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liberty. They may make incorrigibles, anarchists, or conscientious objectors. But, on the other hand, those of the better type make pioneers and inventors.
5. Compensation is establisht just as, if sight is gone, touch is refined; or if the left hand is withered, as in the case of the Kaiser, the right may be overdevelopt. So we know that Demosthenes stammered, Beethoven was deaf, tall boys are prone to stoop, little men to strut, ugly men and women have a stimulus to compensate by intellectual development as Socrates did; and the young child, because it has always served, may develop a great sense of power with a compensating sense of weakness and smallness. Thus we pad our minds and characters as well as our bodies. Here we have another apparition of the universal push-up, élan vital, libido, horme, or will to live.
6. More difficult than to avoid arrest is the maintenance of psychic unity. The soul is a congeries of very different and often opposite activities, for example, between pleasure and pain, each of which has a mental horizon of its own, as do fear and anger. So there is constant need of synthesis, and degenerate souls split into multiple personalities, so that education has to organize the soul that all its powers may be brought out, brought to bear, and brought together before the ego can sphere itself into individuality. Mature life is nothing but an amplification of these fundamental impulses of the first four years.
Thus I have toucht on only six of the score or two of psychic mechanisms which have been definitized by the new line of psychogenetic study which has made contributions of incalculable value to our knowledge of childstudy. Of course there are many themes of child-study, as we see it, which are still unaffected by this new departure, which is exposed to some danger of inferring from the abnormal to the normal. If there were danger at first in this new line of stressing sex too much, now (thanks to the younger generation of analysts led by Adler and Jung) the whole scope of psychoanalysis has been broadened and its method shown to apply to all affective factors, so that it is now best taught and studied without offense and with tremendous gain to mental effectiveness. Nothing could be worse than to psychoanalyze normal children. Still a touch of it needs only insight.
Finally, from no other standpoint has it been so clear that in the study of childhoold lies the key to all our knowledge of human nature. To understand the psychic life of the child is first of all to understand all the deeper springs of activity in adult life, even those that make men and women great or make them criminal or insane, for here human nature is laid bare to its roots. Again, the child is the key to the study of primitive man and savages. Much of the most important literature in the whole field of genetics in recent years has consisted in pointing out the childish traits in savages and the savage
traits in children. Even our forbears who dwelt in caves lived their lives, were wise or foolish, good or bad, sound or unsound in soul, according to these rubrics. Indeed, even the higher animals in their funda
mental instinctive activities can be thus better understood. In this field too are to be found the very best psychological explanations of war, its causes, and the basal impulses that it unleashes. In fine, the more clearly we see that the unconscious or racial factors of the human soul are older, vaster, stronger than the conscious, just to that degree do we realize that the psychology of the future is to be genetic, for the best definition possible of anything in the world today is a plain description of the stages by which it has been evolved. Very many movements have already sprung from the recognition that the soul itself, no less than the body, has been genetically evolved; and for myself I have no doubt that the tendencies that have so broadened and enricht the field of child-study during the last twenty-five years, since it was recognized by this Association, will, at the end of another quarter-century, have far more cause for satisfaction.
CHILDREN'S SENSE OF TIME
EARL BARNES, PHILADELPHIA, PA. A well-trained sense of time is essential to all efficient living. Without it our activities are chaotic and little is accomplisht. In developt communities, where individuals must cooperate with their fellows, the sense of time is indispensable. Beyond this our modern theories of life, which gather around such words as evolution, genesis, development, and growth, make a well-developt sense of time, capable of reaching out over long periods, the very foundation of rational thinking.
Babies have little or no sense of time, and young children know only “now," "right away,” “by and by," "a little while.” Later on they understand “today," "yesterday,” and “tomorrow.” How do they acquire content for such terms as second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, and century? What can the home and the school do to organize their habits and their thinking on a sound and fairly accurate time basis?
In the past the schools have all emphasized the evils of tardiness. Every child must be in his seat at a fixt hour. Unfortunately promptness in coming to school has been dependent on conditions largely outside the child's control. Superintendent Gregory once made a study of tardiness in the schools of Trenton, N.J., where the records were pretty complete for several years. He found that the percentage of children who came late to school ran thru the same curve year by year. The average by months was:
4.0 3.8 4.0
Probably the school pressure varied from time to time, but it would be difficult to estimate this. What is evident is that, beginning with September, when the days are still long and home conditions not too difficult, tardiness is at a low point. As the winter approaches, with its shortening days, its dark mornings, increast clothing to look up and put on, and slower locomotion, tardiness increases month by month till January. Then, as the days lengthen and cold decreases, tardiness falls off, until April and May breed “spring fever,” which increases it a little until the June examinations push it back to its lowest level. Tardiness follows the sun; it is a cosmic matter with children, as with adults; and education to be effective should reach the parents rather than the children.
