THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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12               THE MONTESSORI METHOD
others fly from it. He investigates these and like phe­nomena; having always in mind this question: whether the fleeing from or running to the stimulus be of the same character as the avoidance of one another or the selec­tion of food — that is, whether such differences are the result of choice and are due to that dim consciousness, rather than to physical attraction or repulsion similar to that of the magnet. And let us suppose that this scientist, finding it to be four o'clock in the afternoon, and that he has not yet lunched, is conscious, with a feeling of pleasure, of the fact that he has been at work in his labora­tory instead of in his own home, where they would have called him hours ago, interrupting his interesting observa­tion, in order that he might eat.
Let us imagine, I say, that the teacher has arrived, in­dependently of his scientific training, at such, an attitude of interest in the observation of natural phenomena. Very well, but such a preparation is not enough. The master, indeed, is destined in his particular mission not to the observation of insects or of bacteria, but of man. He is not to make a study of man in the manifestations of his daily physical habits as one studies some family of insects, following their movements from the hour of their morning awakening. The master is to study man in the awakening of his intellectual life.
The interest in humanity to which we wish to educate the teacher must be characterised by the intimate rela­tionship between the observer and the individual to be observed; a relationship which does not exist between the student of zoology or botany and that form of nature which he studies. Man cannot love the insect or the chemical reaction which he studies, without sacrificing a part of himself. This self-sacrifice seems to one who looks at it
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