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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

EDUCATION IN MOVEMENT                     1393

affords. At first, when I was still ignorant of the child's mind,
I used to show them little sweets and toys, promising to give them
to whoever was called out, imagining that presents were necessary
to stimulate such efforts in childhood. But very quickly I had to-
acknowledge that they were useless.

The children arrived like ships in port, after having experi-
enced the efforts, the emotions and the delights of silence; they
were happy, because they had felt something new and had gained
a victory. This was their reward. They forgot the promised-
sweets, and did not trouble to take the toys which I had supposed
would attract them. So I abandoned this useless method, and was •
amazed to find that after the game had been repeated again and
again, even children three years old could keep silent during the
whole of the period necessary for calling out of the room some •
forty other children. It was then that I learnt that within the mind
of the child dwell its own reward and its own spiritual pleasures..
After such exercises it seemed to me that their love for me was
greater; they certainly became more obedient, sweeter and gentler.
We had really isolated ourselves from the world and had passed
a few moments of intimacy among ourselves—I in desiring them
and calling for them, they in hearing in the deepest silence1 the-
voice directed to each one of them personally, adjudging him at-
that moment to be the best of all I

FREEDOM OF CHOICE

We now arrive at practical work; we are at school. The-
materials for the training of the senses, decided upon after experi-
mental research, form part of the environment.

1 Silence, which has become one of the best-known characters of the-
Montessori method, has been adopted in many ordinary schools, and so to-
some extent the Montessori spirit has penetrated into these schools. It was this
influence which caused to penetrate into the public manifestations of social'
and political order the silence of immobility, and it was also used for religious-
education.