Enthralled by the psychological aspect of young children from 6-12 years old and the similarities of Dr. Montessori’s view and Piaget’s educational and psychological philosophy regarding this group of children, which was categorised by him as belong to the concrete operational stage, I would like to share an excerpt from Tomorrow’s Child magazine, issue Spring, 1996, pg.13:
The… important tasks (for children in elementary years) are:
– to learn how to build positive relationships with friends and neighbours, extending toward the global community.
– to address seriously the questions of aid to the elderly, handicapped, critically ill and economically disadvantaged.
– to explore international issues from the perspective of building bridges toward world peace and study ecology, wildlife preservation, and conservation of natural resources.
– to become directly engaged in acts of charity, gathering food, toys and clothing for the poor.
– to make effort to try to understand war, violence, poverty and the homeless.
More importantly, they struggle with what they can do to make the world a better place.
As I read the two final paragraphs of the article ‘Elementary Montessori Education’ again and again and again, I can’t help but to feel this overly sense of pressure and responsibility as an educator on how to empower and inspire as well as guide and mentor this group of children in fulfilling their prophecies, destinies and ambitions. There is so much more that I need to relearn and learn about moral education, environmental knowledge, global issues, and further more to enhance their awareness and judgement without instilling my own authoritative opinion or values on them. The understanding must come from within them, not from me directly. I am only the messenger and the person who is holding the lamp; I hope these children will be the limbs of a movement that will certainly make a change to their communities and the world by spreading the light and brightness of goodness and positivism.
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