308 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
them on according to our methods, is a great question which cannot be discussed here. I can only say that the first elementary would be completely done away with by our infant education, which includes it.
The elementary classes in the future should begin with children such as ours who know how to read and write; children who know how to take care of themselves; how to dress and undress, and to wash themselves; children who are familiar with the rules of good conduct and courtesy, and who are thoroughly disciplined in the highest sense of the term, having developed, and become masters of themselves, through liberty; children who possess, besides a perfect mastery of the articulate language, the ability to read written language in an elementary way, and who begin to enter upon the conquest of logical language.
These children pronounce clearly, write in a firm hand, and are full of grace in their movements. They are the earnest of a humanity grown in the cult of beauty — the infancy of an all-conquering humanity, since they are intelligent and patient observers of their environment, and possess in the form of intellectual liberty the power of spontaneous reasoning.
For such children, we should found an elementary school worthy to receive them and to guide them further along the path of life and of civilisation, a school loyal to the same educational principles of respect for the freedom of the child and for his spontaneous manifestations —-principles which shall form the personality of these little men.