The only effort that the schools have made to train children in correct modes of thinking, where time is concerned, has been in connection with history and biography. Even here it has been taken for granted that our system of chronology is a common possession of all intelligent minds, and little has been done to clear up difficulties. The fact is that few adults have any definite sense of the centuries along which life has progrest; and probably half the people in our midst would not be sure whether 1492 is in the fourteenth or the fifteenth century. For events occurring before the year 1 the public mind is almost without content. The matter has been still further confused by the fact that the dates which the children have been required to memorize were badly selected and often unimportant.
It is obvious that in adjusting our adult activities to a schedule of rising, meals, work, social and business engagements, amusements, trains, and going to bed, we are all the slaves of our watches and clocks. No accurate feeling for periods of less than an hour can come to anyone not in contact with time-measuring devices. After sufficient experience our bodies become adjusted to time relations so that combinations of digestive and other vital processes, fatigue, and events past over make us feel the passage of five minutes or an hour, or the arrival of noon or midnight.
How does this mechanism develop in children, and how do they form the habit of thinking intelligently in longer periods of time? It seemed to me that our older method of child-study might yield results in this field, and so I collected one thousand papers written by children from eight to fourteen years old, inclusive, in the Pittsburgh schools.
The teachers were askt to have the children sit with their hands extended before them for forty-five seconds and then state how long it had been. Then they were askt, “What does 1913 mean?” The last question was, “How long has it been since the Civil War?”
These tests were given in 1913. The answers of the boys and girls were so nearly the same that for convenience I have mast them together. This gave me a hundred or more papers of each age, a sufficient number on which to base generalizations.
The first test, sitting with the hands extended for forty-five seconds, gave answers varying from five seconds to fifteen minutes. Those who estimated exactly right were:
Of course it is very difficult to estimate forty-five seconds, and we would not expect this to be a strong line.
Other tests I have made bear out the conclusion that children greatly overestimate short periods of time and only slowly come back within reasonable limits. Professor Seashore's studies showed the same condition with adults.
In dealing with the longer periods of time, which should regulate most of our thinking, we are faced with the difficulties of our complex chronology, which begins, nominally, with the birth of Jesus and runs backward and forward. Every history teacher knows what a difficult matter this is. For my purpose I used the test originally workt out by Mary Sheldon Barnes, “What does 1913 mean?”
The younger children, from eight to ten years old, attach no more meaning to the date than is contained in the statement, “It is the name of the year," or, “It tells what year it is.” The percentage runs:
There is, of course, a group that falls below this level of understanding, most of whom simply feel some time connection with 1913 and make statements that are hard to relate to any organized form of thinking. These papers are, however, few in number, and the majority, even of the youngest children, know that 1913 names the year.
Even at the age of eight some of the children know that 1913 measures the time since Jesus' birth. The percentage having this answer runs:
Few children seem to reach this correct understanding directly and at once. Evidently this most important factor in our chronology is taken for granted and is not taught in our schools. Large numbers of children who have come to realize that 1913 measures the time behind us have no startingpoint for the series.
A less academic study gathers about the question, “How long has it been since the Civil War ?" The correct answer is fifty-two years since the beginning of the Civil War and forty-eight years since its close. The children whose answers fall within these limits are:
Age 8 15%
Age 14 78%
This is a fairly good and steadily growing line. If we take a larger grouping and include all those whose answers fall between twenty-five years and one hundred years we have:
This is a fairly creditable line measuring general information.
Those who give an answer under twenty-five years are obviously possest of slight historical feeling. Those who give an answer over one hundred years are clearly without much sense of time.
From these slight studies it is safe to say that children's sense of time, whether used to regulate life in short periods or to direct thinking in longer periods, is very imperfect. This is what we should expect, but it emphasizes the necessity of having regular exercises at home and in schools in using watches and clocks and in estimating short periods.
It also impresses the need of teaching chronology in history, not by memorizing unimportant dates, but by planning an intelligent time chart and drilling children on twenty or thirty dates distributed across the centuries. These dates should represent important persons or events and the chart would thus give an outline of the past 6000 years, into which events met in reading or in discourse would fit as they now fit into the map forms possest by almost every intelligent person.