THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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INTRODUCTION                        xxxv
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tion of the Montessori system and the kindergarten may now be set forth. If it is put very briefly and without defense or prophecy, it is because it is made without dog­matism, simply in the hope that it will prove suggestive to ftfa < some open-minded teacher who is willing to try out any scheme that promises well for her pupils. The conditions supposed are those of the ordinary American public-school kindergarten, with a two-year programme beginning with children three and a half or four years old, a kindergarten with not too many pupils, with a competent kindergartner and assistant kindergartner, and with some help from training-school students.
The first proposal is for the use of the Montessori ma­terial during the better part of the first year instead of the regular Froebelian material. To the use of the Mon­tessori devices—including the gymnastic apparatus—some of the time now devoted to pictures and stories should also be applied. It is not suggested that no Froebelian material should be used, but that the two systems be woven into each other, with a gradual transition from the free, indi­vidual use of the Montessori objects to the same sort of use of the large sizes of the Froebel gifts, especially the second, third, and fourth. When the children seem to be ready for it, a certain amount of more formal work with the gifts should be begun. In the second year the Froebelian gift work should predominate, without absolute exclusion of the Montessori exercises. In the latter part of the second year the Montessori exercises preparatory to writing should be introduced. Throughout the second year the full time for stories and picture work should be given to them, and in both years the morning circle and the games should be carried on as usual. The luncheon period should of course remain the same. One part of Dr. Mon-
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