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2022/03/10
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We know that children form themselves on the values that their society presents to them, yet not infrequently, they are treated like guests or outsiders and are not expected or allowed to contribute seriously to the welfare of their own society. In reality, they need, little by little, to be given responsibilities which contribute to the welfare and daily running of the family and slowly, the wider society. If this does not happen, they grow detached and feel no part of, or respect for, society.
Of course I am not advocating child labor, but I am advocating that, as in the past, children be made to feel part of the whole and learn to have a degree of responsibility for the welfare of the whole. To give you an example of what I mean, when I was young, my mother ensured that each child had the obligation to perform certain duties both in the family and in our immediate community. Even when young, I assisted the milkman with his deliveries and at the garage at the end of the road, I was the mate who passed tools to the mechanics. As we grew older, we had responsibility for more things.
Even today, in simpler societies, the little girls help with the younger children and the household tasks and the boys look after the animals. These children are not isolated but form part of their community both at home and outside.
-- From "The NAMTA Journal Vol. 24, No. 1"
孩子會根據社會提供的價值建構自我。然而,他們經常被當作客人或是外人,不被期待或允許對自己所處的社會做出實際貢獻。事實上,他們需要被一點一滴地賦予為家庭付出的責任,並漸漸變為對整體社會的付出。否則他們會逐漸脫離社會,也不再尊重社會。
我當然不是在提倡童工。我在呼籲孩子能夠像過去一樣,感覺自己歸屬於周遭的社群,學習為整體社會的福祉承擔一定程度的責任。舉例而言,小時候我媽媽會確保每個孩子都要在家裡,以及所處的社區中負起某些責任。我從很小的時候就會幫牛奶商送牛奶,也會在巷尾的車庫裡幫忙遞工具給技師。年紀越長,我們就要承擔更多的責任。
即便是現今的社會中,小女生也會協助幼童、料理家事,男孩則負責照料動物。這些孩子沒有被區隔於社會之外,反而親自參與形塑了他們所處的社會——家庭與社區。
——節錄、翻譯自《北美蒙特梭利教師期刊 Vol. 24, No. 1》
 

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