THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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372             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
mony between the work and activities of home life and school tasks, making both work together for the education of the child.
The problem of religious education, the importance of which we do not fully realise, should also be solved by positive pedagogy. If religion is born with civilisation, its roots must lie deep in human nature. We have had most beautiful proof of an instinctive love of knowledge in the child, who has too often been misjudged in that he has been considered addicted to meaningless play, and games void of thought. The child who left the game in his eagerness for knowledge, has revealed himself as a true son of that humanity which has been throughout centuries the creator of scientific and civil progress. We have belittled the son of man by giving him foolish and degrading toys, a world of idleness where he is suffocated by a badly conceived discipline. Now, in his liberty, the child should show us, as well, whether man is by nature a religious creature.
To deny, a priori, the religious sentiment in man, and to deprive humanity of the education of this sentiment, is to commit a pedagogical error similar to that of denying, a priori, to the child, the love of learning for learning's sake. This ignorant assumption led us to dominate the scholar, to subject him to a species of slavery, in order to render him apparently disciplined.
The fact that we assume that religious education is only adapted to the adult, may be akin to another profound error existing in education to-day, namely, that of over­looking the education of the senses at the very period when this education is possible. The life of the adult is prac­tically an application of the senses to the gathering of sensations from the environment. A lack of preparation
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