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The Absorbent Mind


six years already surpasses all other living beings, is
indeed one of the greatest mysteries of life. In the
present
volume Dr. Montessori not only sheds the light of her
penetrating insight, based on close observation and
just
appreciation, on the phenomena of this earliest and yet
most decisive period of human life, but also indicates
the
responsibility of adult humanity towards it. She,
indeed,
gives a practical meaning to the now universally
accepted
necessity of " education from birth ". This can be
given,
only, when education becomes a " help to life " and
VI
transcends the narrow limits of teaching and direct
transmission of knowledge or ideals from one mind to
another. One of the best known principles of the
Montessori Method is " the preparation of the environ-
ment " ; at this stage of life, long before the child
enters
a school, this principle provides the key to the
realization
of an education from birth, to a real cultivation of a
human individual from its very beginning. This is a
plea
made on scientific foundations, but it is the plea also
of
one who has witnessed and helped the manifestations of
child-nature all over the world, manifestations of
mental
and spiritual grandeur, which form a startling contrast
to
the picture shown by mankind which, abandoned during
its formative period, grows up as the greatest menace
to
its own survival.
MARIO M. MONTESSORI
Karachi, May 1949.
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