Human Tendencies

To effectively facilitate education for developing minds educators and adults must regard the child as an individualistic extension of themselves.

The Montessori Philosophy includes all appropriate aspects of Physical, Psychological, Physiological, Mental, Emotional, and Social principles that facilitate holistic development in children. The Montessori Method of Education is more than just a revolutionary pedagogical tool. 

In the span of over 50 years, Dr. Maria Montessori meticulously developed a system of education that integrated three integral aspects: the child, the teacher, and the environment. One of the salient features of Montessori’s Philosophy is the theory of “Human Tendencies”.  

These tendencies are exhibited by individuals and can be capitalized to facilitate effective as well as optimal education. 

Dr. Maria Montessori along with Mario Montessori observed that children exhibit certain periods of noticeable behaviors with regard to psychological, physical as well as intellectual changes.

In “Human Tendencies” (1957) a book that was written by Dr. Maria Montessori in collaboration with Mario Montessori these distinct elements of human psychology help the child reach their optimum potential. 

What are Human Tendencies in Montessori Philosophy? 

In the Montessori Philosophy, these distinct tendencies are analogous to certain behaviors portrayed by animals.

Human Tendencies are the basic human driving force that is inculcated in every human. These tendencies govern human perceptions, determine human actions, behavior, and help the individual explore the environment that aids human adaptions in the world.

These tendencies are possessed by the child potentially from birth and are enforced by the individual at required times. 

Upon discovering these tendencies in conjunction with Periods of Sensitivity one might be able to lay down the integral and permanent foundation on which education can help the child reach optimum potential.

The Human Tendencies:

According to Dr. Maria Montessori, Human Tendencies are universal in all humans regardless of time, culture, or region and are often omnipotent during the initial six years of the child’s life.

While all these human tendencies are compiled in a list, these tendencies are better understood as complex interrelated systems that cannot be fragmented. 

These Human Tendencies are mentioned below:

  1. Exploration:

Every human has the natural tendency of curiosity which helps the human explore and understand the surrounding environment.

Exploration is the first stage of adaptation. The Montessori Method of education provides the child with an appropriate environment to cater to the child’s natural curiosity. 

  1. Exactness:

Exactness is a necessary tendency for human survival. Humans exhibit the natural ability to be precise, accurate, or correct. With the help of Exactness, individuals are capable of maintaining stability as well as preventing accidents.

The Montessori method of education provides children with the opportunity to perform recurrent activities to reach the point of exactness.  

  1. Order:

Order is a critical Human Tendency that helps the individual collect, classify, and organize experiences as well as knowledge in a systematic manner. There are two main categories of Order: Internal Order and External Order.

The tendency of order brings stability and security in humans as well as helps them predict future outcomes. It is essential for the child to internalize the tendency of order to help understand complex concepts like logical thinking and sequence.

The Montessori Method of Education provides children with a structured, systematic, and ordered prepared environment

  1. Orientation:

Orientation often follows up after the stage of Exploration. The tendency of Orientation refers to the ability to orient oneself with the acquired knowledge of new situations.

Orientation is essentially the process of understanding the acquired knowledge, organizing the point of reference, and understanding one’s footing in the environment. 

  1. Manipulation:

There is a significant difference between learning and performing. The Tendency of Manipulation in Montessori often refers to the ability to maneuver objects.

The tendency of Manipulation is the ability to touch and maneuver the objects present in the surrounding environment. The child often learns manipulation in conjunction with the tendency of exploration and orientation.

The Montessori Method of education provides children with tangible objects and materials to acquire knowledge.   

  1. Communication:

Communication is the natural desire to express, exchange, and comprehend one’s thoughts with other humans.

The concept of communication is divided into three categories: reading, writing, and speaking. The Montessori Method of education provides children with an appropriate curriculum, language activities, and materials to enhance their communication skills. 

  1. Activity/Movement:

Activity is one’s desire to move around. To perform any physical activity or movement the individual has to utilize both body and mind. The Montessori Method of education provides children with an open environment to promote the effective development of movement and activity. 

  1. Work:

The tendency of work is in conjunction with the tendency of activity and the tendency of manipulation. Humans have the natural desire to indulge in productive, goal-orientated activities to improve in life. This tendency often intensifies as the individual moves toward adulthood. 

  1. Abstraction and creativity:

Abstraction is the third stage of the learning process. The human tendency of abstraction is the ability to comprehend complex concepts that are beyond concrete and generalized ideas. This tendency develops in children after they are familiarized with concrete concepts and experiences.

The education of concrete experiences is often facilitated by the tendencies of order, orientation, and exploration.

  1. Repetition:

Practice does make perfect. Repetition is the tendency to repeat tasks in order to achieve perfection, increase control, and understand the surrounding environment. The human tendency of repetition helps the child develop a sense of focus and purpose.

The Montessori Method of education provides children with appropriate materials that promote repetition. 

  1. Self-Perfection:

Humans have the natural tendency to establish and impose self-discipline. It is essential for humans to develop the tendency of self-perfection in order to achieve satisfaction.   

Why is Acknowledging Human tendencies important? 

Human Tendencies take account of the individual’s survival, development, and security. Whether it is communication, shelter, activities, or movement these tendencies play an integral part in the development of an individual.

The Montessori Method of education provides children with a prepared environment that caters to developing and responding to these tendencies. 

The theory of human tendencies should not be accounted as void, as they are repeatedly observed behaviors accounted for in science. If these tendencies are not catered many also have the characteristic to manifest. 

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