Charles W. (Charles Wilkin) Waddell.

An introduction to child psychology online

. (page 1 of 26)
Online LibraryCharles W. (Charles Wilkin) WaddellAn introduction to child psychology → online text (page 1 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook











diin||riiimni»<Mi|'|ii>Mi|||inin|||ii"ii|||iMiiimii<ni|||ti>ni|||iiMii|||ii>tii|||iiMii|||iiiiMm^ ||iii»ii|||ii«ii|||iiii|

^-J|,i„„|||ii„iilll llliiiiiilll illl illliii.iilll illlniiHlllMHnlllihiHlllih.iHlliii.iillliiMiillliiMiillliiiiiillliiMiilll lIliii.iillliii.iillliii.iillliiiiiilLs











•l|||||l'"lll|||ini|||in>>ll|j|l|i"ll|||lli>ll||| |||ll"il|||l>"l|||| l|l||i"tr|||||M|^i|Mni||j||Mill|j|nMU|||M"l||l||l"M|||ll"U|||ll"ll|||IHill|j||lii|||miM|||p-S






U . S . A

JUN 24 1918


The child-study movement of two decades ago rendered
perhaps its most important service in turning the attention
of students of education to the study of children, rather
than of theories about children. Many studies were made
and much child-study literature was accumulated. Some
of these studies were carefully made and are still of value,
^ hough much of what was then done is not now regarded as

: fundamental importance. In place of this older child-
study movement there has since arisen a newer child or
genetic psychology, developed along better scientific lines
and better directed. It has based its work not only on the
study of children themselves, but also on biology, heredity,
experimental pedagogy, and the newer studies of behavior
as well. This more recent work has made the earlier text-
books, written from the point of view of the old child study
and a limited psychology, out of date. It is an introduction
to this newer point of view which has been attempted in the
present volume.

No attempt has been made by the author to write a com-
plete treatise on child psychology, as the subject is still
developing so rapidly that the time for this is not yet ripe.
He has, however,^ presented a treatise covering the more
important aspects of the new subject, and has selected for
presentation those phases which are most fundamental to
teacher and parent. The best that the child-study move-
ment contributed has been organized and presented, the
status of our present knowledge as to child psychology has
been set forth, and then, by citations to a series of carefully
selected bibliographies, he has put the reader in touch with


the best literature on each phase of the subject here pre-
sented. Because of these, and the method of presentation
followed, the book has large teaching value, and also will be
valuable to the reader interested in an intelligible key to
the mass of literature relating to the intellectual develop-
ment of children which the last quarter of a century has seen

The point of view is the modern biological. The first
chapter is a historical statement as to the scientific study
of children, and serves to set off the present-day work in
proper perspective. The second chapter describes the
methods of studying children. The third gives a good simple
treatment of child life, from the biological point of view,
and puts the subject in proper biological perspective. This
is followed by a chapter dealing with human behavior and
the instincts, in which the use of the term "instincts" is
carefully restricted within scientific limits, and the usual
loose thinking on the matter of instincts avoided. Play,
language, and drawing are then selected for treatment as
representing three typical child activities with instinctive
bases, and as illustrating the mental development of the
child. The knowledge we have as to genetic development
along these three lines, and the teaching of these three
subjects, follows. The author then takes up the questions
of heredity and environment as showing themselves in the
moral nature of children and in juvenile delinquency, —
heredity, environment, and the moral nature of children
being the central subjects toward which the whole book has
been leading. The general facts and principles of mental
development, and some of the established laws for this, fol-
lowed by a consideration of individual mental capacities,
closes the treatment.

