Montessori approach to behavioral disorders


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Montessori approach to behavioral disorders

  1. 1. MONTESSORI APPROACH TO BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS “… we have merely set the child free, and helped him to ‘live.’ It is he who has taught us ‘how’ he child lives, and what other needs he has besides his material wants.” --Maria Montessori “The greatest need of the child is an environment within which he can find the means for his full human development.” – R.C. Orem, on the quote above MONTESSORI APPROACHES THAT ADDRESS CHILDREN’S BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS (R.C. Orem) CHILDREN’S NEEDS MONTESSORI APPROACHES BEHAVIOR: emotional and social maladjustment Aggression; withdrawal Ground rules in environment Liberty within limits Discipline through activity Habits of work and order encouraged Normalization of child as goal Concern for child’s psychic life “cohesion in the social unit” –
  2. 2. Children help each other External organization aids internal order Lesson of silence Study of childhood mentality Observation of individual child Rational education to decrease psychic maladies Self-discipline MOTIVATION ???? Negative attitudes History of failure Teaching of success Preparation and practice leading to achievement Cooperation, not competition Individually respected Satisfaction in work Range of task difficulty Patient teacher Spontaneity encouraged Confidence stemming from
  3. 3. competence Some mastery of environment gained Intrinsic motivation Note: Although problems in motivation are not directly included in Behavioral and Emotional disorders, this was included in the report for the reporter feels that normalization… MONTESSORI APPROACH TO PARTICULAR BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS I. OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER Children with this disorder exhibit at least four of the following behaviors for at least six months. The management of these behaviors shall be discussed below in light of the Montessori approach. a) Often loses temper – Children in a Montessori school are given freedom within limits. They are given few rules to follow, but these are consistently enforced. One of the rules is that they must not do anything that is against the betterment of the community, such as losing their temper. When children misbehave in class, the directress simply lets the child sit separately from them. From a distance, the child can observe his classmates at work. What Montessori used to do when she visited the classroom was to go straight to the child in the corner,
  4. 4. show him attention and care by patting the child, before going to the rest. No reprimands were given, but much affection is shown. After a while, the child was able to join the class again. The child then becomes more focused in work and emerges more obedient with a special love for her or the directress who employs this method. b) Often argues with adults – Because ODD children like to argue with adults, they should be steered away from such opportunities. Since the directress is usually a silent observer, ODD children will be given less opportunities to argue, and more opportunities to focus on their work. c) Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ request or rules – Montessori classroom has only a few rules. d) Often deliberately annoys people e) Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior f) Often touchy or easily annoyed by others Classroom Suggestions in Keeping with the Montessori Approach: a) Walk-by reinforcement – a brief positive comment or tap as the teacher walks by Minimizes the need for the student to publicly respond and reduces the chance of the student negatively engaging teacher b) Whispering: Providing the student with a private, positive message gives the student the opportunity not to respond
  5. 5. c) Leaving notes: leaving note on students’ desk reduces likelihood of a negative response d) Rewards may be given but without amplifying it or giving excessive praise. – The reward in the Montessori approach is a job well done or a pat or smile from teacher……..EM Standing e) Responding in a matter-of-fact manner can remove the emotion he desires from the teacher – The Montessori teacher must always be calm…EM Standing In general, research does not support the notion that it is wise to let children act out their aggression freely. Montessori’s freedom within limits will guide the child he best technique is to provide examples of nonaggressive responses, helping the children rehearse or role-play nonaggressive behavior. Montessori’s freedom within limits sets ground rules for the II. POSITION DEFIANT DISORDER III. WITHDRAWN CHILDREN (ANXIETY) a) view friendly advances from adults with indifference or fear; usually social isolates who have few friends, seldom play with children their own age, and lack the social skills necessary to have fun – the Montessori children are encouraged to focus on work instead of on socialization with peers or with their teacher. This is beneficial for children who are socially inadept because then, they
