THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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MANUAL LABOUR
165
and moral importance of the vase, we have another and practical one, its literal adaptability to every modifica­tion of form, and its susceptibility to the most diverse ornamentation; in this, it gives free scope to the individual genius of the artist.
Thus, when once the handicraft leading to the con­struction of vases has been learned (and this is the part of the progress in the work, learned from the direct and graduated instruction of the teacher), anyone can modify it according to the inspiration of his own aesthetic taste and this is the artistic, individual part of the work. Be­sides this, in Randone's school the use of the potter's wheel is taught, and also the composition of the mixture for the bath of majolica ware, and baking the pieces in the furnace, stages of manual labour which contain an industrial culture.
Another work in the School of Educative Art is the manufacture of diminutive bricks, and their baking in the furnace, and the construction of diminutive walls built by the same processes which the masons use in the construction of houses, the bricks being joined by means of mortar handled with a trowel. After the simple con­struction of the wall,— which is very amusing for the children who build it, placing brick on brick, superimpos­ing row on row,— the children pass to the construction of real houses,— first, resting on the ground, and, then, really constructed with foundations, after a previous ex­cavation of large holes in the ground by means of little hoes and shovels. These little houses have openings cor­responding to windows and doors, and are variously ornamented in their facades by little tiles of bright and multi-coloured majolica: the tiles themselves being manu­factured by the children.
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