“No one is free unless he is independent therefore, the first active manifestations of the child’s individual liberty must be so guided that through the activity he may arrive at independence” ( The Montessori method, chapter 5,pg118)
Comment on the above quote and explain how the Montessori practical life exercises help the child to become independent.
In devising her method, Maria Montessori had but one aim: to assist the child’s natural development. Because the end point of the child’s development is a self sufficient, well adjusted adult, any assistance we offer to ‘development’ must by the definition foster independence and self-sufficiency. Our reason for practicing the Montessori Method is thus to aid the child’s growth towards independence.
The Montessori method fosters independence is two ways: first, in the short term, it provides freedom and independence in learning; second, in the long run, it helps the child acquire tools for living, that is, the skills and abilities which give a person greater choices in life, and which make one free from dependence on others.
In Montessori method, freedom is control over one’s own destiny, and that means controlling our whims, working towards long –range goals, and making conscious choices about our action and their consequences. In other words, every act of truly ‘free’ choice is preceded by an act of judgment. This is a kind of freedom that must be learned, and to which we must lead a child, little by little.
When the child is new in the Montessori environment, we verbally offer very simple choices between clearly contrasting experiences, for example, a choice between a quiet activity like working with a ‘Dressing Frame’, and an energetic activity like washing a table. To help the child grasp the idea that thoughtful choosing be between genuinely different activities, presenting a contrast that a young child can readily appreciate. Later, after we have presented many activities to the child, we...