Wisdom of children (Maria Montessori)

- No, no, don't distract them! Better step aside and observe, be so kind. You will find pure pleasure in observing the inherent wisdom of children, and in addition – you won't interfere with their natural development! – Maria Montessori stood on the way to a gaming zone of her Orthophrenic institute and blocked the passage for three important government officials sent here to inspect the work of the institute and the techniques of upbringing and development applied by Montessori in her work with the children suffering from the neuropsychological pathology. – One should not violate their world so unexpectedly. In order to achieve any positive effect in upbringing children, we must create adequate conditions for their self-development and for natural overcoming of psychophysiological anomalies!

- You probably do not understand that we have to inspect you work, we are obliged to study and measure … - the indignant and confused head of the government delegation began to babble. – We simply won't allow you carry on your teaching and widely distribute your methods if we don't analyze and understand the efficiency of your approach. Besides, it is about the mentally sick children, and this fact assumes additional obligations and attitude! Am I not right?

- Absolutely right! – Maria smiled archly and pointed to the bench at the wall offering the officials to sit. – Your words are perfectly correct. And you will have a chance to study. The only thing is that you will have to be a bit less terribly resolute and pushing than you have initially planned. Harsh ways of interaction with these kids badly affect their psyche and also develop anti-social experience and doubtful behavioral installations in their consciousness.

- But we meant no harm to the children. We only have to conduct the survey among them and a little test. How can this cause any frightening or excessive anxiety? – The second member of the delegation exclaimed nervously. He was intensively wiping his sweating bald head. – We are very limited in time. Today we will have to inspect ten other educational institutions! It is a very important mission!

- Once again – perfectly correct words! – Montessori answered with the soft smile on her face. – But when working on an important mission, one should be as reasonable and competent as possible, right?

- All right. Then how should we behave in order to do this testing and fulfill our important duties for the God's sake?! – The third inspector joined the conversation. He was impatiently shifting from one foot to the other.

- It’s very simple, – answered Maria. – If you want to examine the capabilities of these children objectively, for a moment become children yourself – just like them!

- Lady, this is nuts! These kids are sick! What do you expect us to do? – The head of the delegation was becoming angry.

- Well, let’s start with taking off your too official black jackets. This will make you look less inappropriate here. Then take off your shoes – in this gaming zone the street footwear is not allowed. – Montessori winked to the officials and pointed to the children. – And then join the kids! You see that little girl in a blue dress with pigtails and a red bow? Her name is Alda. She likes rotating the barrel composed of segments with letters around the metal bar. With this tool she can rotate the barrel and build different words. Go closer to her and pretend like you want to build some word, but you do not know how. Ask her for help. She will be glad to assist and you will be surprised how smart she is. Behind her in the gray trousers at the board with cells there is Giordano. He inserts plates with letters in the cells and thus also creates words. Ask him for help and he will be happy to communicate in a friendly manner. Near the calculating beads pretty Laetitia plays with a doll. And curly Lucio builds something of cubes near the board. Kids can write on this board with chalk. Ask them for help. As you can see, in our room we have a set of different tools for development and examination of sensory capabilities and motor activity, thinking, logic and attentiveness of children. Over there we also have sectors for development of mathematical and grammatical skills of kids. It is easy to understand how they work. But if you find anything difficult, I’ll gladly help. Everything else is as usual, but do not force the children to do something. Just ask for their assistance and you will receive all the required information! Any questions?

- All this seems strange and unexpected … - The head of the delegation hesitated indecisively. – So this is all your unique technique of upbringing and psychological correction of behavior of children?

- Indeed. And believe me – children are much smarter than we are. Adults have more information in their consciousness. But children make use of their knowledge better and improve their skills quicker. If you want to communicate with kids successfully – forget the didactical matter, moralizing and unneeded discipline. Cooperate with children in proper conditions and you will give them everything needed for development. And they will teach you a lot, believe me! – With these words Montessori threw away her slippers, took a jump rope and went hopping to the group of girls who were cooking something for their teddy bears in wooden toy ware with great enthusiasm.