THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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HOW LESSORS SHOULD BE GIVEN 115
cept, but we do not believe tbat the child is too immature to appreciate the simple form; on the contrary, it is no effort for a child to look at a square window or table,— he sees all these forms about him in his daily life. To call his attention to a determined form is to clarify the impression he has already received of it, and to fix the idea of it. It is very much as if, while we are looking absent-mindedly at the shore of a lake, an artist should suddenly say to us —" How beautiful the curve is that the shore makes there under the shade of that cliff." At his words, the view which we have been observing almost unconsciously, is impressed upon our minds as if it had been illuminated by a sudden ray of sunshine, and we experience the joy of having crystallised an impression which we had before only imperfectly felt.
And such is our duty toward the child: to give a ray of light and to go on our way.
I may liken the effects of these first lessons to the im­pressions of one who walks quietly, happily, through a wood, alone, and thoughtful, letting his inner life unfold freely. Suddenly, the chime of a distant bell recalls him to himself, and in that awakening he feels more strongly than before the peace and beauty of which he has been but dimly conscious.
To stimulate life,— leaving it then free to develop, to unfold,— herein lies the first task of the educator. In such a delicate task, a great art must suggest the moment, and limit the intervention, in order that we shall arouse no perturbation, cause no deviation, but rather that we shall help the soul which is coming into the fulness of life, and which shall live from its own forces. This art must ac­company the scientific method.
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