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The Young Pretenders Last week we read The Young Pretenders (Persephone book No. 73) for the Wednesday evening book-group. Although the book predates Maria Montessori's theory for child education (it was first published in 1895), the story of Babs Conway resonates with Montessori principles. The author Edith Henrietta Fowler makes it clear that children should be given the freedom to learn at their own pace and be treated with respect by adults. The little girl in the picture could be Babs asking Maria Montessori how old she is, without the slightest hint of impertinence.

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