Learning can be lifelong! If a child falls in love with learning at a young age, she has the opportunity to spend her entire life exploring, creating, and contributing to the world in constructive ways. At every impasse, she has the inherent belief that she can dig deeper, learn more, create what she can see in her imagination, and give her gifts to the world. She will not settle for status quo, punching a clock, disinterested in life. Instead, she will know that there is more to understand, more creativity that can be employed, and that eventually the solution to a problem can be discovered.
When a child is deeply sparked, his curiosity is encouraged, and he feels secure and loved, then he begins to unfold as himself – becoming the full possibility of who he is.
In RMMA’s prepared environments, a child has enough routine and structure to feel settled. This settled feeling enables curiosity and growth to occur. (When a child is unsure of his environment or circumstances, he stays in a state of “fight or flight”, and growth and learning are not possible in the same way.) Our Montessori Materials give the child an entire cycle with curiosity, learning, and fulfillment: the child chooses what interests him; then he works with the materials until they “work”; and then he feels the internal validation and satisfaction of accomplishment.
Success is expected. Instead of trying something that doesn’t work and receiving a failing grade, the child engages the materials she chose until the lesson “works”. This will impact her entire life – she will never be afraid of failure or of trying new things. She will have an intrinsic trust that everything she tries has a solution and can work, and she will not tire of trying new solutions until a problem is solved.
Experiencing external validation – a good grade, or a verbal “good job” – does not form confidence and satisfaction in a person. Only the individual can truly validate for himself whether he is accomplishing what he would love to do, and whether that feels good. The Montessori model enables the child to have an internal experience with validation, and that kind of satisfaction leads to more and more self-confidence and success.
This has amazing implications not just for the child’s entire life. Imagine a world where people did not believe failure was possible – and rather every problem society is facing, both locally and globally, was embraced as an opportunity to learn, engage, try, and finally, to succeed!