THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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DISCIPLINE                                99
gain once more his own independence, he would find that he had no longer the force to do so. These dangers should be presented to the parents of the privileged social classes, if their children are to use independently and for right the special power which is theirs. Needless help is an actual hindrance to the development of natural forces.
Oriental women wear trousers, it is true, and European women, petticoats; but the former, even more than the latter, are taught as a part of their education the art of not moving. Such an attitude toward woman leads to the fact that man works not only for himself, but for woman. And the woman wastes her natural strength and activity and languishes in slavery. She is not only main­tained and served, she is, besides, diminished, belittled, in that individuality which is hers by right of her existence as a human being. As an individual member of society, she is a cypher. She is rendered deficient in all those powers and resources which tend to the preservation of life. Let me illustrate this:
A carriage containing a father, mother, and child, is going along a country road. An armed brigand stops the carriage with the well-known phrase, " Your money or your life." Placed in this situation, the three persons in the carriage act in very different ways. The man, who is a trained marksman, and who is armed with a revolver, promptly draws, and confronts the assassin. The boy, armed only with the freedom and lightness of his own legs, cries out and betakes himself to flight. The woman, who is not armed in any way whatever, neither artificially nor naturally (since her limbs, not trained for activity, are hampered by her skirts), gives a frightened gasp, and sinks down unconscious.
These three diverse reactions are in close relation to
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