The role of the Adult in Montessori, Notes & Thoughts.


This is what the Montessori revolution was really about.
For the child to grow, we must become small,
we must STEP BACK.
STEP BACK means:
- Become humble;
- Limit ourselves to preparing an uncluttered, neat environment;
- Offer as much help as it’s needed, as little as possible;
- Stop protecting objects from children. Your child is more important than a broken glass;
- Don’t judge, don’t direct, don’t praise, don’t interrupt a child at work.

Leave the room. Work.
The spiritual preparation of the adult is at the core of the Montessori scientific pedagogy.
Let’s set aside wooden toys, expensive materials, shelves, pretty little furniture and scandi-style rooms.
None of that was present in the first Montessori school opened in 1906.
With little tools available, Maria Montessori started with just a bunch of handmade sensorial materials, smaller chairs, and a few teachers with no particular training.
The big change was freedom, freedom to move and freedom to choose their own activity.
She set children free from the slavery of desks and from that of instructing adults.
She gave them sensorial materials to work with, which they seemed to prefer over traditional toys (which were available at the beginning).
By removing the OBSTACLES around the child, she observed the real psychic needs of the developing mind.

What came out of those decades of observation?

That all (all!) children have an absorbent mind.
The child’s mind constantly absorbs images and information from the environment, effortlessly.
This is a unique characteristic of the human race, that is programmed (as opposed to animals that are only guided by instincts) to adapt to whatever environment the child is born into.
Only humans have inhabited every corner of planet Earth, thanks to this adaptability.
The child has already in himself everything he needs to ‘educate himself’ , because his learning is guided by some set sensitivities that occur in the first 6 years of life.
Our ONLY job is to learn about the child’s developing mind so we can successfully refrain from trying to instruct him.
In the name of love, WE can be the greatest obstacle to our child’s development.

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