THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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152             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
reminiscence, while his eyes were fixed upon the surface of the water into which from time to time he would throw a few dead leaves.
" If when there was a full moon, a sheaf of mild beams penetrated into his room, he rarely failed to wake and to take his place at the window. He would remain there for a large part of the night, erect, motionless, with his head thrust forward, his eyes fixed on the countryside lighted by the moon, plunged in a sort of contemplative ecstasy, the immobility and silence of which were only interrupted at long intervals by a breath as deep as a sigh, which died away in a plaintive sound of lamentation."
Elsewhere, Itard relates that the boy did not know the walking gait which we use in civilised life, but only the running gait, and tells how he, Itard, ran after him at the beginning, when he took him out into the streets of Paris, rather than violently check the boy's running.
The gradual and gentle leading of the savage through all the manifestations of social life, the early adaptation of the teacher to the pupil rather than of the pupil to the teacher, the successive attraction to a new life which was to win over the child by its charms, and not be imposed upon him violently so that the pupil should feel it as a burden and a torture, are as many precious educative ex­pressions which may be generalised and applied to the edu­cation of children.
I believe that there exists no document which offers so poignant and so eloquent a contrast between the life of nature and the life of society, and which so graphically shows that society is made up solely of renunciations and restraints. Let it suffice to recall the run, checked to a walk, and the loud-voiced cry, checked to the modulations of the ordinary speaking voice.
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