The present volume is the outgrowth of a number of years
of experience in teaching the fundamentals of child psychol-


ogy, on the part of the author, to students in two of our
larger State normal schools, and the organization, treat-
ment, questions, and bibliographies which this volume
contains are all the resultant of classroom experience. The
treatment is intended to open up to the student and reader
this new field, to select from the wealth of literature relat-
ing to child development that which is best and most perti-
nent, and, where our present knowledge warrants so doing,
to make definite pedagogical applications. It lays a thorough
foundation for the intelligent reading of books on educa-
tion, or for courses on educational theory and educational
psychology. Presenting as it does the best organization and
treatment so far effected on a number of the more important
phases of this rapidly developing field, this volume should
prove very useful to teachers of child psychology, applied
psychology, or genetic psychology in normal schools and
colleges, and of deep interest to thoughtful teachers and

Ellwood p. Cubberley.


This book is intended primarily to serve as an introduc-
tion to the study of child psychology in normal school,
college, and university classes, but the topics have been so
chosen and so treated that parents, teachers, and social
workers should find it useful. The essential content of every
chapter has been the direct outgrowth of the author's effort
to cull from the vast literature of child psychology, and to
organize for use in his own classes, such knowledge as is of
first importance.

Satisfactory treatment of the entire field is no longer
possible in a single volume. The author has, therefore,
chosen the plan of a somewhat intensive treatment of a few
closely related and vitally important topics which, experi-
ence has proved, give proper perspective and leave lasting

The scope of the book makes it necessary to presuppose
some knowledge of general psychology and of child hygiene
and some familiarity with the principles and point of view
of modern biology. Those who have such a foundation are
at a distinct advantage, but the lack of it should not prove
an insuperable difficulty.

Upon the topics treated there is little room for finality
and none for dogmatism. Our aim is to stimulate the
reader to think about, to study, and to observe real children
intelligently, sympathetically, and scientifically. If we can
to any degree inspire caution, scientific reserve, open-
mindedness, and a passion for facts; if we can open the eyes
of the student to more careful observation; if we can to
some extent prevent hasty and unwarranted inferences and


consequent misjudgment and mistaken treatment of chil-
dren, — we shall have rendered a much-needed service.

In a field in which such a variety of opinion still prevails,
we cannot hope to please all readers either with our choice
of topics or our method of treatment. We have made an
honest and earnest endeavor to present, as impartially and
as accurately as possible, the best-established facts and prin-
ciples of the new and growing science of childhood in the
fields we have treated.

The scope of the book makes impossible that richness of
illustration which the author uses in his own teaching.
Amplification and illustration by the teacher and further
reading by the student should make clear and add interest
to the points of the text and suggest their application to
education and child training. Many of our chapters are
intended only to open the topics to further reading and
study. For this reason we have appended to each chapter
a bibliography carefully selected from the best of the older
and the best of the new literature of the subject. These
bibliographies suggest the sources to which we are indebted
and the materials which students should use for further
reading. The purposes to be served by them have restricted
us almost wholly to references in English, to those of real
and relatively lasting value, and to such as are likely to be
available in the libraries of normal schools and colleges.

The obligations of the author are greatest to those whose
names appear oftenest in the bibliographies and on the
pages of the text, where acknowledgment of indebtedness is
made. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the hundreds
of young people who by their response, in his classes, to
what is here presented have rendered the author a very
great service. He is under special obligation to his associate
Mr. William T. Root, whose assistance, first in the formula-
tion of the outline of the work and later in criticism of the


manuscript, has been invaluable. Valuable criticisms of
chapters xi and xii, by his associate Dr. S. Carolyn Fisher,
are gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks are due, also,
to his former pupil, Miss Grace Brainard, for the prepara-
tion of a number of the drawings that appear in the book
and to the authors and publishers who have kindly con-
sented to allow the reproduction of cuts and charts from
their publications.

Charles W. Waddle.

Los Angeles, Cal.
March, 1918.


CHAPTER I. Historical Background op the Scien-
tific Study of Children . . . . 1

A new estimate of the value of child life — IndiflFerence of
former ages — Modern change of attitude — ■ The history of the
child — Infanticide — Cannibalism — Human sacrifice — Muti-
lation and abuse — Chattel slavery — Industrial slavery — The
school and the child — The history of scientific study of children
— Recorded observations — Societies — Proceedings — The
movement abroad — Child welfare — Recent movements — Re-
search laboratories.

