THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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242             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
and then we await his work. We possess some very re­markable pieces of clay work done by our little ones. Some of them reproduce, with surprising minuteness of detail, objects which they have seen. And what is most surprising, these models often record not only the form, but even the dimensions of the objects which the child handled in school.
Many little ones model the objects which they have seen at home, especially kitchen furniture, water-jugs, pots, and pans. Sometimes, we are shown a simple cradle containing a baby brother or sister. At first it is necessary to place written descriptions upon these ob­jects, as it is necessary to do with the free design. Later on, however, the models are easily recognisable, and the children learn to reproduce the gRometric solids. These clay models are undoubtedly very valuable material for the teacher, and make clear many individual differences, thus helping her to understand her children more fully. In our method they are also valuable as psychological manifestations of development according to age. Such designs are precious guides also for the teacher in the matter of her intervention in the child's education. The children who, in this work reveal themselves as observers, will probably become spontaneous observers of all the world about them, and may be led toward such a goal by the indirect help of exercises tending to fix and to make more exact the various sensations and ideas.
These children will also be those who arrive most quickly at the act of spontaneous writing. Those whose clay work remains unformed and indefinite will probably need the direct revelation of the directress, who will need to call their attention in some material manner to the ob­jects around them.
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