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ERIC Number: EJ1110843
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
Making Room for Children's Autonomy: Maria Montessori's Case for Seeing Children's Incapacity for Autonomy as an External Failing
Frierson, Patrick R.
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v50 n3 p332-350 Aug 2016
This article draws on Martha Nussbaum's distinction between basic, internal, and external (or combined) capacities to better specify possible locations for children's "incapacity" for autonomy. I then examine Maria Montessori's work on what she calls "normalization", which involves a release of children's capacities for autonomy and self-governance made possible by being provided with the right kind of environment. Using Montessori, I argue that, in contrast to many ordinary and philosophical assumptions, children's incapacities for autonomy are best understood as consequences of an absence of external conditions necessary for children to exercise capacities they already have internally, rather than intrinsic limitations based on their stage of life. In a closing section, I show how Montessori proposes a model wherein both children and adults have autonomy, power, and responsibility, but over different spheres, and suggest implications of these differences for who has responsibility for establishing the conditions under which children can flourish.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A