Discipline and obedience are two words used to imply a strict way of learning. Montessori, on the other hand, saw these as a natural instinct that came from within. In this essay I intend to show that with the correct conditions the child can become self-disciplined and have the ability to obey without the need of force, reward or punishment as Montessori described.
The understanding of discipline, according to the dictionary, is described as ‘the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience’. Obedience is referred to as ‘compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority’. Both these descriptions imply that they are forced on an individual, whereas Dr Montessori felt that both discipline & obedience come from within. In a Montessori environment discipline is an active process that comes from within the child, it cannot be forced. This self-discipline is directly related to the development of the will. Obedience grows with the child and comes hand in hand with development of the will, without the maturing of the will the child cannot develop obedience. As their will develops through free choice, the child begins to show the self-discipline or self-control necessary for obedience. There are two factors that enhance discipline and obedience and these are the prepared environment and freedom. Ultimately these lead to the development of the childs will.
The correct environment is critical when fostering the childs development. Their discipline is encouraged by having an environment which has been prepared to allow the child to function as an individual. The child within this environment can self-select activities from the shelf, can do things for themselves, can move around the classroom and sit at the child sized furniture all without the need of an adult. The environment also encourages the child’s love of order by ensuring the security of predictability, where...
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