THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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INAUGURAL ADDRESS
63
ing is decidedly objective, and presents an unusual richness of didactic material.
It is not possible to speak of all this in detail. I must, however, mention that there already exists in connection with the school a bathroom, where the children may be given hot or cold baths and where they may learn to take a partial bath, hands, face, neck, ears. Wherever possible the Association has provided a piece of ground in which the children may learn to cultivate the vegetables in com­mon use.
It is important that I speak here of the pedagogical progress attained by the " Children's House " as an insti­tution. Those who are conversant with the chief problems of the school know that to-day much attention is given to a great principle, one that is ideal and almost beyond realisa­tion,— the union of the family and the school in the matter of educational aims. But the family is always something far away from the school, and is almost always regarded as rebelling against its ideals. It is a species of phantom upon which the school can never lay its hands. The home is closed not only to pedagogical progress, but often to social progress. We see here for the first time the possi­bility of realising the long-talked-of pedagogical ideal. We have put the school within the house; and this is not all. We have placed it within the house as the property of the collectivity, leaving under the eyes of the parents the whole life of the teacher in the accomplishment of her high mission.
This idea of the collective ownership of the school is new and very beautiful and profoundly educational.
The parents know that the " Children's House " is their property, and is maintained by a portion of the rent they pay. The mothers may go at any hour of the day to watch.
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