THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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102             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
did not interfere in any way, and the situation remained as I had found it. I held my peace, and placed myself where I might observe quietly.
The child with the cross was moving back and forth, carrying the objects with which he had been working, from his table to that of the teacher, and bringing others in their place. He was busy and happy. As he went back and forth he passed by the armchair of the child who was being punished. The silver cross slipped from his neck and fell to the floor, and the child in the armchair picked it up, dangled it on its white ribbon, looking at it from all sides, and then said to his companion: " Do you see what you have dropped ? " The child turned and looked at the trinket with an air of indifference; his expression seemed to say; "Don't interrupt me," his voice replied " I don't care." " Don't you care, really ? " said the pun­ished one calmly. " Then I will put it on myself." And the other replied, " Oh, yes, put it on," in a tone that seemed to add, " and leave me in peace! "
The boy in the armchair carefully arranged the ribbon so that the cross lay upon the front of his pink apron where he could admire its brightness and its pretty form, then he settled himself more comfortably in his little chair and rested his arms with evident pleasure upon the arms of the chair. The affair remained thus, and was quite just. The dangling cross could satisfy the child who was being punished, but not the active child, content and happy with his work.
One day I took with me on a visit to another of the " Children's Houses" a lady who praised the children highly and who, opening a box she had brought, showed them a number of shining medals, each tied with a bright red ribbon. " The mistress," she said " will put these on
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