Montessori’s definition of discipline
The Montessori meaning of discipline is not the kind of external discipline, that is something the teacher does to control or command the child, for "listening doesn't make a man". Rather it is the child who internalizes the rules and feels that he/she is responsible for his/her acts. This is an "active discipline" attained when the child is "the master of himself and when he can, as a consequence, control himself when he must follow a rule of life”. Thus for Montessori, her definition of discipline is interchangeable for words like self-discipline, self-control, self-motivation, responsibility to the environment, self-initiated tasks and way to independence. All children have an inner discipline, which is developed by the freedom of the Montessori environment. The role of a Montessori director/directress is therefore in helping the children to develop this kind of discipline through activities that are according to their inner needs because "the fist glimmerings of discipline have their origin in work. A
Montessori’s definition of freedom (liberty)
Very often people think of freedom as “doing what we like” which is not the case with authentic Montessori education. One day, a lady visited Dr. Montessori's school. She thought that in the school the children did what they liked as the school was known for its freedom. A little boy gracefully told her that "it is not that we do as we like, but we like what we do.” This is a vivid example of what real freedom is. Children learn best in an atmosphere that combines freedom with self -discipline. True freedom cannot exist without self-discipline and the development of skills for independent thought and action. Freedom in the Montessori classroom means free to do what is right. The child and the teacher work together in a prepared environment to build a community. The child learns to respect the rules. Choice is given for the child to choose his own...’ "The discipline we...
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