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Book Title: Discovery of the Child|
The author of the book: Maria Montessori
ISBN 13: 9780345336569
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 599 KB
Edition: Ballantine Books
Date of issue: May 12th 1986
Read full description of the books Discovery of the Child:A good book, but this would not be my first recommendation of a Montessori to others. The approach is more scientific here, and I would guess, of more benefit to those who have had Montessori teacher-training (unlike myself). It is full of interesting information and stories, but I did not find this work as fascinating as The Secret of Childhood, and in fact at times returned to it with little enthusiasm. The best of it I found to be in the last 40 or so pages! The chapter on religious education is a MUST-read for anyone with any inkling of interest in the subject!
One of my favorite quotes:
"No one can be free if he is not independent, therefore, in order to attain this independence, the active manifestations of personal liberty must be guided from earliest infancy."
An excerpt from the chapter on religious education:
"A priest gave the children instructions in religion and celebrated Mass in the chapel. Just as soon as it had been completed and opened up to the children, we witnessed something that had not been anticipated. We discovered in many respects that the church is a kind of goal to which our method is orientated. Some of the exercises which did not seem to have any definite external goal in the school found their practical application within the church. The silence which had prepared a child to recollect himself now became that inner recollection to be observed in the house of God, in these half-dark surroundings, broken only by the flickering of candles. Walking silently, keeping still, moving chairs without creating a disturbance, standing up and sitting down and passing between benches and people without making a sound, carrying fragile objects without damaging them in the process, as for example, vases filled with flowers to be put at the foot of the altar, and lighting candles without spilling wax on hands and clothes were little more than repetitions and practical applications of what a child had already learned to do within the walls of the classroom."
"They must therefore appear to these tender minds as the goal of their patiently endured efforts. And they are a source of sentiments of gratitude, joy, and a new sense of dignity. The children carried out these [practical life] exercises at first in response to an inner impulse, but without a definite external goal. They later performed them out of respect for God's service and experienced what was almost a revelation of the difference between the two modes and places. It was like the difference between sowing and reaping. The very act of distinguishing between similar activities that have varied meanings and uses is in itself another important source of intellectual growth. A child of four does not fail to notice the difference between the holy-water font in which he dips his slender little finger to bless himself and the basins in a neighboring room where he washes himself. Such intuitions as these in recognizing differences in things that are
alike afford a real exercise for the intellect. A small child, who is thought to be almost incapable of rising to concepts that transcend the senses, begins to make such distinctions when he begins to realize that he is a son of God lovingly invited into the house of his Heavenly Father."
[One woman said to her, do you know why my grandson likes to come to school in time for mass? Because he enjoys extinguishing candles in the basin of water, that is all. Why not use this exercise to teach counting as the candles are extinguished? Maria said this woman knew little of children- her exercise would have lasted about a week- as long as it takes children to learn to count to ten.] "But children, as they grow in age and general knowledge, whether of a secular or religious character, will continue to light candles for years which will burn themselves out before the tabernacle. And they will understand that this is no childish game but a truly religious act because it is carried out in a sacred place preserved for the worship of the Lord."
Read information about the authorMaria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, philosopher, humanitarian and devout Catholic; she is best known for her philosophy and the Montessori method of education of children from birth to adolescence. Her educational method is in use today in a number of public as well as private schools throughout the world.
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