“THE FIRST DAWNING OF SELF-DISCIPLINE COMES THROUGH WORK”. DISCUSS THIS STATEMENT.
Montessori believed that inner discipline, or self-discipline, is an active skill which is developed over time within each child, and is not something that pre-exists. She held it to be a natural part of the normal progression and growth of the child, but nevertheless, something that must be nurtured in the right way in order for it to develop fully. In her view, every child is born with the innate ability and desire to develop himself and his self-discipline, in a constructive manner, through work and under gentle guidance which nevertheless allows the child freedom to interact in his environment. Through her observations, Montessori noted that there are three stages in the development of the will, and self-discipline which is the outgrowth of this. In the first stage, the will is subconscious, and the child’s actions are driven by instinctive impulse. The child carries out actions without directing his will, and his interests in those activities are based on the unconscious impressions he has accumulated through his absorbent mind earlier. However, as he undertakes the activity, his interest in it and knowledge of it grows. As this happens, the child chooses to repeat the activity in order to complete the impression he has of it in his mind. As he repeats the activity, his mental awareness and focus on the task grows, and he channels his energies towards the specific task or activity in front of him, whereas before his impressions had been taken in more randomly and unspecifically. Thus, through working, his will and self-discipline are being awakened, as his capacity for concentration grows. Montessori writes that “a will in agreement with what the individual is doing finds the path open for its conscious development. Our children choose their work spontaneously, and by repeating the work they have chosen, they develop an awareness of their actions. That which at...
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