Friday, June 29, 2012
Spiritual Preparation of the Adult: Ownership of the Environment
This Montessori Nugget applies to all environments - not just Montessori ones.
Who owns the environment?
Adults? Children? Parents? Teachers? Do any of us? Do any of us truly own the environment?
The adult prepares the environment, but does so while considering the needs and characteristics of the children who will be present. The adult also looks at the bigger situation: is this is a school environment, a part-time co-op, a homeschool, an after-school, an impoverished area, an affluent area. All of these considerations and so many more dictate that the adult is not going to come in and set something up in a vacuum.
The children utilize the environment, take into themselves and construct themselves through their experiences.
This whole concept is a tough one for us adults, and there will be many more Montessori Nuggets on the subject.
For our Montessori environments:
Trust the materials described in the albums - go deep with them. There is a LOT that can be culled from just the basic materials. Then, if a child has found a true deep interest that even the depths of the material can't provide, then look at your situation, clarify the needs and fulfill them with appropriate further basic material.
Anything beyond basic: let the child create - it's his interest, let him own it.
You the adult provide the keys; you provide the environment; you provide a structure within which the child knows and can fulfill the requirements. Fully formed people at every plane are able to take responsibility for themselves through having access to the right tools. Provide those tools and disengage your own emotions, except to be proud of the wonderful creation in front of you :)