  6. 6. won’t feel pressured to socialize. At the same time, the vertical classroom set-up enables them to be exposed to children of different ages. This is beneficial for shy children who find it easier to deal with children older or younger than themselves, as in the home set-up where siblings are usually older or younger than they. Moreover, the indirect role of the teacher makes him a non-threatening figure to the child. He does not have to worry about pleasing the teacher, for she remains… b) difficulty to meet the pressures and demands of everyday life; – *Monte children work at their own pace. They follow an individualized curriculum? that leaves them free of external pressure to succeed. They are immersed in a non-competitive environment that stresses cooperation instead of competition. This leaves the child free to focus on his work in a relaxed manner instead of feeling pressured and tense to succeed at each task. Classroom Suggestions in Keeping with the Montessori Method: a) IV. c) Arrange opportunities for the child to learn and practice appropriate responses (Ie, showing models engaging in appropriate behavior: TIME-OUT)
  7. 7. b) c) V. CONDUCT DISORDER (AGGRESSION) a) Severely aggressive children who engage in both physical and verbal aggression. They may be abusive, destructive, unpredictable, irresponsible, bossy, quarrelsome, irritable, jealous, and defiant. Engage in severe behaviors (ie, suffocating and settijng fires) - Montessori does not believe in punishment. Rather, she believes that work is its own reward. Naughtiness is seen as a result of deviations, a term which means the channeling of constructive energies from their true channels. No amount of punishment could set the matter right. The only remedy is to direct this energy into spontaneously chosen work. Hence, what teacher must do is to encourage the child to work. With children who act-out, they can be made to sit in time out for a while where they can watch the other children at work. Some of these children get bored and ask to go back to work while others. Others become interested in what the teacher is saying, such in circle time… b) Engage in anti-social acts – Montessori is concerned not only with the training of the senses, but also in the development of the psychic life of the child. She believed in the innate goodness of the child’s spirit, and that deviance is only acquired through the
  8. 8. actions and examples of the adults surrounding the child. True enough, children who engage in anti-social acts usually come from families whose parents have their own problems and stresses such as marital discord, psychiatric problems such as depression, or unemployment. It is also brought about when the adult fails to limit the child’s liberty by allowing him to watch violence in television and have unlimited, unguarded access to the internet. To ensure the child’s psychical phenomena of growth, Montessori strongly believed that teachers must prepare the “environment” in a definite manner, and from this environment, offer the child the external means directly necessary for him to develop inner order and give him the means necessary for his internal nourishment. This is accomplished by allowing the child the freedom to choose the materials he wishes to work on and allowing the child to focus on his work for as long as he is able, without leaving it unfinished. This is also accomplished by setting the ground rules for the child to follow, rules that shall aid the common good of the community, for a child who is ordered shall follow his inner being, and not act contrary to the common good. Examples of such rules are as follows… Indeed, Montessori teachers are encouraged to respect the child’s rhythm of life, a rhythm that the child will discover in himself through external … such as the prepared environment, an insistence of liberty within limits, and so on./…? c) Accompanying problems may be ADHD and poor school adjustment – The belief that the inability of the child to focus for very long has been refuted time and again in Montessori classrooms worldwide. For her part, Maria Montessori observed a little girl of three entirely absorbed in a set of solid insets. She repeated the
  9. 9. exercise forty-four times and remained undistracted even when the children were called upon by Montessori to sing. When at last she ceased, it was not due to any distracting stimuli, but of her independent will. She looked around with a satisfied air, almost as if awakening from a refreshing nap. This is in stark contrast to children who flit from one activity to another. The Montessori materials are designed in such a way as to enable the child to concentrate for long periods of time without getting tired. It is a remedy to a child’s inattention. 1) Prepared environment: organized work in freedom • Flexible • Free from interruption Silence Classroom Suggestions in Keeping with the Montessori Approach: a) Do not allow children to act out their aggression freely. b) Provide examples or models of nonaggressive responses to aggression-provoking circumstances c) ? Help the child rehearse or role-play nonaggressive behavior d) Provide reinforcement for nonaggressive behavior ** e) Prevent the child from obtaining positive consequences for aggression f) Punish aggression in ways that involve as little counteraggression as possible (e.g., using time-out for brief
  10. 10. social isolation rather than spanking or yelling)**MONTE timeout VIGNETTES thru puppets TABLE of Class Exercise Write M for Myth and F for Fact for each of the following: 2) Individualized methodology • Use of self-teaching materials • Indirect role of teacher 3) Prepared environment: organized work in freedom • Flexible • Free from interruption SEE MAM’S THESIS, AND FIVE OTHER THESIS