 
account of the school work, or else to some other 
factor outside the work itself, such as growth in height 
or weight ? Schuyten, who has given much attention 
to this subject, considers that the child exhausts him- 
self almost without cessation from the beginning to 
the end of the school year,i and he throws the responsi- 
bility for this sad fact upon our existing school system. 
It is to be noted that the curves of fatigue, rising during 
the months of work, show during the holidays a de- 
scending movement. There is need here for an entire 
study to be made, which is as yet only sketched out.^ 
6. The Time of the Day. — Is fatigability greatest in 
the morning, afternoon, or evening ? This is a very 
complex question, for, as we have seen, fatigue does not 
solely depend upon the work accomplished, but upon 
the general disposition of the worker, and the state 
of the nervous system. But it is not evident that 
this disposition should be better in the morning than 
at other times. 

^ Schuyten, article quoted (p. 250), p. 83. See also his observations 
on the variation of attention and of muscular force in the course 
of the year, and under the influence of temperature, Bull. Acad, 
roy. de Belgique, vols. 32 and 34, 1896-7, and Paedol. Jaarb., 1900, 
1904; Lobsien, Schwanhungen der psychischen Kapazitdt, Berlin, 
1902, and Ueher Schulversdumnisse und Schwankungen physischer 
Energie, Z. pad. Psy., 1909. 

2 After a series of experiments, Lehmann and Pedersen {Das 
Wetter und unsere Arbeit., Ar. f. ges. Psy. X., 1907) have shown 
that meteorological conditions have a very marked influence upon 
physical and mental work ; thus the memory and muscular force 
vary in accordance with barometric pressure, a rise of temperature 
is prejudicial to the work of additions, &c. These authors consider 
that it is to meteorological variations that we must attribute the 
oscillations of physical capactiy during the course of the year. 
See also Dexter, Conduct and the Weather, Psy. R. Monog. Suppl. 
1898, and Paidologist, 1906, p. 11. 


It seems, on the contrary, according to experimental 
researches made in recent years, that the aptitude for 
work undergoes, during the course of the day, various 
oscillations. Stern and Lay, we remember, have 
found that psychic energy culminates towards the end 
of the morning, and towards 5 p.m. Other writers, 
Dresslar,! Bergstrom, Baade, Marsh, having studied, 
by various methods, the " diurnal rhythm " of the 
aptitude for work, have all found very marked differ- 
ences according to the time of the day. There is not 
complete agreement upon all points, but most of the 
observations show that the first hours of the morning 
and of the afternoon are the most unfavourable for 
work : ^ the end of the morning and of the afternoon, 
or even the latest hours in the evening, give the best 

It appears very probable that meals, with the diges- 
tive activity which succeeds them, interfere, in a large 
measure, with the play of cerebral activity. " Under 
no pretext," says Dr. Doleris, with good reason, " ought 
the child to work immediately after the evening meal." ^ 

1 Dresslar, Am. J. Psy., 1892, p. 519; Bergstrom, ibid., 1894; 
Baade, work quoted, p. 65 ; Marsh, The Diurnal Course of Efficieney, 
New York, 1906. 

2 Kemsies, however, considers that it is the first two hours of 
the school day which should be the most favourable for work 
{Arbeitshygiene der Schule, 1898). 

' Doleris, Valeur du travail du matin et de Vapres-midi. Report 
to the first congress on School Hygiene (Paris, 1903). At Geneva 
we rejoice in a deplorable system ; the morning classes (including 
those of the College) finish at ten minutes to 12, and recommence 
at 1.30 P.M. I have still before my mind the sweet sleep, which was 
not long before it bemmibed the class, master and pupils, during the 
first hour, especially in the summer. By not commencing before 2, 
or 2.15, we should have made up for it, and gone beyond (even 
without finishing later) ; and, besides, the work of this first half- 
hour was nil. This would be an excellent investment, since we 
should gain without risking the loss of anything. 



If, side by side with this objective study, we take 
into account the feehng of the workers and ask them 
which is the time of the day which is most favourable 
for their work, we obtain answers which corroborate 
the results indicated above. Below is a brief summary 
showing, in percentages, the votes received by Heer- 
wagen (392 answers to a questionnaire) ; by Barnes 
(answers from 111 American students) ; by the review 
U Enseignement mathematique, in its inquiry about 
mathematicians (64 answers) ; and by Marsh, who has, 
for this purpose, ransacked the biographies of 157 
writers : ^ — 

Percentage of Votes. 
^ .— . ^ 

^. , , Morning Indifferent 

^•^"'^- and Evening. (all day). 

— 11 7 

— 11 — 
6 21 23 

These statistics show us that, though the morning 
is generally preferred, the individual divergences are 
rather considerable. Beside the morning type, we 
notice an evening type very strongly represented, and 
a mixed morning-evening type ; the afternoon type in- 
cludes only a very few representatives. It still re- 
mains to be known whether the fatigue produced is 
necessarily less when one works at the time he prefers. 
This is a question difficult to decide. Many of the 
mathematicians, in their reply to the inquiry, declared 
that evening work, though preferred by all of them 
from the point of view of the quality, had the disad- 
vantage of being injurious to health, since it has a 
bad effect on sleep. ■ 

^ Heerwagen, Philos. Stud. V.. 1889, p. 304; Barnes, quoted by 
Bergstrom, see above ; Fehr, Flournoy, and Claparfede, Enquete sur 
la methode de travail des mathematiciens, Paris and Geneva, 1908, 
p. 110 ; Marsh, see above (book named). 

Authors. ]Morning. 



Heerwagen, 46.5 



Barnes, 60 



Em. Math., 47 



Marsh, 34 




The measurements of fatigue taken during school 
by Schuyten and others ^ generally show a stronger 
fatigability in the afternoon (independently of indivi- 
dual differences such as those indicated above, p. 253) ; 
and this confirms the general opinion. As to the 
fatigue produced by evening courses there is disagree- 
ment between Schuyten and Winch. Whilst the latter 
found that evening work was much more tiring (see 
above, p. 240), Schuyten found, on the contrary, that 
a two hours' course produced no appreciable fatigue.^ 

7. The Days of the Week. — Does fatigabihty vary 
with the days of the week ? This can only be the 
case if the fatigability of a certain day is dependent 
upon the fatigue contracted during preceding days. 
In normal circumstances — that is to say, when the 
fatigue of a day is entirely dissipated by a night's rest 
— every day ought, it would seem, to be equal in 
relation to fatigability. 

In fact, the aptitude for work on the various days of 
the week is subject to variations ; but this is probably 
connected with other causes than a greater or lesser 
degree of fatigue. The variations are due, above all, 
to lassitude, ennui, excitement, impatience — not to 
mention the arrangement of the time-table — factors 
which, themselves, certainly vary in the course of the 
week. On Monday the pupils generally have some 
difficulty in recovering their ardour ; by Tuesday this 
has become much better. But on Wednesday lassi- 
tude commences. Then comes the holiday on Thurs- 
day — or, in certain countries, on Wednesday after- 
noon. On Friday and Saturday the children are often 
more active, because they rejoice at the approach of 
Sunday : it is the making of the spurt terminal. 

^ Griesbach, Vanned, Wagner, Sakaki, Abelson, &c, 
2 Schuyten, Paedol. Jaarb., 1908, p. 32. 


Up to the present experimental researches have 
been few, and I can find none to quote except those 
of Kemsies, carried out in a class, by the method of 
calculation and of ergography. This author found 
that the best days were Monday and Tuesday. ^ 
Kemsies did not perhaps sufficiently protect himself 
from the source of error pointed out subsequently by 
Schuyten (see above, p. 237). 

8. Habit, Swing, Interest. — We have already 
considered these various factors, as antagonistic to 
fatigue. The question whether they really diminish 
the state of fatigue, or whether they only conceal it, 
is undecided. As to habit, we shall see later that a 
physiologist, Weichardt, believes that the production 
of fatigue may even directly diminish fatigability. We 
shall have occasion to speak of interest in sections 6, 
7, and 8. 

9. Change of Work. — What is the influence of 
change of work upon fatigue ? Is one fatigued less 
quickly by changing his work ? It does not appear 
that such is the case. Schulze, at Leipsic, made some 
instructive experiments on this point, upon some 
young girls of 12 years of age. These young girls 
were made one day to do additions for 25 minutes, 
then to copy letters for 25 minutes, then to do fresh 
additions for 25 minutes, and lastly to copy again for 
25 minutes. Another day they had to do analogous 
work but distributed differently : the additions for 
50 consecutive minutes, and then, immediately follow- 
ing, copying for 50 minutes. The second group of 
tests gave better results than the first, in which change 
of work had taken place three times. ^ 

The laboratory experiments long pursued by Wey- 

1 Kemsies, Arbeitshygiene der Schule, Berlin, 1898. 

2 Kraepelin, Zur Ueberbiirdungsfrage, Jena, 1897, p. 20. 


gandt show analogous results. This was how this 
author proceeded : on the days of continued work, 
the subject pursued his work (for example, additions) 
for an hour and a quarter ; on the days of varied 
work, the subject did additions for half-an-hour, then 
changed to other work (for example, crossing out 
certain letters in a text), during the following half- 
hour ; and lastly he returned, during the last quarter 
of an hour, to the original work of additions. In 
comparing the work done during the last quarter of 
an hour of the days of continued work with that of 
the last quarter of an hour of the days of varied work, 
we are able to determine the influence of change of 
work. The author has shown that change of work is- 
sometimes slightly advantageous, sometimes harmful, 
and generally it is without appreciable effect.^ 

What we know of the physiology of fatigue enables 
us to understand why change of work is not restful. 
Fatigue is, in fact, a general phenomenon : it corre- 
sponds, amongst other things, with an accumulation 
in the blood of toxic waste resulting from nervous 
and muscular work. But the blood also irrigates those 
parts of the brain which work as weU as those which 
do not work, and as it is toxic it does as much harm 
to the activity of the cerebral regions which do not 
function as to those centres whose work has been the 
origin of the fatigue. ^ Besides, the change of work 
risks destroying the good effects of practice and of 

It is, however, an ordinary observation that change 

^ Weygandt, Ueher den Einfluss der Arbeitswechsels auf fortlaufende 
geistige Arbeit, Psy. Arb. II., 1897. 

2 The well-known experiment of Mosso proves that this is so : 
if we transfuse the blood of a fatigued dog to a rested one, the 
latter shows all the symptoms of fatigue ; and vice versa we can 
defatigue a dog by transfusing in him the blood of a rested one. 


of work (if it is not too frequent) favours work. This 
is true. But from the fact that it favours work, it 
does not necessarily follow that it dissipates the state 
of fatigue. Change of work has the effect of reviving 
the interest of the worker wearied by the sameness of 
an occupation ; and the new work, if it is subjectively 
more agreeable, has the effect of augmenting the fatigue 
capital of the organism. It is true that when the new 
work is interesting it is effected under less exhausting 
conditions (see later, section 7). 

10. Body Position. — Is work easier in certain atti- 
tudes than in others ? Very probably it is. Mental 
activity intimately depends upon the cerebral circula- 
tion, and this is strongly influenced by the position of 
the body. According as an individual is lying down 
or standing up, the blood flows in greater or lesser 
quantity to his brain, and the blood pressure under- 
goes diverse variations. Miinsterberg once showed that 
the association of ideas is more rapid in the lying on 
the back position, which favours cerebral irrigation.^ 

An American writer. Elm. Jones, has recently pub- 
lished some experiments concerning the influence 
of the position of the body on various psychical 
processes. 2 He has specially shown that the hori- 
zontal position improves tactile discrimination, visual 
memory, and the act of adding ; whereas auditive 
discrimination, quickness of tapping, and strength as 
measured by the dynamometer,* were, on the 'contrary, 
favoured by the vertical position. Muscular fatigue 
(estimated by means of the digital dynamometer) is 
found to be augmented by the horizontal position. 
Not much information is to be gained from these first 

1 Miinsterberg, Beitr. z. exp. Psy., vol. iv., 1893. 

2 E. Jones, The Influence of Bodily Posture on Mental Activities, 
New York, 1907. 


experiments, the chief advantage of which is to draw 
attention to a new question. More interesting are the 
answers to an inquiry which Jones has made among 
intellectual people, relative to the position in which 
they work best. The favourite attitudes are the hori- 
zontal position, and, above all, the semi-horizontal 
position. In the latter " the feet of the worker are 
placed on a table, or some other raised object, the 
chair being tilted backwards " (the inquiry was made 
in America !). 

We are not told whether fatigability diminishes in 
these attitudes ; but the facts have, nevertheless, a 
certain importance from the school point of view. We 
often grumble at pupils who " carry themselves 
badly " ; but may not the tendency which scholars 
have to lie down at times upon their desks sometimes 
be a reflex attitude set up by the need of irrigating the 
fatigued brain ? Lauder Brunt on (quoted by Jones) 
relates that one day, being fatigued and having an 
essay to write, he was unable to find a single idea. 
He then thought to himself, being a good physiologist, 
that since the blood was not able to rise to his brain, 
it was necessary that he should " bring the brain down 
to the blood " ; so he placed his head upon the table. 
At once ideas began to come and his pen to go 
of itself over the paper. Having then raised his 
head, his mind became instantly blank, and he was 
obliged to write his article with his head upon the 

IL Orientation. — Is it necessary to speak of the 
influence which, according to some writers, orientation 
with regard to the cardinal points may exercise 
upon the aptitude for work ? Nothing appears to 
me to be less demonstrated, but, after all, we cannot 
regret a priori the possibility of such an influence of 


the magnetic earth currents, and it would be worth 
while to take up the question again. 

In 1844, von Reichenbach, the celebrated chemist 
who discovered creosote and paraffin, the author of a 
work upon Phenomenes odiques, observed that persons 
who sleep when lying in the direction north-south 
(head to the north and feet to the south) had a more 
profound and refreshing sleep than those who slept 
in the other direction. Some years ago. Fere, when 
studying, with the ergograph, the influence of orienta- 
tion upon work, found that the subject, when facing 
towards the west or the east, did twice as much work 
as when he turned towards the south or the north 
(this should be an indirect confirmation of " Reichen- 
bach's law "). But Fere, having only experimented 
upon himself, may have been the victim of an auto- 
suggestion. Bertoldi, however, who has repeated the 
experiments, declares that he has obtained analogous 

It goes without saying that if these facts are con- 
firmed, pedagogy should derive profit therefrom ; and 
it would be necessary to begin to orientate school- 
rooms towards the west ! 

12. Dietary: Alcohol. — Vegetarians affirm that they 
are able to get through a greater amount of work 
than flesh-eaters, and that they are less subject to 
fatigue than the latter. Mile. loteyko has made 
some ergographic experiments which bear this out. 

^ Fere, Influence de V orientation sur Vactivite, C. R. Soc. de Biol. 
LVII., 1904, p. 244, and LIX., 1905; Bertoldi, L'Orientazione ha 
influenza sul lavoro? Riv. Ital. di neuropat., Dec. 1909. See also 
Duchatel and Warcollier, Vart du travail et Vart du repos, Paris, 1909 
(experiments made with the sthcnometer of Joire, a kind of mariner's 
compass consisting of a straw turning upon a needle which is dis- 
placed when the hand approaches it ; the displacements should be 
more considerable if the operator is made to face the south). 


" Vegetarians," she concludes, " are able to work two 
or three times longer than flesh-eaters before becoming 
tired." ^ The cause of this endurance should be the 
lesser quantity of toxine produced by vegetable foods. 
It is probable that this way of looking at it contains 
a good deal of truth. Though, to go on to say, with 
our learned colleague at Brussels (Mile. loteyko), that 
" meat ought, like alcohol, to be considered as a 
medicament," is perhaps to force the note. 

The problem of food is so complex, and still so 
little elucidated, that it seems to me very risky to 
lay down very precise rules. To be able to judge of 
the value of a regime, it is necessary to include not 
only the immediate effects but also the remoter 

As to alcohol, its case is settled. Though it is 
capable of momentarily concealing the consciousness 
of fatigue, it does not in the least retard the real 
effects. In the long run it diminishes the amount of 
work done. 2 

4. The Ponogenic Coefficient of Various Subjects 

Do all the branches of study fatigue in the same 
degree ? Ordinary observation says no. But in what 
measure does each tire the learner ? What is the co- 
efficient of fatigue — the ponogenic coefficient, shall we 
call it — of each of them ? This is what some authors 
have tried to determine approximately. 

^ loteyko, Enquete sur les Vi'gttariens de Bruxelles, Brussels, 1907. 

2 See, among others, the works of Kraepelin ; Smith, Die Alko- 
holfrage, Tiibipgen, 1895 ; Schnyder, Alcool et Alpinisme, Ar. de Psy. 
VI., 1907. The latter work contains the answers to an inquiry upon 
the use of alcohol made among Alpine climbers. There also we 
shall find, pp. 241 and 243, the ergographic curves obtained with and 
without ingestion of alcohol. 



By the use of the sesthesiometric method, Dr. 
Wagner ^ (by researches made in the Gymnasium of 
Darmstadt) has compiled the following table in which 
the number 100, which represents the fatigue coeffi- 
cient produced by mathematics, has been taken as the 
maximum of comparison : — 


100 History and Geography . 85 

91 I French and German . 82 

90 Natural History . . 80 

90 Drawing and ReHgion . 77 

Sakaki,^ after researches pursued in four Japanese 
schools, also by the aesthesiometric method, has laid 
down the following coefficients (as before, the point of 
maximum comparison is equal to 100) : — 

Primary School 


. 50 

Play, Gymnastics, and 

Reading and 


Singing . 

. 19 


. 50 

Geography . 

. 13 


. 44 


. 9 


. 44 




. 37 




. 31 

Natural History 



. 25 

The two last negative coefficients signify that the 
branches to which they belong not only did not 
fatigue, but rested the pupils. The fact that the 
highest coefficient is 50, and not 100, arises from the 
fact that the author has related the values obtained 
in the different schools to the same maximum. We 
find, in fact, that Sakaki found the coefficients higher 
for the upper classes of a young girls' school : — 

^ Wagner, Unterricht und ErmiXdung, Berlin, 1898, p. 131. 
2 Sakaki, Ermiidungamessungen an vier japanischen Schulen, Ar. 
int. hyg. scol. I., 1905, p. 93. 