Questions and topics — Bibliography.

CHAPTER II. Methods of Scientific Study of

Children 30

The value and importance of scientific method — The methods
most frequently used — Biographical — Direct question — Clini-
cal — Questionnaire — Statistical — Statistical terms — Parallel
groups — Intelligence tests — Interpretation of results.

Questions and topics — Bibliography.

CHAPTER in. Biological Perspective .... 51

Application of the evolutionary principle to the study of child
life — The theory of descent — Evidences — Darwin's contribu-
tion — The cell theory — Genetics — Fertilization — Mitosis — •
Rise of parts and organs — The physical recapitulation theory —
Prenatal influences.

Questions and topics.

CHAPTER IV. Heredity 71

Racial and individual heritage — Definition — Inevitableness
— Theories of variation and heredity — Continuity of germ
plasm — Germinal selection — Mendelism — Mutation — Gal-
ton's laws — ■ Inheritance of acquired characters — Heredity and
environment — Scientific studies of heredity — Social heredity.

Questions and topics — Bibliography.


CHAPTER V. Non-Learned Human Behavior . . 94

Problems of human behavior — Chemo-physical basis of be-
havior — Structural basis of behavior — Classes of human be-
havior — Nature of instinct — The stimuli which arouse in-
stincts — Characteristics of human instincts — Complexity of
human activities — Emotion and instinct — Classification of in-
stincts — General pedagogical bearing of non-learned behavior —
Typical instincts important in education.

Questions and topics — Bibliography.

CHAPTER VI. The Play of Children .... 123

Play and work — Theories of play — The superfluous energy
theory of Schiller-Spencer — The preparatory theory of Groos — •
The recapitulatory theory of Hall — The relaxation theory of
Patrick — What children play — The age factor — The sex fac-
tor — Racial factors — The values of play.

Questions and topics — Bibliography.

CHAPTER VII. The Linguistic Development of

Children 153

Definition of language — Theories of the origin of speech —
Ontogenesis of speech — Heredity and speech — Linguistic
stages — First steps in learning — Secret languages — Slang — •
Vocabularies — Methods of study — Use of parts of speech — •
Definitions by children — Use of the sentence — Linguistic activ-
ity of a single day — ■ Speech and intelligence — Word tests —
Considerations in judging intelligence — Summary.

Questions and topics — Bibliography.

CHAPTER VIII. Children's Drawings . . . ..18;

Instinctive basis of artistic expression — • Racial origins —
Studies of children's drawings — Genetic stages in drawing ca-
pacity — What children draw — Characteristics of children's
drawings — Individual and sex differences — Correlations —
Values of drawing — Summary.

Questions and topics — ■ Bibliography.

CHAPTER IX. The Moral Nature of Children . . 209

The point of view of child morality — Social nature of moral-
ity — Stages of moral development — • Instinctive basis of mo


rality and immorality — Ownership — Curiosity — Truancy —
Lies — Obstinacy — Teasing and Bullying — Imitation — Sum-
Questions and topics.

CHAPTER X. Juvenile Delinquency 2'2G

Definition — Causes — Heredity — Instinct and crime — -
Feeble-mindedness and crime — Significance of feeble-minded-
ness — Other hereditary causes — Environmental causes — The
gang — Physical defects and delinquency — The age of the delin-
quent — The nature of juvenile delinquency — The typical de-
- linquent — Remedies for delinquency — Summary.

Questions and topics — Bibliography.

CHAPTER XI. General IVIental Development . . 255

I. General Facts and Principles

The problems — The nature of mind — The origin of mind —
When does consciousness begin? — The nature of consciousness
in the newborn — Periods of development — Laws of develop-
ment — Some general principles — Summary.

