THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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EXERCISES OF PRACTICAL LIFE 123
teacher shows the children how to clean out the little corners where dust has accumulated, and shows them how to use the various objects necessary in cleaning a room, — dust-cloths, dust-brushes, little brooms, etc. All of this, when the children are allowed to do it by themselves, is very quickly accomplished. Then the children go each to his own place. The teacher explains to them that the normal position is for each child to be seated in his own place, in silence, with his feet together on the floor, his hands resting on the table, and his head erect. In this way she teaches them poise and equilibrium. Then she has them rise on their feet in order to sing the hymn, teaching them that in rising and sitting down it is not necessary to be noisy. In this way the children learn to move about the furniture with poise and with care. After this we have a series of exercises in which the children learn to move gracefully, to go and come, to salute each other, to lift objects carefully, to receive vari­ous objects from each other politely. The teacher calls attention with little exclamations to a child who is clean, a room which is well ordered, a class seated quietly, a graceful movement, etc.
From such a starting point we proceed to the free teach­ing. That is, the teacher will no longer make comments to the children, directing them how to move from their seats, etc., she will limit herself to correcting the dis­ordered movements.
After the directress has talked in this way about the attitude of the children and the arrangement of the room, she invites the children to talk with her. She questions them concerning what they have done the day before, reg­ulating her inquiries in such a way that the children need not report the intimate happenings of the family but their
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