. 100 


. 25 

Japanese . 

. 100 


. 13 

History . 

. 56 

Singing and Drawing 


English . 

. 50 

By a totally different method (dynamometry), 
another teacher, a very experienced experimenter, 
Kemsies,^ arrived at the following classification : — 

Gymnastics (the most fatiguing Mother-tongue. 

branch). Natural History and Geography. 

Mathematics. History. 

Foreign Languages. Singing and Drawing (the least 

ReHgion. fatiguing subjects). 

Though the various experiments have been under- 
taken with different methods and upon different pupils, 
by different experimenters, and in spite of the diversity 
of circumstances, yet the results show a great simili- 
tude, which proves that the school measurement of 
fatigue is not a chimera. It goes without saying that 
the effort exacted by a given branch will be more or 
less great according to the professor who teaches it : 
a master who knows how to interest his pupils will 
fatigue them much less. It seems nevertheless that, 
leaving out of account these causes of variation, each 
branch has its own ponogenic value. ^ 

^ Kemsies, Arbeitshygiene der Schule, BerKn, 1898, p. 54. 

2 Lehmann and Pedersen (quoted above) have been led to dis- 
tinguish two kinds of mental growth : works of production, and 
works of precision. The works of production require concentration 
of attention ; in this group come memorisation, and the innervation 
of voluntary movements. On the other hand, the discrimination 
of impressions and the reproduction of recollections will be among 
the works of precision : they depend upon the intensity of the 
states of consciousness, not upon attention [?]. It seems to me pre- 
ferable to consider, with V. Henri, the various psychic works as 
forming a continuous Hne, from the most automatic to those which 
are being done for the first time and which necessitate a strong 
concentration of attention (Henri, Travail psychique et physiqufy 
An. Psy. ni., 234). 


Assuredly these results require to be carefully 
checked : it would be interesting to find out whether 
the order of the coefficients varies according to the 
age of the children. That might indicate at what 
age the brain is best suited for a certain branch of 
study, and consequently at what moment it is neces- 
sary to make it dominant in the curricula. It 
would be useful also to take into account these data 
in the drawing up of the daily time-table : the most 
tiring lessons ought to be placed, if possible, at the 
beginning of the day 

5. Influence of Physical Work upon Mental Fatigue 

The inspection of the foregoing tables reveals to us 
another very interesting fact, which has been verified 
by numerous experiments, viz. the high ponogenic co- 
efficient of physical work. Just when the traditional 
pedagogy considers gymnastics as an occasion of in- 
tellectual relaxation, experiment shows us that— quite 
as much intellectual work, and perhaps even more- 
muscular work, has for its effect the momentary 
lowering of mental energy.^ 

The pedagogical consequences following from this 
statement are easy to perceive : we must no longer, 
as has so often been done, place the gymnastic lessons 
at the beginning of school, for they fatigue the organism 
for all the rest of the day. Neither must recreation 
time be used for gymnastic or military exercises re- 
quiring much attention. 

When I one day submitted these reflections to the 
professor of gymnastics at the Geneva College, he 

' Also, recently, Oker-Blom (Z. exp. Pad. X., p. 187) has shown 
that if the gymnastic lesson produces a psychometric excitation 
which stimulates mental activity, this favourable influence is only 
very passing, and very soon gives place to a marked enfeeblement. 


pointed out to me that if the whole time given to 
gymnastics was placed at the end of the day, it would 
no longer be possible to get any serious work done. 
" In those of my lessons which come after school," 
he said to me, " the pupils are fatigued, and it is 
impossible to get them to do anything well ; they 
do not pay attention to new movements which are 
taught them, and they are no longer able to exercise 
with uniformity." 

This remark shows us, which is perfectly reasonable, 
that intellectual work also has as a result the lowering 
of the physical functions. 

What, then, is to be done ? If we place gymnastics 
at the beginning of school, it is injurious to the teach- 
ing which follows it ; and if we place it at the end, 
the teaching which precedes it does harm to it. The 
dilemma in which we find ourselves comes from this : 
that school gymnastics has not a well-defined end, but 
is trying to do two things at the same time. On the 
one hand, it has for its end the development of atten- 
tion, promptitude of movement, courage, and will : 
which is its strictly educative role. On the other hand, 
it is supposed to serve for relaxing and correcting the 
body which has to remain immobile all day upon a 
school form, to quicken the slackened circulation, and 
to relieve the congested brain. This is its hygienic 
role. But it is obvious that these two ends are partly 
incompatible, and cannot both be pursued at once, 
since the first demands an organism fresh and alert, 
and the second has no raison d'etre unless, on the con- 
trary, the organism is tired. It is necessary, there- 
fore, to divide gymnastic lessons into two categories 
according to their aim : pedagogic gymnastics should 
be placed in the morning, and hygienic gymnastics at 
the end of school. 


6. The Problems of Fatigue 

We have so far considered fatigue in a wholly 
empirical manner, without inquiring into its nature, 
its exact causes, and the mechanism of its produc- 
tion. The time has come for asking ourselves these 
questions. I say asking, not solving, them. 

The nature of fatigue is a subject which is still very 
obscure. The numerous researches, both physiological 
and psychological, which have taken place concerning 
this phenomenon, have so far had the effect of giving 
rise to new points of interrogation rather than of 
suppressing those which presented themselves at the 
outset. They have resulted, in fact, in this : that 
fatigue is a problem infinitely more complex than it 
was originally believed to be, and that it depends 
upon a number of factors some of which themselves 
would need to be analysed. 

What is fatigue ? 

We give the name fatigue to a subjective impression 
united with an objective impotence : " the feeling of 
pain with difficulty in taking action," says Littre. But 
this definition as it stands raises some difficulties, for 
if it is true that in physical fatigue we nearly always 
encounter this duality of phenomena, it is not the 
same in mental fatigue. In the latter, the parallelism 
between the interior feeling and the incapacity for 
work frequently does not show itself. It is possible 
to have the feeling of fatigue without diminution of 
the capacity for work, and inversely, diminution of 
capacity without conscious fatigue. ^ 

^ This is a fact of ordinary observation ; it has also been shown 
by the systematic experiments made by Thorndike [Mental Fatigue, 
Psy. Rev., 1900). Mosso had already drawn attention to it {La 


We are obliged, therefore, to make here a first sub- 
division of the concept of fatigue into subjective 
fatigue and objective fatigue. And this subdividing 

The First Problem: What is the reciprocal relation 
of these two aspects of fatigue ? Why are they not 
always on an equality ? If the feeling of fatigue is 
not the correlative of an objective state of fatigue, 
whence comes it, and what does it mean ? 

To answer this first question it is necessary to know 
in what this objective state of fatigue consists. Un- 
fortunately the concept of objective fatigue is not 
itself very clear even in its entirely empirical accepta- 
tion. I have noted above (p. 217) that the measure- 
ment of fatigue by work done was liable to grave 
errors, arising from the fact that fatigue can be 
counterbalanced by voluntary efforts. It is necessary 
to dwell for a moment upon this fact, which is essential. 
Essential both because it puts us on our guard against 
the causes of colossal errors which might vitiate the 
results of experimental researches, and because it 
partly discloses to us that which conceals the psycho- 
physiological nature of fatigue. 

The first conclusion which can be drawn from this 
statement is that fatigue is not uniformly revealed by 
the decrease of work done. This decrease may be 
masked by other factors which momentarily prevail 
over fatigue, without however preventing the fatigue 
from being continually increased. But we also see at 
the same time that the objective concept of fatigue is 
no longer precise, and that it conveys two meanings 

Fatigue, p. 131). Wells (Am. J. Psy., 1909, p. 356) has shown 
that, in the tapping test, the parallelism between the feeling of fatigue 
and objective fatigue is closer among women than among men. 


itself : fatigue may signify " the decrease of the 
capacity to work," or again it may signify " the 
physiological state of one who has done work " (even 
if the power of work has not, in fact, diminished). 

Let us take as an example two individuals who are 
carrying out the experiment of continued additions. 
They have worked for sixty minutes. In the case of 
one. A, the curve of work is descending : at first he 
made eighty additions per minute, at the end he does 
no more than forty. In the case of the second, B, the 
curve remains horizontal : the rate of work has not 
varied through the whole course of the experiment. 
Which is the more fatigued at the moment when the 
experiment comes to an end ? 

It appears evident that the results drawn from the 
work done do not suffice for judging of the fatigue of 
each of the subjects. A behaves as if he were the 
more fatigued. But it may well be that B is in reality 
the more tired ; only, as he has struggled against 
fatigue, the effect of it is not seen in the work done. 
If we were able to examine the nervous system or the 
blood of A and B, or if, at the end of the experiment 
of additions, we could measure the fatigue of each by 
the sesthesiometer (assuming this method to be valid), 
we should probably ascertain that it is the latter who, 
in spite of appearances, is the more " worn out." 

And so we are obliged to subdivide, in its turn, the 
concept of objective fatigue : it is necessary to dis- 
tinguish the gross incapacity for work from the internal 
physiological state engendered by work. This distinc- 
tion lays down 

The Second Problem ; What is the relation between 
the physiological state of fatigue and effective capacity 
for work ? 


That the dynamic effects of fatigue may be attenu- 
ated or retarded by an effort of will, is corroborated 
by everyday observation. We are able not only 
voluntarily to overcome the fatigue which we experi- 
ence, but we can see the fatigue suddenly eclipsed in 
consequence of a circumstance which interests us. If 
you are fatigued by a long day's work, and, just when 
you are rejoicing at the thought of going to bed, some 
one comes to announce the visit of a dear friend, your 
fatigue is dissipated as though by enchantment. At 
the moment when the striking of the clock announces 
the time for going out of school, the scholars who 
were somnolent on their seats, depressed and yawning^ 
suddenly recover an unbounded amount of energy, 
rush out of class, shouting uproariously, capering, 
jumping, and displaying an activity which in no 
way resembles that of a fatigued organism. This 

The Third Problem : The influence of the will, or of 
interest, on fatigue. 

The Fourth Problem concerns the physiological nature 
of fatigue. Apropos of the re-echoing, so to say, of 
physical fatigue by mental fatigue, we have said that 
fatigue is a general phenomenon due to the accumula- 
tion in the blood of certain particular toxins. This is, 
without doubt, only one of the factors of fatigue. It 
also consists, possibly, in a diminution in the reserve 
energy of the organism. Beside this general fatigue 
we may assume that there exists a local fatigue due 
to the wear and tear of certain special regions of the 
nervous system of other organs. 

Some physiologists clearly distinguish between these 
two kinds of fatigue. Verworn, for example, calls 
fatigue that which is due to the circulation in the blood 


of ponogenic substances, and exhaustion that which is 
due to the wear of local nerve cells characterised by a 
deficiency of oxygen.^ 

The Fifth Problem : What is the seat of mental 
fatigue ? That is to say, what are the regions which 
suffer the wear and tear : the nervous system, or other 
organs ? This important question is far from being 
solved. It seems at first sight that if it is the brain 
that works, it is that which should be the seat of the 
wear and tear which is produced. But we must not 
forget that the organism is not a simple machine, but 
a machine which is endowed with the faculty of 
adaptation. It may very well be that, in proportion 
to the amount of cerebral wear and tear, this wear 
and tear might be compensated for by a bringing in 
of reserve material. This is the idea, and a very 
interesting one, of Mosso : mental fatigue is repaired 
at the expense of the muscles ; when the brain works, 
the blood stream would be able to carry off from the 
muscles substances useful for supporting the brain, 
which demands a strong provision of chemical energy. 
In fatigue as in inanition, the less important tissues 
would be destroyed to conserve those which are more 
important. Muscle, beside its own special functions, 
would also act as a reserve of energy. 

The Sixth Problem is that of the habit of fatigue. 
Can we become habituated to fatigue ? If a fatiguing 
piece of work is carried out every da>j, shall we end by 
becoming more resistant to exhaustion ? 

It is well known that, if there be an enthusiasm for 

^ Yerworn, ErniiXdung,Er8chdpfung,FfiiigeT''sATchiv.,1900. Most 
writers have made the difference between fatigue and exhaustion 
depend upon the fact that fatigue is dissipated by normal rest, 
while exhaustion is chronic, indeed even pathologic. This way of 
looking at it would agree with that of Verwom, if it were demon- 
strated that there is no local wear and tear in normal fatigue. 


physical or mental work, it is possible to accomplish 
a constantly increasing amount before fatigue is felt. 
But in this case it is not the fatigability which 
diminishes, but the effort which the work demands 
that becomes less. Through practice, in fact, the 
nervous connections which maintain the work become 
more numerous and more perfect, and the resistance 
opposed to the work diminishes. If one is less fatigued 
it is because he is accustomed to the work, not because 
he has become accustomed to fatigue. 

A physiologist, Weichardt, claims, however, that the 
organism subjected to the action of fatigue toxins 
makes an antitoxin capable of annihilating the per- 
nicious influence of the fatigue-poisons. This author, 
having been successful in experimentally obtaining 
some of this antitoxin, affirms that he has been able 
to render some mice immune to fatigue by injecting 
a dose into them.^ 

These experiments have not, so far as I know, been 
sufficiently repeated and checked to have positive 
value. They have, however, the merit of opening the 
way to some suggestive and very useful researches. 
A serum against fatigue ! That would certainly be 
most valuable. 

The Seventh Problem : Is fatigue a normal or ab- 
normal circumstance ? I mean, does fatigue necessarily 
accompany all work, or, on the contrary, ought work to 
he suspended when fatigue supervenes ? 

This is an equivocal question. For many writers 
fatigue is an inevitable phenomenon, and even useful. 
" Fatigue is the base of all creation in science, as in 
the fine arts," says Mosso. " It is only by fatiguing 
oneself that one manages to develop oneself, alike from 

1 Weichardt, Ueher Ermudungstoxin unci Antitoxin, Miinch. med. 
Woch., 1904, and Med. Klinik, 1906. 


the physical point of view as well as intellectually," 
affirm Binet and Henri. "It is not a question, I 
imagine, of avoiding all fatigue, but only the excess of 
fatigue. And quite possibly it is the duty of the 
school to let the child learn what it is to be fatigued, 
to bring on fatigue, and to resist it ; that it is destined 
to teach him not slackness but effort, that it ought 
to give him the habit not of ease but of work," declares 
Malapert ; and Offner defends an analogous thesis. ^ 

But, on the other hand, it is undeniable that the 
work of a fatigued person is inferior in quality ; and 
it can be maintained also that success comes to him 
who knows how to manage his strength, who knows 
how to organise his work in such a way as never to 
be tired. 

These contradictions arise from the fact that the 
term fatigue is equivocal : if we call expenditure of 
energy by the organism fatigue, it is quite evident 
that we are not able to work without being fatigued, 
since all work absorbs energy ; but if we call fatigue 
a degree of diminution of energy, or of intoxication, 
such that it entails a decrease of the capacity for 
work, it is certain that there is an advantage in not 
defying fatigue. We shall return later on (see p. 293) 
to this question, which is so important to pedagogy. 

Lastly, The Eighth Problem is that of overpressure, 
of chronic exhaustion : in what way is overpressure to 
be distinguished from ordinary fatigue ? To this prob- 
lem, most particularly interesting to pedagogy, we will 
devote a special paragraph a little later on. Besides, 
it is not possible to consider it before having tried to 
clear up, a little, the problem of normal fatigue. 

1 Malapert, Rech. exp. sur la mesure de la fatigue intell.. Bull. S. 
psy. E., 1905, p. 47 ; Offner, Die geistige Enniidung, Berlin, 1910, 
p. 79. 


The solution of the problems which we have just 
formulated is very complex and delicate. Most of 
them can only be elucidated by minute experiments 
done in physiological or psychological laboratories. It 
appears to me, however, that it may be useful to in- 
vestigate so as to obtain for oneself, provisionally, 
while awaiting the verdict of science, a rough concep- 
tion of the phenomenon of fatigue, a conception which 
synthetises the most marked characteristics of the 
phenomenon as it appears in everyday life. 

7. The Reservoir of Energy 

The most salient fact which we shall use as a start- 
ing-point for outlining this general conception is the 
following : when we work we do not get fatigued at 
once, but only at the end of a longer or shorter time 
during which the work remains perceptibly equal. 
Sometimes the keeping up of the high level of the work 
produced is due to a voluntary effort which combats 
the nascent fatigue : more often, however, the main- 
taining of this steadiness of work is spontaneous, and 
the subject is not conscious of making an effort, nor 
of being fatigued. This is what takes place when we 
do work which interests us. 

Here we again find the factor of " interest," of 
which we have already often spoken. And we see 
that it also comes in to reinforce the energy of the 
individual, to the extent of very much augmenting 
his period of resistance of fatigue. 

The hypothesis of a reservoir of energy, to which we 
have already had recourse (p. 167), permits us, not to 
explain, but to represent in a concrete form by what 
mechanism interest is able to maintain steadiness of work 
and to retard or prevent manifestations of fatigue. 


The reservoir of energy, as its name implies, con- 
tains a reserve of energy. This energy it accumulates 
httle by Httle, but in a continuous manner, during 
rest and during sleep, in such a way that it always 
contains sufficient for it to be able to furnish at certain 
moments a great quantity at once, and to allow of a 
steadiness in work which only a reserve is able to 

With this hypothesis it is easy for us to understand 
that the wear and tear does not commence from the 
beginning of the work, but that the organism is able 
to function during a considerable length of time before 
its capacity for work decreases. 

This fact is analogous to that which is produced if 
we draw electric energy from an accumulator (instead 
of getting it from a battery). 

This hypothesis seems to me to have the advantage 
of accounting for the following facts : — 

1. The Dynamogenic Action of certain Stimuli. — 
Thus, as the works of Fere have shown, certain stimuli 
have the power of dynamogenising the organism, that 
is to say, of raising its faculty for work. Everybody 
also knows by experience the influence of certain 
representations upon work : if we think about the 
pleasure that we shall procure by the achievement of 
any work, this gives us strength to work at it. These 
stimuli do not create any new energy, but probably 
they liberate or put at our disposal some latent energy. 
According to our hypothesis the stimuli called dynamo- 
genic are those which (by virtue of biological causes 
which we have not to scrutinise here) have the pro- 
perty of opening certain taps of the reservoir of energy. 

