Joy is one of the hallmarks of Montessori education. Montessori’s fulfillment of the child’s needs for choice, full engagement, fine focus, extreme effort, and long concentration on a chosen challenge brings forth development of skills, acquisition of knowledge, increase in self-confidence, expansion of legitimately based self-worth, and joy – always joy!

Joy: A Subject Schools Lack – The Atlantic

“I’m a mother of three, a teacher, and a developmental psychologist. So I’ve watched a lot of children—talking, playing, arguing, eating, studying, and being, well, young. Here’s what I’ve come to understand. The thing that sets children apart from adults is not their ignorance, nor their lack of skills. It’s their enormous capacity for joy. Think of a 3-year-old lost in the pleasures of finding out what he can and cannot sink in the bathtub, a 5-year-old beside herself with the thrill of putting together strings of nonsensical words with her best friends, or an 11-year-old completely immersed in a riveting comic strip. A child’s ability to become deeply absorbed in something, and derive intense pleasure from that absorption, is something adults spend the rest of their lives trying to return to.”

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“Joy should not be trained out of children or left for after-school programs. The more difficult a child’s life circumstances, the more important it is for that child to find joy in his or her classroom. “Pleasure” is not a dirty word. And it’s not antithetical to the goals of K-12 public education. It is, in fact, the sine qua non.”


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