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ERIC Number: ED558501
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jan-17
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
Maria Montessori on the Natural Formation of Character in Young Children
Murphy, Madonna
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Far Western Philosophy of Education Society Conference (Honolulu, HI, Jan 17-19, 2003)
This paper examines this issue of character formation from the perspective of Maria Montessori. Her method has much to offer in developing more peaceful classrooms and helping to develop compassionate and caring citizens. Maria Montessori developed a complete philosophy of education based on her discovery that the child has a mind able to absorb on its own. This discovery revolutionized early childhood education because she found that this special psychic force which helped the little child to develop--not only language, but also their whole personality--was common in all children no matter what their culture, nation, society, and religion. Maria considered herself a citizen of the world with a message for all humanity. If we synthesize her main ideas and apply them to education today, she would tell us that in 21st century society and family life does not allow children to do meaningful work. Too much time is spent in front of the television, the video games and on the computer. Children pass their time but they do not engage in real work or creative play. They do not develop their own character, instead they are bombarded with examples of poor characters. Is it any surprise that children become violent, withdrawn and listless? If we implement the philosophy of Maria Montessori in all schools, children at each developmental period will be allowed to work in meaningful ways and make a contribution to society. Children will yearn to serve others and to make life more pleasant for others through their work. In this way we will find our classrooms purposeful and peaceful and we will develop compassionate and caring citizens.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A