THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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HISTORY OF METHODS                    37
stories. Instead of all this, we must know how to call to the man which lies dormant within the soul of the child. I felt this, intuitively, and believed that not the didactic material, but my voice which called to them, awakened the children, and encouraged them to use the didactic material, and through it, to educate themselves. I was guided in my work by the deep respect which I felt for their misfortune, and by the love which these unhappy children know how to awaken in those who are near them.
Seguin, too, expressed himself in the same way on this subject. Reading his patient attempts, I understand clearly that the first didactic material used by him was spiritual. Indeed, at the close of the French volume, the author, giv­ing a resume of his work, concludes by saying rather sadly, that all he has established will be lost or useless, if the teachers are not prepared for their work. He holds rather original views concerning the preparation of teachers of deficients. He would have them good to look upon, pleasant-voiced, careful in every detail of their personal appearance, doing everything possible to make them­selves attractive. They must, he says, render themselves attractive in voice and manner, since it is their task to awaken souls which are frail and weary, and to lead them forth to lay hold upon the beauty and strength of life.
This belief that we must act upon the spirit, served as a sort of secret hey, opening to me the long series of didactic experiments so wonderfully analysed by Edward Seguin,— experiments which, properly understood, are really most efficacious in the education of idiots. I my­self obtained most surprising results through their ap­plication, but I must confess that, while my efforts showed themselves in the intellectual progress of my pupils, a
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