THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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INAUGURAL ADDRESS
57
when houses are scarce, and the humanitarian principles which govern the entire movement make it impossible to proceed more rapidly in this work of regeneration. So it is, that the Association has up to the present time trans­formed only three houses in the Quarter of San Lorenzo. The plan followed in this transformation is as follows:
A: To demolish in every building all portions of the structure not originally constructed with the idea of mak­ing homes, but, from a purely commercial standpoint, of making the rental roll larger. In other words, the new management tore down those parts of the building which encumbered the central court, thus doing away with dark, ill-ventilated apartments, and giving air and light to the remaining portion of the tenement. Broad airy courts take the place of the inadequate air and light shafts, render­ing the remaining apartments more valuable and infinitely more desirable.
B: To increase the number of stairways, and to divide the room space in a more practical way. The large six or seven room suites are reduced to small apartments of one, two, or three rooms, and a kitchen.
The importance of such changes may be recognised from the economic point of view of the proprietor as well as from the standpoint of the moral and material welfare of the tenant. Increasing the number of stairways dimin­ishes that abuse of walls and stairs inevitable where so many persons must pass up and down. The tenants more readily learn to respect the building and acquire habits of cleanliness and order. Not only this, but in reducing the chances of contact among the inhabitants of the house, especially late at night, a great advance has been made in the matter of moral hygiene.
The division of the house into small apartments has done
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