Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Purposes of Childhood

Interesting passage from Maria Montessori’s The Absorbent Mind.

“You will be asking already,” What, then, is the real purpose of childhood?” And we can hardly proceed with confidence in scientific education without first trying to answer this question. For the child has a double duty. And if we consider one side of it only, the duty of growing up, there is a danger of suppressing his best energies.”

Children have two jobs and only one of them is to be an adult in training. What’s the other one?

I’ll talk about Montessori’s own answer tomorrow, but the question itself is so rich, I wanted to throw it out to be played with first. Ground rule: you cannot answer “Just being a kid,” you need to fill in what that means.