Director Essay

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Educational humanism is a philosophy which believes that developing the human intellect is what makes humans stand apart from the rest of the animal world. Humanists, such as Maslow and Montessori, believe it is necessary to study and develop the whole person over the course of his or her lifetime. Teacher candidates in traditional training programs are often asked to look at how their classrooms and lessons are addressing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The same can be done in the Montessori environment. Physiological – A Montessori environment is full of movement. Children are free to move about the classroom at will. In addition, the activities of Practical Life provide the opportunities to develop both gross and fine motor movement. Safety – The Montessori Environment is prepared with the child in mind. The classroom and materials are beautiful, simple in design, accessible to all children, and kept in a tidy, precise order. The Montessori environment is organized which allows the child to feel safe and secure, knowing his or her world is in order. Belonging – There is a sense of mutual respect in the Montessori environment. Children learn to develop friendship through the lessons in Grace and Courtesy by being helpful and kind to others. Esteem – Success builds self-esteem. The materials and lessons in the Montessori environment are self-correcting with a built in control of error. This allows the child to immediately see mistakes and learn from them rather on relying on others to point out his faults. Self-Actualization – Montessori said “No one can be free unless he is independent.” (The Absorbent Mind). By helping a child to develop independence and autonomy, the Montessori teacher is helping the child reach self-actualization or his full potential as a fully functioning member of society. The Role of Education Maslow and

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