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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

*                 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

The mental revelations of little children placed to live in
-an environment created to meet their inner needs have revealed
forms of work, a capacity for perseverance, qualities of obedience
and calmness, and an intellectual progress which have not been met
with before. Because of this the environment of our children,
which was not prepared in order to mould them by the sugges-
tion of the example or the will of teachers but was meant to
leave them free to express themselves, is called the revealing
environment.

From it were removed the obstacles to profound ex-
pression, that is, the many causes of repression, which lead
to permanent deformations in the child's character, were taken
-away. Many children's doctors who have been interested in
our schools have noticed the cure of diseases of nervous character
or of physiological disturbances in children, as soon as these,
having come to our schools and having been removed from the
causes of repression to which they had been subjected to in the
family without the parents and particularly the mothers being
-aware of it.

To keep within the field of psychological observations, I will
.again quote the opinion of Professor Godefroy, expressed after
he had observed for many years the Montessori Schools in
Amsterdam-

"It is necessary above all to make ourselves familiar with
facts, to maks observations in the places where the minds of the
children can actually develop without their faculties being limited,
where we see displayed freely and more amply than elsewhere, not
only the intellectual functions, but above all the subtle aesthetic
•tendencies of character, emotional and social. It will then be
seen clearly that the Montessori School is the place, par excellence.,
•where, more and more, there will be obtained intimate and intense
contact with the depths of the child's mind, and hence, as an
ultimate consequence, with the mind of every man."

Rather than to the attainment of a scientific purpose, it must
"be recognized that our experiments made with certain scientific