We live in words, our intelligence plays with them constantly. We dialog with them (as good tools!), we think in words and images. So much that it can become a problem. Philosophers (who said Wittgenstein?) thought a lot about this. And we books-lovers like to think about the limitation of our world with words. Poets and photographers (and others) try to evoke “richer” things, moods that can not be completely defined with words – which simplify reality. Words are not enough, and the world (us included) is moving
I talk sometimes with people who work with poor people, homeless or living in a very poor condition. Educators, teachers in special schools, or unpaid helpers who give a few hours from time to time, volunteers.
One of them, a former philosophy teacher, lives in my street. A few days ago she told me she met a little boy who didn’t speak. Not a word, ever : mute. She said this kid had been well taken cared of, but no one was speaking to him.
So she stayed around, for months, speaking to him, reading him stories, never asking for anything. Like “When I come, I’m with you, that’s it”. Like nourishing him with words.
Months later, a morning, she said the kid watched her, pointed out something in a book, and said : “C’est bleu !”.
Thanks for reading!
Nooo it’s not an article against Montessori education, which is great!
Here’s the core of it, copy/pasted from Wikipedia :
Montessori education is fundamentally a model of human development, and an educational approach based on that model. The model has two basic principles. First, children and developing adults engage in psychological self-construction by means of interaction with their environments. Second, children, especially under the age of six, have an innate path of psychological development. Based on her observations, Montessori believed that children who are at liberty to choose and act freely within an environment prepared according to her model would act spontaneously for optimal development.
It’s a very interesting approach, and one of the key word of it is AUTONOMY. Many parents interested by Montessori buy books to understand and use it at home, but some of them just heard about it, or read an half-page article, and they just clicked on two concepts they adoooore :
- My child (who is already “ahead of others”, of course) will be even better.
- My child will be more autonomous, and… I will have peace.
This second point is the problem here. Autonomy is very important in this education, but not in the way “he is happy alone and I will have peace to do something else”!
It’s more : freedom to choose and activity and the rhythm, self-discipline (“I notice my mistakes”), experimenting, etc. There are… books about that!
Thanks for reading!
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