Elementary I April Blogpost
“I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused – a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love – then we wish for knowledge about the object of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.” – Rachel Carson, in Sense of Wonder (1965)
I absolutely love this quote, and I feel like it could have easily been written by Dr. Montessori. In Dr. Montessori’s book, To Educate the Human Potential, she mentions ‘seeds’ about five times on the very first page! The commonality of Maria Montessori and Rachel Carson is obvious. When speaking of ‘seeds’, the two women are speaking of the small bits of knowledge or interests that begin to take root in a child’s mind. They are speaking of connections being made, not only by what children learn from adults, but by all they see, hear, say, smell, taste, touch, and emotionally feel. As a teacher, I try my best to continue this idea by giving the children a safe and healthy way to learn on their own, and by providing them with a prepared classroom environment. I give a lot of lessons, but I also allow the children to discover different concepts on their own. The little “ah-ha” moments in the classroom are so very rewarding.
This week in our classroom, we are working on a short play to perform to both the Elementary II Classroom and the Kindergarten Classes. We continuously work on math and language. The children absolutely loved doing their own research on South American animals, so we are going to continue to plant that little ‘seed’ by researching plants we find around the school. We will display the plants and research in the foyer. So, stop and see all the seeds growing!
“Knowledge can be best given where there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into culture.” Maria Montessori, in To Educate the Human Potential (1948).
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