精读蒙特梭利经典之《The secret of childhood》(一)

Preface

Today's problems with regard to youth and childhood are the most patent proof that teaching is not the most important part of education. Yet the delusion persists that adults form the man through their teaching of the child.

今天关于儿童和青少年的问题非常明显地证明了在教育问题上所谓的“教”并不是最重要的部分。可是人们仍然坚持一种幻觉,认为是成人对孩子的教导把他们塑造成人。

Actually,education which consists mostly of direct teaching often impedes rather than helps natural human development. The early years are useless for the transmission of culture; therefore the first part of life is disregarded. But those apparently useless years are most fundamental, for during that period an astounding phenomenon takes place: the creation of a human psyche and the development of human behavior.The child learns to function independently, to manipulate, to walk,to talk,to think and to direct himself through his will. The process takes place not because adults teach but because the child creates.

慢慢地,由直接的教为主的教育变成妨碍而不是帮助人类的发展。由于出生早期对文化传承看起来没什么用处,所以这段时期被人们彻底忽视了。但是事实上,这些看似无用的岁月其实是最基础的,因为在这段时期,一个令人震惊的现象发生了:人类心智的创造性和行为的发展性。儿童学会了构建独立性,学会控制,学会走路,学会说话,学会思考,学会通过自己的意愿来指导行为。这个过程的发生不是由于成人的教导,而是儿童依靠自身的创造性。

The process remained mysterious until, aided by the intuition of one who loves truly, Dr.Maria Montessori penetrated into the hidden realm of the child's psyche and revealed it. The children who made this revelation possible came from the lowest strata of society; they were tearful, frightened and shy,yet greedy, violent, possessive and destructive. Gradually, as their psychic needs were fulfilled, they underwent such an extraordinary transformation that the press of the time wrote of " converted children." The witnessing of this spiritual phenomenon changed Dr.Montessori's life. It is true that the children learned writing spontaneously at four and a half years, but what was really important was their changed behavior.Man is not made of culture alone; there is something much more essential. If this part continues to be disregarded and emphasis put only on culture, the more advanced man becomes, the more dangerous he will be. Man has discovered flight, he has discovered atomic energy, but he has failed to discover himself.

这个过程一直是神秘的,直到玛丽亚·蒙特梭利博士凭着爱的直觉辅助,潜心钻研儿童的隐藏心智并逐渐揭开神秘的面纱。使这些发现成为可能的孩子们来自社会的最底层。他们充满悲伤、害怕、羞怯,另一方面又贪婪、暴力、充满占有欲和破坏性。慢慢地,随着孩子们的心理需要得到满足,他们经历了一个非同寻常的转变过程,成为了“转化的孩子”,对整个精神转化现象的目睹改变了蒙特梭利博士的生活。一个事实是孩子们在四岁半左右的年龄自发学会了书写,更重要的事实是孩子们行为的转变。人不单单是知识文化造就的,这里有更本质的东西存在。如果这部分仍然被忽视,知识文化被过分强调,人类文明越往前发展,就会变得越危险。人类发明了飞机,发现了原子能,但是却没能发现自身的秘密。

Herein lies the real value of Dr.Montessori's contribution. To illustrate the radiance of the emerging souls of the children, she undertook a campaign that lasted all her life. After her death the Association Montessori Internationale continued her task with congresses and study conferences, by establishing Montessori societies and training courses. If children are to be given the aid they need, people must be trained. As time went on training centers were established in Ceylon, Denmark, England, Eire,France,Germany,India,Pakistan,Switzerland, and the United States. The people trained spread out to all continents, to the old and the new nations.

本书中蕴含着蒙特梭利博士的贡献的真正价值。为了阐明儿童那新兴的灵魂中的光辉,她用尽一生承担起一场运动。在她死后国际蒙特梭利联合协会继承了她的使命,建立了许多蒙特梭利联合组织和培训课程。如果要为儿童提供他们成长所需要的协助,人们必须接受培训。随着时间的推移,越来越多的培训中心在锡兰、丹麦、英国、爱尔兰、法国、德国、印度、巴基斯坦、瑞士和美国成立。受过培训的人们分散到世界各地,分散到各个老牌和新兴国家。

But Dr.Montessori's books remain the most effective instrument of the Association, and this first American translation of the Association, and this first American translation of The secret of childhood is a very welcome addition indeed---for our work in all the English speaking countries, but especially in the United State. For here a number of schools use Montessori only as a teaching method. Here also, many people maintain that this is what Dr.Montessori meant.They disregard what she most have often thought this notion should refuted because of the confusion it causes, but where can one find a person to speak with sufficient authority?

但是蒙特梭利本人的著作仍然是协会使用的最权威的工具。这个最初的英文版的《儿童之秘》非常受欢迎,尤其在讲英语的国家,尤其是美国。在这儿许多学校仅仅把蒙特梭利作为一种教学方法,而且他们还坚称这是蒙特梭利自己的意思。他们忽视了她经常认为这个观念应该被推翻。但是我们上哪去找一个足够权威的人来反驳呢?

Here is the answer.Let Maria Montessori speak for herself.

这里就是答案。就让我们听玛利亚·蒙特梭利自己来说吧。

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