Humans have two types of needs, physical and spiritual. Without one or the other, the person will have less life within him, sometimes to the point of death.
In the Montessori environment, we refer to these needs as the Fundamental Needs of Human Beings or the Fundamental Needs of Mankind.
The five (5) physical needs of human beings include
- sufficient food
- appropriate clothing
The four (4) spiritual needs human beings include
- vanitas (to improve and embellish one’s environment)
- religion: “To deny, a priori, the religious sentiment in man, and to deprive humanity of the education of this sentiment, is to commit a pedagogical error similar to that of denying, a priori, to the child, the love of learning for learning’s sake. This ignorant assumption led us to dominate the scholar, to subject him to a species of slavery, in order to render him apparently disciplined.”
We work with these needs and subsequent tendencies at all ages of development, but we also have impressionistic charts at the elementary level to bring the children's attentions to these areas and to their fulfillment throughout various cultures and history, including their own lives.