THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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EDUCATION OF THE SENSES 183
work, decided to do away with the blindfold, and, in­deed, the shouts ceased, but now the child's attention was distracted by the slightest movement about him. The blindfold was necessary, but the boy had to be made to understand that he must not laugh so much and that he was having a lesson. The corrective means of Itard and their touching results are worth reporting here!
" I wished to intimidate him with my manner, not be­ing able to do so with my glance. I armed myself with a tambourine and struck it lightly whenever he made a mistake. But he mistook this correction for a joke, and his joy became more noisy than ever. I then felt that I must make the correction a little more severe. It was understood, and I saw, with a mixture of pain and pleas­ure, revealed in the darkened face of this boy the fact that the feeling of injury surpassed the unhappiness of the blow. Tears came from beneath the blindfold, he urged me to take it off, but, whether from embarrassment or fear, or from some inner preoccupation, when freed from the bandage he still kept his eyes tightly closed. I could not laugh at the doleful expression of his face, the closed eyelids from between which trickled an occasional tear! Oh, in this moment, as in many others, ready to renounce my task, and feeling that the time I had con­secrated to it was lost, how I regretted ever having known this boy, and how severely I condemned the barren and inhuman curiosity of the men who in order to make scien­tific advancement had torn him away from a life, at least innocent and happy! "
Here also is demonstrated the great educative superior­ity of scientific pedagogy for normal children.
Finally, one particular of the technique consists in the
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