THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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INTELLECTUAL EDUCATION             227
the idea of the object: that is, to the pronunciation of the name. She may ask him, " What is this ? " and the child should respond, " Smooth." The teacher may then in­terrupt, teaching him how to pronounce the word cor­rectly and distinctly, first, drawing a deep breath and, then, saying in a rather loud voice, " Smooth." When he does this the teacher may note his particular speech de­fect, or the special form of baby talk to which he may be addicted.
In regard to the generalisation of the ideas received, and by that I mean the application of these ideas to his environment, I do not advise any lessons of this sort for a certain length of time, even for a number of months. There will be children who, after having touched a few times the stuffs, or merely the smooth and rough cards, will quite spontaneously touch the various surfaces about them, repeating " Smooth! Rough! It is velvet! etc." In dealing with normal children, we must await this spon­taneous investigation of the surroundings, or, as I like to call it, this voluntary explosion of the exploring spirit. In such cases, the children experience a joy at each fresh discovery. They are conscious of a sense of dignity and satisfaction which encourages them to seek for new sensa­tions from their environment and to make themselves spontaneous observers.
The teacher should watch with the most solicitous care to see when and how the child arrives at this generalisa­tion of ideas. For example, one of our little four-yeai-olds while running about in the court one day suddenly stood still and cried out, " Oh! the sky is blue! " and stood for some time looking up into the blue expanse of the sky.
One day, when I entered one of the " Children's Houses," five or six little ones gathered quietly about me
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