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The Advanced Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to the Education of Children from Seven to Eleven Years

Nature volume 101, pages 221222 (23 May 1918) | Download Citation



WHATEVER one may think of the fundamental doctrines of Dr. Montessori, her books are always eminently readable. She has a fine enthusiasm for her subject, and a rare fund of anecdotal or biographical illustrations, which are skilfully chosen for the purpose of carrying conviction. An uncritical mind is not censorious about matters of proof. An analogy is as good as a demonstration, and the freedom with which Dr. Montessori relies on analogy reminds one of a famous seventeenth-century educational reformer, Comenius. Of course, her analogies are less crude, but much of her theory and practice rests on an assumed analogy between the mature mind of the adult and the mind of the child. This assumption leads her to the conclusion that since the mature mind does its work in an orderly, logical way, applying to the world around its mechanism of categories which reduces that world to a formal order, so our first business should be to establish definite sensory categories in the mind of the child which shall make the perceptual analysis of his environment orderly and accurate. “It is the qualities of the objects, not the objects themselves, which are important”; so we must train the senses in the accurate discrimination of sensory qualities. This is the object of the didactic materials designed for the use of children from three to six years of age.

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