2. The Oscillations of Work. — If a work is not of very 
great interest, nor very easy, we generally accomplish 
it by fits and starts. We enter on the work with 


enthusiasm, then, in a moment, we have a tendency 
to think of something else — ^we look out of the window, 
or scribble a caricature : but the interest which we 
attach to the end of the work stimulates us afresh, and 
we return to the work with ardour. Then comes a 
new slackening and a new spurt. I strongly believe 
that the slackenings are in general due rather to ennui 
than to fatigue. We are diverted from our work when 
a more interesting thought crosses our mind and turns 
to its own use the current of energy coming from the 

We have previously seen that these intermittent im- 
pulses stamp themselves very clearly upon the curve 
of work. These it is which constitute the " spurts " 
which have been spoken of. In our experiment in 
continued additions (fig. 13) the work was maintained 
at a very constant total among all the subjects, and 
the oscillations due to the repeated impulses of the 
will can be clearly noted. Having myself taken part 
in the experiment, I took particular account of the 
periodicity of the effort. 

This periodicity seems also to be characteristic of 
all mental work. Seashore, who has devoted a study 
to it, has found in every case that this is so whatever 
may be the nature of the tests worked. If we follow 
it far enough the curve of work appears like a succes- 
sion of broad waves which are broken up into very 
small undulations. 1 

This rhythmic behaviour of cerebral activity has 
doubtless a cause for its existence, a biological signifi- 
cation. If mental tension were always maximal, we 
should probably be exhausted much too quickly, and 
there is an advantage, upon the whole, in our effort 

^ Seashore and Kent, Periodicity and Progressive Change in 
Continuous Mental Work, Iowa Stud, in Psy. IV., 1905. 


being thus constantly interrupted by semi-rests, which 
permit a fresh access of energy. These short periods 
of mental concentration are, without doubt, also most 
favourable to thinking, and make it more fruitful 
than would a sustained but mediocre attention. For 
making a voyage of discovery at night, in an unknown 
country, the intermittent but powerful flashes of an 
electric lighthouse are more useful than the con- 
tinuous illumination of a paltry lantern, and to ripen 
fruit some bright rays of sunshine are worth more 
than a long series of dull and cold days.^ 

We may remark in passing that the school takes 
no account whatsoever of the intermediate character 
of intellectual work ; that which it demands of the 
pupils above all is continuity of attention, constantly 
to " pay attention " ; but we concern ourselves very 
little to know whether this continuity is not brought 
about at the expense of the quality of the mental 
adaptation, the lucidity of thought, and the originality 
of the work done. 

3. The Difference between Fatigue and Lassitude. — 
Many writers, with Kraepelin, rightly distinguish be- 
tween lassitude and fatigue. Lassitude is the weariness 
caused by work which is monotonous or uninterest- 
ing. We may tire, at the end of a minute or two, of 
a tedious occupation. We may even tire of doing 

1 I do not forget that it is often in the penumbra of the subconscious 
that the solution of certain problems is prepared ; but the concentra- 
tion of conscious thought is indispensable for directing, verifying, 
and improving the products of "inspiration." M. Henri Poincare, 
in whom subconscious work is highly developed, attests that this 
kind of work " is only possible, and in any case is only fruitful, 
when one part of it precedes and the other part follows a period 
of conscious work " (Poincare, V invention rnathematique. Bull. Inst, 
gen. psy., 1908, p. 182). 


Lassitude may, however, have as a consequence 
a lowering of work. This lowering must not be con- 
fused with that of fatigue. That which causes it is 
the closing of the taps of energy, not the diminution 
of the provision of energy. Lassitude is generally 
neglected as not appertaining to the problem of fatigue. 
I think this is a mistake. Lassitude, it is true, is not 
a sufficient sign of fatigue, but if one is obliged to 
accomplish a piece of work which is wearisome, this 
work brings on fatigue much more quickly, as we shall 
see in the following paragraph. 

4. That change of work does not, as a matter of fact, 
suffice of itself as rest, but that this change may 
indirectly increase energy, by reviving interest, is 
comprehensible by the hypothesis of a reservoir. 

If, in fact, there is a great reservoir, sole and central, 
to which the various activities come to draw the energy 
which is necessary for them, it is comprehensible that 
the lowering in the potential of the reservoir produced 
by a certain work may also make itself felt in subse- 
quent work. 

On the other hand, we can conceive also that if, in 
the long run, a work becomes sufficiently wearying or 
monotonous to close the taps of the reservoir, a new 
and interesting work, by suddenly reopening the taps, 
momentarily increases the energy of the worker. 

5. Unexpected Activity. — The presence of a reservoir 
of energy enables us also to understand the unexpected 
activity which may be displayed by persons who think 
themselves exhausted or neurasthenic, if they are 
touched on the right spot, if they are encouraged, or if 
there be revealed to their eyes an ideal which inflames 
them all at once. All who are concerned in the treat- 
ment of psychasthenics know how much a word 
happily placed, the removal of a prejudice, or the self- 


confidence that is given to an invalid, may cause the 
almost instantaneous vanishing of chronic fatigue of 
long standing. 

Professor Dubois, of Berne, who has taken up ergo- 
graphic researches on neurasthenics, relates that cer- 
tain among them, who were in a complete amyosthenic 
condition, and incapable of using their arms, " sud- 
denly interested by an experiment, recovered unsus- 
pected powers and furnished an ergographic curve 
above the average." ^ 

6. The Lowering of Psychological Tension. — ^M. Pierre 
Janet has explained, by a depression of mental tone, 
which he calls " the lowering of psychological tension," 
the incapacity which we find in psychasthenics, and 
also in people normally fatigued, for executing the 
higher mental operations. In our hypothesis this de- 
cline corresponds to the decline of the potential of 
the reservoir of energy. ^ Our scheme has the advan- 
tage of taking account of two categories which we 
meet among psychasthenics : those who are truly 
fatigued, suffering from troubles of nutrition, and 
those who are simply nervous, with obsessions, &c. 
These two classes correspond to two possible causes of 
want of dynamogenisation of our actions : (1) Asthenia 
(debility) through deficiency in the formation of energy 
(slackening of nutrition, &c.) ; (2) Asthenia through the 
closing of the taps of energy (defect of interest, psychic 
inhibitions, &c.). These two forms may also combine 
and unite with one another. Treatments on a physical 
basis (rest, a generous diet, &c.) succeed best of all in 

1 Dubois, Les psychon^vroses, 1904, p. 146. 

^ This decline of the potential also takes into account the effects 
of fatigue upon ideation : the lowering of the value of the association 
of ideas. Compare the experiments of Aschaffenburg, Psy. Arb. 
II., 1899, upon the associations in fatigue, and Claparede, L^ Associa- 
tion des Idees, p. 241. 


the cases of the first kind ; and those on a moral 
basis (suggestion, persuasion, &c.) in cases of the 
second sort. The great differences which are found 
in the efficacy of the same mode of treatment arise, 
no doubt, from the fact that the origin of asthenia 
varies from one patient to another. 

The hypothesis of a central reservoir accounts for 
still other facts ; we need not mention more than one, 
the examination of which will be the subject of the 
following paragraph : the difference between fatigue 
and overpressure. 

It only remains, for the moment, to ask what normal 
fatigue is. This includes in reality three different 
phenomena, which it is necessary clearly to distin- 
guish : the fatigue-capacity, the fatigue- function, and 
the fatigue-state. Let us see what part each of them 
takes in our hypothesis. 

Fatigue-capacity is the external aspect of fatigue : 
that which the physiologists take into account when 
they define fatigue as " a diminution of the capacity 
to work," or " a paralysis," or, again, " a diminution 
of irritability " \i.e. susceptibility to stimuli which 
usually arouse action]. This fatigue-capacity is an 
essentially relative fact : thus, in a laboratory, a 
muscle of a frog, to which a certain weight has 
been attached, is made to contract through stimu- 
lation induced by electric current : — it is found that 
the muscle, though it is fatigued for a weight of 
50 grams, may not be so for a less weight ; and it may 
still be able to lift the weight of 50 grams if the 
stimulation becomes more intense. In the complex 
circumstances of life, fatigue-capacity depends at the 
same time upon the difficulty of the work to be done, 
on the amount of reserve energy, and on the greatness 
of the causes (interest, stimuli) which make energy 


available. For the same work, and for the same pro- 
vision of energy, we shall be more or less quickly 
fatigued (from the point of view of effective work) 
according as the work happens to be wearisome or 
interesting. When fatigue-capacity depends wholly 
upon ennui, it is confused with lassitude. 

What is the mechanism of this lowering of capacity ? 
It is twofold : sometimes the lowering is the result of 
an active and inhibitive process, and sometimes of a 
passive process of paralysis. Let us first consider the 
former of these cases. 

Fatigue, as most biologists admit, with Mosso and 
Mile. loteyko, is a defensive function. In working our 
organism tends to become exhaustion, and it is neces- 
sary that when the organism approaches the moment 
when exhaustion will begin, it should be warned and 
urged to stop. Fatigue has for its precise function 
to bring about the arrest of activities which are about 
to bring on exhaustion. Things go on as if this func- 
tion of arrest, at any rate in intellectual fatigue, were 
started in a reflex manner by the lowering of the 
potential in our reservoir of energy. ^ We may suppose 
that the reservoir (which is, like all living machines, 
a machine endowed with the power of adaptation) 
tends to limit its output in proportion as its level 
falls. This limitation is generally accompanied subjec- 
tively by a feeling of difficulty in keeping up attention, 

^ This fatigue would otherwise supervene long before the reservoir 
was completely empty ; it would be a signal indicating only that 
it is beginning to empty itself. All our defence functions, as we 
know, are anticipative, that is to say, they put themselves into 
motion before there is great urgency ; thus hunger supervenes many 
days, or even many weeks, before we are at the point of death through 
inanition ; so fatigue, which whispers in our ear that we are able 
to work no more, supervenes a good time before we really are able 
to work no more. 


of being uninterested. We have here the fatigue- 
function in a pure state, since it is not mixed up with 
the sHghtest element of poisoning. This explains to 
us how it may be dissipated or diverted by means of 
interest, when this is sufficiently strong to hold in 
check the reflex of defence. 

If we resist the appeals of this first fatigue, there 
will doubtless soon be added the poisoning due to the 
waste materials proceeding from the functioning of 
the organs brought into play by the work. These 
waste products clog the machinery of our activity ; 
and, in order to work, a larger and larger amount of 
energy becomes necessary. The ponetic phenomena 
quickly appear, and constantly increase ; the more the 
machinery is clogged, the more energy is necessary, 
and the more the level of the reservoir is lowered. 
This is the fatigue-state. It is probable, however, that 
as long as the work is done at the expense of the energy 
in the reservoir, the poisoning is of little importance. 
The dangerous poisons are only formed when, the 
reservoir being dry, energy must be created on the 
spot, in the centres which work, and at the cost of 
the albuminoid substances.^ Then overpressure begins. 

8. Overpressure 

It is generally admitted that overpressure is a 
chronic or pathological state of fatigue, which shows 
itself by symptoms more or less definite : giddiness, 
headache, sight troubles, want of appetite, bleedings 
at the nose, &c. 

1 ' ' Normal activity would result from the use of carbon hydrates, 
whilst the other would imply the using of albuminoids. In the 
course of the latter chemical destruction of numerous wastes more 
or less abnormal, and in every case relatively poisonous, arise " 
(Demoor, Rapport sur la fatigue, at the 11th Hygiene Congress, 
Brussels, 1903). 


Binet and Henri consider that it is not in these 
symptoms in persons that we should try to find the dis- 
tinction between ordinary fatigue and overpressure, 
for they may be absent, and be present, on the con- 
trary, amongst persons who are not overworked. For 
these writers the distinctive character of overpressure 
is in the mode of the recovering from fatigue : normal 
fatigue is that in which there is self -recovery, without 
any special precautions being taken ; on the contrary, 
there would be overpressure whenever the fatigue 
which is experienced requires exceptional conditions 
for recovery. 

This definition seems to me very suitable. It has, 
from the practical point of view, only the inconvenience 
of completely subordinating the diagnosis of over- 
pressure to the methods of measuring fatigue ; for, to 
know if the day's fatigue has been entirely dissipated 
by the night's repose, it is necessary to be able to 
determine whether, on waking in the morning, any 
signs of the fatigue of the day before still exist. On 
the other hand, it neither informs us as to the physio- 
logical nature of overpressure nor of the producing 
causes. Doubtless overpressure results from too much 
work ; but at what point, when it is a question of 
scholars, do we enter the domains of excess ? Here is 
the great question which pedagogues and doctors dis- 
cuss without coming to an agreement. Finally, what 
are the natural limits of overpressure, which separate 
it on the one side from great fatigue (normal), and on 
the other from neurasthenia ? 

Until further researches adduce some decisive ele- 
ments in this debate, I wish to submit two or three 
remarks, the results of ordinary observations. 

It is undeniable that certain children or adolescents 
are abnormally tired by the school system. It is said 


that these cases are rare. This is true. But, if they 
are rare, is it because the modern school system is 
only capable of overpressing specially weak individuals, 
or because most children defend themselves against 
the system by their indolence, and escape from its 
dangers ? This is a delicate question, for the number 
of factors at work is very considerable : curricula, 
school methods, pedagogical capacity of the masters 
on the one hand, and the individual health, intelli- 
gence, zeal, or laziness on the other. 

If we examine what goes on around us, we notice 
that sometimes some individuals are able to complete 
a very considerable piece of work without being over- 
worked, whilst at other times the same individuals 
are overworked by a very moderate piece of work. 

The idea which is forced upon us — and which con- 
firms the observation of what happens to oneself — is 
that it is not so much the amount, nor even the difficulty, 
of the work which overtires us, as its nature, its psycho- 
logical nature : generally the work which interests us 
does not overtire us, whereas tedious work, work with- 
out interest, and drudgery, overtires. ^ 

In fact, we infinitely prefer difficult and interesting 
work to easy and tedious work. The scientist who 
freely follows up a problem will be able to work many 
consecutive days without fatigue, whereas he would 
be exhausted if he were compelled, without reason, to 
make additions for a few hours. Do children overtire 
themselves with playing ? Certainly not ; play rather 
rests, even if it demands sustained attention, because 
it is fed by interest. 

1 Thorndike {Mental Fatigue, Psy. Rev., 1900, p. 571) has already 
remarked that the overpressure of scholars arises above all " from 
a maladroit inhibition of agreeable activities." See also Wagner, 
book cited above, p. 116. 


The problem comes back, therefore, to consider- 
ing what distinguishes, from the psycho -physiological 
point of view, difficult and interesting work from easy 
and tedious work. The kind of fatigue is assuredly 
different in these two cases. In tedious work there is 
a struggle to be maintained, and we have the impres- 
sion that the forces which are absorbed in the struggle 
against disgust or tedium are lost for the work itself. 

Let us examine each of the four typical cases which 
present themselves in everyday life : (1) Easy and 
interesting work, which does not fatigue ; (2) Difficult 
and interesting work, which does not fatigue, or only a 
very little ; (3) Easy and tedious work, which fatigues 
in a manner disproportionate to its importance ; and 
(4) Difficult and tedious work, which fatigues to a 

If we accept the hypothesis, mentioned above, of 
two different sources of energy, the central reservoir 
and the local manufacture in the nervous centres, we 
are able broadly to schematise what happens in the 
various cases. Interesting work is done at the ex- 
pense of the reservoir, but tedious work — which has 
not the power of opening the taps^ — is done at the 
expense of the energy produced locally in the nervous 
centres presiding over the elaboration of the work. And 
such local production uses up the neurons infinitely 
more quickly than the simple transmission by their fibrils 
of an energy coming from somewhere else. Here is a first 
cause of the m(^re exhausting effect of tedious work. 

But there is also, in my opinion, a second, of which 
I have already made mention : in tedious work ^ the 
organism defends itself, it makes use of those reflexes 
of defence of which we have spoken (p. 155-7). This 

1 By the definition, in fact, a tedious work is a work which does 
not call forth interest (see above, p. 156). 


is a fresh obstacle to vanquish, which is added to the 
resistance of the work to be done.^ And this is not 
yet all : we recall that, in the local production of 
energy, the wear and tear produces poisons which are 
more harmful than in the utilisation of the reserve. 

Finally, we may point out a last circumstance which 
makes tedious work a cause of overpressure : that is, 
that it is not educative. When work is normal, in- 
teresting, each step in advance taken, each piece of 
knowledge assimilated, facilitates subsequent acquisi- 
tions. If, on the contrary, the work is tedious, assimi- 
lation does not take place, and the pupil is not able 
to help himself by past lessons to learn the new ones. 
Each step forward becomes, therefore, so much the 
more troublesome as it loses the assistance of the pre- 
ceding step ; the pupil feels swamped and, so as not 
to be completely engulfed, he makes efforts which 
need to be more considerable every day. 

Local production of energy necessitated by the clos- 
ing of the reservoir, increased poisoning by the waste 
products, reflexes of defence to overcome, greater ex- 
penditure of energy, absence of normal progress facili- 
tating subsequent work — such are the causes which 
make tedious work exhausting work. 

The following table sums up and schematises the 
differences between the four cases which we have re- 
viewed. Let us express by the number 10 the greatest 
resistance to be overcome in a difficult work, and by 
the number 1 the resistance in an easy work. These 
resistances will be overcome, respectively, by 10 units 
of energy for the difficult work, and by 1 unit of 
energy for the easy work. If it is a question of in- 

1 It is for this reason, doubtless, that easy and tedious work tires ; 
the resistance of the work itself is not great, but the resistance offered 
by the reflexes of defence enters into the account. 




teresting work, it is the energy of the reservoir which 
is employed to oppose the resistance ; there is then 
no need in this case for the production of local energy. 


1. Easy and interest- 


2. Difficult and in- 


r 3. Easy and te- 
Over ( dious 
P^jn 4. Difficult and 


Expenditure of 


' the re- 

local pro- 
duction . 






