Monday, March 30, 2009
Control of error.
I have been thinking about control of error. While the children work, the material itself is guiding them to success. Something they can perceive will not be in harmony until the work is completed correctly. The materials are auto-didactic because they have an embedded control of error, this is what allows for the great measures of independence present in a Montessori classroom.
But what are the controls of error for the adult?
The children surely are the most important controls of error for the adult. The harmony present in the group, the levels of concentration, the depth of the work, if there is joy and some peace existing in the group. And our material is the environment, it is our tool to inspire and guide the children.
The parent community. My trainer insisted on making sure that as teachers we understood that the parents are our customers and ultimately we are offering a service to them. Their satisfaction with the program and their trust in it are controls of error.
Our own sense of harmony. When the work is too hard something must be wrong.
I am inspired watching a child manipulating a material that is presenting some challenge. Turning it over, upside-down, trying again, removing some pieces, adding new ones, starting over, applying some pressure, trying from a different angle, taking a break, even asking for help when the struggle is too great.