THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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NATURE IN EDUCATION                 151
negation necessary in dealing with a phenomenon which is to be observed:
" When, for example, he was observed within his room, he was seen to be lounging with oppressive monotony, continually directing his eyes toward the window, with his gaze wandering in the void. If on such occasions a sud­den storm blew up, if the sun, hidden behind the clouds, peeped out of a sudden, lighting the atmosphere brilliantly, there were loud bursts of laughter and almost convulsive joy. Sometimes, instead of these expressions of joy, there was a sort of frenzied rage: he would twist his arms, put his clenched fists upon his eyes, gnashing his teeth and becoming dangerous to those about him.
" One morning, when the snow fell abundantly while he was still in bed, he uttered a cry of joy upon awaking, leaped from his bed, ran to the window and then to the door; went and came impatiently from one to the other; then ran out undressed as he was into the garden. There, giving vent to his joy with the shrillest of cries, he ran, rolled in the snow, gathered it up in handfuls, and swal­lowed it with incredible avidity.
" But his sensations at sight of the great spectacles of nature did not always manifest themselves in such a vivid and noisy manner. It is worthy of note that in certain cases they were expressed by a quiet regret and melan­choly. Thus, it was when the rigour of the weather drove everybody from the garden that the savage of the Aveyron chose to go there. He would walk around it several times and finally sit down upon the edge of the fountain.
" I have often stopped for whole hours, and with in­describable pleasure, to watch him as he sat thus — to see how his face, inexpressive or contracted by grimaces, grad­ually assumed an expression of sadness, and of melancholy
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