Freedom and Choice

“To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom.” - Maria Montessori

Freedom and choice within a Montessori context is not freedom for children to do whatever they like, whenever they like. Freedom is freedom with boundaries. An analogy of a river can be used to describe what freedom should look like in a Montessori classroom.

Imagine sitting on a warm, sunny day beside a beautiful river, with the water running freely over the rocks. This is like the beauty of a child, working freely on work they had chosen themselves from their individual program and how beautiful it is to sit quietly and observe this deep concentration. Then imagine the raging torrent and destructive force of a river in flood; how it breaks its banks and sweeps everything before it, destroying everything in its wake. This force can be likened to the child in a classroom that has no boundaries (no banks like the river in flood). A river, contained within its banks is a thing of peace, of beauty, but a river which breaks free from its banks is destructive and negative.

If we think about the child in this context, they are a beautiful thing when guided and contained, with respectful boundaries in place so they know what is expected of them. In the case of a child who has no boundaries, no rules, they become disruptive, lack concentration and we do not see the beauty within.

Beechworth Montessori School aims to:

  • Promote each child’s health – socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually.
  • Protect children with a promotion within the school community of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Embed health, safety and physical activity in the educational program.