苗圃中小學
上一則教學分享    回教學分享總覽   下一則教學分享

   
rom Freedom To Responsibility
撰文者:梅世傑 Robert Major
 
Maria Montessori reminded us that education must be an aid to Life.  Contrary to common belief, the life of a child is intimate and private and not subject to our judgmental perusal.  It must be given the full rights to the pursuit of happiness and liberty that we extend to adults.  The idea that we can shape and form or even adjust and repair a certain child’s actions, behavior, attitude and thinking is questionable.  It would essentially be denying the child the right to be in control of his life and the right to make the necessary choices that support the development of his life. Denying these rights are what Montessori viewed as that which creates problems for children in the first place and causes them to be deviant in nature.  In simple words, we view the child as this meek passive being that is incapable of choosing his own direction.  This is far from the truth.  This view of the child only incapacitates him and places him in a protective mode or a self sacrificial mode rather than a cooperative one.  This kind of thinking must stop if we are truly going to be what Montessori asked us to be, assistants to Life.
 
Behind this new way of thinking we must believe that the child is capable of changing his own life for the better if the conditions for that change are made available to him.  If we do not believe in this basic premise then education is merely coercion, the teacher is only a dictator and the parent is only a brutal enforcer rather than a guide as Montessori envisioned.  So, as so many discussions with parents, teachers and visitors to MiaoPu concluded, what truly needs to be provided at MiaoPu is the education of adults in new parenting or guiding skills rather than simply educating the children in the Montessori way.  If the adults that live and work with these children on a daily basis change their perceptions of children’s ability and their methods of dealing with conflicts and problems faced by these children change from blaming to resolving then we will see a group of children that are empowered to make monumental decisions in their lives or, at least, learn what is necessary to prepare them to live a life of vision in community.
 
It is not our job as parents and teacher/guides to affect and change children’s lives because Life speaks to a child in a much more intimate, comprehensive and fundamental way to reveal its truths which, in turn, assist the child to make proper choices and to know the truth of his life.  Montessori called this “realizing his cosmic task”.  As assisting adults, we may only aid him in this revelation, his life.  We may only model the honest truth of our own lives, a spiritual integrity that enables and encourages the child to seek his own truth and integrity for his life.  Like the plants and animals in the wetland stream that surrounds our school, we serve as filters of the water, the child’s life force, that constantly circles the school.  We do this by simply responding to our own natures and by allowing the water, the child’s life force, to effect us by passing through us.  We do not act as filters because we see it as our responsibility to purify this water by adding something to or taking something from it.  This would only have an opposite effect.  The purity that comes from knowing our own life’s vision cleans and clears the water around us.  If we are unable to see and admit the truths and find a vision for our own lives then we only serve to muddy the water around us.  I have yet to see a tree that grows down and away from water and sunlight.  All life seeks to improve itself and do what is necessary to sustain itself.  Why do we think a child would do otherwise?
 
A new look at education reveals to us that it is the process of education not the content that enables the child.  It is the environment and the human condition that influences the child and the more aware a child is to how they influence him the more he is able to influence them.   It is like the process of writing a book.  It is the human condition, the environment and the writer’s personal experiences that will dictate the contents of the book because these are what influence the writer of the book.  The writer is unable to pull rabbits out of a hat but draws inspiration from the rich environment around him.  But, it is this process of writing, putting to paper what we experience that leads to greater awareness and eventually to new discovery and then, finally, enables the writer to transcend himself.  So, it is for the child and his learning process.  Here at MiaoPu we seek to change the environment of learning and return the child to his community.  We do not want to place the child in a new artificial environment where we filter ideas for him and disseminate ideas to him according to what we feel he is capable of understanding and what we feel he should know. We do not want to be the judge of when he is successful or not.  Simply, at MiaoPu, we give the child back his life by allowing him to make his own choices but this freedom to choose is accompanied by requiring the child to shoulder the responsibility of those choices.  That is where other schools fail because when you coerce a child to learn, you, and not he, are responsible for the outcome.  If a child is not responsible for what he is learning than how is he able to learn to be a responsible adult?
 
