THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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208             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
ber of trials, and experiments, with a view to finding out more about the muscular capacity of young children. She has made many trials with the pianoforte, observing how the children are not sensitive to the musical tone, but only to the rhythm. On a basis of rhythm she arranged simple little dances, with the intention of studying the influence of the rhythm itself upon the co-ordination of muscular movements. She was greatly surprised to discover the educational disciplinary effect of such music. Her chil­dren, who had been led with great wisdom and art through liberty to a spontaneous ordering of their acts and move­ments, had nevertheless lived in the streets and courts, and had an almost universal habit of jumping.
Being a faithful follower of the method of liberty, and not considering that jumping was a wrong act, she had never corrected them.
She now noticed that as she multiplied and repeated the rhythm exercises, the children little by little left off their ugly jumping, until finally it was a thing of the past. The directress one day asked for an explanation of this change of conduct. Several little ones looked at her without say­ing anything. The older children gave various replies, whose meaning was the same.
" It isn't nice to jump."
" Jumping is ugly."
" It's rude to jump."
This was certainly a beautiful triumph for our method!
This experience shows that it is possible to educate the child's muscular sense, and it shows how exquisite the re­finement of this sense may be as it develops in relation to the muscular memory, and side by side with the other forms of sensory memory.
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