Questions and topics.

CHAPTER XII. General Mental Development . . 279

II. Particular Capacities

Sense-perception and apperception — Attention — Association
— Memory — Imagination — Evolution of the feelings and
emotions — Reasoning — Conclusion — Summary.

Questions and topics — Bibliography,






1. Ovum and spermatozoon 59

2. The parent cell 61

3. Cell division 62

4. Heredity, environment, and training 72

5. Illustrating the continuity of germ plasm 74

6. Illustrating Mendel's law 77

7. Interest in various games 135

8. Running and chance games 142

9. Rivalry and cooperation in play 143

10. The pictorial evolution of man 199

11. Relation of age and crime 243

12. Prevalence of good conduct at different ages .... 244


I. Average vocabularies at different ages 166

II. Parts of speech in child vocabularies 167

III. Estimates of parts of speech in the dictionary .... 168

IV. Parts of speech as actually used 169

V. Linguistic activity for a single day 174

VI. Age of beginning to talk 175

VII. Vocabulary test — imbeciles 176

Vni. Intelligence tests of juvenile delinquents 234




A new estimate of the value of child life. Any sketch of
the brief history of the movement for the scientific study
of children is incomplete and inadequate that is not drawn
upon a background of preceding social, industrial, and edu-
cational history. We cannot know whether the scientific
study of child life has furthered humanitarian, scientific,
and educational ends until we know the attitude and prac-
tices of previous epochs in regard to children. If the move-
ment has accomplished anything, or if it holds any promise
for the future, this can be made clear only when we laiow
something of the facts in the case. It is not our purpose
here to write either a culture history of the child or a com-
plete sketch of scientific child study, but we do wish, in
this introductory chapter, to point out the necessity of
both lines of study for those who desire to have a true
conception of the significance of the movement to which
it is the purpose of this book to introduce the student.
Holding, as we do, that the evolutionary and genetic point
of attack is as essential in this field as it is in botany, zool-
ogy, physiology, or biology, as well as in such sciences as
anthropology, sociology, and history, the few facts we have
space to present are brought forward to give something of
a perspective in the new and rapidly growing science of the


The task of discovering the exact status of childhood in
earHer ages and under different forms of civilization is by
no means an easy one, and has as yet been undertaken in
only a partial and a fragmentary way. The history of
child life has been strangely neglected by all the historians
of human life. One might almost infer that there were no
children or that children had no recognized place in human
society until recently, for all that most of the history and
literature of the past centuries tell us of them. This fact
itself is most significant, especially when we contrast with
it the situation to-day. In the last fifty years the literature
about children has multiplied tremendously and at an in-
creasing rate, until to-day no one person can hope to be
familiar with more than some few phases of it. It is per-
haps not too much to say that more has been written about
children and more study made of them in the past fifty
years than in all the history of the world before that time.
A pamphlet of twenty-five pages or so is now required
merely to list the writings of a single year. Such a sudden
and unprecedented rise of interest and change of attitude
deserve some explanation. It is our hope that this chapter
and others in this book will shed some light on the situa-
tion. One thing is certain. The eyes of the world are
turned upon childhood as never before in all history.

Among the few attempts that have been made to gather
together such knowledge as can be had from scattered
sources, as to the attitude toward children in previous ages,
the most notable ones available to English readers are those
of Chamberlain (5), Kidd (20), and Payne (25), ^ to whom
the reader must be referred for much that can here only
be hinted at. The contributions of Dr. Ploss, in Das Kleine
Kindy etc., are as yet unavailable in English. The signifi-

' These numbers here, and throughout the book, refer to the numbered
bibhographies found at the close of each chapter.


cance of these anthropological studies lies chiefly in the
fact that in a very true sense the history of the attitude of
humanity toward its own offspring is the history of the rise
of altruism, humanitarianism, morality, justice, order, and
of civilization itself in its best sense. The rapidity with
which civilization and humanitarianism advance in the
future will without doubt be very definitely conditioned
by the degree to which we recognize the necessity, profiting
by the mistakes of the past, of assuming thoughtful, rever-
ent, and right attitudes toward the greatest asset of any
civihzation — its children. *^

