Montessori’s Vision of the New Child and the New Adult: The Seeds of Transformation
Montessori wrote extensively about the preparation of the Montessori teacher and, in The Discovery of the Child, wrote, “She must acquire a moral alertness which has not hitherto been demanded by any other system, and this is revealed in her tranquility, patience, charity and humility. Not words, but virtues, are her main qualifications.” (Clio Press, 151)
Montessori guides begin this process in training. Professional development opportunities, workshops, mentoring, observation and self-reflection assist the guide in continuing growth throughout their careers.
However, transformative growth requires more than casual reflection and observation. It requires in depth examination of actions and events which, observed over time, demonstrate patterns of behavior that may be inconsistent with either our beliefs or Montessori philosophy. Such practices impact children and our abilities to meet the needs of these “new children.”
During this address we will use the imagery of a seed to identify what is needed to break through the protective coat of our current practices in order to nurture and nourish the seeds of transformation both for ourselves and to support children as they form “a society by cohesion.” (1946 Lectures, #33). We will explore things that block transformative practice, and also examine specific strategies that can be implemented to support and encourage life-long growth and learning.