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Maria Montessori and the New Education essay help service an annotated bibliography essay

By ‘’New Education’’ she meant that we could set up a new education system that could replace the existing system, as the existing system is unable to find many problems faced by man, and that the new system could focus on the energies of children, to understand them, and channalise them to solve problems faced by the world rather than going to war. Dr Montessori felt that adults should improve their egocentric and authoritative attitude and approach children with humility and recognize their role as secondary.

An adult must realize his job as secondary and should endeavour all that he can do to understand, support, and help him in the development stages. This she meant was the basic role of a mother as well as a teacher to help develop the child’s personality. She felt that the ‘’Child is not an empty vessel waiting to be filled’’(Montessori Principle and Philosophy, Topic 1 , Page 11). Where she clearly means that one had to understand the hidden potential of the child . And to understand what prevents an adult from the seeing the child as he is.

She believed that we as adults fail to see the hidden /unknown potential of the child as we are habitual of seeing everything from our standpoint. We as adults underestimate the childs potential and without being a step by step guide , we start acting as the creator , considering good and evil in the child’s action from our standpoint. And that by accepting this attitude an adult invariably cancels the child’ personality unconsciously and in the bargain gets a conviction of zeal , love and sacrifice. ‘’The child is not an inert being who owes everything he can do to us, as if he were an empty vessel that we have to fill.

No, it is the child who makes the man and no man exists who was not made by the child who he once was…it is the baby who produces the man…it is the child who absorbs material from the world about him; he who moulds it into the man of the future. ’’(Montessori Principle and Philosophy, Topic 3. 2 , Page 11). The need to focus on the child and the role of an adult is extremely important. She thought the we often pay attention to adults. But it is to understand that adults came into being much later. Before that they were children who were taught skills like hard-work, patience, care , study etc.

Thus focusing on the protection of children’s rights and welfare was the key to progress in the society. Montessori noted that education was not the only link between adults and children. Instead the adult needs to realize the relations between adults and children. Dr Montessori felt that the child’s learning capacity is different from that of an adult. The child has unique natural powers to develop himself if there were no hindrance and arbitary discipline. She believed that the learning process between a child and an adult is very different . To prove that she had certain observations. The child learns from the environment.

Draws clues from what is available to him, he is in a state of development unlike an adult who have reached a state of saturation. The child however is transforming every time absorbing as much as possible from the environment around. The child even progresses in many states , he has to develop many skills and thereby develops in order to grow, on the other hand an adult already has attained a learning level and performs a task to finish it. Adults are always result oriented , whereas the child is inquisitive , he wants to know How? What? Why ? in other words is more inclined to be process driven.

The task given to the child intensifies his efforts, he wants to give the best shot and utilize all his energy, and in the process any help given at the stage is useful for the child. The child’s pattern of working is very different from that of adults , the child is in no hurry to finish the task and understands and comprehends in his own way or may even think of other ways. This makes him perfect the job. ‘’ It is the spirit of the child that can determine the course of human progress and lead it perhaps even to higher form of civilization. ’’(The essential Montessori, chapter 6, Pg 24).

She believed that at the time of birth a child has a pre determined pattern of unfolding and has used a specific term to describe the same. She called it as the ‘’Spiritual Embryo’’ (Montessori Principle and Philosophy, Topic 3. 4 , Page 12). By saying this she meant that there are the two most important thing that are linked to this pattern, firstly the ability to interact with the environment and secondly , then freedom to reveal the true ‘’HIMSELF’’ and she thought that if these two factors are not satisfied the real personality of the child will not be realized to its true potential.

Children have a lot of constructive energy and it is for us to realize the potential of this energy and to channalize it to the maximum. Another quotation that says ‘’Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world’’(Dr Maria Montessori ,Montessori alumbs, Curriculum guide book). This helps us clarify the concept better that unleashing the child’s full potential will not only give confidence but she also believed that , the child , who is the adult of tomorrow , will build and will be in a better position to develop a better world and future.

By utilizing the complete potential in a child would lead to a better citizen of tomorrow who could efficiently look into the problems faced by the world. He can only be able to do so, if guided properly with care, sympathy, patience, warmth, and love to develop. Montessori thought that every child has a creative intelligence that exists in the unconscious state of mind. And that we as adults needs to realize this power. The child at this stage is very tender and has been compared to a crystal which absorbs all the beams of light and projects itself as twinkling diamond.

By this she meant that the child at the tender age of about (0-3yrs) would be able to grasp much more if he is given the right and appropriate conditions and the right help, he would have a natural desire to learn and work utilizing the spontaneous goodness and love. She described a term called the ‘’Sensitive Periods’’ that are the early years of childhood in which a child and his personality develops to its maximum , as at this stage the child is very open to the environment taking clues and references to utilize to the most. Montessori believed that children interact with the environment and develop personalities.

They have their own personal creative sensitivities, that help them develop their powers reacting to life. She also defined that sometimes a particular stimuli lasts until the need is fulfilled. The sensitive periods in other words can also be explained as the blocks in the life of a child where he is absorbed by each characteristic of the environment. She explained that the child’s needs are linked with the environment, just as the development of a language he speaks, uses of sense organs, way of walking, attention to minute details, social interests etc.

She thought that it is during this period that the potential can be fully realized , and that a function can be more easily established and the abilities can be acquired more perfectly. Now at this stage, if the child loses his interest the ability drops down immediately. If his interests are not taken care of during the sensitive periods the opportunity for natural conquest is lost forever. This shall also have a very disturbing effect on his physic and personality. The new education must foster a new understanding of the real values of humanity and gratitude must be felt for those workers upon whom human life depends.

There is something more. There is also the fact that if one has grown up with a veneration for humanity, one will not consent to become an unconscious, destructive force to destroy humanity. Men will not lend themselves to those erroneous ways which foolishly destroy the creators and maintainers of everything that provides for their existence. They will be unwilling to use the supernatural and universal powers which they possess for a cosmic cataclysm to destroy the fruits of civilisation.

Having developed a conscience and sentiment towards human life, they will be incapable of cruelty; for cruelty belongs to a dead soul. … men conscious of the value of humanity will refuse to obey an insane and absurd command as the one to destroy those who produce and maintain the civilisation in which we all live. Through all this shine forth the necessity and importance of educating the child. The child must not be considered as he is today, in his apparent weakness in relation to us. He must be considered in his power of potential man.

Every human being is the result of the growth of the child; as every tree, even if gigantic, originated from the seed. Montessori thought that one should adopt a different approach to observe children. This develops the whole personality of the child by developing his sensory and intellectual capabilities. This method focuses on child centered learning . It means to develop self learning through self correcting materials. The child should be left to discover on his own and emphasis on concrete reality.

Education cannot express itself in terms of any of these incomplete ideas of the past. The joy of life, the optimism of hope, freedom and independence, love amongst men, are the spontaneous and natural consequences of an education based on life. If these are to be realised, it is necessary to have the right conditions for normal life. It is necessary that all the latent energies should have the possibility of expansion. Only then can the character of man be formed; man will then be sure of his actions and capable of controlling them.