Philosophy Essay Montessori

2124 words 9 pages
Maria Montessori, the first Italian woman to qualify as a physician, is renowned worldwide for her devotion to the philosophy of education and for the educational method that bears her name. Amongst others ground-breaking innovations, Montessori had a unique approach to discipline and obedience in the education of children. In this essay I will define and explain the terms ‘discipline’ and ‘obedience’, paying particular attention to the relationship between them. I will then address the issue of self-discipline together with the notion of will and analyse how they are at the root of the development of obedience. Finally, I will describe the three levels of obedience as outlined by Maria Montessori herself.

First of all, it is necessary
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The will emerges at the social embryonic stage, between 3 to 6 years old, from the horme. The horme, a philosophical term borrowed from the English philosopher Sir Percy Nun, is an unconscious will-power, an energy for life that leads the child to do everything they need to do in order to satisfy his/her needs. The horme drives the child toward independence at the spiritual embryonic stage, encompassing the ages from 0 to 3 years old, in an unconscious period of absorbing knowledge that Dr. Montessori defines as the ‘Absorbent Mind’.
The proper fostering of discipline will bring to the emerging of obedience. As Maria Montessori argues (ND, p220), ‘obedience in children is developed in the same way as the other qualities of the character; it follows hormic urges at first, then passes on to a conscious level where it is further developed along several degrees’. Montessori maintains (ND, p219), ‘Will and obedience are connected in as much as the will is the foundation and obedience marks a second phase in a process of development’. Therefore, a pivotal point of Montessori’s philosophy is that, if all the aforementioned requirements are met and discipline is fostered with the proper tools and methods, in the right environment, obedience will follow naturally as the result of a ‘long process of maturation’ (Montessori, 1967, p257) since it is part of the child’s personality. However, the timing is also