A. FREEDOM IN A PREPARED ENVIRONMENT
B. THE SENSITIVE PERIODS
D. ABSORBENT MIND
A) FREEDOM IN A PREPARED ENVIRONMENT
All over the world in constitutions of countries freedom is enshrined. This freedom applies not only to the adult but also to the child. For it is in freedom that a child reveals himself. Therefore a directress in a prepared environment must have the opportunity to observe the child in a free and open environment. Also the child’s inner guide must be allowed to direct the child’s growth. Thus a child will be aided to grow through independence and must be allowed growth through his inn guide. This is because a child uses his environment to grow. A child must therefore be aided in his development through activities that will encourage independence such as self-help skills like wearing shoes buttoning sweeping and other activities that will make him independent. All materials should be given the correct sizes; materials should be kept orderly; furniture should be child sized. The child must be aided in developing his will by by ensuring coordination and ensuring activities are towards a given end. The child must be given constructive work. Maria Montessori has described a classroom as a room in which all children move about intelligently voluntarily and without being unruly or loud. It is important to note that in allowing freedom, any destructive acts of the child must be limited. All other good and useful manifestations must be observed by the directress. There are however limits to freedom within the prepared environment; they are: Respect for the environment: The child has freedom but must treat the environment with care and respect. He must be courteous and treat all with respect and care. Respect for Himself: It is not enough to treat other with courtesy; he must also respect himself and use the materials respectfully without destroying. Respect for Others: The child is free to carry out activities as long as he is not interfering on the rights of other children in the classroom. Progress at his own rate and development: Each child is allowed to develop at his own rate and pace. No competitions are allowed in the environment. The Montessori environment also allows freedom in many aspects. Freedom of movement as they are allowed to move around the classroom as well as outside the classroom. Thus a Montessori classroom is not divided within work periods. A child is also allowed freedom of choice to choose their own activities in the classroom as this enables concentration and helps develop good working habits. Freedom of speech is also allowed as children speak to each other and initiate activities as a team or individually. Because they are not forced; they naturally develop the tendency to help thy neighbour. Children are expected to observe the rules of basic courtesy; which involves not interrupting other people. Freedom to grow and to construct his own mental capabilities. All materials are with a focus to helping the child build his inner self. Freedom to love and be loved is important as a child must be loved exceptionally and respected for just being himself. An example of Deji a three and a half year old who accidentally defecates on his body. Immediately other children start complaining about the smell and proceed to laugh at the child. The teacher who was also horrified was disgusted and showed this to Deji. The child sat still ashamed of himself. A well trained directress should correct Deji and clean him up and also discourage other children from making fun of him. It is important that love is shown in such circumstances while correcting the boy lovingly. Thus if such an occurrence occurs in future other children will learn to assist and show loving support.
Freedom from danger is also important as a child has a right to be protected away from danger. Freedom from competition and pressure is discouraged as a...