1 1 

1 10 




In tedious work, to the resistance of the work itself 
there is added the resistance of the reflexes of defence. 
Let 10 be the magnitude of this resistance when the 
tedium is maximum. The sum of resistance will be 
the equivalent to 11 for the easy and tedious work 
(I + IO), and to 20 for the difficult and tedious work 
(10 + 10). As the taps of the reservoir remain closed 
during tedious work, it devolves on the local produc- 
tion to furnish the energy necessary to triumph over 
the resistances, hence the wear and tear and the 
abundance of toxins. 

According to this way of looking at the matter, the 
psycho -physiology of overpressure is wholly different 
from that of ordinary fatigue. Overpressure does not 
result only from too great a work ; it is due above all to 
work of a 'psychologically inferior nature.^ 

^ I do not here wish to consider whether, side by side with over- 
pressure due to defect of interest, there also exists an overpressure 


If the work of an inferior nature is very common 
in schools, the fault is in a great measure due to 
the system of examination. Examination ! It is 
useless to arraign the system here. The teaching 
body know better than any one else all the evil 
for which it is responsible. What makes it so for- 
midable for the intellectual hygiene of children is 
that, little by little, it has deviated from its original 
aim, which was to estimate the capacity of scholars. 
To-day it serves, more often, to judge the master : 
'' the pupils are the accusers, the master the accused." ^ 
We know the fine results of the system ! 

I cannot resist the pleasure of quoting, apropos of 
this, the following passage from a communication pre- 
sented to the first Congress of School Hygiene by 
M. Gory : "If the chief preoccupation of pedagogues 
were to enlighten the consciousness of children, to de- 
velop their reason, to mature their judgment, and to 
strengthen their energy, they would have a perfect 
understanding with the doctors ; for they would not 
be able to obtain these ends by overpressure and ex- 
cessive work, nor by violating the rules of hygiene. 
But often the only end which they propose to them- 
selves is to make their pupils win prizes for algebra, 
or a Latin theme, and it is according to successes of 
this kind that the value of the teaching given in the 
Lycees and in private schools is judged. It is for this 
that we overwork children, and so, by hindering their 

due to excess of interest, which occurs among artists, merchants, &c., 
carried away by the love of art or by love of money. It would be 
necessary to consider further what is the role of the emotions in the 
pathogeny (origin and growth of disease) of overpressure : competi- 
tion, ambition, the desire to rise in the world, or the fear of being 
shipwrecked on the way, are certainly factors of great importance. 

1 L. Zbinden, Report on L'Examen to the 17th Congress of the 
Soc. ped. romande, Geneva, 1907. 


physical development, we hinder the development of 
their will, of their heart, and of their intelligence also. 
For I refuse to call this senseless heating of young 
brains an education of the intelligence ! " ^ 

The great examinations — final, bachelor's degree, 
leaving — which terminate the secondary studies are 
above all an occasion of overpressure, because of their 
foolishly encyclopaedic programme. Professor Ostwald 
has earnestly protested against these examinations, 
apropos of which he scoffs at our school system. 
" That the school," he says, " after having followed a 
pupil's career for nine years, is not even capable, at 
the end of that lapse of time, of judging if the pupil 
is fit to leave secondary teaching, is an absurdity such 
as only an arch-antiscientific organisation of teaching 
could render possible." ^ 

There are, of course, still other causes which are 
able to influence overpressure, to accelerate its ad- 
vance, as, for example, growth which in supplying its 
own needs lowers the reserves of organic energy, and 
thus obliges the pupil to work all the more quickly at 
the expense of the local production of energy ; or 
again alcohol, tobacco, bad habits, and other agents 
of nervous enfeeblement ; to which it is necessary to 
add bad hygiene, immobility, insufficient respiration, 
all which, in a word, Dr. Matthieu rightly calls " school 

To school maltreatment may, alas, often be added 
home maltreatment. Many children are exploited by 
their parents who, after school, when the hour of 
detention ought to have sounded for them, are obliged 
to run errands to the town, to light the fire for the 

1 Gory, Neceasite du repos, Reports of the Ist Congress of School 
Hygiene, Paris, 1903. 

2 Ostwald, Wider das Schulelend, Leipsic, 1909. 


evening meal, and to clean the room. For them it is 
the school which is the place of rest, and it should 
surprise nobody that they are sleepy there. ^ A master 
who is anxious about the health of the pupils ought 
not to preoccupy himself only about the causes of 
fatigue during school-time, but he should also take 
account of the overwork which may be undergone in 
the home, if only that he may not punish them wrong- 
fully. Indolence, the deficiency of zeal of a pupil, 
may often depend upon causes which we do not sus- 
pect. A teacher of Wurzbourg, having remarked the 
extraordinary apathy of his pupils, aged from 10 to 12, 
had the idea of making an inquiry into the conditions 
of their sleep. He learnt that most of them (34 out 
of 54) shared their bed with another person (brother, 
parents), which led to disturbed sleep, and many did 
not sleep a sufficient number of hours. ^ 

9. Rest 

When we are fatigued it is necessary to rest. This 
is certainly so. But this very simple truth raises, 
nevertheless, certain problems. We may ask in the 
first place at what moment it is proper to rest oneself ; 
next, for how long a time; and finally, how to rest. 

^ One reads in UEducateur, 1908, p. 574 : "In our Vaudois 
country districts hand -work has become so dear that children are 
obliged to take the place of workmen who cannot be found. Nearly- 
all, boys and girls, rise at 5 o'clock in the morning, if not before, 
having to attend to the work of the house or the stable. They have 
only just time after a hasty breakfast to run to school. . . . The 
two hours passed at school are a rest for the body, but a torture 
to the mind. These children, half worn out, depressed, and in- 
different to everything, trouble themselves very little about the 
glorious deeds of William Tell, the agreement of participles, or 
proof by casting out nines." 

2 Friedrich, Ueher die Schlafverhdltnisse meiner Schuler, Kf. IV., 


There is, then, a science of rest. It is because they 
have ignored this that so many people are overtired 
and worn out, in a manner quite disproportionate with 
the work which they have done. 

1. When to Rest. — We may rest when fatigue is 
present ; or, again, we may rest before fatigue comes 
upon us ; or, finally, we may not rest, but persist in 
working a certain time in spite of fatigue. Let us 
first consider the last of these circumstances. 

Some authors, we have seen (p. 276), and amongst 
others Malapert and Offner, have maintained that the 
duty of the school is to teach the child to be fatigued. 
Offner goes so far as to affirm that it is necessary to 
make children who are under the influence of fatigue 
go on working for an appreciable time longer. What 
are we to think of a pedagogical principle such as 
this ? 

I consider, for my part, that it is very dangerous. 
It reflects the gloomy and anti-psychological concep- 
tion of education by coercion, a conception of Catholic 
origin which we have already had occasion to stig- 
matise. ^ I certainly recognise that there is a very 
correct idea in the doctrine of education by fatigue, 
and the intention of its defenders is excellent : it is 
to habituate the child to rising superior to disagreeable 
sensations, and not to believe himself done for when 
he feels tired. It is certain that there are times when 
it is necessary to work while under the influence of 
fatigue, when the work ought absolutely to be finished 
by a certain date. In addition to this it may be 

^ " Our system of education," says Payot (Rev. philos, XLVIII., 
p. 601), " is in great part a heritage from the Catholic doctrine that 
human nature is fundamentally bad and corrupt ; and that it 
follows that education ought to be a constraint, and founded upon 
fear." And, he ought to add, upon fatigue. 


useful, on the score of exercise of the will, and for 
teaching the child to measure his forces and to know 
what is his reserve of energy, to cause him now and 
again to do forced work. But those are only excep- 
tional or special cases, and we could not set up M. 
Offner's principle as a pedagogical maxim. 

It is a grave error to think, with M. Malapert, that 
" the duty of the school is to teach a child to fatigue 
itself." What a singular idea ! How can we believe 
that we are rendering the child a service by teaching 
it to work with a tired brain, that is to say, with a 
defective instrument ? But is not the first duty of a 
good workman to take care of his tool, and to keep it 
in good condition ? What should we say of a teacher 
of the violin who should teach his pupil to go on play- 
ing till " an appreciable time " after his strings are 
slack, or when his bow has lost its resin ? Or of a 
peasant who would persist in mowing when his blunted 
scythe was no longer able to do more than ruffle the 
grass which he ought to cut down ? 

To teach the child to fatigue itself ? No ; quite 
the contrary ! In our civilisation, with life so hurried 
and intense, where precocious wearing-out and neuras- 
thenia are often the only recompense for those who 
work, what it is above all advisable to teach the child 
is to work without fatiguing itself. And it is not by 
fatiguing it that we attain this result, but by making 
it contract good habits of work. 

Ask those who work with their head and you will 
find what they think of work done under the pressure 
of fatigue ; they will tell you, for the most part, that 
it is wrong, when fatigue is present, to force ourselves 
in spite of it, because intellectual work produced under 
conditions of nascent fatigue is generally inferior. It 
is much better, when one feels that he ''is not getting 


on well," to abandon his work, and to take it up 
again a little later. 

Darwin is an illustrious example of the amount of 
work which may be done by a man of feeble health, 
not able to work many hours a day, but knowing how 
to take rest as soon as he felt tired. M. Beaunis 
states that as soon as his work no longer goes of 
itself " he does not worry about it " : "As soon as I 
feel (and it is a thing which can be distinctly felt) that 
it does not go, I do not wait for cerebral fatigue to 
come on ; I stop, and go on with something else. 
Thanks to this method of work I have never suffered 
either cerebral fatigue or intellectual overpressure." 
M. Henri Poincare, the famous contemporary mathe- 
matician — whose output, we are assured, is more con- 
siderable than has been known since Gauss and Cauchy 
— works in an automatic and spontaneous manner, 
but " when speculation is not easy, voluntary effort is 
of little use, and M. H. Poincare abandons the work." ^ 
" The worker," says Mosso, " who persists in working 
when he is fatigued, produces only feeble work of little 
utility, at the expense of his organism," &c., &c. 

There are besides, as everywhere in psychology, 
marked individual variations. With some, work con- 
tinues productive even under the depressing constraint 
of fatigue — witness Zola, who " became relentless over 
an obstacle, and did not breathe till he had overcome 
it." ^ With others, fatigue supervenes immediately, and 
not to be fatigued would for them be not to work.^ It is 

^ Darwin, Life and Correspondence, and Mosso, work quoted, 
p. 163; Beaunis, Comment fonctionne mon cerveau. Rev. Philos., 
Jan. 1909, p. 40 ; Toulouse, Henri Poincare, Paris, 1910, p. 177. 

2 Toulouse, Emile Zola, Paris, 1896, p. 262. 

^ Other individuals always feel ready for work. We may compare, 
as an example of the two types, the two following replies, furnished 
by two young mathematicians, about the same age, to our inquiry 


not less true that to compel some scholars to work 
under the pressure of fatigue is a deplorable system, 
were it only that work done in these conditions is 
nearly always of inferior quality, and that we must 
not under any pretext habituate the pupil to do bad 
work, when with another system he is able to do good. 

To make him like work, it is necessary to place the 
pupil in such conditions that he arrives at the best 
possible results with the least possible trouble. The 
method of constraint and fatigue only succeeds in 
making work detested or despised ; for it engenders 
results which are not proportionate to the trouble 
which they cost ; and however little intelligence the 
pupil may have, he concludes, and not without reason, 
that " the game is not worth the candle." ^ 

It is therefore necessary to interrupt intellectual 
work when fatigue supervenes. 

already quoted : " Yes [it is necessary to interrupt work], the 
work of continued mathematics being very fatiguing to mind and 
body," and " It seems to me that mathematics never fatigues " ! 

^ Perhaps M.M. OfEner and Malapert meant to speak simply of 
lassitude, or of the first obstacles which give to work what I have 
called " the fatigue -function in a pure state " (see p. 285). In that 
case, these authors are right, to a certain extent, in engaging the pupil 
to struggle against these reflexes of defence. But, then, it is not 
at all a question of teaching the child " to work a considerable time 
under the influence of fatigue " ; in fact, in order that the struggle 
against this nascent fatigue may turn to the worker's profit, it is 
necessary to stimulate the interests capable of overcoming these 
inhibition reflexes (see above, p. 154) ; the awakening of these 
interests has for its consequence the suppression of lassitude and 
the feeling of nascent fatigue. It is no longer, therefore, a matter 
of " teaching the child to fatigue itself " ; but, on the contrary, of 
teaching him to make his fatigue to vanish. If this is what the 
two authors quoted above intended to say, then I am in entire 
accord with them — and I beg them to forgive me for having joined 
issue with them in regard to their conception, of which the formula 
appears to me very dangerous, and calculated to encourage the 
partisans of constraint. 


It is important for the teacher to be able to diagnose 
from without the signs of fatigue in his audience. 
These signs — of which Galton has drawn up a hst by 
means of an inquiry addressed to some professors — 
are, for the most part, well known to all : agitation, 
twitchings, grimaces, yawning, inattention, blunders, 
memory or speech troubles, stammering, &c. Some 
masters have mentioned a change in the normal colour 
of the skin, or the movements of the eyes.^ 

Among the signs of school fatigue we must men- 
tion that of play during lessons, which is a thing too 
severely condemned by traditional discipline. Physio- 
logy teaches us that the suspension of the higher 
cerebration has for its correlative the activity of the 
lower reflex and automatic centres. The play of tired 
scholars is only a particular case of this general law. 
As soon as mental fatigue supervenes, instinctive acts 
and impulses — and the need of play is, as we have 
seen, the impulse par excellence of the child — gain the 
upper hand. Of course, it does not follow that it 
would do to allow free course to the scholars' tendency 
to play during lessons ; but the teacher should always 
bear in mind that play is one of the symptoms of 
school fatigue." 

When the signs of fatigue appear, it is certainly 
necessary to rest. But we may ask ourselves whether, 
from the point of view of the amount of work to be 
done, there is not, in many cases, an advantage in 
resting before fatigue appears. Experience shows that 
this is so. 

Physiologists have long since proved that if we 
prevent a muscle from reaching a certain degree of 
exhaustion by resting it now and again, we may, in a 

^ Galton, La fatigue mentale, Rev. scient., vol. 17, 1889. 
- Boubier, Les jeux pendant la classe, Ar. de Psy. I., p. 64. 


given time, make it accomplish a very much greater 
number of contractions than if it had worked without 
relaxation. In such a case the intervals devoted to 
rest are not time lost, but time gained : for example, 
we exhaust a muscle by making it perform thirty con- 
tractions ; it needs two hours of rest for complete re- 
covery ; but if we had interpolated rest in the middle 
of the work, that is to say, after fifteen contrac- 
tions, half-an-hour would have sufficed to repair the 
fatigue produced, in place of an hour (as it would 
have been if the time for the rest necessary for repara- 
tion was proportional to the duration of the work). 
And the work done in the second case would be superior 
to that which was done in the first experiment.^ 

Here, then, is a new practical problem : after what 
time from the beginning of work is it necessary to 
make a pause so that it may be most advantageous ? 
This problem is intimately bound up with that of the 
duration of the pause, and it is necessary to consider 
them together. 

2. Duration of Rest. — During what length of time 
is it necessary to rest in order to dissipate the effects 
of the fatigue produced by a certain work ? That de- 
pends upon the moment when the pause takes place. 
As we have just said, these two problems, that of the 
moment and that of the duration of rest, are connected 
and dependent : according to the length of the rest 

1 Fere has proved, by the ergograph, that if we stop to take 
rest at the moment when the first sensation of fatigue arises, the 
work accompHshed in the course of a series of twenty ergographic 
experiments is very much superior to that furnished by an analogous 
series in which each ergogram has been continued until exhaustion. 
The series interrupted by rest is a little longer than the other, but 
the gain to the work is relatively much more important than the 
lost time : for example, for a gain of 50 per cent, the increase of 
time is only 15 per cent. (Fere, Vcconomie de V effort et le travail 
attrayant, C. R. Soc. biol., vol. 59, 1905, p. 611.) 


allowed, there will be an advantage in placing it at 
such or such a moment ; and according to the moment 
at wMch the work ought to be interrupted, there will 
be an advantage in making a shorter or a longer pause. 

Many studies have been devoted, during the last 
twelve years, to this question of the place and the 
duration of the most favourable pause. All these studies 
have been carried out in laboratories, and we may 
take exception to them for not having realised the 
conditions of school work. They have, however, had 
the advantage of bringing certain facts very clearly to 
light. When an individual does a piece of work, many 
factors, we have seen, influence the quality and rapidity 
of the work : besides fatigue, there are " siving " and 
skill, which are capable of completely counterbalancing 
fatigue for a certain time. But an untimely rest is as 
harmful to " swing " as to the skill obtained from 
practice. We can understand, therefore, that a rest 
coming too soon after the beginning of the work may 
be more harmful than useful, since it has for effect 
the interruption of the " swing," and prevents the 
worker from reaping the advantage of acquired skill, 
at a period when the fatigue is still insignificant. 

It has been shown, for example, that in a task of 
addition, a pause of fifteen minutes after an hour of 
work has no favourable effect : it is long enough to 
destroy the " swing " and to dissipate the good effects 
of acquired skill, and too short to repair completely 
the fatigue. On the other hand, a pause of fifteen 
minutes after two hours of additions is proved to be 
very favourable, &c. There are otherwise some rather 
considerable individual variations. ^ 

Useful as may be the laboratory experiments, one 

^ See the works of Amberg, Rivers and Kraepelin, Lindley, 
Heuman, in the Psy. Arb. I.-IV., and Wimms, work quoted above. 


would not know how to draw direct conclusions from 
them as to the length of time necessary to give, in a 
school, to recreations, so that they might have the 
greatest possible restorative value, for the exercises 
which serve as tests in laboratories are often more 
irksome than the work done in class. It would be 
necessary, therefore, to undertake school researches 
of the kind followed, in a very methodical fashion, by 
Friedrich.i This author, working with the method of 
dictations, has shown that a recreation of eight 
minutes, between two hours of lessons, has a very 
favourable effect. Here, for example, is one of the 
results that he obtained : 

After 2 hours of lessons with one recreation . 

2 „ „ without „ 

3 „ „ with two recreations 
3 „ „ with one recreation . 
3 „ ,, without „ 

N.B. — In the experiments embracing 2 hours of 
lessons, the intermediary recreation was 8 minutes ; 
in those embracing 3 hours of class the interpolated 
recreations were of 15 minutes. The erasures were 
counted as mistakes. The last column indicates, for 
each experiment, how many pupils had not committed 
any fault. 

