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 359
sented by an organism still in process of formation. But we, on the other hand, noticing that they are " tiring themselves out" or " wasting time" in accomplishing something which we would do in a moment and without the least effort, put ourselves in the child's place and do it ourselves. Always with the same erroneous idea, that the end to be obtained is the completion of the action, we dress and wash the child, we snatch out of his hands ob­jects which he loves to handle, we pour the soup into his bowl, we feed him, we set the table for him. And after such services, we consider him with that injustice always practised by those who domineer over others even with benevolent intentions, to be incapable and inept. We often speak of him as " impatient" simply because we are not patient enough to allow his actions to follow laws of time differing from our own; we call him " tyrannical" ex­actly because we employ tyranny towards him. This stain, this false imputation, this calumny on childhood has become an integral part of the theories concerning child­hood, in reality so patient and gentle.
The child, like every strong creature fighting for the right to live, rebels against whatever offends that occult impulse within him which is the voice of nature, and which he ought to obey; and he shows by violent actions, by screaming and weeping that he has been overborne and forced away from his mission in life. He shows himself to be a rebel, a revolutionist, an iconoclast, against those who do not understand him and who, fancying that they are helping him, are really pushing him backward in the highway of life. Thus even the adult who loves him, rivets about his neck another calumny, confusing his de­fence of his molested life with a form of innate naughti­ness characteristic of little children.
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