THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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CHAPTER VI
How the Lessons Should be Given
"Let all thy words be counted." Dante, Inf.s canto X.
Given the fact that, through the regime of liberty the pupils can manifest their natural tendencies in the school, and that with this in view we have prepared the environ­ment and the materials (the objects with which the child is to work), the teacher must not limit her action to ob­servation, but must proceed to experiment.
In this method the lesson corresponds to an experiment. The more fully the teacher is acquainted with the methods of experimental psychology, the better will she understand how to give the lesson. Indeed, a special technique is necessary if the method is to be properly applied. The teacher must at least have attended the training classes in the " Children's Houses," in order to acquire a knowledge of the fundamental principles of the method and to under­stand their application. The most difficult portion of this training is that which refers to the method for discipline.
In the first days of the school the children do not learn the idea of collective order; this idea follows and comes as a result of those disciplinary exercises through which the child learns to discern between good and evil. This being the case, it is evident that, at the outset the teacher cannot give collective lessons. Such lessons, indeed, will always be very rare, since the children being free are not
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