Friedrich has also shown that the pause at midday 
(11 to 2 o'clock) is not sufficient to dissipate the 
morning's fatigue ; at 2 p.m., for example, the number 
of faults was equal to sixty-two, whereas in the morn- 
ing before the classes, they amounted to forty-seven 
(but it may be that there are other influences at 

1 Friedrich. Untersuch. iiber den Einfluss der Arheitsdauer und 
der Arbeitspausen auf die geistige Leistungsfdhigkeit der Schulkinder, 
Z. f. Psy. XIII., 1897. 

rumber of 

Pupils with 
no Faults. 












work here : digestion, the daily variation of psychic 
energy, &c.). 

No systematic experiments have been made upon the 
influence of the duration of recreations. Friedrich has 
shown that, for three hours of lessons with only one 
pause, a pause of eight minutes after the first hour is 
more favourable than a pause of fifteen minutes after 
the second. 

The question of knowing of what length a lesson 
ought to be so that the pupils may not be fatigued, and 
how the lessons ought to be distributed over the day, 
has given rise to numerous studies. There is but little 
agreement on the subject. Whilst most of the re- 
searches made in the schools with the various methods 
of measurement (dictations, sesthesiometer, &c.) have 
shown that the scholars were fatigued at the end 
of an hour's lesson (Sikorsky, Burgerstein, Laser, 
Holmes, &c.), Thorndike affirms that the pupils " are 
just as capable " of work after having had a day 
of school, since the work done by them at the end of 
the day " has not decreased by an iota," and that 
it is not the ability which is less but the willingness. 
According to this writer, it would therefore be rather 
lassitude than fatigue which would be in evidence.^ 

1 Thorndike, Psy. Rev., 1900, p. 547. We discuss elsewhere 
the advantage of lessons of two hours or of one hour (see Marcheix, 
Duree du travail et du repos des ecoliers, 1st Congress of School 
Hygiene, Paris, 1904 ; De Fleury, ilnd. ; Mathieu and Mosny, 
Revision de Vhoraire du travail et du repos, 2nd Congress, Paris, 
1905). In France, lessons of two hours in length have been 
the rule. Marcheix demanded that they should be reduced to one 
hour and a half. This is still very long ! It is, besides, necessary 
to distinguish : when the pupil is actively working, doing problems 
in mathematics, for example, it is an advantage for him to have a 
long time in front of him, so that he may be able to profit by the 
" swing." But if the lesson consists of passively listening; fifty 
minutes appears to me a maximum not to be exceeded. 


Pauses of long duration have sometimes for result, 
strangely enough, the strengthening of the effects of 
practice instead of diminishing them : Specht, for 
example, having made experiments in additions with 
fifteen subjects, remarked that, after two weeks' in- 
terruption, nine among them had shown, on again 
taking up the tests, a clearly augmented capacity for 
work.i Persons who are practising the acquisition of 
a certain sport, bicycling, horse-riding, &c., have also 
noticed the progress which was made during a long 
period of inaction. This influence of rest on the per- 
fecting of acquired activities has caused the physio- 
logist Exner to announce this amusing paradox, that 
it is in summer much more than in winter that the 
art of skating is perfected ! 

3. How to Rest. — In general the organism knows 
quite well how to preserve itself from exhaustion ; it 
possesses a certain number of safety valves which open 
of themselves when it feels menaced. These valves 
are inattention, dislike of the work in hand, and the 
desire to rest, sleep, or play. The importance of these 
means of defence of the organism is often misunder- 
stood by teachers. The old-time pedagogy, which shut 
its eyes to the physiological conditions of mental 
activity and fixed its attention only on the duties 
of the mind considered by itself, was very severe on 
inattention and idleness. We must, however, accept 
the evidence that, in many cases, these faults against 
" discipline " are nothing but the reactions of defence 
of the organism against the fatigue which is invading it. 

But these spontaneous means, though they are 
among the most efficacious, have the defect of not 
being officially admitted as such. 

1 Specht, Zur Analyse der Arheitskurve, Z. pad. Psy., 1910 
p. 29. 


In the schools we often endeavour to guard the 
pupils against fatigue by changing the work. We have 
already spoken of this factor (pp. 260, 281), and have 
seen that by varying the work we may renew the interest 
of the child, and also reopen the taps of energy which 
lassitude in the preceding task had closed. By skilful 
variation in the daily programme, it could be arranged 
that all the energy required should be derived from 
the reservoir of energy, and thus prevent overpressure. 
It must always be clearly understood that the changing 
of work does not hy itself suffice for rest ; it only has 
this effect if to difficult work there succeeds work that 
is easier or more interesting. We ought also to guard 
ourselves against stopping, by an untimely interrup- 
tion, the " swing " of the young workers. What we 
said a moment ago about pauses applies also to the 
changing of work. 

Is it to gymnastics that we must apply for rest from 
intellectual work ? No ; we have said why (p. 268), 
and cannot revert to it. Play itself, the beneficent 
and educative action of which I have emphasised so 
often, and which can be pursued so long without 
fatigue, would not always constitute, according to 
certain authors (e.g. Wagner), an efficient means of rest. 

We must note here the method of treating fatigue 
by the " antikenotoxin " of Weichardt,i the more so 
because it has recently been made the object of a 
school experiment, in Berlin : the hygienist Lorenz, 
having shown by the method of sums that the capacity 
of scholars for work was greatly diminished after the 
fifth hour of lessons, sprinkled one day in the class- 
room, by means of a spray-producer, a solution of 
1 per cent, of antikenotoxin, immediately before pro- 
ceeding to the last test of calculation ; then found 

1 Weichardt, Ueber Ermudungaatoffe, Stuttgart, 1910, p. 41. 


that this antikenotoxin, which had penetrated the 
bodies of the pupils by their respiratory channels, had 
had the effect of augmenting the speed of reckoning 
by 50 per cent., and had lowered the number of mis- 
takes made. We would naturally desire that fresh 
experiments of this kind should be undertaken. For 
the moment it is impossible to pronounce upon the 
value of the method — it seems too good to be true ! 

But, certainly, the only means of rest, the efficacy 
of which admits of no doubt, is that of doing nothing. 
A means so simple that it has needed centuries to 
discover it. Is it not, so to say, only from yesterday 
that we date the method of " the rest cure " for the 
treatment of neurasthenia, that is to say, of chronic 
exhaustion ? 

To do nothing is not always synonymous with loss 
of time — as the pedagogues believe. Without speaking 
of the subconscious — which constantly works — and 
without ever being fatigued ^ — ^we may recall that 
pure loafing is often very educative. Listen to 
Toepffer, who knew what he was talking about : ^ 
" Looking out of the window is the true pastime of a 
student : I mean, of an industrious student. ... I 
pass my days there, and if I dared to say it . . . 
No, my professors, Grotius and Puffendorf, never gave 
me a hundredth part of the instruction that I imbibe 
there, doing nothing but looking out on the street. . . . 

"Yes, loafing is a necessary thing, at least once in a 
lifetime, but above all at eighteen, on leaving school. 
It is then that the soul, parched with worthless old 
books, refreshes itself ; it takes a halt to get to know 
itself ; and it finishes its borrowed life to commence 

1 Beaunis, work quoted above, Rev. philos. XXXIV., p. 40. 

2 Toepffer, La hihliothdque de mon oncle [Nouvelles genevoises), 
Geneva. 1832. 



its very own. Thus an entire summer passed in this 
state does not appear to me to be too much in a 
proper education. It is probable that only one 
summer would not suffice to make a great man : 
Socrates loafed some years, Rousseau until he was 
forty, and La Fontaine all his life. 

" And yet I have not seen this precept incorporated 
in any work on education." 

It is difficult to obtain complete repose for children 
during the day, and in normal conditions it is from 
sleep that we should seek restoration from fatigue. 

10. Sleep 

What is sleep ? It does not much matter by what 
theories we seek to account for this phenomenon of 
which the physiology is still obscure. It seems to me 
to be, like fatigue, a function of defence having for 
its end, by overwhelming the animal with inertia, 
to prevent the arrival of the stage of exhaustion. ^ 
When we sleep, hardly any toxins are formed, since 
motor and mental activity have ceased ; the toxins 
are therefore eliminated more quickly than they are 
formed, and consequently the blood is soon cleared. 
On the other hand, the functions of attention and 
relation being suspended, the nervous force not utilised 
for the needs of mental adaptation is employed in 
the work of restoring the tissues which have been 
used up during wakefulness. 

The importance of the restorative process of sleep 
has been proved in a very suggestive fashion by 
Weygandt.2 This writer took, late at night, certain 

^ Ed. Claparode, Eaquiaae d^une theorie hiologique du sommeil, 
Ar. de Psy. IV., 1905, and Rivista di Scienza II., 1909. 

2 Weygandt, Exp. Beitr. z. Psy. des Schlafes, Z. f. P., vol. 30, 
1905. See also the communication of Roemer to the Congress of 
Psy. at Munich, 1896, 


tests of work with a subject {e.g. by the method of 
additions). Afterwards the subject slept, and at the 
end of a certain time, half-an-hour, an hour, &c., was 
awakened and took up a new test. The results are 
curious. They show that the restorative influence of 
sleep is not the same for all kinds of work. Half-an- 
hour of sleep suffices to repair the fatigue due to a 
test of additions, while it is necessary to sleep five 
or six hours to repair the fatigue due to a test of 
memorisation. Learning by heart, without appearing 
so, is one of the most exhausting of mental exercises. 
It is, then, necessary that children should sleep. But 
how long ought we to allow them to sleep ? This is 
a much-debated question. 

" Sex horas dormire sat est juvenique senique 
Septem do pigris, nulli concedimus octo," 

taught the school of Salerne. Six hours, seven hours 
to the idle, and never eight ! The good doctors of 
old were a little stingy ; but doubtless life was then 
more tranquil. To-day the workers require more. Of 
the sixty-five mathematicians who have responded to 
the inquiry quoted above, forty-five sleep eight hours 
or more, and eleven alone need from six to seven 
hours. And these are adults.^ 

Children need much more. Why ? Because they 
have to grow. Sleep is favourable to development. 
A remarkable parallelism is shown between the need of 
sleep and the intensity of growth (above all, of the 
growth of the cerebral hemispheres) ; in the periods 
of great growth (early infancy and puberty) the need 
of sleep increases. 2 

^ See also the inqiiiry inaugurated by La Revue (Paris), Oct. 15, 

2 Tromner, Zur Biologic u. Psy. des Schlafes, Berl. klin. Woch, 1910. 


How is this creative action of sleep to be explained ? 
We are probably justified in assuming that, during 
this state, the disposable organic energy is utilised not 
only to repair the deficiencies occasioned by the day's 
activities, but also for the needs of the growth of the 
organism. It is during sleep that the child builds itself 
up ; sleep is for him a primordial need. 

The schoolmaster who scolds the unfortunate scholar 
who comes late to class, through having remained 
asleep a little longer than usual, never dreams of this. 
To be punctual to the minute in the morning is one 
of the dogmas of school pedagogy, about which per- 
haps our masters are most high-handed — doubtless 
because its strict application exacts the least ability : 
it is not necessary to be very versed in the art of 
educating to be able to put a bad mark against the 
little late-comers who arrive after the last stroke of 
the clock has sounded. 

Nevertheless, to punish a child who arrives late be- 
cause he has slept too long or too soundly amounts 
to punishing him because he is busy with growing, 
which is, every one will agree, incomparably foolish. 

Nothing should be more sacred than the sleep of a 
child ! Parents ought to take as a rule of conduct 
never to wake a child who is sleeping soundly, even if 
the hour for school has struck. For if the child sleeps so 
profoundly — I mean, if the usual sounds of the house 
do not suffice to wake him, and it is necessary to pull 
him out of bed, to tug him forcibly, to sprinkle cold 
water — then he still needs sleep ; and in these circum- 
stances a quarter of an hour of sleep is worth a hun- 
dred times more for his development than an hour of 
the most admirable lesson. 

On the other hand, the experiments which have 
been undertaken, in the course of the last twenty 


years, upon the profoundness of sleep at various times 
of the night, have revealed the existence of various 
types of sleepers : whilst amongst some (the vesperal 
type, much the most common) the profoundness of 
sleep attains its maximum at the end of about an 
hour, and afterwards decreases, among others [the 
matinal type) sleep gets profound slowly, and is com- 
paratively more profound in the last hours of the 
night. 1 And these two types are also found among 
children. Michelson claims that the matinal type is a 
sign of nervousness ; but Aschaffenburg affirms that 
he has frequently met it amongst individuals possess- 
ing a nervous system as strong as it is possible to 
conceive. 2 These types of sleep appear to depend on 
the constitution of the individual. Two brothers may 
each belong to a different type. 

By taking no account of these facts, which it 
ignores as it ignores many others, the school shows 
how remote it keeps itself from life, and how vain 
are its pretensions of wishing to develop the child by 
a knowledge of causes. 

But I hear the outraged protestations of our masters 
at this : " Not punish late-comers ! But that would 
be to allow the reign of indiscipline, disorder, and 
anarchy ; and it would open the door to every abuse, 
for if we did not oblige the scholars to be punctual 
they would not come at all ! " 

Abuses ! The children would no longer come if 
they were not compelled to come ! Your confession 
is valuable : you recognise, then, that they do not like 

^ The profoundness of sleep is measured by the intensity of 
the excitation (noise, pricking, «fec.) necessary to waken the sleeper 
(method invented by Kohlschiitter, in 1862, Messungen der Festigkeit 
dea Schlafes, Diss., Leipsic). 

2 Michelson, Psy. Arb. II. ; Aschaffenburg, Der Schlaf im Kindes- 
alter. Wiesbaden, 1909. 


your school. Well, they are right ! if they feel that 
it is a prison, hostile to their natural bent, in which 
reigns suspicion, and where everything is an agency 
for catching them out in a fault, instead of being 
a hospitable and pleasing house with open arms to 
welcome them, and ready to trust them. 

What ! Here is a poor little chap, who has been 
kept in bed by sound sleep a little longer than usual ; 
hardly are his eyes open before he is conscious of his 
misdeed, which he has done nothing to bring about. 
But the school has already so falsified his sense of 
reality that he quite believes he is guilty — he who has 
done nothing more than live a little bit of healthy life. 
And see how he hurries, rushing away at a gallop 
without waiting to take food. In the street he runs 
as hard as his little legs will go, and arrives exhausted 
and breathless, but triumphant, at the school gate. 
Alas ! he is too late. The fatal hour has just struck, 
and it is by a rebuff that he will be welcomed. Of the 
cause of his lateness, of his efforts to repair his appal- 
ling fault (almost a crime), no account whatever will 
be taken. Just think of it ! Is the school made for 
the children ? But surely we are trifling with 
ourselves by entering into all these " details " ! For 
having slept a little too long, that is to say, for having, 
last night, grown a little more than usual, made a 
little more than usual of the bodily frame and cerebral 
substance, our little friend has to be kept in, and is 
made to copy twenty times the verb " I sleep too 
much," and on his weekly report book a bad mark 
will be entered under the heading of " indiscipline," 
just as though he had been late through having played 
about in the street ! 

And you wish that he should love your school ! 

Only make it attractive, and you need no longer 


fear that by not punishing the late-comers there will 
be abuses. Make your arrangements such that your 
pupils may be punctual not through fear of some 
punishment, but for the reasons which render punc- 
tuality desirable, because they will understand the 
confusion which a late-comer causes, and you will thus 
do truly educative work. For later, in real life, there 
will not always be " bad marks " in view to oblige 
them to be punctual. 

The school, however, is not alone to be blamed. 
Parents are also often blameworthy. How many there 
are who not only do not take any trouble to see that 
their children go to bed early, but who even make 
them stay up late, by taking them to the cafe or to 
some entertainment. By sleeping late in the morning 
the children are only repairing, and this is the best 
way in which they are able to make up for, the fault 
of their parents. To do otherwise would be to arrive 
in school ^ith a brain unfit for work. That is what 
the school, which punishes them, does not understand. ^ 

I have just criticised the school. The criticism is 
easy ; but it is less easy to discover how we may be 
able, without falling into disorder, to take account of 
the various requirements in the way of sleep of all our 
little disciples. The difficulty arises mainly from the 
fact that the school, as it actually is, is not adapted 
to the real needs of the child. The child whom the 

^ In many cases also, as every one knows, there are home tasks 
to be done by the scholars, which keeps them up late. We ought 
not, in fact, to require from children, who have been shut up in 
school all day, that they should set to work again immediately they 
return home. A walk, and many indispensable occupations (though 
not scholastic) find a place between the return home and supper-time. 
Evening tasks ought therefore to be abolished. In his researches 
on scholars. Axel Key has arrived at the conclusion that it is these 
school tasks which, above all, oblige the child to curtail his sleep 
(A. Key, see Burgerstein's Handbuch d. Schulhygiene, 1902, p. 680). 


" regulations " have in mind is a sort of average and 
schematic being who does not exist in reahty. The 
school is not, therefore, in a position to take account of 
particular cases and of individual diversities, because 
it has never been organised for this ; and this is so 
true that, when its eyes are opened to the pedagogic 
importance of these individual diversities, it is as 
dumbfounded and unable to move as a night-bird 
which opens its eyes in an intense light. ^ 

Nevertheless, these individual differences exist, and 
if the aim of the school is to develop individuals, and 
not to satisfy regulations and curricula, it is very 
necessary to take account of them, if only so as not 
to violate the primo non nocere which we have re- 
garded (p. 55) as the first duty of education. How, 
then, can we arrange for children who are not to be 
awakened by force in order to go to school ? 

