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CASE STUDY
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Wednesday 11:00-11:30,
7 May - 28 May 2008
Claudia Hammond presents a series on case studies that have made a significant contribution to psychological research.
11 - 11.30am
14 May 2008
Listen to this programme in full
The Wild Boy of Aveyron
In 1800, 12-year-old Victor emerged from the woods of the Aveyron District, naked and behaving like an animal. It was estimated that he had been living wild since the age of about four.
Doctor Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard devised a revolutionary programme of training for the boy, which met with partial success.

The story is repeatedly quoted in the nature-nurture controversy, but it provides no conclusive proof either way. As with all case studies, it can be used to defend different theories.

Nevertheless, many still benefit from Victor's legacy, as children with learning difficulties and others, especially those in Montessori nurseries, are taught by the method of hands-on play devised by Itard.

Useful Resources

Books:

Wild Boy of Aveyron by Harlan Lane,
Publisher: Paladin (1979)
ISBN-10: 0586083030 ISBN-13: 978-0586083031

Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children by Michael Newton,
Publisher: Faber and Faber (2003),
ISBN-10: 0571214606 ISBN-13: 978-0571214600

Encounters with Wild Children: Temptation and Disappointment in the Study of Human Nature by Adriana Benzaquen,
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press (2006),
ISBN-10: 0773529721 ISBN-13: 978-0773529724

Victor de l'Aveyron: Dernier enfant sauvage, premier enfant fou (Les Hommes et leurs signes) by Thierry Gineste,
Publisher: Sycomore (1981)
ISBN-10: 2862621137 ISBN-13: 978-2862621135

DVD:

The Wild Child - 1970, Director: Francois Truffaut

Web sites:

L'Institut National de Jeunes Sourds, Paris
Harlan Lane
Adriana Benzaquen 
Uta Frith -
 
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