THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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CRITICAL CONSIDERATION                  3
resume of the lectures in which he encouraged this new movement, and says that he believes the way to this de­sired regeneration lies in a methodical study of the one to be educated, carried on under the guidance of peda­gogical anthropology and of experimental psychology.
" For several years I have done battle for an idea con­cerning the instruction and education of man, which ap­peared the more just and useful the more deeply I thought upon it. My idea was that in order to establish natural, rational methods, it was essential that we make nu­merous, exact, and rational observations of man as an individual, principally during infancy, which is the age at which the foundations of education and culture must be laid.
" To measure the head, the height, etc., does not in­deed mean that we are establishing a system of peda­gogy, but it indicates the road which we may follow to arrive at such a system, since if we are to educate an in­dividual, we must have a definite and direct knowledge of him."
The authority of Sergi was enough to convince many that, given such a knowledge of the individual, the art of educating him would develop naturally. This, as often happens, led to a confusion of ideas among his followers, arising now from a too literal interpretation, now from an exaggeration, of the master's ideas. The chief trouble lay in confusing the experimental study of the pupil, with his education. And since the one was the road leading to the other, which should have grown from it naturally and rationally, they straightway gave the name of Scien­tific Pedagogy to what was in truth pedagogical anthro­pology. These new converts carried as their banner, the " Biographical Chart," believing that once this ensign
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