The Montessori System Examined

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Page 9 - If any educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only that which tends to help toward the complete unfolding of this life. To be thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks.
Page 55 - I saw especially that preparatory movements could be carried on, and reduced to a mechanism, by means of repeated exercises not in the work itself but in that which prepares for it. Pupils could then come to the real work, able to perform it without ever having directly set their hands to it before.
Page 32 - ... and is greatly interested in the game, as is clearly shown by the expression of attention on the little face. If he mistakes, placing one of the objects in an opening that is small for it, he takes it away, and proceeds to make various trials, seeking the proper opening. If he makes a contrary error, letting the cylinder fall into an opening that is a little too large for it, and then collects all the successive cylinders in openings just a little too large, he will find himself at the last with...
Page 51 - It is exactly in the repetition of the exercises that the education of the senses consists; their aim is not that the child shall know colors, forms, and the different qualities of objects, but that he refine his senses through an exercise of attention, of comparison, of judgment.
Page 9 - ... given to the normal expansion of the life of the child. The child is a body which grows, and a soul which develops, these two forms, physiological and psychic, have one eternal font, life itself. We must neither mar nor stifle the mysterious powers which lie within these two forms of growth, but we must await from them the manifestations which we know will succeed one another.
Page 28 - If I were persuaded that children needed to play, I would provide the proper apparatus; but I am not so persuaded.
Page 13 - We cannot know the consequences of suffocating a spontaneous action at the time when the child is just beginning to be active: perhaps we suffocate life itself. Humanity shows itself in all its intellectual splendor during this tender age as the sun shows itself at the dawn, and the flower in the first unfolding of the petals; and we must respect religiously, reverently, these first indications of individuality.
Page 31 - For this teacher we have substituted the didactic material, which contains within itself the control of errors and which makes auto-education possible to each child. The teacher has thus become a director of the spontaneous work of the children.
Page 32 - ... the exercise with growing interest. Indeed, it is precisely in these errors that the educational importance of the didactic material lies, and when the child with evident security places each piece in its proper place, he has outgrown the exercise, and this piece of material becomes useless to him. This self-correction leads the child to concentrate his attention upon the differences of dimensions, and to compare the various pieces. It is in just this comparison that the psycho-sensory exercise...
Page 4 - The fundamental principle of scientific pedagogy must be, indeed, the liberty of the pupil; — such liberty as shall permit a development of individual, spontaneous manifestations of the child's nature. If a new and scientific pedagogy is to arise from the study of the individual, such study must occupy itself with the observation of free children.

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