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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

Children's Rights

Children's Rights.

It was really Froebel and Pestalozzi who first drew practical attention to the fact that the infant and the child had their rights. (Hear, hear.) Now, Froebel saw entirely ahead of his time; he had a wonderful mental vision, and he recognised thing that it was impossible for the people of his own day to recognise. But if Froebel lived now he would see certain other things which had been discovered since his actual period, and he would be the first to grasp these new ideas, and to avail himself of them. One of the greatest discoveries of our time was the law of ontogenesis—the law which laid down the principle that all beings had to pass through in their individual lives all the stages passed through in the history of the race to which they belonged. The full bearing of this law it was impossible for anyone who had not thoroughly considered it to grasp. It furnished one of the most momentous issues with regard to the question of education. Take it with regard to the matter of play. At one time play was simply and absolutely regarded as a sheer waste of time. Now that was precisely what play not.—(Hear, hear.)