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The Infant System For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, from One to Seven years of Age   By: (1792-1866)

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[Illustration]

THE INFANT SYSTEM,

FOR

DEVELOPING THE INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL POWERS OF ALL CHILDREN,

FROM ONE TO SEVEN YEARS OF AGE

BY SAMUEL WILDERSPIN, INVENTOR OF THE SYSTEM OF INFANT TRAINING.

"Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me." Matt . xviii. 5.

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones." Matt . xvii. 10.

EIGHTH EDITION, CAREFULLY REVISED.

1852.

PREFACE

In again presenting this volume to the world, I trust I feel thankful to God for the favour with which the Infant System has been received, and for all the aid I have enjoyed in my course of labour. Had the measures I originated for the development of the infant mind, and the improvement of the moral character, been sanctioned at first, as many now think they should have been, their progress would, undoubtedly, have been far greater; but when I consider what has been accomplished under the divine benediction, and amid greater difficulties than ever beset the path of an individual similarly occupied, I know not how to express the gratitude of which I am conscious. It seems proper and even necessary to remark, that the system explained in this volume, is the result of many years of labour. Thousands of children have been attentively observed, and for the necessities that arose in their instruction, provision has been made. Others have doubtless reached some of the conclusions at which I have arrived, but this is only another instance of the coincidence in judgment and effort, often discoverable in persons far apart, whose attention has been directed to similiar subjects; but with the exception of the elliptical plan, devised by Dr. Gilchrist, I am not aware that I owe an idea or contrivance to any individual whatever. Upwards of twenty five thousand children have been now under my own care, in various parts of the United Kingdom, whose age has not exceeded six years; myself, my daughters, and my agents, have organized many score of schools, and thus I have had opportunities of studying the infant mind and heart, such as none of my contemporaries have ever possessed.

Still I am aware I have much to learn. I am far less satisfied with the extent of my knowledge, and far less confident of its perfection and completeness now than I was in the earlier part of my course. The whole energies of my mind, however, having been thrown upon the subject, and the whole of my time for the third of a century having been zealously devoted to it, I trust the volume will contain knowledge of a more plain, simple, and practical character than is elsewhere to be found: perhaps it may not be presumption to say than can elsewhere be found. Should I have the pleasure to labour for years to come, I trust I shall have much more to communicate on the subject.

Two editions of this work in its former state have been printed in German; and it has also been reprinted in America. I have, however, felt it due to the friends of education, to make this volume as complete as possible, and though still occasionally engaged in superintending and organizing schools, I have felt it necessary to revise this eighth edition very carefully throughout, and commence it with a new and additional chapter.

Moor Cottage, Westgate Common, Wakefield, Nov. 1552 .

A FEW TESTIMONIALS TO THE INFANT SYSTEM.

It is said that we are aiming at carrying education too far; that we are drawing it out to an extravagant length, and that, not satisfied with dispensing education to children also have attained what in former times was thought a proper age, we are now anxious to educate mere infants, incapable of receiving benefit from such instruction. This objection may be answered in two ways. In the first place, it should be observed, that the objection comes from those very persons who object to education being given to children when they arrive at a more advanced period, on the ground that their parents then begin to find them useful in labour, and consequently cannot spare so much of their time as might be requisite: surely, that, the education of the children should commence at that time when their labour can be of value to their parents... Continue reading book >>




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