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How the montessori directress assists the child in his psychic development.

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Introduction

"The teacher must bring not only the capacity, but the desire to observe natural phenomena. In our system, she must be passive, much more than an active influence and her passivity shall be composed of anxious scenic curiosity and of absolute respect for the phenomena which she wishes to observe. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon". (Dr Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 27). Comment on the statement and explain how the directress assists the child in his psychic development. The goal of the Montessori Method of education "is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy". (The Child in the Family, Chapter 2, Pg. 6). Montessori education has worked all over the world, with all kinds of children (wealthy, poor, gifted, normal, learning disabled, blind, etc.) and environments (from refugee camps and slums, to elegant schools in beautiful private homes). It is not the richness of the environment that determines the success of the Montessori Method, but the preparation of the teacher. Dr. Montessori learned early in her work that teachers should be able to kindle flames rather than just fill vessels. The Montessori Method is philosophically and practically different from other educational methods, and also very different from the personal educational experience of most adults who become Montessori teachers. The words "directress" or "guide" is sometimes used rather than "teacher" name from teacher. "The one who follows my methods teaches little, observes a great deal, but rather directs the psychic activities of the children and their psychological development. This is why I have changed her name from teacher to directress". (The Discovery of The child, Chapter 11, Pg. 163). The Montessori teacher has a different role from the traditional teacher in relating to the child - She is to direct him to find the best way to learn from the environment rather than from the adult. ...read more.

Middle

(The Discovery of The Child, Chapter 10, Pg. 152). "In the psychological realm of relationship between the teacher and the child, the teacher's part and it's techniques are analogous to those of the valet; they are to serve, and to serve well: to serve the spirit". (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 27, Pg. 256). There are three elements involved in the training of the spirit. The first is that the teacher must have an intimate relationship with the children. She must not see herself as someone whose duty is to mould but to guide the children to unfold their potentials. Next she must see the children as individuals, unique and unlike any other and must treat them as such. She must realize that each child has his own potential for life. Finally, she must have faith that that every child in her class will reveal himself and based on this faith she must keep on working. The most important role of the Montessori teacher is that of an observer whose ultimate goal is to intervene less and less as the child develops. Maria Montessori said, "One who follows my method teaches little, observes a great deal, but rather directs the psychic activities of the children and their psychological development. This is why I have changed her name from teacher to that of directress". (The Discovery of The Child, Chapter 11, Pg. 163). For this the teacher must prepare the environment with the child's interest in mind. The teacher is constantly alert to the direction in which the child is going, and actively works to help the child achieve their goals. Knowing how to observe constructively and when, and how much, to intervene is one of the most important talents the Montessori teacher acquires during a rigorous course of training. "The teacher nevertheless has many difficult functions to perform. Her cooperation is not all excluded, but it becomes prudent, delicate, and manifold. ...read more.

Conclusion

It means they have acquired the internal freedom to initiate work, be independent, and adhere (by choice) to the rules of the environment. The child who accomplishes normalization moves into complete harmony with his entire environment. When children are normalized it is possible to give them the perfect freedom in a class and yet have the perfect discipline from them. Montessori referred to this group as the "society of cohesion". "This unity born among the children, which is produced by a spontaneous need, directed by an unconscious power, and vitalised by a social spirit, is a phenomenon needing a name, and I call it cohesion in the social unit" Normalization appears when children follow the cycle of work. Firstly the child should prepare for an activity, which involves gathering the material necessary to do the activity. The movement and the thought involved in the preparation serves to call the attention of the mind and begin to focus on the activity. Secondly the activity which holds the attention of the child helps him to reach a deep level of concentration. Lastly, it is the feeling of satisfaction and well-being when the activity is completed. Even the materials kept back in its right place or perhaps talking with friend's exhibits the aura of satisfaction with himself and the world.The appearance of normalization is explosive. It must be protected. It happens in a single moment. In that moment the deviations are gone. The Montessori teacher must learn to see, protect, and guide those moment. The unfolding of the child under the guide of a sensitive teacher is a natural phenomenon. All she needs to do is prepare the environment, offering purposeful activity and much freedom that stimulates and aids the self-construction of the child. She needs only "to watch with humble reverence, day by day, the spontaneous unfolding of the children's lives; seeking always to remove obstacles, both internal and external from their path whilst she guides with science and sympathy the irrepressible energies of life". (Maria Montessori- Her Life her Work, Chapter 18, Pg. 318). ...read more.

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