THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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244             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
they would be able to learn them, but it would be a mere learning of formulae, and not applied experience.
Exercises in the Chromatic Sense
I have already indicated what colour exercises we fol­low. Here I wish to indicate more definitely the suc­cession of these exercises and to describe them more fully.
Designs and Pictures. We have prepared a number of outline drawings which the children are to fill in with coloured pencil, and, later on, with a brush, preparing for themselves the water-colour tints which they will use. The first designs are of flowers, butterflies, trees and an­imals, and we then pass to simple landscapes containing grass, sky, houses, and human figures.
These designs help us in our study of the natural de­velopment of the child as an observer of his surroundings; that is, in regard to colour. The children select the col­ours and are left entirely free in their work. If, for example, they colour a chicken red, or a cow green, this shows that they have not yet become observers. But I have already spoken of this in the general discussion of the method. These designs also reveal the effect of the education of the chromatic sense. As the child selects delicate and harmonious tints, or strong and contrasting ones, we can judge of the progress he has made in the re­finement of his colour sense.
The fact that the child must remember the colour of the objects represented in the design encourages him to observe those things which are about him. And then, too, he wishes to be able to fill in more difficult designs. Only those children who know how to keep the colour within the outline and to reproduce the right colours may proceed to the more ambitious work. These designs are
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