“Help me help myself” learning how to do things independently
Envisioning education as the structure of a child’s natural development, utilizing an age-appropriate, prepared environment.
Focus education on the construction of intelligence as well as the acquisition of knowledge:
– Respect the needs and rhythm of each child
– Constantly awaken the child’s curiosity
– Help to develop their sense of adaptation
– Foster the joy of learning rather than the anguish of failure
– Mix ages to encourage emulation and support rather than competition
– The educator is a guide and guardian of the environment
“In this second place of development the child is strongest physically and possessed of great intellectual capacity. We cannot, therefore, waste these years. […] The teacher has to give all the elements, because without the presentations of stories, materials and skills, the child cannot possibly begin to be interested in the cosmos and to work.
The child’s interest, and therefore the work he does that springs from it, cannot be aroused unless the adult takes the trouble to arouse it. When we say that the child must be allowed to follow his interests and not be bound by subject matter and memorization that is true. But be careful not just to mouth this as interesting pronouncements, which lets the adult, me and you, off the hook. It is the adult’s responsibility to arouse the interest by the work we present.”
– An extract from “The Core of the Elementary Classroom” by Margaret E.Stephenson – AMI Trainer – 1986