THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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GENERAL REVIEW OF DISCIPLINE 347
one who needs her finds her at his elbow, and whoever does not need her is not reminded of her existence. Some­times, hours go by without a word. They seem " little men," as they were called by some visitors to the " Chil­dren's House "; or, as another suggested, " judges in de­liberation."
In the midst of such intense interest in work it never happens that quarrels arise over the possession of an ob­ject. If one accomplishes something especially fine, his achievement is a source of admiration and joy to others: no heart suffers from another's wealth, but the triumph of one is a delight to all. Very often he finds ready imitators. They all seem happy and satisfied to do what they can, without feeling jealous of the deeds of others. The little fellow of three works peaceably beside the boy of seven, just as he is satisfied with his own height and does not envy the older boy's stature. Everything is growing in the most profound peace.
If the teacher wishes the whole assembly to do some­thing, for instance, leave the work which interests them so much, all she needs to do is to speak a word in a low tone, or make a gesture, and they are all attention, they look toward her with eagerness, anxious to know how to obey. Many visitors have seen the teacher write orders on the blackboard, which were obeyed joyously by the chil­dren. Not only the teachers, but anyone who asks the pupils to do something is astonished to see them obey in the minutest detail and with obliging cheerfulness. Often a visitor wishes to hear how a child, now painting, can sing. The child leaves his painting to be obliging, but the in­stant his courteous action is completed, he returns to his interrupted work. Sometimes the smaller children finish their work before they obey.
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