1 Do I exaggerate ? Alas ! I believe not. Here, amongst many 
others, is a fact which has been brought to my knowledge while 
I am writing this paragraph : A boy of 13, whom it was necessary 
to wake by force every morning to go to college (although he went 
to bed in good time), at last fell ill ; he grew thin and pale, and 
was inattentive, in spite of his efforts, at school. A doctor was 
consulted, who naturally demanded that his desire for sleep should 
be respected, and that he should be allowed to sleep at least an 
extra hour. The child's mother then went to the director of the 
college and asked him if her son might not, for a certain time, go 
to school at 9 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. The director replied that it 
was a very complicated matter, not foreseen in the regulations, that 
he was unable to give an immediate answer, that it would be neces- 
sary to consult the Council, and that he would let her know its 
decision later. Many weeks passed, but the answer of the director 
had not arrived. During this time the child continued to overwork 
himself, although that had not been " foreseen by the regulations." 
Meeting the director in the street one day, the mother of the scholar 
asked him for a reply. This being in the negative, it was necessary 
to keep the boy away from college for two months ; this was the 
only way " according to regulations " of allowing him to satisfy his 
need of sleep. 


The simplest way would be to make the time for 
entering school later, say 8.30 or 9 a.m. (in place 
of 8) in winter, and 8 (instead of 7) in summer. Or 
better, if we wish not to lose the first hour, to make 
it optional for children to arrive at what time they 
like between 8 and 9 a.m. It would be necessary, of 
course, to put on the time-table, for the first lesson, 
a subject of secondary importance, such as singing, 
drawing, manual work, and various revisions. This 
would be a question to be studied. 

There is in all cases one day of the week when 
lessons ought to begin later, viz. Monday, because of 
the excursions which the children often make on 
Sunday. Nothing so disposes one to sleep as these 
days in the fresh air, without mentioning the fatigue 
due to walking. 1 

We may, however, ask ourselves whether it is worth 
while to take account at this point of individual needs, 
and if there is not, on the contrary, an advantage for 
the education of character in habituating the child to 
complying with certain rules, and sometimes to do 
itself violence. 

Doubtless, but on condition that the rules and the 

^ It would be interesting and useful to make an inquiry into the 
difficulty children have in getting up in the morning. This inquiry 
could be easily carried out by teachers. It would be sufficient to 
question the children themselves when they came to school. Each 
might be asked the following questions : " Did you wake yourself 
this morning ; or, better, was it necessary to wake you (alarum, call, 
&c. ) ; and, in this case, were you awakened easily or with difficulty 
(was it necessary to call you many times), or with great difficulty 
(was it necessary to pull you out by force, &c.) ? " By repeating 
this questionnaire a certain number of consecutive days, we should 
find out individual differences, we should see how the waking was 
affected by the days, the seasons, &c. It would be necessary to 
note separately the wakings due to accidental causes (loud noises 
in the street, claps of thunder, nightmare, &c.). 


violence may not be to the detriment of its health. 
Doubtless we ought to fight against greediness, and to 
accustom the child to eat everything that is given 
it — except, however, indigestible or unsuitable food, 
which would only upset his stomach. 

From what we know of sleep we do not exactly 
know how far it is expedient to repress its excess — or 
that which appears to us excess — because we do not 
yet well know its cause. When the child sleeps very 
much, is it greedy of sleep, or is it from pure need ? 
I decidedly believe that it sleeps only because it needs 
sleep, and while there is any doubt on this point, one 
should not hesitate to act as if it were so. 

But is not sleep educable ? Are we not able to 
teach waking up at a certain time, and even how to 
sleep only a short time ? 

If sleep is, as my biological theory assumes, a posi- 
tive function, an instinct, nothing prevents us from 
considering such education as possible (within certain 
limits, of course). It is the property of instinctive 
functions — as opposed to reflexes, which are entirely 
mechanical — to be, up to a certain point, plastic, 
adaptable, and modifiable by habit. ^ And our every- 
day observation shows us how much waking is subject 
to habit. But it is also precisely because of this that 
when we see some one, and especially a child, not 
waking at the usual time, we are entitled to assume 
that the organism claims, for that day, more sleep 
than ordinarily. To habituate a child to wake itself 
at a certain fixed hour is therefore an excellent rule, 
on condition that it is not an inflexible rule, since 
sleep depends in a large measure upon the processes 
of growth, phenomena with whose irregular behaviour 
we ought not to dream of interfering. 

^ Claparode, Thcorie biologique du Sommeil, Geneva, 1905. 


Waking is not only under the influence of habit, it 
is also under that of interest. When we have an 
interesting day in view, we wake much more easily, 
and more spontaneously, than when this is not the case. 
Children do not remain asleep on Christmas morning, 
when the night before they have put their little stock- 
ings on the bed-rail. And perhaps they would remain 
asleep less often on other days if the school had more 
attraction for them. It is quite possible, in fact, that 
when it is to their interest to get up early, they 
will sleep a sounder and therefore more rapidly re- 
cuperative sleep. I have noticed in my own case 
that in mountain climbing, on a tour, on military 
service, &c., if I sleep only four hours at a time, knowing 
beforehand that I could not sleep more, this short sleep 
is very much more recuperative than if I am suddenly 
awakened at the end of a four hours' sleep, when I 
believed, on going to sleep, that I should be likely to sleep 
eight. It is as though my organism, knowing that 
my sleep was bound to be short, had crowded it into 
a few hours, had made it gain in soundness what it 
was bound to lose in duration. 

Is education capable of thus shortening sleep with- 
out causing the loss of any of its recuperative value, 
in other words, of augmenting its speed ? In the 
absence of observations and experiments it is im- 
possible to answer this question. We do not know 
if the rhythm of sleep is sufficiently independent of 
inborn temperament for us to be able to modify it to 
an appreciable degree. We see intelligent and strong- 
willed people who have never been able to bring them- 
selves to get up early or to do with little sleep ; and if 
they force themselves, they are good for nothing for 
the whole day. 

What ought to be the normal duration of sleep for 


children ? Doctors are agreed upon the following 
figures : — 

Children from 5 to 8 years of age : 11 to 12 hours. 
„ „ 9 to 10 „ „ 10 to 11 „ 

„ „ 11 to 13 „ „ 9 to 10 „ 

„ „ 14 to 15 „ „ 9 „ 

These are average values. Certain children need 
more ; perhaps there are some who are able without 
any inconvenience to content themselves with less (it 
would be interesting to have returns of observation 
by teachers or parents on this point). Finally, let us 
remember that the child, like the man, has greater 
need of sleep in winter than in summer. 

With children for whom the night's sleep does not 
suffice, a short sleep of fifteen minutes, after the mid- 
day meal, may have very beneficial effects.^ 

If we inform ourselves about the conditions of the 
sleep of children, we find that for the greater part 
they are defective. We have quoted above the in- 
quiry of Friedrich. We are able to add the observa- 
tions of Dr. Bernhard on 6651 Berlin scholars from 
6 to 14 years of age, and of Miss Ravenhill on 6180 
Enghsh scholars. 2 Bernhard found that the defi- 
ciency in the hours of sleep amounted to one and a 
half hours, and Miss Ravenhill to two hours and three- 
quarters on the average. Bernhard has further shown 
that only a third of the children sleep by themselves 
in their bed, and that most share their room with 
numerous other persons (44 per cent, with four persons 
or more), the consequence of which is a vitiation of the 

1 Seashore, The Mid-day Nap, J. of Ed. Psy., May 1910 ; Heller, 
Ermiidungsmessungen, Wien. med. Presse, 1899. 

2 Bernhard, Zur Kenntnisa d. Schlajverhdltnisse Berliner Gemeinde- 
schUler, Bericht Kongress f. Kinderforschung, Berlin, 1906 ; Raven- 
hill, Investiy. into Hours of Sleep, Ar. int. hyg. scol. V., 1908. 


breathable air, without taking account of the other 
inconveniences of a cohabitation so Httle hygienic. 

To inquire into the manner in which the child be- 
haves with regard to deprivation of sleep is therefore 
one of the first duties of pedagogy. We should laugh 
at a " chauffeur " who started out on his automobile 
without being assured that his accumulators were 
sufficiently charged. But, I do not know why, we 
find it quite natural that an educator should go on 
his way without ever having a care for the cerebral 
accumulator upon which depends the intellectual work 
and the moral strength of the children entrusted to 
his guidance. 


General Works. — In the first place we must mention the admirable 
book of Mosso, La Fatigue, 1891 (Fr. trans., Paris, 1894). The 
work of BiNET and Henri, La Fatigue intellectuelle, Paris, 1898, is 
an exposition of the methods of measuring fatigue, and of the chief 
experiments made up to the time of its publication. Ioteyko's 
article on Fatigue in Richet's Dictionary of Physiology, 1903, gives 
a general view of the question, with bibliographies. Offner (good 
bibliography). Tissie (quoted above). Burgerstein and Neo- 
UTZKY, Handbuch der Schulhygiene, second edition, Jena, 1902, 
p. 454. 

Measurement of Fatigue and School Investigation. — Sikorsky, 
Sur les effets de la lassitude provoquee par les travaux intellectuels 
chez les enfants, Ann. d'hygiene, publ. 1879. Laser, Ueber geistige 
Ermudung beim Schulunterricht, Z. f. Schulgesundheitsflege, 1894. 
Holmes, The Fatigue of a School Hour, Ped. S., 1895. Vannod, C. R., 
Congres de Nuremberg, II., 1904. Adsersen, Fine dsthesiometrische 
Untersuchung, ibid, (the author has ascertained some periodical 
oscillations of Weber's threshold, and believes them to be depen- 
dent on the oscillations of the temperature of the body). Abelson, 
Mental Fatigue, Ar. int. hyg. scol. V., 1908. Bonoff, Noikow, 
ibid. IV., 1908. Quirsfeld, Prag. med. Woch., 1908. Freeman, 
Fatigue in School Children as tested by the Ergograph, Am. Journ. 
Med. Sc, 1908 (no results). A very complete bibliography will be 
found in the thesis of Baade, quoted p. 238. 


Ergography. — Larguier dbs Bancels, Revue des derniers travaux 
surla technique de Vergographe, An. ps. VII., 1902. Treves, Venergie 
de contraction volontaire et la fatigue nerveuse. Arch, di Fisiologia, 
1904 ; Contr. alio studio dei fenomeni soggettivi di fatica, Giorn. della 
Soc. ital. d'Igiene, 1905. Bergstrom, A New Type of Ergograph, 
Am. J. Ps., 1903. Athanasiu, Ergographe double d hille, C. R 
Soc. Biol., 1908, t. 64, p. 79, and 65, p. 691. 

Comparison of the Different Methods. — Gineff, Prufung der 
Methoden zur Messung geistiger Ermudung, Diss. Zurich, 1899 
(according to this author, it is the time taken in carrying out a 
piece of work which constitutes the best measure of fatigue ; he 
rejects the sesthesiometric method). Larguier des Bancels, 
Comparaison des differentes 7nethodes de tnesure de la fatigue intellec- 
tuelle, An. ps. V., 1899. Ellis and Shipe, Present Methods of testing 
Fatigue, Am. J. Ps., 1903. Baade, quoted above. 

Criticism of the Various Methods (specially of aesthesiometry). — 
Leuba, German, Ps. Rev., 1899. Thorndike, ibid., 1900. Ritter, 
quoted above. Ivraepelin, Ueber Ermiidungstnessungen, At. f. g. 
Ps. I., 1903. Bolton, Ueber die Beziehungen zwischen Ermildung, 
Raumsinn der Haut und Muskelleistung , Ps. Arb. IV., 1904. 
Altschul, Wert der Experim. bei Schiileruntersuchungen, C. R. 
Congres de Nuremberg, 1904, II. Chabot, Les nouveUes rech. 
esthesiometr., Rev. Pedag., 1905. Malapert, Les rech. exp. sur la 
tnesure de la fatigue et les conclusions pedag. qu'on en peut tirer. 
Bull. S. po. E., 1905. Alexander, Die Methoden z. Messung der 
geist. Ermildung der Schulkinder, Diss. med. Breslau, 1908 (con- 
clusions : aesthesiometry has no value, ergography scarcely more ; 
but ergography would be useful for detecting neuropathic pupils. 
See the reply of Griesbach in Pfliig. Arch., vol. 131, 1910, p. 126). 
Mile. MoTCHOULSKY, These de Berne, 1900, has noted the variations 
of the sensibility of the skin under the influence of temperature, 
of health, &c. 

Curves of Work, and Various Investigations. — Kraepelin, Ueber 
geistige Arbeit, Jena, 1897. Miesemer, Psych. Wirkungen Korper- 
licher m. geistiger Arbeit, Ps. Arb. IV. Rudin, Ueber die Dauer 
der psychischen Alkoholwirkung , ibid. Wimms, A Method of estimating 
Fatigability, B. J. of Psy. II., 1907, p. 193. Griesbach, Him- 
lokalisation und Ermildung, Pfliiger's Arch., 1910, Bd. 131 (the plan 
of the author was to determine by the aid of the sesthesiometer 
the fatigue of each of the hemispheres : in the state of repose Weber's 
threshold is equal on the right and on the left of the body during the 
repose ; but at the end of a piece of intellectual work, especially 
of memorisation, the threshold is higher on the right, which indicates 
that the left hemisphere works more than the right). Scripture, 
Researches on Reaction-time, Stud. Yale Ps. Lab. IV., 1896 (fatigue 


prolongs the time of reaction) ; Researches on Voluntary Effort, ibid, 
(experiments with the dynamometer : fatigue increases the average 
variation). On the method of tapping, see Bryan, Am. J. Psy., 
1892. On the periodicity of effort, see Lombard, Am. J. Psy., 1891. 
PiLLSBURY, Attention Waves as a means of measuring Fatigue, Am. 
J. Psy., 1903. Descriptions are given of the periodical oscillations 
of the vital energy of man, comprising periods of about twenty-eight 
days : see Swoboda, Die Perioden des m.enschlichen Organismus, 
Vienna, 1904, and Die kritischen Tage des Menschen, Vienna, 1909. 

Dynamometry. — Fere, Sensation et mouvement, Paris, 1887, and 
Travail et plaisir, Paris, 1904. Mention may here be made of the 
suggestive discourse of W. James on The Energies of Man (delivered 
in Dec. 1906). James thinks that every man possesses treasures 
of energy, " reservoirs of energy," but that he does not make use 
of them because he does not know how to remove the oljstacles 
which block the way. His idea seems to have exercised a certain 
influence on two quite recent works devoted to the problem of 
fatigue, viz. that of M'Dougall, Fatigue, communicated to the 
British Association, Dublin, 1908, and Brain, 1909, and that of 
BuRNHAM, The Problem of Fatigue, Am. J. of Psy., July 1908. 
M'Dougall admits that the organism considered as a whole con- 
stitutes a " great common reservoir of free energy," and he shows 
how this way of looking at it throws light upon the^ problem of 
fatigue. I was very glad to find in this author views analogous to 
those which I have developed in the preceding chapter, views at which 
I had arrived before I had any knowledge of his/work (in a biblio- 
graphic notice, Ar. de Psy. V., 1905, p. 50, jMiad already alluded 
to the presence of a reservoir of energy on which the dynamogenisa- 
tion of adapted reactions would depend). 

Overpressure. — Mathieu, La question du surmenage scolaire, 
Ar. int. hyg. scol. IV. Hergel, Die SchUleriiberbiirdungsklage, 
C. R. Congrcs de Nviremberg, 1904, II, Schuyten, Qu'est-ce 
que le surmenage ? Rev. Psych., 1908. Imbert, Le surmenage pro- 
fessionel, An. ps. XIV., 1908. Treves, Le surmenage par suite 
du travail professionel, Congres int. d'hygiene, Berlin, 1907. H, 
Schultze, Zur Frage der Erschiipfungszustcinde der Schuljugend, 
Diss. med. Rostock, 1909 (inquiry into the subject of the backward 
or feeble children in the schools ; not a psychological study). 

Time-tables. — Semerad, Ueber die N otwendigkeit und die Vorteile 
des ungeteilten Unterrichts, C. R. Congrcs de Nuremberg, II. (lessons 
should only take place in the morning ; this result could be achieved 
if the wholly useless subjects were banished from the curricula, 
and if actual life were considered). Martin, Contribution a Vetude 
du travail scolaire. Bull. S. ps. E., March 1910 (the influence of habit 
on work is very great : it is important to commence worjj at the 


hour at which one is in the habit of working ; it is therefore not of 
great importance to place the most fatiguing lessons at one hour 
rather than another). 

Histological Alterations. — The nervous cells undergo certain 
alterations under the influence of exhaustion ; these have been 
studied by Hodge, Am. J. Psy., 1888, 1892 ; Stefanowska, Congres 
de Psychol., 1900, Arch, des sc. phys. et nat., 1897, 1901 ; Pugnat, 
Joum. de physiol., 1901 ; Demoor, Arch, de Biol., 1896, &c. See 
bibliography in Ioteyko. 

Pathological Fatigue. — Revilliod, La fatigue. Bull. Soc. med. 
de la Suisse romande, 1880 (in this remarkable work the author 
sets forth the symptomatology of the fatigue disease, to which he 
gives the name of "panose "). See, finally, the various and innumer- 
able works on neurasthenia — ^we will here mention only Janet, 
Les obsessions et la psychastenie, Paris, 1903 ; Hartenbebg, Psycho- 
logie des neurastheniques, Paris, 1908 ; Waterman, Treatment of 
the Fatigue States, Journ. of abnorm. Psy., July 1909. The curves 
of fatigue in different pathological states have been undertaken 
by Gross, Psy. Arb. II. ; Ballet and Philippe, Rev. neurol., 1903 ; 
Specht, At. f. g. Ps. III., 1904 ; Breukink, Journ. f. Psychol. IV., 

Sleep. — Netschajeff, Z. f. Schulgesundheitspfl., 1900 (quoted by 
BuRGERSTEiN, Handbuch der Schulhyg., p. 679 : the author states 
that as a student he needed more than eight hours' sleep). Czerny, 
Beobachtungen ijber den Schlaf im Kindesalter, Jahrbuch f. Kinder- 
heilkunde, vol. 33. Bevan-Lewis, Fatigue, Rest, and Sleep, Journ. 
of Mental Science, October 1906. Cramaussel, Le sommeil d'un 
petit enfant , Ar. de Psy. (vol. x., 1911). That pedagogues still 
take little account of the importance of sleep may be seen, among 
other things, from the fact that in the great Encyklop. Handbuch der 
Pddagogik of Rein, 10 vols. (1903-1910), there is no article on sleep. 


P. 21. From 1911, the Zeitsch. f. pddag. Psychol, and Zeitsch. 
f. exp. Pddag. will be amalgated in the Zeitsch. f. pad. Psych, und 
Pad., under the editorship of Messrs. Meumann and Scheibner. 

