THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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EDUCATION OE THE SENSES 221
for a minute, we will see that almost all the forms of adulteration in food stuffs are rendered possible by the torpor of the senses, which exists in the greater number of people. Fraudulent industry feeds upon the lack of sense education in the masses, as any kind of fraud is based upon the ignorance of the victim. We often see the purchaser throwing himself upon the honesty of the merchant, or putting his faith in the company, or the label upon the box. This is because purchasers are lack­ing in the capacity of judging directly for themselves. They do not know how to distinguish with their senses the different qualities of various substances. In fact, we may say that in many cases intelligence is rendered use­less by lack of practice, and this practice is almost always sense education. Everyone knows in practical life the fundamental necessity of judging with exactness between various stimuli.
But very often sense education is most difficult for the adult, just as it is difficult for him to educate his hand when he wishes to become a pianist. It is necessary to begin the education of the senses in the formative period, if we wish to perfect this sense development with the education which is to follow. The education of the senses should be begun methodically in infancy, and should continue during the entire period of instruction which is to prepare the individual for life in society.
^Esthetic and moral education are closely related to this sensory education. Multiply the sensations, and de­velop the capacity of appreciating fine differences in stimuli, and we refine the sensibility and multiply man's pleasures.
Beauty lies in harmony, not in contrast; and harmony is refinement; therefore, there must be a fineness of the
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