Experimental Stories Written for the Childrenof the City and Country School(formerly the Play School)and the Nursery School of theBureau of Educational Experiments.
hink none of us would like to hazard a guess as to when the child comes through to a sharp distinction between himself and other things or other persons. But we are sure, I think, that this distinction is a matter of growth which extends over many years and that at two, three, and even four, it is imperfectly apprehended. We all know how long a child is in acquiring a correct use of the pronouns "me" and "you." And we know that long after he has this language distinction, he still calls everything he likes "mine." "This is my cow, this is my tree!" The only way to persuade him that it is not his is to call it some one else's. Possessed it must be. He knows the world only in personal terms. That is, his early sense of relationship is that of himself to his concrete environment. This later evolves into a sense of relationship between other people and their concrete environment.
At first, then, a child can not transcend himself or his experiences. Nor should he be asked to. A two-year-old's stori