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How are children disciplined in a Montessori program?

Most visitors to a Montessori program are amazed at how peaceful, pleasant, and well-behaved the children are. Montessori programs are noted for the self-discipline of their children. The particularly interesting thing about this is that the method does not involve techniques of coercion or manipulation. The children do not think of their teachers as being strict or mean. Techniques of force or power are not used.

Basically, what happens is that the children find their needs are being met. They like the teacher and the classroom. They sense the teacher cares about them and is a source of help. The teacher realizes that children want to be liked: they want to be accepted as members of the group; no one wants to be a problem.

Therefore, a child having difficulty needs help. The child simply needs to be shown in a positive way how to meet his or her needs. Through this process, non-appropriate behavior lessens and finally disappears. This makes the classroom a very pleasant place for both the children and the teacher. The keys to this process are:

a. An environment prepared to meet the children’s needs.

b. A teacher trained in positive, constructive methods of helping children.

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Reference: Montessori World Educational Institute

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