…. Identity

The question that I have had during the last weeks was how to actually define and explain identity? We all agree, that from a biological point of view, it’ s easy to define, explain or distinguish identity, your identity and the identity of another.

Yet, what intrigued me was to find a way to go further in finding the essence of identity.

First of all, I started to look for a simple way to express “identity” and ended up with the simplest way of communication… pictograms.

Would one be able to express oneself’ identity with the help of pictograms?

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So first I need to find a way to understand, decide, decide, agree … where identity comes from and how it comes about.

I had the following thought…

Identity is linked to three basic and three additional factors.

  1. EDUCATION
  2. ENVIRONMENT
  3. FAMILY

Which create

  1. VALUES
  2. PHYSIQUE
  3. ORIENTATION

 

I created n image to make it clear.

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Based upon this guideline one can understand and classify ones own identity

Now coming back to my idea of pictograms.

If I follow these guidelines, I can in the simplest way show my identity.

On a historical note, Pictograms are the first way of communication in a “written” form to one and another.

To create an image with these guides, you eventually need to invent pictograms yourself, pictograms that meet or express your need. The list of the existing ones is long; there are many that could be used.

What I liked about this topic is that you have the opportunity to go back in time. To see where written communication had it’s beginning.

You probably think, where that has something to do with identity… Well, let’s say, it underlined and helped to be able to share, tell, explain and pass on ones own experiences that are linked to one’s own identity.

All in all, the topic identity linked with the story of writing is a unique opportunity to go back in time and investigate the creation of communication, writing and how it all came to be.

The story of the coming of life, the story of the hand, the story of numbers and writing are ideal stories to re-look upon again with children to lay a foundation to tackle the concept of identity. Additional you can talk about the fundamental needs of humans which will also open different paths towards a wider understanding of human evolution and development; reasons why and decisions that one has made, is doing or will do.

This is ideal for 6th grade elementary children, 1st and 2nd grade secondary.

Understanding and placing oneself in the global picture, is key and a nice eye-opener, helping children to ask the right questions about life, from the past to the present.

Chris

The Teacher

There needs to be a profound change in the character of the adult to successfully fulfill the role of a Montessori teacher. The adult has to put aside adjectives like omnipotence, power, authority, pride and vanity.

Another aspect to put aside is the idea that the teacher, the adult can create interest. As an adult you cannot create interest, you can only awaken it and try to keep the interest alive. In other words, the interest arises from within and needs to be fanned, like the flames of a fire, to keep it burning.

Therefore the teacher must keep the ability to observe and to keep an open mind. This means that the teacher has to be able to accept to be proved to be wrong. An idea, a conviction or belief, can now and then proved to be wrong. Than, the adult, the teacher shall take it for granted and see how, where and eventually when, something went ‘wrong’.

It is only with fresh, clear minds that children may be observed as they truly are. This helps the adult, the teacher to respond to the real needs of children rather than to preconceived ideas.

The adult should be able to consciously be ready to change character to be able to serve the child in the appropriate way. When the adult allows to get trained in the technique of observation, there will come a natural help in place; “…the adult feels interest and such interest is the motive power which creates the spirit of the scientist”.

In addition to having the precision of a scientist, the teacher should also posses the spiritual qualities of a saint.

These qualities together bring joy and serenity which characterize the next teacher. When she feels herself, aflame with interest, “seeing” the spiritual phenomena of the child, and experiences a serene joy and an insatiable eagerness in observing them, then she will know that she is “initiated”. Then she will begin to become a “teacher”.”

 (1971, p. 140-141)