THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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xxvi
INTRODUCTION
work directly toward the school arts. Since the difference between the two programmes is one of arrangement, em­phasis, and degree, there is no fundamental reason why a combination especially adapted to English and American schools cannot be worked out.
The broad contrast between a Montessori school and a kindergarten appears on actual observation to be this: whereas the Montessori children spend almost all their time handling things, largely according to their individual inclination and under individual guidance, kindergarten children are generally engaged in group work and games with an imaginative background and appeal. A possible principle of adjustment between the two systems might be stated thus: work with objects designed for formal sensory, motor, and intellectual training should be done individually or in purely voluntary groups; imaginative and social activity should be carried on in regulated groups. This principle is suggested only as a possible basis for edu­cation during the kindergarten age; for as children grow older they must be taught in classes, and they naturally learn how to carry out imaginative and social enterprises in free groups, and the former often alone. Nor should it be supposed that the principle is suggested as a rule to which there can be no exception. It is suggested simply as a general working hypothesis, the value of which must be tested in experience. Although it has long been ob­served by kindergartners themselves that group-work with the Froebelian materials, especially such work as involves geometrical analysis and formal design, soon tires the chil­dren, it has been held that the kindergartner could safe­guard her pupils from loss of interest or real fatigue by watching carefully for the first signs of weariness and stopping the work promptly on their appearance. For
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