Edition 5 | September 2018

Human Tendencies

Henry with magnifying glass

Christine Wright, Director 3-6 Environment

Human Tendencies are those factors of learning, or tools that hold true for the development of the child and are developed from within the child. Those tendencies are naturally within everyone, including children. We do not put them in the children, but if we know what they are, we can support the children’s use of them.

Tendency for Exploration and Curiosity

Exploration involves the use of the senses, intellect and will to gather information about the environment. This is based on the desire to understand the environment and its elements. The first exploration is done with the eyes.

Later when the body is prepared, comes touch, movement and manipulation, smell and taste. Exploration gives children the keys to understand the world at large. Everything in the environment seems to entice the child to touch, to see, to smell, to taste, to hear and to compare. The tendency to exploration causes children to use all their senses, their intellect and their will to find out about the environment around them.

Once the child has oriented himself within the world, everything in the environment is of interest to him even the smallest and most insignificant objects, things one would imagine too small to catch his attention. The world is new and rich and ripe for exploration.

Whatever he can grasp in his hands, he tries to grasp with his mind. Whilst the child is examining the objects in the world around him, he is taking in their qualities, shapes, textures, colours, weight, size and with them constructs his mental being.

The child must adapt himself to all the objective qualities in the world in order to be able to utilise his own faculties freely. To do this, he must be able to have the freedom to gain experiences in his own way. When possible, he must be able to explore new territories and assimilate his world and the principles prevailing it.

Tendency for Curiosity

The desire to learn, or to find out about something. It is an urge. Exploration could not exist without curiosity. Maria Montessori believes “One of the normal traits of a happy human being is their desire to use intelligence and endless curiosity to kno w, to explore, and to discover new things or new ways to use familiar things”

Frank with egg and spoon

Frank with Sienna

Leo with Letters