How do we do it?
 
The Prepared Environment
 
In a Montessori prepared environment (the classroom), the child changes himself.  It is important to realize that he does this because he wants to.  We want to be responsible because the reward is more freedom.  The child wants to be like his teacher who is modeling behavior that will help him succeed in society.  Teachers in traditional schools take note.  The child wants to cooperate and work with his classmates in a meaningful and productive way because they are his future society.  Success later depends on success now.  He desires to learn that which perpetuates life and that which creates and promotes his culture because these are the things that sustain all human life.  But, the child is unable to use this environment for change if the other most important environment in his life, his home, and his family member’s attitudes towards him and his school are not conducive to change and growth.  They question him, doubt him and eventually when there is positive change they take it for granted and only concentrate on where more change needs to be made.  This trial of the child must stop if children are to reveal their true potential.  Parents must work closely with their child’s teacher and be involved in school activities in order to positively change the home environment in an active way.  This will enable everyone to grow, not just their child.  This is a changing world and it is education that keeps us abreast of our world.  Only now can one be literate and unable to express oneself.  Education is not just learning how to read and write, add and subtract.  Now our children must learn how to listen intuitively, think responsibly and act, meaning make choices, to use their freedom to attain higher levels of responsibility to community.
 
The Montessori Materials
 
The materials in the Montessori environment are designed to be self correcting and the methods used by the teacher/guide are to help the child to use the materials to teach himself.  The child is not just an individual learner but works in partnerships and small and large groups to achieve both individual as well as communal goals.  He learns to be responsible not only for his own learning but also for the whole group’s learning.  The more successful he is, the more successful the whole group is and vice versa.
 
The Daily Routine
 
We have a daily routine that is based on a logical sense of order to assist the child to find something of interest to him and learn something about himself, life, his culture and the world.  It is not arranged to enable the teacher to be able to teach a set curriculum nor to help the school control a school full of children.  The routine is designed to help the child help himself but not at another’s expense.  That is thinking and acting responsibly.
 
A Simple Set of Classroom Rules
 
We have a simple set of rules which we set up with the child allowing all the children to have an equal chance to discuss and establish the rules.  This is the basis of democratic society, a democratic discourse between equals.  This process by which we make the rules is also how we solve all conflict in the classroom as well as discuss what we feel is important and right.  These basic rules are simply:
 
1.        We respect each other.                                                           
With respect comes love. With love comes sharing. With sharing comes cooperation and with cooperation comes community and self actualization.
 
2.        We care for the environment.                                                        
The child instinctively knows that the beauty around him brings out the beauty within.  Caring for the environment is like taking a bath or brushing ones teeth, it not only makes you healthy and feels good but it is the same for everyone else.  The child quickly realizes that caring for oneself is the same as caring for each other.
 
3.        We seek knowledge.                                                                              
 Seeking knowledge and seeking life are the same things.  One without the other does not make sense.  It is basic to all life that the individual must know about the world around him or become a victim of circumstance.  This idea that money solves all problems is totally untrue.  If it was then their would be no drug addicts in the world.
 
4.        We come to learn.                                                                                  
A child knows that he lacks the experience and abilities to do what his will wants to do so learning those skills brings immense pleasure.  All life tends to improve itself and learning is how that is done.
 
5.        We observe safety.                                                                                
Obtaining all the above, respect, love, caring, knowledge and experience is all pointless if everything is being risked by acting unsafely.  That does not mean that we only do what is safe to do but rather we act knowing the risks that are involved and are willing to face them if they should happen.  That is the object of acting responsibly.
 
These rules work because they are positive and they help each person succeed in realizing the truth of his life and his life with others.  It is simple mathematics.  With these rules the power of an individual in a Montessori classroom is that child times the number of classmates and teachers he has.  Now if you have parents, family members and a community factoring into the equation than you can calculate the potential of a Montessori classroom to empower the child.
 
