THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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DISCIPLINE                              101
haps if he should learn how to prepare his soup he might become a perfect man! The man who, through his own efforts, is able to perform all the actions necessary for his comfort and development in life, conquers himself, and in doing so multiplies his abilities and perfects himself as an individual.
We must make of the future generation, 'powerful men, and by that we mean men who are independent and free.
ABOLITION OF PRIZES AND OF EXTERNAL FORMS OF PUNISHMENT
Once we have accepted and established such principles, the abolition of prizes and external forms of punishment will follow naturally. Man, disciplined through liberty, begins to desire the true and only prize which will never belittle or disappoint him,— the birth of human power and liberty within that inner life of his from which his activities must spring.
In my own experience I have often marvelled to see how true this is. During our first months in the " Chil­dren's Houses," the teachers had not yet learned to put into practice the pedagogical principles of liberty and dis­cipline. One of them, especially, busied herself, when I was absent, in remedying my ideas by introducing a few of those methods to which she had been accustomed. So, one day when I came in unexpectedly, I found one of the most intelligent of the children wearing a large Greek cross of silver, hung from his neck by a fine piece of white ribbon, while another child was seated in an arm­chair which had been conspicuously placed in the middle of the room.
The first child had been rewarded, the second was be­ing punished. The teacher, at least while I was present,
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