New Beings Are In Creation
By Judy Kline-Venaleck, Associate Head of School and Huntsburg Campus Director
“The child is endowed with unknown powers, which can guide us to a radiant future. If what we really want is a new world, then education must take as its aim the development of these hidden possibilities.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Montessori regarded the period of adolescence as a time of great vulnerability. She compared the years of early adolescence (ages 12-15) to the first three years of life. Just as the infant requires careful attention and diligence, so too does the young adolescent. For both stages of development, and as author Paula Polk-Lilliard writes…”a new being is in creation…”.
Living through the COVID-19 pandemic and navigating our societal (and political) climate seems to be metaphorically mirroring the development of the adolescent. Just as the adolescent is seeking to join society, many adults in our current social landscape are also feeling the push and pull of how to navigate a transition. Dr. Montessori stated that adolescence is a period of self-construction and they are seeking to “understand people’s behavior in the world as a whole…”
As adolescents are on their journey of seeking this understanding, it is the job of the guide, the teacher, the mentor and the parent to appropriately respond to the questions. HOW we respond matters. And within the response lies the opportunity to provide space, present possibilities and create safety for these young adults to continue to seek the answers in making sense of the world. And ultimately, this allows them to find the courage and confidence to share their own viewpoints and voice.