Freedom and Discipline in the Montessori Classroom
- October 9, 2016
- Posted by: Donna Caruthers
- Category: Montessori Education
At first blush, freedom and discipline seem to be diametrically opposed concepts. Conventionally, freedom and discipline are perceived to be external forces that may be applied. In other words, an adult may give a child a certain amount of freedom or discipline the child for non-peaceful behavior. However, Dr. Maria Montessori perceived these concepts quite differently. In Montessori education, discipline is not external, but intrinsic and freedom does not mean that children run wild, but that they are free to direct their own education.
Natural Progression of Freedom
In a Montessori school, the Guides honor the natural progression of things. This applies to the child’s development, the age groupings of the classrooms, and the sequential nature of the lessons. It also applies to the students’ freedom. As newborns, children lack any degree of freedom because they are wholly dependent upon their caregivers. As a child grows older, he or she can gradually assume more self-responsibility, and thus, a greater degree of freedom.
Consistent Consequences for Misbehavior
Just like adults, it’s only natural for children to occasionally engage in non-peaceful behavior. In a Montessori classroom, this generally occurs much less frequently than in a traditional educational setting. Montessori students develop an understanding of the reason for desired behavior and when they engage in non-peaceful behavior, the consequences of that action are the logical result of the behavior. Students tend to thrive when they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
Strong Sense of Self-Discipline
Maria Montessori’s Method nurtures the student’s internal motivation. Montessori classrooms do not feature gold star charts or other external reminders of good behavior or achievements. Rather, students discover that learning is its own reward. In developing this self-discipline, students are more likely to make good choices regardless of whether they are being observed or not.
Starwood Montessori School invites parents throughout our community to visit our Montessori school in Frisco. See for yourself how our carefully prepared classrooms, beautiful learning materials, and supplemental curriculum inspire students to learn. Call us at (972) 712-8080 today or browse the articles on our website for more information about Montessori education.