Exploring the Montessori Approach to Discipline
Dr. Maria Montessori’s Method is, above all, one that nurtures graciousness and respectfulness for all. Students are expected to have respect for each other, for themselves, and for the teacher. The Method also has innovative thoughts on discipline. When parents first tour a Montessori school, they’re often amazed to see young students earnestly working with only gentle guidance from the teacher. No one shouts or interrupts others, and every student puts the learning materials in the appropriate place when finished with them. How do the teachers achieve this, and how can parents use these techniques at home?
Understanding Dr. Montessori’s Thoughts on Discipline
Dr. Montessori developed her Method by observing the way in which children grow, develop, and learn. Her philosophy was born of her observations, and because of this, her thoughts on discipline are naturally suited to the true way children grow. Dr. Montessori realized that blind obedience isn’t true obedience because the child isn’t willingly complying. First, children must learn the differences between right and wrong. Then, they can work on developing the willpower to make the right choices. Until a child is given the freedom to make choices within a carefully structured environment , he or she cannot practice inner discipline.
Developing a Structured Environment
It takes a great deal of persistence and patience on behalf of parents and teachers to nurture a child’s self-discipline. It starts with a carefully structured environment that only gives a child as much freedom as he or she can handle. In other words, the environment itself teaches the child how to make appropriate decisions.
Redirecting Troublesome Behavior
In a Montessori school, teachers redirect or refocus a child’s energy when he or she has trouble making an appropriate choice. Parents can also use this technique at home. The process of redirecting non-peaceful behavior starts with an unapologetic reminder of the rules, followed by gentle guidance that helps the child make the right choice.
The teachers at The Montessori School look forward to welcoming new students and their parents to our close-knit, supportive learning community. We understand that you’ll have lots of questions for us about Montessori education. Please take your time exploring the information on our website, and when you’re ready to request a tour of our Montessori school, call us in North Dallas at (972) 985-8844 or in Allen at (972) 727-2800.