THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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DISCIPLINE                              103
the breasts of those children who are the cleverest and the best."
As I was under no obligation to instruct this visitor in my methods, I kept silence, and the teacher took the box. At that moment, a most intelligent little boy of four, who was seated quietly at one of the little tables, wrinkled his forehead in an act of protest and cried out over and over again; —" Not to the boys, though, not to the boys! "
What a revelation! * This little fellow already knew that he stood among the best and strongest of his class, although no one had ever revealed this fact to him, and he did not wish to be offended by this prize. Not know­ing how to defend his dignity, he invoked the superior quality of his masculinity!
As to punishments, we have many times come in con­tact with children who disturbed the others without pay­ing any attention to our corrections. Such children were at once examined by the physician. When the case proved to be that of a normal child, we placed one of the little tables in a corner of the room, and in this way isolated the child; having him sit in a comfortable little armchair, so placed that he might see his companions at work, and giving him those games and toys to which he was most attracted. This isolation almost always succeeded in calming the child; from his position he could see the en­tire assembly of his companions, and the way in which they carried on their work was an object lesson much more efficacious than any words of the teacher could possibly have been. Little by little, he would come to see the advantages of being one of the company working so busily before his eyes, and he would really wish to go back and do as the others did. We have in this way led back again
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