This is the story of the Institute of Child Study, University of Toronto, from its beginning in 1926 to the present. To honour the Director, W.E. Blatz, it has been written by members of the staff and its publication financed by parents of children who have attended the Nursery School and by students, graduates, and friends of the Institute.
The book is centred around the research programme which the Institute has conducted during the quarter century. It contains abstracts of all its scientific papers and publications and reviews these to indicate the significant trends. The stories of the Institute's foundation, of its programmes of parent education and nursery school procedures, form a setting from which the research has emerged and to which its discoveries have contributed. Thus research is described as no abstract pursuit but as an activity arising out of social need and reflecting its achievements to the social good.
The book will of course be of interest to everyone to who knows the Institute or its Director. It will be of value, we believe, also to all teachers and students in child study centres; they will find it a handbook of research papers in this field. To those in the social sciences it will serve as an illustration of the growth and organization of an Institution peculiar to the twentieth century and specific in its formulated purposes.
Although the book has been created to pay tribute to the Director and to mark the event of the Institute's twenty-fifth year, it is in no way an eulogy extolling past achievements. Rather, as the Preface states, "we have attempted to be as honest, in this volume, as we have insisted we should be in our scientific researches. We have tried, indeed to tell the truth. 'Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.' We have expected the authors of each chapter to give an accurate picture of the topic as they evaluate it; we believe it is through the unique slants of the individual writers we attain a true vision of the whole. Nothing is here but that which we believe; the significance of the project has been 'in the fulfilling rather than the fulfillment.'
"The activities of the past provide us with hope for the future. This attempt to solidify our previous efforts has led us to re-affirm our belief that to increase human understanding is the most satisfying of all possible enterprises."
"Twenty-Five Years of Child Study is truly a remarkable volume. It represents a 'surprise'—but not surprising—personal tribute to a brilliant Canadian, Dr. W.E. Blatz, while he is still living, and while his scientific leadership is in full flood. It is remarkable, too, as a reflection of staff-cohesion and staff-loyalty to an ideal set before them by their Director. It is a delightful portrayal of a personality which combines warmth with scintillating idiosyncrasy, science with profound humanism. Above all it tells the story of a great example of Canadian pioneering–in a field that is of fundamental importance to humanity everywhere."