THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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CHAPTER XXI
General Review of Discipline
The accumulated experience we have had since the publication of the Italian version has repeatedly proved to us that in our classes of little children, numbering forty and even fifty, the discipline is much better than in ordi­nary schools. For this reason I have' thought that an analysis of the discipline obtained by our method — which is based upon liberty,— would interest my American read­ers.
Whoever visits a well kept school (such as, for instance, the one in Rome directed by my pupil Anna Maccheroni) is struck by the discipline of the children. There are forty little beings — from three to seven years old, each one intent on his own work; one is going through one of the exercises for the senses, one is doing an arithmetical exercise; one is handling the letters, one is drawing, one is fastening and unfastening the pieces of cloth on one of our little wooden frames, still another is dusting. Some are seated at the tables, some on rugs on the floor. There are muffled sounds of objects lightly moved about, of chil­dren tiptoeing. Once in a while comes a cry of joy only partly repressed, " Teacher! Teacher! " an eager call, " Look! see what Fve done." But as a rule, there is en­tire absorption in the work in hand.
The teacher moves quietly about, goes to any child who calls her, supervising operations in such a way that any-
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