It would be nice if we could get all the benefits of the rules by just following them but that is not the case especially for children.  Rules are to guide us not to regulate us or serve as the reason for punishment.  Rules are there in order to learn proper behavior and when we exhibit proper behavior it will bring great joy.
 
What if the rules are abused?
 
If it is by an individual child we ask him to take time out and think about what he has done and make amends.  It is also a time for the teacher to redirect the child if the child is unable to find his direction.  This can be done in a myriad of ways such as simply presenting to the child a work in which the child is interested in or in which he feels he can confidently be successful.  We must constantly make an effort to give the child challenging work but work in which the child can be successful.  Too often in traditional classrooms the child is caught up in a vicious cycle of defeat because everyone is concentrating on what he does wrong and not acknowledging what he does right.
 
If it is by two or more individuals we ask them to take time out and solve the problem together.  We give the children a simple process to solve problems.
1.        Allow everyone a chance to speak and give their story of the problem or a succession of events.  Everyone must admit what they did regardless of what someone else did first.
2.        Let everyone have a chance to suggest a solution to the problem.  Discuss the solutions pros and cons.
3.        Give everyone the chance to apologize and be forgiven.  This should be followed by some physical expression of acceptance or agreement.
 
The key in problem solving is everyone admitting what he or she has done and being responsible for ones own actions.  It is too easy to explain away misbehavior by saying that, “He hit me first.” and expecting that that will absolve him of his responsibility for hitting the other guy.  So many parents are duped by this rationale into siding with their child and accepting his misbehavior and in essence taking the responsibility of their child’s actions onto themselves.  This is wrong parenting.  It is not modeling responsibility but is reinforcing the child’s irresponsibility and maybe even worse yet that he can blame his actions on others.
 
It must be crystal clear to everyone in the school nothing can be solved by fighting, striking another person or being forced to accept an outcome.  Violence must be recognized for what it is, violence.  Even play violence is violence.  We must eliminate the unnecessary exposure to violence in our children’s lives.  That does not mean shelter them but be sensitive to the sources of violence the children are exposed to and inform your children of what is violence and its ability to destroy valuable things that money most certainly cannot buy.  The catch phrase at MiaoPu is “Please talk out your problems.”請你用話來解決問題”.  The children at MiaoPu surprised all the adults at the 愛的校園零體罰 press conference on Children’s Day of their sense of responsibility by writing to the children that experience violence in their classrooms and suggesting ways to help them.  This is the result that Montessori talked about “the normalized child becomes in a Montessori environment, a responsible child, free to exert his will for the common good”. Let us let the children speak for themselves.
 
親愛的被體罰的孩子:
 
我們是苗圃彰化社區合作小學的孩子,想幫助你不要再被打,因為我們認為你被打你的心裡會很受傷、難過,孩子本來就有人權,不應該被打,你被打不代表你沒有能力,也不代表你是一個壞人,我們寫這封信是要告訴你,你還有能力學習、求知。
  
   若你被打時感到很孤單寂寞,我們願意當你的朋友,因為打的行為是錯誤的,會造成被打的人認為所作的事情都是錯誤的且會有挫折感,所以我們願意當你的朋友,來幫助你沒有挫折感並鼓勵你不要自卑,並陪伴在你身旁並鼓勵你想到自己的優點。
 
   為了保護你自己,在被打後請記錄被打的過程,包括時間?地點?誰打你?為什麼打你?打你哪裡?有多嚴重?有沒有傷口?因為這樣別人有理由可以幫助你,透過這些記錄我們可以與警察、政府、校長、老師等人談。
 
   打小孩是非法的,所以要收集證據。證據可以是:醫生證明、受傷的照片、自己寫的日記、目擊者的名字、打你的工具等等。如果你不知道如何做,請與我們連絡。
 
   被打是不好的,但你不要害怕告訴別人,你可以告訴別人因為別人會幫助你,要勇敢一點去找別人來幫助你,老師不能打人,請你從陰影中走出來,先找到一個安全的地方避難,如果安全了再告訴父母,若不敢告訴父母,可以打婦幼保護專線113,他們都不理你或你覺得都沒有用時,可以來找我們,我們會幫忙想辦法。
 
