CHILDREN: Geniuses, Montessori, and the Creative Child of the New World.
February 08, 2018
4 February 2018
I’m regularly writing about THE MONTESSORI METHOD. How I came to do it is truly serendipitous, yet sweet divine meddling, considering my beliefs about life, worthiness & living joyously. I get so excited when I find more ways to honour Maria Montessori’s wish: “The highest honour and the deepest gratitude you can pay me is to turn your attention from me in the direction in which I am pointing – The Child” (9th International Montessori Congress – London – 1951)
I came across this TEDx Talk of Dr. George Land about his research on creativity & the human potential, pointing to the child. It also supports a question:
- “What are we educating our children for?”
- “What does the world require from future generations?”
In the presentation Dr. Land explains why we as a human race are busy running into a crisis in finding answers to critical matters on our planet. Adults are not coming up with CRITICAL CREATIVE solutions for these issues. We’ve lost our ability to use our imagination.
Somehow, along the way from being highly imaginative young beings, older children & adults lose that ability. Why? The answer is clear - education.
Current school systems prevent children from expressing & developing their creativity as individuals. Historically the systems put in place were to prepare, shape and ‘discipline’ the masses for work in various industries mainly as labourers & customer related jobs. Productivity & Profit are the key words. Individuality, creativity and brilliance are not required or encouraged. “Just do as you are told and follow the rules” imprisoned generations in fear based lives and thinking small.
What’s the Problem?
When it comes to Critical Thinking, children are taught to apply both Divergent (flow) & Convergent (brake) thinking AT THE SAME TIME. Not a very good idea when you’re flooring the accelerator of your car and decide to brake at the same time. One doesn’t get far, yes?
My dad frequently says that he builds these beautiful castles in the sky & instead of painting them; my Mom kicks holes in the walls, being the “voice of realism” – spoiling all the fun.
Applying Convergent thinking at the same time as Divergent thinking is not only a brake to creativity, it kills one’s imagination. Convergent thinking is when you evaluate, judge, criticise and censor the imagination. It’s a lower energy, looking for reasons why something won’t work; looking for the flaw, using ‘past experience’ as one’s guidance to the ‘right way’ and thus replicating the past, while expecting different results from the same old models.
Trying to use these different parts of the brain AT THE SAME TIME creates a “boxing match” between neurons and diminishes the power of the brain. It causes chemical imbalances that demotivate, depress and demoralize the individual to become fearful, timid, over cautious & unadventurous, bored, even lazy and shy. – All it creates are “donuts” on the tarmac.
When you use your imagination, dreaming up new possibilities, creativity is soaring freely, bringing infinite possibilities to mind. In terms of energy, it is a high frequency activity. It’s being in a place of inspiration, of staying in the question, dreaming, playing, visualizing ones creations and having fun. It builds self-esteem, confidence & manifests as desire and interest.
The world is constantly evolving, calling us to apply our gift of IMAGINATION to THRIVE and inspire us to stay abreast with changes & prevent repeating mistakes of the past.
I’d like to quote Einstein at this point who said:
- “Imagination is more important than knowledge”;
- “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be MORE intelligent, read them MORE fairy tales”
- “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
- “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Mindful living guides toward staying in the question, asking some “What if” questions too; to not expect an “ANSWER” to your question but to rather allow infinite possibilities to present itself to you and your innate KNOWING to guide you to the solution that would contribute to the good of all. Somehow, in allowing the Imagination to flow, “what won’t work” sorts itself out, without having to “GO THERE” deliberately. Being in the flow leads one intuitively to the choice that works ‘for everyone”.
The Montessori Method creates just such an environment where children learn and practice their innate creativity without being stymied.
Next: What ARE the top skills companies require from employees & how does it fit in with a Montessori Education?