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2022/03/07
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Teachers are distinguished by their quality, and the fundamental quality that makes the difference is their capacity for observation. This ability, the capacity to observe, can only be developed one way -- through practice. When you begin to observe, your observations are either too sparse or filled with every detail. Observation improves as we practice it. It needs to become systematic and meaningful.
You will also need to develop certain personal qualities if you are to observe well. Patience is required, for one may need to look and wait for a long time before seeing anything of consequence. Humility is required, for nothing is too small to absorb attention. It is the little things that become important to note, not the grand changes. Once something is obvious, it is already established in the child. We must also work at having no preconceptions. It is important to suspend judgment when observing children, to write what we see, without making assumptions.
Sustained experience is essential. The more we look, the more we see. Experience gives us the capacity to recognize what is significant and what is not. This takes time. In the beginning we are unable to distinguish between every action and significant action on the part of the child. No one can teach you this. There is no manual. It comes only with sustained and repeated experience and is a skill that may be some years in developing.
Objectivity is also required: to record what we see, and only when the collection of what we see on a daily basis forms a grander picture fo we begin to notice that our observations are not purely practical but have a spiritual dimension to them because through collecting information, incontrovertible, over time, we become aware that we are observing the inner life of the child.
Lastly, we must have faith. We must believe that children have the powers within them which, given favorable circumstances, will allow them to be the masters of their own self-construction. For if we do not truly believe that they are able to do this for themselves, we shall never be able to give them the freedom to do so.
If we do not have faith in the powers that lie within the child, we will believe that everything depends upon, or is generated by, us, and this is too great a burden. If we are unable to make this leap of faith, to have faith in the child, to have faith that they will attach themselves to those things that they need from the environment, then we may just give up searching and miss those first tentative steps that lead a child to fix attention upon some activity.
-- From "The NAMTA Journal Vol. 24, No. 1"
老師因擁有素質而優秀,最基礎而關鍵的素質就是觀察。只有一種方法能培養觀察的能力——練習。剛開始觀察時,要不就是遺漏太多東西,要不就是看重太多細節。越多練習,我們就越會觀察。觀察應當要更加系統化且富有意義。
要精進觀察能力,需要培育幾項素養。耐性是必要的,因為你可能需要觀看、等候很長一段時間,才能看到真正重要的事情。謙虛也是必要的,因為沒有任何事是「微不足道」。芝麻綠豆大的小事情才具有重大意義,而非那些劇烈的變化。因為孩子身上的明顯表現,其實源於深埋孩子心中的根。我們也必須力求不抱成見。觀察孩子時務必不帶推論地如實寫下所見,而不要急著評斷。
長期經驗是必要的。我們看越久,就看到越多。經驗讓我們有能力辨認哪些是重要的事情,哪些不是。這需要時間。一開始,我們無法分辨孩子身上發生的所有事情中,哪些是特別重要的。沒有人能教你怎麼做。這項素質沒有課本可以學。要培養這項技巧,只能倚仗多年長期反覆累積的經驗。
客觀也是必要的:紀錄我們的所見。當我們每天蒐集的內容累積成大幅的圖畫時,我們才能開始注意到自己的觀察也包含孩子心靈層面的運作。觀察越久,我們越能留意到孩子的內在生命。
最後,我們必須要有信心。我們必須相信孩子有內在能力,可以在適宜的環境中建構起自我。因為如果我們不是真的相信他們能夠自己做到這件事,我們就不會提供孩子這麼做的自由。
如果我們對孩子的內在力量缺乏信心,我們就會相信所有事情都是我們的責任,這個負擔太過沉重了。如果我們無法跨出這信心的一步,相信孩子,相信他們能自己從環境中找到需要的東西,我們就會放棄尋找並忽略了孩子對某項活動展露的興致,以及孩子試圖專注於某項活動的嘗試。

——節錄、翻譯自《北美蒙特梭利教師期刊 Vol. 24, No. 1》
 

 

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