THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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PEDAGOGICAL METHODS                  79
And with all this they will have acquired habits of order, and, above all, they will have formed the habit of observ­ing themselves. Indeed, I may say here, that the children take a great pleasure in being measured; at the first glance of the teacher and at the word stature, the child begins instantly to take off his shoes, laughing and running to place himself upon the platform of the anthropometer; placing himself of his own accord in the normal position so perfectly that the teacher needs only to arrange the indicator and read the result.
Aside from the measurements which the physician takes with the ordinary instruments (calipers and metal yard measure), he makes observations upon the children's col­ouring, condition of their muscles, state of their lymphatic glands, the condition of the blood, etc. He notices any malformations; describes any pathological conditions with care (any tendency to rickets, infant paralysis, defec­tive sight, etc.). This objective study of the child will guide the doctor when he finds it advisable to talk with the parents concerning its condition. Following this, when the doctor has found it desirable, he makes a thor­ough, sanitary inspection of the home of the child, pre­scribing necessary treatment and eventually doing away with such troubles as eczema, inflammation of the ear, feverish conditions, intestinal disturbances, etc. This care­ful following of the case in hand is greatly assisted by the existence of the dispensary within the house, which makes feasible direct treatment and continual observation.
I have found that the usual questions asked patients who present themselves at the clinics, are not adapted for use in our schools, as the members of the families living in these tenements are for the greater part perfectly normal.
I therefore encourage the directress of the school to
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