THE HISTORY OF METHODS 23 which it has given, will be made to continue in an extended form.1 Although this educational system of which experience has proved the excellence is not yet definitely completed, nevertheless it already constitutes an entity sufficiently organic to be usefully adopted in infant schools and in the first classes in elementary schools. I am not really exact when I say that the present work is founded on a few years' experience; I do not think that these last efforts of mine could have given rise to all that I am about to describe. The educational system of the Children's Houses did not come into existence without prolonged preparations, and, though the present experience with normal children is so short, it has its origin in previous teaching experience with abnormal children, and this presents a very long course of thought. About twelve years ago, when I was an assistant doctor in the Mental Clinic in the University of Rome, I had occasion to frequent the asylum to study sick people to be chosen for the pur- poses of clinical teaching, and in this way I became interested in the idiot children maintained there. At this time medical treat- ment of the thyroid was in full favour; therefore, in the midst of the confusion and exaggeration about therapeutic successes, the interest of doctors, to a greater extent than previously, was focussed on meantally afflicted children. It was through my interest in deficient children that I came to know the special method of education devised by Edwaxd Seguin, and also to investigate in a general way the treatments for various forms of abnormality such as deafness, paralysis, etc. The fact that teaching must be linked up with medicine in therapy 1 The method has now been extended, and is largely experimented with in elementary classes: it is described in the book, iSAutosducazione nelle scoule Elementari (The Advanced Montessori Method). In more recent times it has extended backward to birth and forward to adulthood. Several secon- dary Montessori schools are in existence and have obtained State recognition.