The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
Larger classrooms are a pressing need in the infants' or indeed in any department of our schools—more pressing perhaps than reduction of numbers in class. With plenty of floor space an experienced Montessori teacher can do a great deal of individual work with forty or fifty children. But it will be useless to build larger classrooms if the same overcrowding which now exists in many places is permitted. A room should be built for so many children, and it should be unlawful and punishable offence for any over that number to be put into it. The head of a department should have power to exclude all children over the prescribed number.
Whatever be the cost, two things seem to me to be urgently necessary if our children are to have that start in life which is their right, namely, freedom to move about and to do their own mental and physical growing, and space in which to do this moving and growing. Plato, in his laws, says:—"Whatever the creature—be it plant or animal, tame or wild, if its earliest growth makes a good start, that is the most important step towards the consummation of the excellence of which its nature is capable."
It seems to me that the plain duty of any State is to give its children the opportunity of making this good start.