Glasser (1969), author of Schools without Failure, strongly postulated that love and self worth may be considered the two pathways that lead to a successful identity. It is a well established fact that individuals able to develop a successful identity are those who have learned to find their way through the two pathways of love and self worth, the latter dependant upon knowledge and the ability to solve problems of life satisfactorily. For most children only two places exist where they can gain a successful identity and learn to follow the essential pathways. These places are the home and the school.
Maria Montessori, physician and educator, was well aware of the need to integrate movement and education in regard to self-actualization. Montessori stated:
- One of the greatest mistakes of our day is movement by itself, as something
apart from the higher functions...Mental development must be connected with
movement and be dependant on it. It is vital that educational theory
and practice should become informed by this idea. (1967, p.140)
Montessori earlier remarked:
- If movement is curtailed, the child's personality and sense of well being is threatened. Movement is a part of personality and nothing can take its place. The man who does not move is injured in his being and is an outcast from life. (1963, p.103)
In summary, the number of children involved in early childhood education programs in nursery schools and day care center settings is on the rise. At a time when parents are looking to early childhood education programs to ensure their child a positive educational start, there is conflict as to the changing role of the kindergarten setting. Alternative methods in education, for 3-5 year old children are needed in order to blend different levels of early educational experiences while addressing the individual needs of all children. Those who have had early childhood education opportunities and those entering kindergarten as their first educational experience need new challenges which will give each child a positive sense of self. This recent problem affords an opportunity to examine the educational needs of young children as they face a new world which requires a greater sense of self in relation to the world they will be instrumental in shaping.
At a time when creative solutions are being sought to solve many problems, it seems only fitting that encouraging and guiding thinking in young children be of top priority. Glasser strongly supported the idea that unless we can provide schools where children, through a reasonable use of their capacities, can succeed, we will do little to solve the major problems of our country. Creating environments and curriculums which encourage children to think, act, create, explore, and share with all of their sense, especially in the early stages of education, is essential for the development of creative minds. We are born with the desire to create but it must be nurtured and allowed to develop through a conscience effort on the part of educators, parents, and society. There are many ways to learn but a 3-5 year old child must be allowed to lean in the most natural, creative fashion-through movement.