THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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INTRODUCTION                          xxv
gifts and occupations for mathematical purposes, makes no attempt to prepare its pupils directly for the school arts.
Compared with the kindergarten, then, the Montessori system presents these main points of interest: it carries out far more radically the principle of unrestricted liberty; its materials are intended for the direct and formal training of the senses; it includes apparatus designed to aid in the purely physical development of the children; its social training is carried out mainly by means of present and actual social activities; and it affords direct preparation for the school arts.) The kindergarten, on the other hand, involves a certain amount of group-teaching, in which children are held—not necessarily by the enforcement of authority, yet by authority, confessedly, when other means fail—to definite activities; its materials are intended pri­marily for creative use by the children and offer oppor­tunity for mathematical analysis and the teaching of de­sign ; and its procedure is rich in resources for the imagina­tion. One thing should be made entirely clear and em­phatic : in none of these characteristics are the two systems rigidly antagonistic. Much kindergarten activity is free, and the principle of prescription is not wholly given over by the "Houses of Childhood"—witness their Rules and Regulations; the kindergarten involves direct sense train­ing, and the Montessori system admits some of the Froebel blocks for building and design; there are many purely muscular activities in the kindergarten, and some of the usual kindergarten games are used by Montessori; the kindergarten conducts some gardening, care of animals, construction-work, and domestic business, and the Mon­tessori system admits a few imaginative social plays; both systems (but not the liberal form of the kindergarten)
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