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 This book is intended to follow Education for a New World and to help teachers to envisage the child’s needs after the age of six. We claim that the average boy or girl of twelve years who has been educated till then at one of our schools knows at least as much as the finished High School product of several years’ seniority, and the achievement has been at no cost of pain or distortion to body or mind. Rather are our pupils equipped in their whole being for the adventure of life, accustomed to the free exercise of will and judgment, illuminated by imagination and enthusiasm. Only such pupils can exercise rightly the duties of citizens in a civilised commonwealth. 


The first four chapters are mainly psychological, showing the changed personality with which the teacher has to deal at six years of age, and the need for a corresponding change of approach. The secret of success is found to lie in the right use of imagination in awakening interest, and the stimulation of seeds of interest already sown by attractive literary and pictorial material, but all correlated to a central idea, of greatly ennobling inspiration—the Cosmic Plan, in which all, consciously or unconsciously, serve the great Purpose of Life. It is shown how the conception of evolution has been modified of late through geological and biological discoveries, so that self-perfection now has to yield precedence to service among the primary natural urges. 


The next eight chapters show how the Cosmic Plan can be presented to the child, as a thrilling tale of the earth we live in, its many changes through slow ages when water was Nature’s chief toiler for accomplishment of her purposes, how land and sea fought for supremacy, and how equilibrium of elements was achieved, that Life might appear on the stage to play its part in the great drama. Illustrated as it must be by fascinating, charts and diagrams, the creation of earth as we now know it unfolds before the child’s imagination, and always with emphasis on the function each agent has to perform in Nature’s household, whether consciously or unconsciously, failure in this alone leading to extinction. So the talc proceeds till Palaeolithic Man appears, most significantly traced by the tools he used on his environment rather than by physical remains of so slight a creature. The new element of mind is brought to creation by man, and from that time the children are helped to see the great acceleration that has taken place in evolution. They learn to reverence the earliest pioneers, who toiled for purposes unknown to them but now to be recognised. Nomadic men and settlers alike contributed to build up early communities, and by interchanges of war and peace to share and spread social amenities. 


From chapter thirteen brief descriptions are given of some of the earliest civilizations, particularly with a view to their impacts on each other, showing human society as slowly organising itself towards unity, just as, in the individual human being, organs are built around separate centres of interest, to be later connected by the blood-circulatory system and the nerves, into an integrated human organism. So the child is led, by review of some of the most thrilling epochs of world-history, to see that so far humanity has been in an embryonic stage, and that it is just now emerging into true birth, able to consciously realise its true unity and function. 


The last chapters go back to the psychological point of view, urging on educators the supreme importance, to the nation and to the world, of the tasks imposed on them. Not in the service of any political or social creed should the teacher work, but in the service of the complete human being, able to exercise in freedom a self-disciplined will and judgment, unperverted by prejudice and undistorted by fear.

The Montessori method revolutionized how children were educated. The Montessori method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child, using specialized materials that are presented very precisely by the teacher. It stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his or her developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing abstract concepts and practical skills. Collected here in this 3-in-1 omnibus edition are Maria Montessori's three most important works: The Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook, and The Montessori Method. The Absorbent Mind was Maria Montessori's most in-depth work on her educational theory, based on decades of scientific observation of children. Her view on children and their absorbent minds was a landmark departure from the educational model at the time. This book helped start a revolution in education. Since this book first appeared there have been both cognitive and neurological studies that have confirmed what Maria Montessori knew decades ago. In Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook, Maria Montessori explains the basic of her system, how it works and why it works. There are dozens of figures to help illustrate her points. "My method is scientific, both in its substance and in its aim. It makes for the attainment of a more advanced stage of progress, in directions no longer only material and physiological." The Montessori Method teaches reading via phonics and whole language, the comparative benefits of which are currently being recognized. To all educators this book should prove most interesting. All who are fair-minded will admit the genius that shines from the pages which follow, and the remarkable suggestiveness of Dr. Montessori's labors. -Henry W. Holmes
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