THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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INTRODUCTION
xix
on whose work that of Dr. Montessori is based, was once head of the school at Waverley.) So, too, formal training * in various psycho-physical processes has been much urged of late by a good many workers in experimental pedagogy, especially by Meumann. But before Montessori, no one had produced a system in which the elements named above were combined. She conceived it, elaborated it in practice, and established it in schools. It is indeed the final result, as Dr. Montessori proudly asserts, of years of experimental effort both on her own part and on the part of her great predecessors; but the crystallisation of these experiments in a programme of education for normal children is due to Dr. Montessori alone. The incidental features which she has frankly taken over from other modern educators she has chosen because they fit into the fundamental form of her own scheme, and she has unified them all in her general conception of method. The system is not original in the sense in which Froebel's system was original; but as a sys­tem it is the novel product of a single woman's creative genius.
As such, no student of elementary education ought to ignore it. The system doubtless fails to solve all the prob­lems in the education of young children; possibly some of the solutions it proposes are partly or completely mistaken; some are probably unavailable in English and American schools; but a system of education does not have to attain perfection in order to merit study, investigation, and ex­perimental use. Dr. Montessori is too large-minded to claim infallibility, and too thoroughly scientific in her atti­tude to object to careful scrutiny of her scheme and the thorough testing of its results. She expressly states that it is not yet complete. Practically, it is highly probable that , the system ultimately adopted in our schools will combine "
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