P. 27. Add for Italy the name of Mme. Dr. Montessori, of 
Rome, the authoress of an interesting method of teaching young 
children (c/. Educ, Sept. 1910, p. 360). 

P. 34. A new periodical of popular pedagogy has just been 
brought out in Switzerland, entitled Zeitsch. f. Jugenderziehung 

P. 37. For pedagogy in France, see Ghidionescu, Moderns 
pddag. Stromungen in Frankreich, Langensalza, 1910. 

P. 100. To methods of research add Ern. Jones, Psycho 
analysis and Education, J. ed. Ps., Nov. 1910. On the service 
that animal psychology may render to pedagogy, ClaparI:de, Die 
Bedeutung der Tierpsychologie f. die Pddagogik, Z. f. pad. Ps. and 
exp. Pad. (to appear in 1911). 

P. 206. Add Appleton, Comparative Study of the Play Activities 
of Adult Savages and Civilised Children, Chicago, 1910. Colvin, 
The Educational Value of Humour, Ped. S., 1907. Barat, La 
joie et la sante dans Vecole, C. R. Congres de Nuremberg, 1901, 
vol. ii. 

P. 251. On work and rest, see Lindley, Arbeit u. Ruhe, Psy. 
Arb. III., p. 499 ; Wimms, Fatigue and Practice, B. J. of Psy. II., 
1907, pp. 173, 193. 

P. 253. On work and fatigue, see Kemsies, Arbeitshygiene der 
Schule, Berlin, 1898 ; Arbeitstypen bei Schiilern, Z. pad. Psy. III., 
1901, p. 362; Blazek, ibid., 1899; Meumann, Vorlesungen, II., 
p. 10. 



ABNORMAii children, in Brussels, 

24 ; tests of, 87 
Accommodation, ocular, and 

fatigue, 234 
Activity, unexpected, 281 
Additions, as test of fatigue, 
242-5 ; effect of, on sleep, 307 
Adolescence, and mental func- 
tions, 114 ; and examinations, 
117-8; interests of, 199, 201 
^sthesiometric, test of fatigue, 
218 ; method, and school sub- 
jects, 266 
Age and fatigability, 250 
Alcohol and fatigability, 265 
Algesimetric test of fatigue, 224 
Antikenotoxin treatment of 

fatigue, 304-5 
Apparatus for child-study, 98 
Asthenia and want of dynamo - 

genisation, 282 
Atavism, theory of, in games, 12 

Bibliography, of the paido- 
logical movement, 37-8 ; the 
New Schools, 38 ; open-air 
schools, 38 ; applied psycho- 
logy, 72 ; pedagogy, 72 ; 
eugenics, 72 ; individual 
psychology, 72 ; psycho - 
graphy, 73 ; correlations, 73 ; 
structural and functional 
psychology, 73 ; genetic 
psychology, 73 ; methods of 
research, 99 ; methods of 
interpretation, 100 ; appa- 
ratus and experimental 
methods, 100 ; physical 
growth, 204 ; repercussion of 
physical growth on mental 
functions, 205 ; play, 205 ; 
attractive education, 206 ; in- 
terest, 207 ; imitation, 207 ; 
biogenetic law, 207 ; evolu- 
tion of interests, 207 ; de- 


velopment in general, 207 
monobiographies, 208 ; auto 
biographies, 208 ; adolescence 
208 ; general works on fatigue 

317 ; measurement of fatigue 
and school investigation, 317 
ergography, 318 ; comparison 
of different methods, 318 
criticism of various methods 

318 ; curves of work and 
various investigations, 318 
dynamometry, 319 ; over 
pressure, 319 ; time-tables 

319 ; histological alterations 

320 ; pathological fatigue 
320 ; sleep, 320 

Blank-filling test of fatigue, 215 
Body, the, position of, and 

fatigue, 262 
British Child-Study Association, 

founding of, 16 

Calculations as test of fatigue, 

Child, the, to whom it belongs, 

43 {note) ; and the race, 122, 

184-90 ; different from adult, 

203-4 ; development of, 204 
Childhood, use of, 101-2, 146-8 ; 

divisions of, 172-3 {and note) 
Childhood Society, the, founding 

of, 16 
Child psychology, in France, 

18 ; problems of, 39-72 ; 

what it is, 45 ; analytical 

table of, 51 ; and general 

psychology, 83-4 ; different 

from adult, 89, 92-4 
Children, curiosity of, 182-3; 

and work of adults, 293 {note) ; 

amount of sleep for, 307-9, 316 
Child -study, historical sketch, 

13 ; in England, 16 ; in 

France, 17 ; in Germany, 20 ; 

in Belgium, 24 ; in Holland, 



26 ; in Italy, 26 ; in Austria - 
Hungary, 27 ; in Russia, 28 ; 
in Poland, 29 ; in Bulgaria, 
29 ; in Servia, 29 ; in Rou- 
mania, 29 ; in Norway, 30 ; 
in Denmark, 30 ; in Spain, 
30 ; in Argentine Republic, 
31 ; in Japan, 31 ; in Swit- 
zerland, 32 
Choice, how made, 166-7 ; 
children's reasons for, 193 ; 
affected by kind teaching, 


Coefficient, ponogenic, of various 
subjects, 265 

Concrete to abstract, in evolu- 
tion of interests, 174, 191-2 

Crowd, psychology of, 66 

Curriculum, questions of, 2 

Curve of fatigue, 241 

Deaf-mutes, physical growth of, 

Desire, for material possessions 
in children, 193-4 ; for success, 
Development, mental, 101 ; phy- 
sical, 102-12 
Dictations as tests of fatigue, 211 
Didactics, experimental, 48-9 ; 

and imitation, 139 
Dietary and fatigability, 264, 
Digestion and fatigue, 257 
Doctors and pedagogues, 291 
Dolls, questionnaires on, 6, 191 
Drawing, and study of interests, 

Drudgery in education, 148-9, 

152-3 {note), 156-8 
Dullards and fatigue, 251 
Dumb-bell method of testing 

fatigue, 230 
Dynamogenic stimuli, 278 
Dynamometric methods, 225 
Dynamogenisation and asthe- 
nia, 282 

Education, aim of, 54 ; proper, 
58 ; attractive, 148-61 ; and 
effort, 151-8 ; and utility, 
154 ; and interest, 155-8 ; 
and pleasure, 159 (note) 

Educator, what he should be, 
49 ; problems of the, 54-9 

Effort, in teaching, 151-8 ; de- 
sire for success in, 195 

Elimination of effects of practice, 
240-1, 245 

Energy, reservoir of, 167-9, 
277, 284 ; psychic, culmina- 
tion of, 257 ; reserve of, and 
muscle, 274 ; local, and dif- 
ferent kinds of work, 288 

Ennui, in fatigue tests, 231 ; 
and fatigue capacity, 284 

Equivalent groups, method of, 

Ergograph method, 228 ; and 
fatigue curve, 242 

Ergometer, use of, 230 

Eugenics, what it is, 50 

Evidence, power of giving, 112 

Examinations and inferior work, 

Exhibitors, what they are, 99 

Experiment, necessity of, in 
child-study, 75-8 

Extrospection, method of, 78 ; 
and interests, 170 

Familiaeisation, effect of, 248 
Fatigability, relation to various 
factors, 249-65 ; net and gross, 
254 ; and will, 255 ; and 
time of day, 256 
Fatigue, and psychodiagnostics, 
45 ; intellectual, 209 ; and 
evening classes, 210 ; mea- 
surement of, 210 ; relation to 
speed and errors, 213-4 ; 
direct methods of testing, 
211-6; indirect, 218-37; 
various tests of, 236 ; curve 
of, 241 ; what it is, 261 ; 
and transfusion of blood, 261 
{note) ; mental, and physical 
work, 268 ; problems of, 270 ; 
objective, 271-2 ; and effec- 
tive capacity for work. 272 ; 
physiological nature of, 273 ; 
seat of mental, 274 ; habit of, 
274 ; and exhaustion, 274 
{note) ; is it normal or ab- 
normal, 275 ; is an equivocal 



term, 275 ; and lassitude, 
280 ; and overpressure, 283 ; 
a defensive function, 284, 303 ; 
state, the, 285 ; and toxins, 
285 ; recovery from, 286 ; 
should it be taught, 294-7 ; 
signs of, in class, 298 ; of 
muscle, and rest, 298 ; coun- 
terbalanced by swing and 
skill, 300 ; and pauses, 300-3 ; 
causes inattention and idle- 
ness, 303 ; treatment of, by 
an tikeno toxin, 304 
Functions, relation of, in indi- 
vidual, 63 ; reciprocal influ- 
ence of, 64 ; mental, and 
physical growth, 112—20 ; ac- 
quisition of, by imitation, 

Games, kinds and theories of, 

Genetico -functional problem, 
what it includes, 67-71 

Gropings, in teaching, 3-4 ; 
meaning of the term, 52 (note) 

Gymnastics, mental and physi- 
cal, 57 ; times for lessons in, 
268-9 ; pedagogic and hygi- 
enic, 269 

Habit and fatigability, 260 
Health, preservation of, 55-7 ; 

note-book of, 119 
Heredity and imitation, 139-42 
Home-tasks and sleep, 311 


Ideas, flow of, and body posi- 
tion, 263 

Idleness caused by fatigue, 303 

Imitation, nature and functions 
of, 139-46 ; and heredity, 
139-42 ; and personal experi- 
ence, 143-4 

Immediate to mediate, in evolu- 
tion of interests, 175 

Inattention caused by fatigue, 

Indetermination to specialisa- 
tion, in evolution of interests, 

Individuality, what it is, 61 ; 

methods of study of, 65 
Information, acquiring of, 57 
Intelligence and fatigabihty, 251 
Interest, in education, 155-8 ; 
psycho -biological conception 
of, 162 ; psychological, and 
interest-object, 162 ; interest- 
attribute, 163 ; law of momen- 
tary, 164 {note) ; evolution of, 
169 ; and drawing, 170 ; and 
language, 171 ; stages and 
kinds of, 173 
Interests, and introspection, 
171 ; and sex, 196 ; different 
in boys and girls, 196-8 ; 
social or ethical, 198 ; during 
adolescence and puberty, 199— 
202 ; evolution of, and educa- 
tion, 202-4 
Interpretation, methods of, 87-97 
Introspection, method of, 76-8 ; 

and interests, 171 
Investigation, conditions of, 78 

Kinesthetic memory, as mea- 
sure of fatigue, 236 

Kinetometer, in measuring fa- 
tigue, 236 

Kymograph, what it is, 98 

Language, and the study of 
interest, 171 ; interest in, 
178-81 ; teaching of modem, 
and the mother-tongue, 181 

Lassitude and fatigue, 280, 297 

Late -comers, punishment of, 

Law, of psycho -physical paral- 
lelism, 88 ; of economy, 90 ; 
Haeckel's bio -genetic, 122, 
184-5 ; of momentary in- 
terest, 164 {note) ; of succes- 
sion of interests, 174-5 

Lessons, length of, 302 

Letters, counting of, as test of 
fatigue, 212 ; copying, as test 
of fatigue, 215 

Literature, criminal, and chil- 
dren's liking for, 95 

Loafing, use of, 305 



Maltreatment in school, 292 
Mathematics, teaching of, 189 

Memorising, as test of fatigue, 
216 ; is very exhausting, 307 
Memory and psychology, 46 
Methods, rational and empirical, 
50-4 ; of child-study, 74-99 ; 
of research, 76-87 ; of inter- 
pretation, 87-98 ; and appa- 
ratus, 98 ; in collecting facts, 
78 ; for measuring fatigue, 
Mother-tongue, the, when to 
teach, 181 {note) 

Neurasthenic persons, and 
unexpected activity, 281 

Observation in child-study, 78 
Ontogenesis, what it is, 185 
Orientation and fatigability, 263 
Overpressure, problem of, 276 ; 

and fatigue, 282 ; what it is, 


Paidologist, the, its origin, 16 

Paidology, first use of the name, 
6 ; derivation of the word, 14 ; 
what it includes, 40 ; psycho - 
paidology, 45 

Paidotechny, what it is, 40 

Parents, and education, 2 ; and 
children's sleep, 311 

Passive receptivity to spon- 
taneity, in evolution of in- 
terests, 175 

Pause, method of, 251 

Pedagogy, and psychology, 
1-12 ; experimental, 41 ; 
dogmatic, 42; psycho-peda- 
gogy, 45 ; relation to science 
of the child, 47 ; verbiage of 
traditional, 75 

Phylogenesis, what it is, 185 

Play, theories of, 121-8 ; kinds 
of, 128-38 ; is it an instinct ? 
138 ; the pivot of all educa- 
tion, 158 ; diu-ing lessons, and 
fatigue, 298 ; and rest, 304 

Pleasure, in education, 159-60 

Ponometric methods, 224 ; criti- 
cism of, 237 

Potential of reservoir of energy, 
282 ; lowering of, 284 

Practice, influence of, 248 ; and 
fatigue, 275 

Principle, Morgan's, 90 ; Des- 
cartes', 91 ; Meumann's, 92 

Propaideutics, what it is, 44 

Psychasthenics, treatment of, 
281 ; two categories of, 282 

Psychodiagnostics, and fatigue, 
45 ; its work, 46 ; and back- 
wardness, 52 

Psycholexy, what it is, 85 

Psychology, and pedagogy, 1-12 ; 
problems of, 39-72 ; relations 
of pure and applied, 52 ; 
kinds of, 59-70 

Psycho -pedagogy, what it is, 45 ; 
method of, 50-3 

Psychoprognostics, what it is, 
46, 48 

Puberty, and physical growth, 
106 ; interests during, 199- 
202 ; and suicide, 200 {note) 

Punctum proximum, in vision, 

Punishment of late-comers, 308- 

Questionnaire, the, examples 
of, 6, 191, 171-2 ; method of, 

Reaction time and fatigue, 

Reading, mistake in teaching of, 

177 ; as test of fatigue, 233 
Recapitulation theory, of play, 

122 ; psychological parallel- 
ism of, 184-90 
Recreation, length of, 301-2 
Religion and puberty, 200-2 
Repetition, method of, 240 
Reserve of energy, and muscle, 

Reservoir of energy, nature of, 

167-9 ; and different kinds of 

work, 288 
Rest, influence on fatigue, 246 ; 




and quality of mental work, 

280 ; and change of work, 

281 ; problems of, 293 ; dura- 
tion of, and fatigue, 299 ; how 
to rest, 303 ; and doing noth- 
ing, 305 

Retrospection, uncertainty of, 77 
Rhythmometric method, 232 

Science of the child, what it is, 
39 ; relations to pedagogy, 47 

Seasons, the, and fatigability, 

Self, consciousness of, in child, 

Serum, a, for fatigue, 275 

Sex and fatigability, 250 

Simple to complex, in evolution 
of interests, 174 

Skill and fatigue, 300 

Sleep, and fatigue, 293 ; nature 
and function of, 306 ; effect 
upon toxins, 306 ; length of, 
307, 316 ; and growth, 308 ; 
and parents' responsibility, 
311 ; and home-tasks, 311 
(note), and school regulations, 
311-3; excess of, 314; an 
instinct, 314 ; and habit of 
waking, 314 ; speed of, 315 

Sleepers, types of, 309 

Speed, in fatigue tests, 231, 242, 
249 ; in sleep, 315 

Spurts, in tests, 246, 281 ; 
nature of, 279 

Steam, getting up, in tests, 246 

Sthenometer, what it is, 264 

Subconscious work, 280 

Subjectivity to objectivity, in 
evolution of interests, 175 

Suggestibility, diagram of evolu- 
tion of, 115 

Suggestion and fatigue test, 235 

Suicide and puberty, 200 {note) 

Swing, in work, 248 ; and 
fatigue, 300 ; interruption of, 

Syllabus and the child, 2, 209 

Tapping, method of, 230 
Teacher and psychology, 4-12 

Teaching, matter and manner in, 
54 ; effects of, 59 {note) ; mis- 
takes in method of, 97 ; of 
effort, and by effort, 151-8 ; 
of reading, mistake in, 177 ; 
of modern languages and 
mother-tongue, 181 {note) ; of 
mathematics, 189 {note) ; to 
bear fatigue, 294-7 

Teleimorphism, what it is, 88, 

Tension, psychological, decline 
of, 282 

Tests, mental, 61 

Toxins, and fatigue, 275, 285 ; 
eliminated during sleep, 306 

Transcription from a black- 
board, and fatigue, 235 

Transfusion of blood, and 
fatigue, 261 {note) 

Type, the individual, and fatigue, 

Types, vesperal and matutinal, 
of sleepers, 309 

Utility and effort, 154, 183-4 

Variation, average, and fatigue, 

Vegetarianism and fatigability, 


Weber, threshold of, 218 
Week, the, days of, and fatiga- 
bility, 259 
Weather, the, and fatigue, 256 

Will and fatigability, 255 
Work, method of continuous, 
242 ; kinds and curves of, 
253-4 ; change of, and fatiga- 
bility, 260 ; of production 
and precision, 267 {note) ; phy- 
sical, and mental fatigue, 
268 ; oscillations of, 278 
subconscious, 280 {note) 
change of, and rest, 281 
kinds of, and fatigue, 288 ; 
adult's, done by children, 293 
{note) ; change of, and fatigue, 
Work commissions, method of, 81 


Aall, 30 
Aars, 30 
Abelson, 222, 259, 

Acher, 187 
Adseren, 317 
Agassiz, 185 
Alexander, 38 
Aliotta, 100 
Allin, 15 

Allemagne (d'), 205 
Alrutz, 30 
Altschul, 319 
Alvarez, 108 
Amberg, 300 
Ament, 22, 38, 207 
Angell, 73 
Anton, 21 
Apple ton, 321, 455 
Aristotle, 149 
Aschaffenburg, 282, 

