THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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34               THE MONTESSORI METHOD
known as " the wild hoy of Aveyron," he extended to the treatment of all the senses those educational methods which had already given such excellent results in the treatment of the sense of hearing. A student of Pinel, Itard was the first educator to practise the observation of the pupil in the way in which the sick are observed in the hospitals, especially those suffering from diseases of the nervous system.
The pedagogic writings of Itard are most interesting and minute descriptions of educational efforts and ex­periences, and anyone reading them to-day must admit that they were practically the first attempts at experimental psychology. But the merit of having completed a gen­uine educational system for deficient children was due to Edward Seguin, first a teacher and then a physician. He took the experiences of Itard as his starting point, applying these methods, modifying and completing them during a period of ten years' experience with children taken from the insane asylums and placed in a little school in Rue Pigalle in Paris. This method was described for the first time in a volume of more than six hundred pages, published in Paris in 1846, with the title: " Traitement Moral, Hygiene et Education des Idiots." Later Seguin emigrated to the United States of America where he founded many institutions for deficients, and where, after another twenty years of experience, he published the second edition of his method, under a very different title: " Idiocy and its Treatment by the Physiological Method." This volume was published in New York in 1866, and in it Seguin had carefully defined his method of education, calling it the physiological method. He no longer re­ferred in the title to a method for the " education of idiots " as if the method were special to them, but spoke
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