   你被打時可能承受很大的壓力,心裡可能會很沮喪、考試很差、三餐不吃、身體變壞,也可能覺得身體會很痛苦,因被打導致神經錯亂,也可能導致你去打人,有可能心裡很生氣而罵老師,若你罵老師被打小報告,老師可能會處罰得更厲害,或是你生氣過度無法控制自己,打人和罵人是不對的,也不是解決的辦法也沒有好的結果。
 
   若遇到老師很生氣時,儘量做些讓老師喜歡的事情讓老師高興,也可以告訴老師:『請控制自己的情緒,不要那麼生氣』,若你有錯誤並跟老師道歉,也可以問老師你為什麼這麼生氣?請老師慢慢說;不要動手,若你看到老師打另一個孩子時,可以找其他同學去告訴老師:『不要打孩子』,或在你被打時最好到比較多人的地方,若不能就大喊救命。
 
   讓我們攜手一起奮鬥讓在校園內打孩子的事停止吧!學習是大家的本權,有一個安全的地方學習是你的本權,老師不能侵犯你的本權,打小孩是不對的,因為孩子被打後可能會打他的下一代,讓苗圃來幫助你快樂學習,讓台灣充滿孩子喜悅的笑聲。
 
苗圃彰化社區的孩子敬上
聯絡地址:彰化市彰秀路一號 電話:04-7785239傳真04-7625027
E-mail: miaopu.school@msa.hinet.net
2005/3/30                
 
No rules are useful to bringing peace to the classroom if they are not applied equally by equals and so the teacher is equal to the child in the Montessori classroom, as well as any adult that enters it.  Speaking as equals is the most conducive environment for learning.  An environment where everyone is commanding each other forces the listener to either comply as a passive servant or rebel in a way to make no rules apply.  Being too permissive only causes the child follow the rules of his every whim or feeling which will only end in infringing upon others and causing them to stand up and protect their rights or again submit or comply with a dictator.
 
The skill of knowing how to speak to your child, how to use a parent voice, an adult voice or a child voice is essential for establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship with your child.  Knowing when to say “yes” and have your child know that you have agreed with him and accepted his choice and when to say “no” and your child knows that his choice is unacceptable are essential for giving your child the moral fiber to order his own life and make responsible choices.
 
Too often I see parents failing to be parents because they fail to understand the delicate balance between freedom and responsibility.  They too are inseparable.  By taking away your child’s freedom to choose you deny him the ability to learn to be responsible.  Unbridled freedom where the parent assumes the child’s responsibility is also a quick road to irresponsibility.  Parent’s blind pursuit of material comfort and their desire to have their children merely affirm their own lives and dreams will be the downfall of our society.  We as parents have an obligation to give our children moral and spiritual direction which cannot be obligated to schools.  They along with etiquette and common sense must be transferred from parent to child.  Parents must make the effort because schools no matter how well organized they are cannot substitute for the parents of that child.  We must sit down with our spouse or other significant family members and map out the roles and responsibilities of parenting.  Blaming our children’s faults on a neglectful spouse or family member will get us nowhere fast.  If we leave parenting up to others and let others dictate our children’s moral and spiritual direction than we will only be disappointed.  Actively be involved in your child’s life and even the mistakes will not be regretted but become fond memories of growth.
 
The Montessori Method is not a cure all nor will it “save” our children but it will provide the child the opportunity to be “a new possibility for humanity” by realizing what lies within.


文件下載

上一則教學分享    回教學分享總覽   下一則教學分享



多國語言翻譯

苗圃蒙特梭利中小學

苗圃蒙特梭利中小學
50071彰化市彰秀路一號
TEL: 04-7525250
FAX: 04-7625346



本網 © 苗圃蒙特梭利中小學版權所有2018
總訪客人數: 659094    點選次數: 2049470
Design by 千立人文科技 設計建構