Friday, December 05, 2008

Lesson Method

The Seguin Method

"In every exercise, when the child has recognized the differences between the qualities of the objects, the teacher foxies the idea of this quality with a word. Thus, when the child has many times built and rebuilt the tower of the pink cubes, at an opportune moment the teacher draws near him, and taking the two extreme cubes, the largest and the smallest, and showing them to him, says 'This is large.' 'This is small'. The two words only, large and small, are pronounced several times in succession with strong emphasis and with a very clear pronunciation. "This is large, large, large,"' after which there is a moment's pause. Then the teacher, to see if the child has understood, verifies with the folowing tests: "give me the large one. Give me the small one." Again, "The large one." "Now the small one." "Give me the large one." Then there is another pause. Finally, the teacher, pointing to the objeects in turn asks, "What is this?" The child, if he has learned, replies rightly. "Large." "Small." The teacher then urges the child to repeat the words always more clearly and as accurately as possible. "What is it?" "Large." "What?" "Large."

Education of the Senses

"We may conclude with a general rule for the direction of the education of the senses. The order of procedure should be:

1. Recognition of identities (the pairing of similar objects and the insertion of solid forms into places which fit them)
2. Recognition of contrasts (the presentation of the extremes of a series of objects).
3. Discrimination between objects very similar to one another.

To concentrate the attention of the child upon the sensory stimulus which is acting upon him at a particular moment, it is well, as far as possible, to isolate the sense; for instance, to obtain silence in the room for all the exercises and to blindfold the eyes for those particular exercises which do not relate to the education of the sense of sight."
Both excerpts from "Dr Montessori's Own Handbook", quoted from Natural Structure.


  1. Hmmm... Thanks for sharing this. I've been trying to figure out how to create educational moments throughout the day - it's a whole different thought process - and this is really helpful.

  2. Hmmm ... this is interesting. Didn't Maria Montessori work primarily with kids believed to be retarded? (I wonder how many of them were actually autistic?)

    The reason this comes to mind is that the section on education of the senses sounds like autism therapy to me. It is difficult for a kid "on the spectrum" to process things coming through different senses at once, so this would be a way of breaking it down, working on one sense at a time without distractions.

    Interesting stuff! I would like to read Montessori's work sometime.