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

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One such combination this Introduction will suggest, and it will discuss also the possible uses of the Montessori apparatus in the home; but it may be helpful first to pre­sent the outstanding characteristics of the Montessori system as compared with the modern kindergarten in its two main forms.
Certain similarities in principle are soon apparent. o0^ Dr. Montessori's views of childhood are in some respects identical with those of Froebel, although in general de­cidedly more radical. Both defend the child's right to be active, to explore his environment and develop his own inner resources through every form of investigation and creative effort. Education is to guide activity, not repress it. Environment cannot create human power, but only give it scope and material, direct it, or at most but call it forth; and the teacher's task is first to nourish and assist, to watch, encourage, guide, induce, rather than to inter­fere, prescribe, or restrict. To most American teachers and to all kindergartners this principle has long been familiar; they will but welcome now a new and eloquent statement of it from a modern viewpoint. In the practical interpretation of the principle, however, there is decided^ divergence between the Montessori school and the kinder-1 garten. The Montessori "directress" does not teach chil­dren in groups, with the practical requirement, no matter .^ \ how well "mediated," that each member of the group shall join in the exercise. The Montessori pupil does about as he pleases, so long as he does not do any harm.
Montessori and Froebel stand in agreement also on the need for training of the senses; but Montessori's scheme for this training is at once more elaborate and more direct than Eroebel's. She has devised out of Seguin's apparatus a comprehensive and scientific scheme for formal gymnastic
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