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 219
of deciding from the odor ot the dish the exact moment of its being properly cooked, or with the eye, or the taste, the time at which she must put in some given condiment, then she will make a mistake if her senses have not been sufficiently prepared.
She can only gain such ability through long practice, and such practice on the part of the cook is nothing else than a belated education of the senses — an education which often can never be properly attained by the adult. This is one reason why it is so difficult to find good cooks.
Something of the same kind is true of the physician, the student of medicine who studies theoretically the character of the pulse, and sits down by the bed of the patient with the best will in the world to read the pulse, but, if his fingers do not know how to read the sensations his studies will have been in vain. Before he can be­come a doctor, he must gain a capacity for discriminating between sense stimuli.
The same may be said for the pulsations of the heart, which the student studies in theory, but which the ear can learn to distinguish only through practice.
We may say the same for all the delicate vibrations and movements, in the reading of which the hand of the physician is too often deficient. The thermometer is the more indispensable to the physician the more his sense of touch is unadapted and untrained in the gathering of the thermic stimuli. It is well understood that the physi­cian may be learned, and most intelligent, without being a good practitioner, and that to make a good practitioner long practice is necessary. In reality, this long practice is nothing else than a tardy, and often inefficient, exer­cise of the senses. After he has assimilated the brilliant theories, the physician sees himself forced to the unpleas-
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