Here is a little gem from the past. In a volume, dating 1935, entitled The Source Book: A Compendium of International Encyclopedic Authority is a lovely description of a Montessori lesson. The author is not named but the chapter on Dr. Montessori’s method is crystal clear. A small excerpt:

Plans for Using the Method:

Character of Lessons - Montessori lessons given to all the children or to any number of them as a class are of rare occurrence. The development of the individual is the end sought. The lessons are characterized by 

  • brevity
  • simplicity
  • objectivity

Preparation - Such lessons require unusual preparation on part of those who give them. First of all, the words to be used must be carefully weighed and all useless words eliminated. Secondly, the words used must convey nothing but the absolute truth and they must be as simple as possible. Third, the lesson must be presented that the child’s attention is fixed upon the object and not on the teacher. The teacher in giving the lesson must be guided by careful observation of the child. If the desired results are to be reached, his attention must not be forced, and the teacher should be able to tell by the expression of the child’s face when his interest begins to lessen. Any attempt to force his interest violates the principle of liberty. “Do not lead the child to feel that he has made a mistake or that he has not understood,” says Madame Montessori, “because in so doing you will cause him to make an effort to understand.”

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