THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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INTRODUCTION
xli
a compromise. In the school arts the programme used to such good effect in the Italian schools and the programme which has been so well worked out in English and Ameri­can schools may be profitably combined. We can learn much about writing and reading from Dr. Montessori— especially from the freedom her children have in the process of learning to write and in the use of their newly acquired power, as well as from her device for teaching them to read connected prose. We can use her materials for sense training and lead as she does to easy mastery of the alphabetic symbols. Our own schemes for teaching reading we can retain, and doubtless the phonetic analysis they involve we shall find easier and more effective because of our adoption of the Montessori scheme for teaching the letters. The exact adjustment of the two methods is of course a task for teachers in practice and for educational leaders.
To all educators this book should prove most interesting. Not many of them will expect that the Montessori method will regenerate humanity. Not many will wish to see it— or any method—produce a generation of prodigies such as those who have been heralded recently in America. Not many will approve the very early acquisition by children of the arts of reading and writing. But all who are fair-minded will admit the genius that shines from the pages which follow, and the remarkable suggestiveness of Dr. Montessori's labors. It is the task of the professional student of education to-day to submit all systems to careful comparative study, and since Dr. Montessori's inventive power has sought its tests in practical experience rather than in comparative investigation, this duller task remains to be done. But however he may scrutinise the results of her work, the educator who reads of it here will honour
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