Role of the Teacher

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“Explain how the role of the teacher changes in the process of a child’s growing normalisation** (socialisation)” The role of a teacher during a child’s early years of development is vital for children’s physical and mental growth at this time. The teacher observes how the prepared environment works for a child, how children engage in materials and then the teacher adjusts the environment to their needs. This is very important in supporting a process of ‘normalisation’, through which the true nature of a child is revealed. Montessori describes this unique process as a “transition from one stage to another (which) always follows a piece of work done by the hands with real things, work accompanied by mental concentration” (Montessori, 1949, p.186). In “The Absorbent Mind” (1949) Montessori writes about two main groups of deviations: those of the ‘strong’ personalities and deviations of the ‘weak’ personalities. Defects of the ‘weak’ include passiveness, crying, trying to get others to do things for them, wishing to be entertained and easily bored. Often we may find them untruthful and trying to manipulate adults. Overly quiet and too co-operative, they are found by adults as obedient and their behaviour really is not a problem for them. In the “Secret of a Childhood” (1966) Montessori further categorised deviations into those of psychic ‘fugues’ and psychic ‘barriers’. A ‘fugue’ she describes as hiding away in a fantastical world created by a child. The children often pretend to be someone else. They are never still but their movements are without purpose and they often leave tasks unfinished. They lack order and discipline. They are regarded as being very intelligent by adults and sometimes encouraged in their fantasies. A ‘barrier’ refers to an inhibition, which prevents the child from responding to his/her environment. He/she builds up a ‘wall’ to separate himself/herself from the outside world. Children with this deviation characterise disobedience,...
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