Maria Montessori's method of educating children, which she details
in this book, is based on a conception of liberty for the pupil; it
entails formal training of separate sensory, motor, and mental
capacities; and leads to rapid and substantial mastery of the
elements of reading, writing, and arithmetic. The Montessori Method
is important because it springs from a combination of sympathy and
intuition, social outlook, scientific training, intensive study of
educational problems and the author's unusual experience as a
teacher and educational leader. Following opening statements from
J. McV. Hunt and Jaan Valsiner, Maria Montessori discusses topics
including pedagogical methods used in the children's houses,
discipline, diet, gymnastics, manual labor, education of the
senses, intellectual education, methods of teaching reading and
writing, language in childhood, and teaching of numeration. This
classic volume in the education of children takes on urgent
relevance for parents, teachers, and administrators in all parts of
our society. The suburban mother seeking an environment of
"structured freedom" for an imaginative, quick-learning
pre-schooler; the educator jolted into awareness that slum children
are irreparably handicapped by cultural impoverishment before the
age of six; explorers of "new" techniques of teaching reading, of
programmed instruction and learning by conditioning and
reinforcement-by-approval-all these are instructed by Maria
Montessori's theory and the reports of her work in the Casa dei
Bambini in the slum quarter of Rome.
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