THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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CHAPTER II
History of Methods
If we are to develop a system of scientific pedagogy, we must, then, proceed along lines very different from those which have been followed up to the present time. The transformation of the school must be contemporaneous with the preparation of the teacher. For if we make of the teacher an observer, familiar with the experimental meth­ods, then we must make it possible for her to observe and to experiment in the school. The fundamental principle of scientific pedagogy must be, indeed, the liberty of the pupil; — such liberty as shall permit a development of in­dividual, spontaneous manifestations of the child's nature. If a new and scientific pedagogy is to arise from the study of the individual, such study must occupy itself with the observation of free children. In vain should we await a practical renewing of pedagogical methods from me­thodical examinations of pupils made under the guidance offered to-day by pedagogy, anthropology, and experimental psychology.
Every branch of experimental science has grown out of the application of a method peculiar to itself. Bacteri­ology owes its scientific content to the method of isolation and culture of microbes. Criminal, medical, and peda­gogical anthropology owe their progress to the application of anthropological methods to individuals of various classes, such as criminals, the insane, the sick of the clinics,
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