Montessori Elementary Materials - The Advanced Montessori Methodby Maria Montessori
So far as Dr. Montessori's experiments contain the affirmation of a new doctrine and the illustration of a new method in regard to the teaching of Grammar, Reading and Metrics, the following pages are, we hope, a faithful rendition of her work. But it is only in these respects that the chapters devoted to these subjects are to be considered a translation. It will be… See more details below
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So far as Dr. Montessori's experiments contain the affirmation of a new doctrine and the illustration of a new method in regard to the teaching of Grammar, Reading and Metrics, the following pages are, we hope, a faithful rendition of her work. But it is only in these respects that the chapters devoted to these subjects are to be considered a translation. It will be observed that Dr. Montessori's text is not only a theoretical treatise but also an actual text-book for the teaching of Italian grammar, Italian reading and Italian metrics to young pupils. Her exercises constitute a rigidly "tested" material: her Italian word lists are lists which, in actual practise, have accomplished their purpose; her grammatical categories with their relative illustration are those actually mastered by her Italian students; her reading selections and her metrical analyses are those which, from an offering doubtless far more extensive, actually survived the experiment of use in class.
It is obvious that no such value can be claimed for any "translation" of the original material. The categories of Italian grammar are not exactly the categories of English grammar. The morphology and, to a certain extent, the syntax of the various parts of speech differ in the two languages. The immediate result is that the Montessori material offers much that is inapplicable and fails to touch on much that is essential to the teaching of English grammar. The nature and extent of the difficulties thus arising are more fully set forth in connection with specific cases in[viii] our text. Suffice it here to indicate that the English material offered below is but approximately "experimental," approximately scientific. The constitution of a definitive Montessori material for English grammar and the definitive manner and order of its presentment must await the results of experiments in actual use. For the clearer orientation of such eventual experiments we offer, even for those parts of Italian grammar which bear no relation to English, a virtually complete translation of the original text; venturing meanwhile the suggestion that such studies as Dr. Montessori's treatise on the teaching of Italian noun and adjective inflections�entirely foreign to English�may prove valuable to all teachers of modern languages. While it might seem desirable to isolate such superfluous material from the "English grammar" given below, we decided to retain the relative paragraphs in their actual position in the Italian work, in order to preserve the literal integrity of the original method. Among our additions to the text we may cite the exercises on the possessive pronouns�identified by Dr. Montessori with the possessive adjectives�the interrogatives and the comparison of adjectives and adverbs.
Even where, as regards morphology, a reasonably close adaptation of the Italian material to English uses has been possible, it by no means follows that the pedagogical problems involved remain the same. The teaching of the relative pronoun, for instance, is far more complicated in English than in Italian; in the sense that the steps to be taken by the child are for English more numerous and of a higher order. Likewise for the verb, if Italian is more difficult as regards variety of forms, it is much more simple as regards negation, interrogation and progressive action.
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