Why did Maria Montessori encourage the development of imagination rather than fantasy? Why not fantasy under the age of 6 years old? How can we stimulate imagination and its productivity? Give detailed relevant examples.
“Imagination extends man beyond his wildest dreams-fantasy will ultimately limit him.” There is difference between Fantasy and imagination that people seem to misunderstand and the value that each has to the child’s development. Imagination is the ability to conceptualise objects or events which are not present, but which are reality based, so imagination is linked to cognition. Fantasy on the other hand, is unrealistic, it’s is a mental process whereby we create or escape to an alternate world that doesn’t exist.
Maria Montessori observed that the developmental and normalising effect of reality- based activities had more important role as the central pastime for children. When children got given a choice, children chose real rather than pretend activities. Maria Montessori encouraged the development of imagination rather than fantasy because imagination is the manifestation of abstract thought; it’s a mental process whereby the child comes to understand the world we live in. The child uses his intellect to take what he has learnt and picturing and implements it in his work and play. “Human consciousness comes into the world as a flaming ball of imagination. Everything by human beings, physical or mental, is the fruit of someone’s imagination”. Maria Montessori believed that children need reality and accurate information, based on concrete things that the child can explore sensorially. ‘Imagination can only have a sensory basis. The sensory education which prepares for accurate perception of the different details in the qualities of things is therefore the foundation of the observation of thing phenomena which present themselves to our senses’. She believed that Fantasy obstructs a child’s natural development, “when a mind is full of...
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