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Developing Independence

By February 27, 2019Uncategorized
This segment “Did you know?”, highlights facts about the Montessori philosophy, Montessori materials or curriculum, and Princeton Montessori School.  These short entries in the online newsletter are meant to give insight into components of your child’s experience that you otherwise would not know.

Did you Know?

Developing independence is a goal of all Montessori teachers. Independence to do for oneself brings confidence, competence, and honors the inherent trait of humans to master their world.

Did you knowdeveloping independence is a goal of all Montessori teachers?

What it is:  Dr. Montessori stated, “Never do for a child what he can do for himself.” and “Be not a servant to the child but a guide.”  She knew that children crave tasks that help them master their environment and take great pride in being able to do for themselves.  

How it works: In all Montessori classrooms, teachers coach and encourage independence, develop work for the child that allows for practice of their mastery, and refrain from over serving children when they are capable of learning and developing a life skill or academic understanding.  Even on the smallest task or question for an answer, trained Montessori teachers first respond with prompts that help the child help themselves. Can you imagine how much each of these small moments add up to competency and confidence in a child?

Why it matters: It is too easy for parents to feel ‘doing for’ their children is equal to loving their children.  Parents need partners in education who teach and practice allowing children to do the work of mastering their environment.  Just as a baby bird is encouraged by its parent to ‘fly the nest’, human parents are tasked with giving their children the experiences and practice to master each area of self-care and development they were meant to master.  Aiding independence is one of the greatest gifts adults can provide children and one of their most important responsibilities as parents and educators.


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