What Montessori Meant by New Education

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1. Describe what Montessori meant by ‘’New Education’’?

Maria Montessori believed that despite economic and technological development there are conflicts and sufferings instead of peace and harmony in our modern world. She believed that the prevailing social problems were unfulfilled and can only be fulfilled by educating the youth for the generation of balanced adults who would contribute towards world peace. By ‘’New Education’’ she meant that we could set up a new education system that could replace the existing system, as the existing system is unable to find many problems faced by man, and that the new system could focus on the energies of children, to understand them, and channalise them to solve problems faced by the world rather than going to war.

Dr Montessori felt that adults should improve their egocentric and authoritative attitude and approach children with humility and recognize their role as secondary. An adult must realize his job as secondary and should endeavour all that he can do to understand, support, and help him in the development stages. This she meant was the basic role of a mother as well as a teacher to help develop the child’s personality.

She felt that the ‘’Child is not an empty vessel waiting to be filled’’(Montessori Principle and Philosophy, Topic 1 , Page 11). Where she clearly means that one had to understand the hidden potential of the child .And to understand what prevents an adult from the seeing the child as he is. She believed that we as adults fail to see the hidden /unknown potential of the child as we are habitual of seeing everything from our standpoint. We as adults underestimate the childs potential and without being a step by step guide , we start acting as the creator , considering good and evil in the child’s action from our standpoint. And that by accepting this attitude an adult invariably cancels the child’ personality unconsciously and in the bargain gets a conviction of zeal , love and sacrifice.

‘’The child is not an inert being who owes everything he can do to us, as if he were an empty vessel that we have to fill. No, it is the child who makes the man and no man exists who was not made by the child who he once was…it is the baby who produces the man…it is the child who absorbs material from the world about him; he who moulds it into the man of the future.’’(Montessori Principle and Philosophy, Topic 3.2 , Page 11). The need to focus on the child and the role of an adult is extremely important. She thought the we often pay attention to adults. But it is to understand that adults came into being much later. Before that they were children who were taught skills like hard-work, patience, care , study etc. Thus focusing on the protection of children’s rights and welfare was the key to progress in the society. Montessori noted that education was not the only link between adults and children. Instead the adult needs to realize the relations between adults and children.

Dr Montessori felt that the child’s learning capacity is different from that of an adult. The child has unique natural powers to develop himself if there were no hindrance and arbitary discipline. She believed that the learning process between a child and an adult is very different . To prove that she had certain observations.

The child learns from the environment. Draws clues from what is available to him, he is in a state of development unlike an adult who have reached a state of saturation. The child however is transforming every time absorbing as much as possible from the environment around. The child even progresses in many states , he has to develop many skills and thereby develops in order to grow, on the other hand an adult already has attained a learning level and performs a task to finish it. Adults are always result oriented , whereas the child is inquisitive , he wants to know How? What? Why ? in other words is more inclined to be process driven. The task given to the child...
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