THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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112             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
What's happened! What is the matter! Children, do you know what this person at the door has done ? I can no longer go on with my story, I cannot remember it any more. I will have to leave it unfinished. Do you know what has happened? Did you hear? Have you under­stood ? That was a noise, that is a noise. Oh! I would much rather play with this little baby (taking up a man­dolin which she had dressed up in a table cover). Yes, dear baby, I had rather play with you. Do you see this baby that I am holding in my arms ? " Several children replied, " It isn't a baby." Others said, " It's a mando­lin." The teacher went on —" No, no, it is a baby, really a baby. I love this little baby. Do you want me to show you that it is a baby ? Keep very, very quiet then. It seems to me that the baby is crying. Or, perhaps it is talking, or perhaps it is going to say papa or mamma." Putting her hand under the cover, she touched the strings of the mandolin. " There! did you hear the baby cry ? Did you hear it call out ? " The children cried out — " It's a mandolin, you touched the strings, you made it play." The teacher then replied, " Be quiet, be quiet, chil­dren. Listen to what I am going to do." Then she un­covered the mandolin and began to play on it, saying, " This is sound."
To suppose that the child from such a lesson as this shall come to understand the difference between noise and sound is ridiculous. The child will probably get the im­pression that the teacher wished to play a joke, and that she is rather foolish, because she lost the thread of her discourse when she was interrupted by noise, and because she mistook a mandolin for a baby. Most certainly, it is the figure of the teacher herself that is impressed upon the
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