Assagioli, 27, 206 
Athanasiu, 318 

Baade, 22, 59, 65, 
73, 238, 257, 319 

Badaloni, 27 

Badley, 38 

Baer, von, 185 

Baginsky, 22, 38 

Bagley, 15 

Bain, 16, 133 

Baldwin, 14, 15, 73, 

Ballet, 320 

Baltalon, 28 

Barat, 321 

Barnes, 14, 77, 96, 
100, 171, 258 

Barnes, 30 

Barth, 22 

Bashkirtseff, 77 

Baumer, 77 

Baumgarten, 72 

Baur, 234 

Bayliss, 15 

Beaunis, 296, 305 

Bechterew, 28, 89, 

Beckman, 30 

Bedorez, 18 

Bell, 15 

Bellei, 27 

Belot, 18 

Bergqvist, 30 

Bergson, 185 

Bergstrom, 257-8, 

Berillon, 206 

Bernhard, 316 

Bernstein, 28 

Berry, 143 

Bertier, 20 

Bertoldi, 264 

Bettmann, 233 

Bevan-Lewis, 320 

Bianco, 250 

Biervliet, 25, 35 

Billia, 27 

Binet, 17, 18, 19, 35, 
37, 61, 65, 71, 72, 
73, 75, 78, 80, 83, 
100, 110, 111, 120, 
183, 219-28, 236, 
243, 250, 286, 317 

Blanco, Rufino, 30 

Blazek, 28, 222, 253- 
254, 321 

Bleuler, 32 

Blum, 37 

Bogdanoff, 28 

Bogdanowicz, 29 

Bolton, 112,207,222, 

Boncour, 20, 120 
Bonoff, 29, 222, 317 
Borel, 78 
Borst, 33 
Bossuet, 75 
Boubier, 33, 197, 298 
Bourdon, 20, 112, 

Bovet, 33, 152 
Brahn, 21 
Branford, 16, 189 
Braunschvicg, 20 
Breal, 20 
Breukink, 25, 320 
Bridou, 206 
Brittain, 196 
Brown, 15, 17, 64 
Brunetiere, 160 
Brunton, Lauder, 22, 

Bryan, 15, 319 
Biickner, 203 
Buisson, 17, 43 
Burgerstein, 27, 214, 

242, 249, 303, 311, 

317, 320 
Burk, 15, 191, 205 
Burnham, 15, 319 
Burt, 17, 64 
Butler, 15 
Buzenet, 220 

Caldwell, 73 
Cameron, 37 
Camescasse, 160 
Campbell, 15 
Carr, 125, 127-8, 205 
Carrara, 26 
Castagnola, 27 
Cattell, 61, 73 



Cauchy, 296 
Cellerier, 72 
Chabot, 18, 319 
Chamberlain, 14, 108, 

Chantavoine, 206 
Charcot, 82 
Chaumet, 205 
Chiarini, 26 
Chodecki, 29 
Chrisman, 14, 15, 37 
Claparede, 99, 100, 

203, 258, 282, 306, 

Claviere, 18, 226 
Cohn, 22, 72 
Collin, 221 
Colozza, 26, 205 
Colucci, 27 
Colvin, 321 
Comba, 27 
Combe, 33, 204 
Compayre, 17, 20, 37, 

130, 207-8 
Comte, 185 
Conrad, 34 
Conradi, 171 
Consoni, 27, 37 
Conta-Kernbach, 29 
Cordsen, 23, 37 
Cossio, 30 

Cousinet, 18, 134, 203 
Cozzolino, 27 
Cramaussel, 29, 208, 

Credaro, 26, 37 
Croswell, 191 
Cmchet, 19 
Curtis, 38 
Czerny, 320 

Darrah, 171 
Darwin, 3, 72, 208, 

Daubresse, 43 
Dawid, 29, 205 
Dearborn, 15 
Decroly, 24, 278 
Degand, 24, 178 
Demoor, 24, 285, 320 
Descartes, 91, 168 
Deuchler, 21, 37 

Dewey, 15, 71,93,95, 

188, 206-7 
Dexter, 256 
Dinet, 19, 120 
Dodge, 15 
Doleris, 251 
Donaldson, 15, 205 
Dresslar, 230, 257 
Droescher, 77 
Druschba, 27 
Dubois, J., 73 
Dubois, P., 229, 282 
Ducceschi, 31 
Duchatel, 264 
Dugard, 73 
Dugas, 20 
Dumas, 20 
Dumesnil, 77 
Duprat, 18, 80 
Durkheim, 72 
Diirr, 22, 72 

Ebbinghaus, 22, 

Ebert, 32 
Eddy, 25, 181 
Egger, 13, 208 
Elderton, 17 
Ellis, 15, 191, 319 
Elsenhans, 22 
Enderhn, 206 
Engelsperger, 117 
Engle, 207 
Ephrussi, 37 
Erdmann, 22 
Espinas, 208 
Exner, 303 

Faggiani, 27 

Fehr, 258 

Fenel, 159 

Fere, 20, 264, 278, 

299, 319 
Ferrai, 27 
Ferrari, 26 
Ferrer, 31 
Ferreri, 26 
Ferri, 26 
Ferriere, 33, 38, 187, 

Findlay, 17 

Fleury, de, 19, 44, 

Flournoy, 258 
Foerster, 32, 33, 72 
Fournier, 205 
France, 206 
Francillon, 208 
Frear, 207 
Freeman, 317 
Freud, 27, 32 
Friedrich, 22, 171, 

172, 211, 293, 300, 

Fritschi, 34 
Fritzsch, 37 
Fuster, 18 

Galton, 14,50,72,298 
Garbini, 26 
Garmo, de, 15, 206 
Gaudig, 22 
Gaultier, 72 
Gautier, 44 
Gaupp, 23 
Gauss, 297 
Geijer, 30 
Gerini, 27 
Germann, 222, 318 
Gheorgov, 29, 208 
Ghidionescu, 321 
Gilbert, 15, 112-4, 

205, 231, 250 
Gineff, 29, 236, 319 
Girard, 20, 206 
Giroud, 100, 205 
Gley, 236 
Goblot, 18 
Goddard, 15, 171 
Godin, 106, 205 
Goethe, 77, 185 
Gory, 291-2 
Grasset, 166 
Greco, del, 72 
Green, 17 

Gretchoulevitch, 37 
Griesbach, 22, 218, 

221, 259, 318 
Groos, 21, 123-5, 

127-8, 131, 138, 

141, 144, 159, 205 
Gross, 320 
Guex, 34 



Guidi, 27, 112-5 
Guillet, 196 
Gulick, 205 
Guye, 25 

Haeckel, 122, 185, 

Hall, Stanley, 6, 12- 

16, 32, 80, 103, 

122-3, 128, 183, 

Hammer, 30 
Hartenbxirg, 320 
Harvey, 185 
Haskell, 207 
Heerwagen, 258 
Hegel, 185 
Heller, 27, 316 
Hem-i, 77, 236, 243, 

267, 286, 317 
Herbart, 74, 159, 206 
Herder, 185 
Hergel, 319 
Herlin, 24 
Heron, 17 
Herrlin, 30 
Hertwig, 207 
Heubner, 205 
Heimiann, 300 
Heymans, 25, 65, 73 
Hildebrandt, 205 
Hirn, 145 
Hirschlaff, 228 
Hodge, 320 
Hoffding, 30 
Hopfner, 22, 242, 244 
Hoesch-Ernst, 22,205 
Holmes,242, 303, 317 
Hoyos-Sainz, de, 30 
Huey, 15 
Huguet, 205 
Hutchinson, 190 

Igniatieff, 28 
Imbert, 319 
Ingegnieros, 207 
Ingerslev, 30 
loteyko, 24, 100, 264- 

265, 284, 317, 320 
Ivanoff, 29, 34, 73, 

Iwanovsky, 29 

James, 5-11, 15, 159, 

206, 319 
Janet, 20, 233 - 4, 

Jaques-Dalcroze, 206 
Jastrow, 73 
Johannessen, 22 
Johnson, 15 
Jonckheere, 24, 37, 

48, 176 
Jones, Elmer, 262-3 
Jones, Em, 321 
Judd, 15 
Jung, 32 
Jurgens, 37 

Katz, 186 
Katzaroff, 33, 170, 

Keller, 171, 233 
Keller, Helen, 181, 

Kemsies, 21, 22, 37, 

72, 253-4, 257, 

260, 267, 321 
Kent, 279 
Kergomard, 18 
Kerschensteiner, 22 
Key, Axel, 30, 208, 

Key, Ellen, 30, 72 
Kiesow, 27 
King, 15, 71, 73, 93, 

100, 198, 205-7 
Kirkpatrick, 15, 73, 

Koch, 21 

Kohlschiitter, 309 
Kotelmann, 22 
Krapelin, 22, 23, 61, 

72, 209, 222, 240-8, 

253-5, 260, 265, 

280, 300, 319 
Krenberger, 27 
Krogius, 28 
Krohn, 15 
Kruger, 22, 64, 73 
Kussmal, 13 

Lacassagne, 108 
Lacombe, 20, 72, 181 
La Fontaine, 306 

Laisant, 12, 159 
Lange, 22, 29 
Lapschin, 22 
Larguier des Bancels, 

33, 236, 318 
Larsson, 30 
Laser, 22, 303, 319 
Lasursky, 28 
Lavisse, 19 
Lay, 21, 72, 232, 257 
Le Bon, 20, 72 
Leclere, 72 
Le Gendre, 19 
Lehmann, 30, 100, 

256, 267 
Lemaitre, 30, 130, 

Leroy, 20 
Lesgaft, 29 
Lessing, 185 
Letulle, 120 
Leuba, 222 
Levinstein, 22 
Ley, 24-5, 222, 232 
Lietz, 35, 38 
Lindet, 20 
Lindley, 300, 321 
Ling, 30 
Lipmann, 23—4, 65, 

Littre, 270 
Lob8ien,22, 112, 171, 

205, 232, 236, 255 
Lobisch, 13, 207 
Lombard, 319 
Lombroso, 61 
Lombroso, Paola, 26, 

Lorenz, 305 
Loreta, 27 
Loti, 77, 208 
Lucka, 73 
Lukens, 15, 207 
Luquet, 207 

Macdonald, 37 
MacDougall, 17, 236, 

Machado, 31 
Malapert, 18, 80, 276, 

294-5, 297, 318 



Malling-Hansen, 30, 

110, 204 
Manouvrier, 100, 205 
Marceron, 72 
Marchand, 72 
Marcheix, 302 
Marion, 20 
Marquebreucq, 24 
Marro, 26, 198, 201, 

Marsh, 257-8 
Martin, 319 
Martinak, 21, 28 
Martinazzoli, 27 
Mathieu, 19, 22, 120, 

292, 302, 319 
Mayer, 22 
Meckel, 185 
Mell, 27 
Melzi, 26, 205 
Mendousse, 208 
Mercante, 31 
Messmer, 33 
Mitral, 33 
Meumann, 21-3, 32, 

37, 72, 92, 24&-9, 

253-4, 321 
Meyer, 15, 37 
Michelet, 206 
Michelson, 309 
Miesemer, 319 
Miller, 93, 100 
Moll, 208 
Monroe, J. P., 16 

W. S., 15, 37 

Montaigne, 206 
Montesano, 27 
Montessori, 321 
Moore, J., 235 

K. C 14, 208 

Morgan, 90 
Morselli, 27 
Moses, 36 
Mosny, 302 
Mosso, 27, 228, 252, 

261, 270-5, 284, 

296, 317 
Motchoulsky, 318 
Motora, 32 
Miiller, F., 185, 207 

G. E., 22, 24 

Miinch, 22, 207 

Miinsterberg, 7, 13, 

Nagy, 27 

Nayrae, 19 

Necker de Saussure, 

33 207 
Netschajeff, 28-9, 37, 

112, 320 
Neolitzky, 317 
Neyroz, 27 
Noikow, 29, 222, 317 
Nuel, 100 
Nyns, 24 

Obici, 27 

Oehrn, 72, 212, 233, 

Offner, 22, 276, 294- 

295, 297, 317 
Ogden, 15 

Oker-Blom, 243, 268 
O'Shea, 15 
Ostermann, 206 
Ostwald, 23, 72, 292 

Partridge, 15, 170 
Patini, 27 
Patrizi, 27 
Payot, 20 
Pearson, Karl, 17, 64, 

Pedersen, 256, 267 
Peeters, 25 
Pekar, 28 
Pennazza, 27 
Pereira, 31 
P6rez, 13, 17, 130, 

Persigout, 19, 40, 72- 

Pestalozzi, 159 
Pfeiffer, 22 
Pfister, 32 
Philippe, 20, 120, 

208, 230, 320 
Pieron, 20, 100 
Pillsbury, 15, 319 
Pilzecker, 22 
Pinero, 31 
Pistolesi, 27, 207 
Pizzoli, 26 

Plato, 149 
Poelemans, 25 
Pohlmann, 22, 112- 

Poincare, 280, 296 
Pollock, 13, 208 
Preyer, 71, 208 
Proal, 201 
Probst, 126, 205 
Pugnat, 320 

Quetelet, 204 
Queyrat, 17, 205 
Quintillian, 75 
Quirsfeld, 317 

Racine, 205 
Radulescu-Motru, 30 
Ranschburg, 27, 37 
Raulich, 27 
Ravenhill, 316 
Regis, 19 
Reichenbach, von, 

Rein, 22, 320 
Renan, 77, 177 
Renda, 27 
Revesz, 186 
Revilliod, 320 
Ribot, 17, 20, 82, 

100, 130, 183 
Ricci, 26 
Rigault, 128 
Rios, de los, 31 
Rioz, del, 31 
Ritter, 212, 222, 319 
Rivers, 16, 300 
Roemer, 306 
Roehrich, 321 
Rollin, 206 
Romanes, 16 
Romano, 27 
Rossolimo, 28 
Rouma, 24, 37-8, 

Roumaziei?, 29 
Rousseau, 33, 74, 186, 

Roussel, 18 
Rousson, 78 
Roux, 120 




Rubio, 30 
Rudin, 318 

Saffiotti, 37 
Saint-Hilaire, 185 
Saint Ybars, 208 
Sakaki, 32, 222, 250, 

Sanctis, de, 26 
Sand, Georges, 206 
Sanford, 15, 103 
Sarlo, de, 27 
Schafer, 22 
Scheele, 30 
Scheibner, 21, 321 
Scheiner, 234 
Schiller, F., 121 

H., 21 

Schlager, 37 
Schloss, 27 
Schmidkunz, 208 
Schmidt, 22 
Sehmid - Monnard, 

117, 204 
Schnyder, 265 
Schoen, 38 
Schreiber, 23 
Schulze, 22, 78, 100, 

205, 24&-9 
Schultze, 319 
Schumann, 22 
Schuster, 17 
Schuyten,24, 37, 111, 

215, 222-3, 237-8, 

250-1, 255-6, 259, 

Schwarz, 32, 72 
Scripture, 318 
Seashore, 15, 236, 

See, 73 
Seeley, 207 
Semerad, 319 
Senet, 31 
Sergi, 27 
Serres, 185 
Seyfarth, 21 
Sharp, 72 
Shinn, 14, 79, 186, 

Shipe, 319 
Sicicinger, 36 

Sigismund, 13, 173, 

Sikorsky, 28, 207, 

211, 302, 317 
Simarro, 30 
Simon, 18, 120 
Siredey, 208 
Small, 15 
Smith, 183, 196, 202, 

205, 265 
Socrates, 306 
Sommer, 125 
Souriau, 125 
Spearman, 17, 64, 73 
Specht, 303, 320 
Spencer, Herbert, 2, 

Springer, 108 
Starbuck, 15, 200 
Stefanowska, 320 
Stern, 22-4, 65, 72-3, 

112, 171, 181, 208, 

232, 257 
Stimfl, 37 
Strtimpell, 22 
Stumpf, 21, 77, 100, 

Sully, 16, 130, 180, 

182, 207 
Swift, 225 
Swoboda, 319 
Szyc, 29 

Taine, 13, 17, 208 
Tamburini, 27 
Tauro, 43 
Taylor, 171 
Tchelpanoff, 29 
Teissier, 120 
TeHatnik, 29 
Thamin, 19 
Thomas, 20 
Thompson, 250 
Thorndike, 15, 64, 

73, 270, 287, 303, 

Tiedemann, 13, 207 
Tissie, 20, 255, 317 
Titchener, 15, 73 
Toepffer, 305 
Tolstoi, 77 
Torren van der, 25 

Toulouse, 20, 100, 

Tracy, 15, 207 
Trettien, 207 
Treves, 26, 228, 318, 

Tromner, 307 
Triiper, 21, 23 
Tschumi, 160 
Tyler, 15, 188-9 
Tylor, 15 

Ufer, 13, 21 

Vaney, 18 

Vanned, 38,219,222, 

Varendonck, 25, 171, 

190-3, 202 
Vargas, 31 
Varigny, 205 
Vaschide, 30, 73, 100, 

Vecchia, 27, 208 
Verrier, 108 
Verworn, 273-4 
Vialleton, 207 
Vidari, 27 
Vierordt, 204 
Villa, 27 
Villeneuve, 160 
Vinay, 207 
Vogt, Carl, 133-4 
Vostrovsky, 171, 196 

Wagner, 22, 222, 
259, 266, 287, 304 

Warcollier, 264 

Warner, 16, 204 

Warren, 15 

Waterman, 320 

Watson, 15 

Wayenburg, van, 25 

Weber, 61, 219, 222, 

Weichardt, 230, 266, 
275, 304 

Weiler, 227 

Wells, 231, 250, 271 

Weryho, 29 

Weszely, 28 

Weygandt, 260, 300 



Whipple, 15, 16, 208 
Wiederkehr, 171 
Wiener, 204 
Wiersma, 25, 65 
WiUe, 208 
Wimms, 17, 300, 319, 

Winch, 17, 205, 210, 

215, 259 

Winteler, 22 
Wissler, 171 
Witasek, 28 
Witmer, 15, 16 
Wundt, 72, 206, 248 

Yerkes, 100 
Yevritsch, 29 

Yoder, 16 

Zbinden, 291 
Ziegler, 21-2, 117 
Ziehen, 21-2 
ZiUer, 185 
Zola, 296 
Zollinger, 32 
Zoneff, 29 


Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson &' Co. 
Edinburgh &* London 



Return to desk from which borrowed. 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

OCT 4 1952 Li 


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U^N181954 LU 


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NOV 24 1971 


OCT - '-i U 

1 6 2006 

> 21-100m-9,'47(A5702sl6)476 



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