30 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
method holds for us great surprises, unexpected possibilities.
Child psychology and pedagogy must establish their content by successive conquests arrived at through the method of experimentation.
Our problem then, is this: to establish the method peculiar to experimental pedagogy. It cannot be that used in other experimental sciences. It is true that scientific pedagogy is rounded out by hygiene, anthropology, and psychology, and adopts in part the technical method characteristic of all three, although limiting itself to a special study of the individual to be educated. But in pedagogy this study of the individual, though it must accompany the very different work of education, is a limited and secondary part of the science as a whole.
This present study deals in part with the method used in experimental pedagogy, and is the result of my experiences during two years in the " Children's Houses." I offer only a beginning of the method, which I have applied to children between the ages of three and six. But I believe that these tentative experiments, because of the surprising results which they have given, will be the means of inspiring a continuation of the work thus undertaken.
Indeed, although our educational system, which experience has demonstrated to be excellent, is not yet entirely completed, it nevertheless constitutes a system well enough established to be practical in all institutions where young children are cared for, and in the first elementary classes.
Perhaps I am not exact when I say that the present work springs from two years of experience. I do not believe that these later attempts of mine could alone have rendered possible all that I set forth in this book. The