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The Bent Twig
by Dorothy Canfield
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1915. The Bent Twig is the first of Dorothy Canfield's novels to give fictional form to the Montessori method and to reflect in a novel the insights into education and human development that she received in Rome while visiting Maria Montessori. The home in which the twig of this novel, Sylvia Marshall, grew up is a Montessori home, where everyone takes part in home tasks, and the children learn by being included in adult activities. How very new these ideas were in middle America is shown by the contrast between the Marshall home and the rest of the community. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
Her life was, however, brimming with active interests which occupied her, mind and body. There was rarely a day when a troop of children did not swarm over the Marshall house and barn, playing and playing and playing with that indomitable zest in life which is the birthright of humanity before the fevers and chills of adolescence begin. Sylvia and Judith, moreover, were required to assume more and more of the responsibility of the housework, while their mother extracted from the Marshall five acres an ever increasing largesse of succulent food.
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