Obedience (Montessori)

From Montepedia

In Montessori education, Obedience is viewed as an act of will that develops gradually, manifesting itself "unexpectedly at the end of a long process of maturation."[1] During this developmental process, young children may show sporadic instances of obedience, but they may not be able to consistently demonstrate obedience. As children's will develops through the exercise of free choice, they start to acquire the self-discipline or self-control necessary for obedience.

Montessori Quotes

  • "The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy."[2]
  • "The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself."[3]

Research and Critiques

  • Pros: Montessori's view on obedience aligns with developmental psychology that sees self-regulation and self-discipline as skills that develop over time with maturation and practice. The Montessori approach encourages this growth through environments that balance freedom and structure.[4]
  • Cons: Critics suggest that the emphasis on internal obedience might downplay the importance of external rules and social norms. Also, some children may need more explicit guidance and clear expectations to develop self-regulation skills.[5]

Comparisons to Other Methods

Unlike traditional models that often enforce obedience through external rewards and punishments, Montessori education encourages the development of inner obedience through the exercise of free choice and self-regulated behaviour.[6]

See Also

Glossary of Montessori Terms

The Glossary of Montessori Terms is a collection of specific terms and vocabulary that are related to the Montessori method of education, primarily focusing on the theory and practice for children aged 3 to 6. The jargon used by Montessori educators offers a unique insight into child development as discussed by Maria Montessori. The 'Montepedia Glossary of Montessori Terms' originated from a glossary that was compiled by the late Annette Haines from the Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis, at the request of Molly O'Shaughnessy from the Montessori Centre of Minnesota. The reason behind the creation of this glossary was to supplement O'Shaughnessy's lecture at the Joint Annual Refresher Course that took place in Tampa, Florida, in February 2001.[7] The glossary has since been expanded and updated with additional 'Montessori Terms'.

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  1. Montessori, M. (1967). The Discovery of the Child. Ballantine Books.
  2. Montessori, M. (1949). The Absorbent Mind. Clio Press.
  3. Montessori, M. (1949). The Absorbent Mind. Clio Press.
  4. Lillard, A. (2017). Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. Oxford University Press.
  5. Egan, K. (2002). Getting it wrong from the beginning: Our progressivist inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. Yale University Press.
  6. Mooney, C. (2013). Theories of Childhood, Second Edition: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. Redleaf Press.
  7. Haines, A. (2001). Glossary of Montessori Terms. Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis.