80 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
gather from her conversations with the mothers information of a more practical sort. She informs herself as to the education of the parents, their habits, the wages earned, the money spent for household purposes, etc., and from all this she outlines a history of each family, much on the order of those used by Le-Play. This method is, of course, practical only where the directress lives among the families of her scholars.
In every case, however, the physician's advice to the mothers concerning the hygienic care of each particular child, as well as his directions concerning hygiene in general, will prove most helpful. The directress should act as the go-between in these matters, since she is in the confidence of the mothers, and since from her, such advice comes naturally.
environment: schoolroom furnishings
The method of observation must undoubtedly include the methodical observation of the morphological growth of the pupils. But let me repeat that, while this element necessarily enters, it is not upon this particular kind of observation that the method is established.
The method of observation is established upon one fundamental base — the liberty of the pupils in their spontaneous manifestations.
With this in view, I first turned my attention to the question of environment, and this, of course, included the furnishing of the schoolroom. In considering an ample playground with space for a garden as an important part of this school environment, I am not suggesting anything new.
The novelty lies, perhaps, in my idea for the use of this open-air space, which is to be in direct communication