THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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HISTORY OF METHODS                    41
idiot from the vegetative to the intellectual life, " from the education of the senses to general notions, from general notions to abstract thought, from abstract thought to mor­ality." But when this wonderful work is accomplished, and by means of a minute physiological analysis and of a gradual progression in method, the idiot has become a man, he is still an inferior in the midst of his fellow men, an individual who will never be able fully to adapt himself to the social environment: " Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts."
This gives us another reason why the tedious method of Seguin was so often abandoned; the tremendous difficulty of the means, did not justify the end. Everyone felt this, and many said, " There is still so much to be done for nor­mal children! "
Having through actual experience justified my faith in Seguin's method, I withdrew from active work among deficients, and began a more thorough study of the works of Itard and Seguin. I felt the need of meditation, I did a thing which I had not done before, and which per­haps few students have been willing to do,— I translated into Italian and copied out with my own hand, the writ­ings of these men, from beginning to end, making for myself books as the old Benedictines used to do before the diffusion of printing.
I chose to do this by hand, in order that I might have time to weigh the sense of each word, and to read, in truth, the spirit of the author. I had just finished copying the 600 pages of Seguin's French volume when I received from New York a copy of the English book published in 1866. This old volume had been found among the books discarded from the private library of a New York physi-
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