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 189
we mixed them, and calling the child's attention to the difference in form, told her to place the cubes to the right and the bricks to the left. When she was blindfolded she began the exercise as taught by us, taking an object in each hand, feeling each and putting it in its right place. Sometimes she took two cubes, or two bricks, sometimes she found a brick in the right hand, a cube in the left. The child had to recognise the form, and to remember throughout the exercise the proper placing of the different objects. This seemed to me very difficult for a child of three years.
But observing her I saw that she not only performed the exercise easily, but that the movements with which we had taught her to feel the form were superfluous. Indeed the instant she had taken the two objects in her hands, if it so happened that she had taken a cube with the left hand and a brick in the right, she exchanged them immediately, and then began the laborious feeling the form which we had taught and which she perhaps, believed to be obligatory. But the objects had been recognised by her through the first light touch, that is, the recognition was contempo­raneous to the taking.
Continuing my study of the subject, I found that this little girl was possessed of a remarkable functional am-hidexterity — I should be very glad to make a wider study of this phenomenon having in view the desirability of a simultaneous education of both hands.
I repeated the exercise with other children and found that they recognise the objects before feeling their con­tours. This was particularly true of the little ones. Our educational methods in this respect furnished a remark­able exercise in associative gymnastics, leading to a rapid­ity of judgment which was truly surprising and had the
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