Maria Montessori’s work was with children who were deemed not worthy of traditional educational opportunities due to limited physical/mental abilities. Maria’s method found the undeniable humanity in children by giving them freedom to learn in an environment that spoke to them. They were allowed to develop at their own pace. “For over forty years, Dr. Montessori worked to dispel the various myths and preconceived notions that stubbornly opposed the effective practice of her approach with the children”.
The Montessori method removed the borders that were restricting mentally disabled children in traditional educational opportunities. Although, it was/is controversial way of educating, progress was made with children who were once considered to be uncooperative and illiterate into children who passed exams.
One woman’s work of believing that there was a better way of educating the child and making sure the child was/is aware of the world around them liberated educational norms of thinking that have continued for more than 100 years.
July is the time of year, we celebrate freedom in America and honor those who fought for us. Let us not forget the less fortunate, who seek freedom in body, mind and spirit. We must open our minds and our own borders of spirit to allow freedom into others’ lives. As a Montessorian, it is my duty to look at myself first to see where I’ve closed off any borders within and without my sphere of life. Reflection is the key to opening our minds borders to the areas closed off from ourselves. When we do that there is a freedom that resonates beyond ourselves and filters into our daily lives inside and out of the classroom.
Maria Montessori wrote in The Formation of Man, about how preconceived ideas could effect the way the Montessori teacher taught. She advised all Montessori guides to overcome their prepackaged ideas and ideals by sincere self-reflection to identify areas and ways that would hinder the method working properly. She felt that a teacher should constantly self-reflect and this would prepare this spirit of the teacher to freedom.
Lead Teacher Toddler III