Monday, June 11, 2012

Freedom and Responsibility



Montessori is NOT anarchy. The children do not get to make every choice for themselves.

Sometimes we describe the freedom of Montessori as being "the adult sets the environment (making the ultimate choices), and the child chooses within this safety." This is accurate, but not the entire picture.


Montessori has been critiqued for being too free (the child has complete choice; child-led only; no adult guidance); and it has also been critiqued as being too restrictive (the child cannot use a material in any other way except the way presented - which isn't actually TRUE but could be done inappropriately in Montessori-in-name-only environments).
We know that neither of these extremes are true, but that is not the point to this Nugget :)


The point is the balance we provide. 



Let's look at some Montessori principles that are, indeed, universal principles:

Daniel Schwabauer (author and teacher of Once a Year Adventure Novel)
A principle of creativity that applies in every field: Boundaries actually inspire creativity, they don't hinder it.
Some people think creativity means a lack of boundaries.
He then quotes GK Chesterton:
G.K. CHesterton said, "Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame."

This thoroughly applies throughout life.

It is healthy to set boundaries for our children. We also want them to explore. We work with them to create the right balance.



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