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JAMA 100 Years Ago
January 25, 2012


JAMA. 2012;307(4):341. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1915

Accounts in history and in newspapers and magazines of the wonderful accomplishments of certain precocious children have caused much discussion as to whether present methods of education are correct in principle and do as much as possible for the child. Examples are cited of children who are said to have mastered reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic and grammar in infancy, and a little later had taken up geometry, astronomy, physics, chemistry, mechanics and even history and political economy; in some instances, several languages, ancient and modern, have been said to be among the acquirements of these infant prodigies. It is asserted that these results are attained by proper intensive methods and beginning at an early period in the life of the individual, and that such methods employed more universally would result in the saving of years of time in the education of the young.