THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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INTELLECTUAL EDUCATION             231
until the activity known as observation develops. And herein lies the art of the educator; in knowing how to measure the action by which we help the young child's personality to develop. To one whose attitude is right, little children soon reveal profound individual differences which call for very different kinds of help from the teacher. Some of them require almost no intervention on her part, while others demand actual teaching. It is necessary, therefore, that the teaching shall be rigorously guided by the principle of limiting to the greatest possible point the active intervention of the educator.
Here are a number of games and problems which we have used effectively in trying to follow this principle.
GAMES OF THE BLIND
The Games of the Blind are used for the most part as exercises in general sensibility as follows:
The Stuffs. We have in our didactic material a pretty little chest composed of drawers within which are ar­ranged rectangular pieces of stuff in great variety. There are velvet, satin, silk, cotton, linen, etc. We have the child touch each of these pieces, teaching the appropriate nomenclature and adding something regarding the qual­ity, as coarse, fine, soft. Then, we call the child and seat him at one of the tables where he can be seen by his com­panions, blindfold him, and offer him the stuffs one by one. He touches them, smooths them, crushes them be­tween his fingers and decides, "It is velvet,— It is fine linen,— It is rough cloth," etc. This exercise provokes general interest. When we offer the child some unex­pected foreign object, as, for example, a sheet of paper, a veil, the little assembly trembles as it awaits his response.
Weight. We place the child in the same position, call
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