Explain the Relationship Between Discipline and Obedience from the Montessori Perspective. Explain How Discipline and Obedience Are Linked to the Development of the Will.

1878 words 8 pages
There are various theories explaining the development of discipline and obedience in early childhood. Montessori perspective establishes a link between these two concepts and how their maturation is dependent on the maturation of the will of the child. This essay will attempt to explain the relationship between discipline and obedience in the developmental stages of a child. Attention will be paid to how the environment helps the child in his development through the stages according to Montessori.

According to Oxford dictionary, ‘to discipline is to train to obey rules and code of conduct, using punishment to correct disobedience’. In the traditional sense of discipline much emphasis is placed on the use of external stimuli
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A teacher’s role is central in the prepared environment. The teacher is the custodian of the environment to ensure order is maintained and through careful selection of activities, the child can expect some level of consistency and predictability. These factors are important in supporting the child’s sensitivity to order. ‘Order is one of the needs of life, which when it is satisfied, produces a real happiness.’ (Montessori 1966, P52). Secondly, the Montessori Teacher sets the ground rules for the prepared environment. These ground rules help the child’s understanding of what is acceptable and what is not and guide the child’s emerging will toward socially acceptable behaviour.

Ordinarily, an individual is unable to obey an instruction unless he has the ability. A child grows in his ability to grow as his will matures. The maturation of child from birth to age six, in Absorbent Mind plane of development (Montessori, 2007a) culminates in the full control of a child’s own will. From birth to age three, the child is controlled by his inner drive towards independence, referred to as the ‘Horme ’(Montessori, 2007a). It marks the beginning of the personality creation, when the child absorbs and internalizes information unconsciously from his environment. His actions are usually impulsive and in response to his

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