More than two thousand years ago the great Hebrew
prophet Isaiah declared that in a day when the golden age
of prophecy shall arrive ** a little child shall lead them."
Nearly two thousand years ago the Great Teacher pro-
claimed to his disciples, after having " called to him a little
child and set him in the midst of them," that *' of such is
the kingdom of heaven." In spite of the voice of these and
other seers and prophets the united voice of many such in
our own day finds difficulty in convincing men generally
that the " greatest in the kingdom of anthropology is
assuredly that little child " (5, p. 2). Few people as yet
appear to be convinced, with Hall, that " childhood is the
paradise of the race from which adult life is a fall "; or that,
as Brinton says (5, p. 2), '* the child, the infant in fact,
alone possesses in their fullness, * the chief distinctive char-
acters of humanity. The highest human types, as repre-
sented in men of genius, present a striking approximation
to the child-type. In man, from about the third year
onward, further growth is to some extent growth in degen-
eration and senility.' Hence the true tendency of the pro-
gressive evolution of the race is to become child-like, to
become feminine."

This widely accepted view of anthropologists that the


child and the woman are better, more adequate represen-
tatives of all that is best in the race, which Havelock Ellis
has elaborated in his Man and Woman, and which has
permeated the writings of G. Stanley Hall, should direct
our attention toward childhood. May it not be that woman
stands more surely for the best things in life because, far
more than man, she follows the lead of the child, under-
stands childhood better, sympathizes more with it, and
appreciates it more truly. If this be true we must agree
with Chamberlain (5, p. 5) that " The consideration of
* The Child in Folk-Thought,' — what tribe upon tribe,
age after age, has thought about, ascribed to, dreamt of,
learned from, taught to, the child, the parent-lore of the
human race, in its development through savagery and bar-
barism to civilization and culture, — can bring to the har-
vest of pedagogy many a golden sheaf." This kind of
*' child study " cannot and does not pretend to work by
the same methods or attain to the same kind of results as
the scientific study of the laboratory. *' Its laboratory of
research has been the whole wide world, the experimenters
and recorders the primitive peoples of all races and all cen-
turies, — fathers and mothers whom the wonderland of
parenthood encompassed and entranced; the subjects, the
children of all the generations of mankind " (5, p. 5). Such
study is, however, no less important and valuable in its
place than the most careful scientific investigations which
the most expert scientist can make. Indeed it is just the
kind of study the scientist needs to humanize his efforts
and to keep his sympathies alive.

It is no small service that has been rendered us, then,
by those who, like Chamberlain, have attempted " to ex-
hibit what the world owes to childhood and the mother-
hood and the fatherhood which it occasions, to indicate the
position of the child in the march of civilization among the


various races of men, and to estimate the influence which
the child idea and its accompaniments have had upon soci-
ology, mythology, religion, language" (5, p. 6). The mag-
nitude of our indebtedness to childhood in all these respects
is most inadequately appreciated. The further one goes into
the study of this debt the more one must be impressed
with the fact that, of all the studies which the student
may undertake, the study of childhood is the most univer-
sally useful and significant.

All who have any adequate knowledge of the history of
civilization in other respects will be prepared for the dis-
covery that the development of a high regard for childhood
has been exceedingly slow. Even the very emotions —
tenderness, sympathy, humanity — first aroused by the
helplessness of infancy, have often signally failed to pro-
tect the lives of infants and to safeguard childhood from
misery, abuse, and the grossest exploitation. '* The march
of civilization " is not necessarily synonymous with social
progress. Humanitarianism has not always advanced hand

Online LibraryCharles W. (Charles Wilkin) WaddellAn introduction to child psychology → online text (page 1 of 26)