TRUE FREEDOM AS FREEDOM FOR CREATIVITY AND PRODUCTIVENESS OR 'WORK':

                                                                             THE PSYCHOLOGICAL VALUE OF MEANINGFUL WORK                          

theme: Holistic education is 'responsible education' for 'responsible freedom' for natural educational goals as the freedom for creativity and productiveness or 'work'.  Natural work behaviour is a  particularly human phenomenon which represents the medium for oneness... connectedness with the environment and the reality of life. Work is meaningful if it engages the development of personality integration... or 'wholeness'. Through the medium of meaningful work the person grows in psychological maturity. This is the 'psychological value' of work. Fulfillment of human potentiality and achievement of integration with oneself and one's environment...  happiness.

"Child play is the child's work... Children who have been prevented from developing fully often show character traits that disappear when they become normalized through work; a common one is possessiveness. In the normalised child his freedom to take interest in all kinds of things leads to his focusing his attention not on the things themselves but on the knowledge he derives from them". (Maria Montessori. The Absorbent Mind page 219)   
 

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traditional education as education for control and manipulation ... 

work as work behaviour, a natural aspect of human behaviour...

             meaningful work as expression of connectedness...   

             motivation for work as source of happiness...    

             work is functional in development of 'conscience'...

             critical periods or 'sensitive periods'...  

             paying attention to one's environment or 'curiosity'...

The striving towards self-realization is genetically based...  

             work which does not engage development of the personality is meaningless work ...

responsible education...

implications for education...

  Traditional teaching paradigm as irresponsible education for control and manipulation:  'banking education'.  In the traditional teaching paradigm, education is confused with task-oriented or objective learning i.e. 'schooling'. Teaching methods involve the use of external motivating devices such as punishment/reward systems of evaluation such as 'grades and 'grade averages'.  Students are coerced into patterns of learning for external ... goals... and objective tasks or 'learning outcomes'. Such extrinsically motivated learning or 'extrinsic motivation' inhibits the free use of creative energy and productiveness or meaningful work... inhibits 'free will'...  'freedom'Denial of freedom inhibits development of personality integration in the realisation of human potential i.e. 'self-realisation' or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualisation depends on freedom for effective learning and self-initiated meaningful work driven by the need for personal integrity and spiritual independence i.e. 'self-transcendance'Consequently teaching for external purposes is not functional in personal development and moral failure and subsequent irresponsiblility of behaviour

 Work as 'work behaviour' is a characteristicaly human phenomenon. Work behaviour is a natural aspect of human behaviour. The human capacity for work is an aspect of human behaviour which is closely related to the development of the personality i.e. 'personal development'. Work is the medium for oneness with the environment. Work represents one's connection with the environment and the reality of life. Work behaviour is functional within the context of of natural educational goals. In the context of goals work is functional in personal growth and development. The ability to work is an important aspect of the individual throughout life... succeeding by one's own efforts and at the same time being in contact with the reality of life which work represents, enhances the integrity of the personality.

Work which involves the total personality is 'meaningful work' and has psychological value.

  "Man's purpose in life is to improve his lot.... This requires an intrinsic relation between himself and his environment.... Man discovers that it is only through his own activity with his intelligence, his hands and his tools that he can change his environment to meet his survival needs..Work is a human phenomenon. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the human personality...work and personality development are interrelated. Work is one of the main spheres of human behavior. Work is an adaptive, creative, and a social function par excellence.." (Maria Montessori)

Work which engages the total personality and involves the development of human potentialities is authentic, productive and creative or 'adaptive' and therefore 'meaningful'. Work is 'meaningful' if it engages the personality as a whole and is functional in personal growth and development of human potentiality.If work does not involve the total personality, then it is not functional in personal development. It is considered to have little 'formative' value and becomes meaningless.

 Normalisation through work... Work is a natural aspect of human behaviour which is closely related to the development of the personality... functional in personal growth and development i.e. normal growth or 'normalisation'... Work is a fundamental feature of the human being as a species, and an adaptive, creative, and social function.... It is one of the main spheres of human behavior. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the personality with which it is interrelated. Work behavior in the development of the personality is functional within the context of goals.

 With work which is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. If children, and adults, behave irresponsibly, the fault lies not with them but with the 'education' which they have been offered. Work is the medium for oneness with the environment. Work represents one's connection with the environment and the reality of life. The integrity of the personality is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts at the same time as being in contact with the reality of life which work represents.  Meaningful work represents harmonious contact with the reality of life i.e. contentment derived from personal achievement or 'happiness'. Happiness in work is the expression of the individual's creative and productive interaction with the immediate environment. As an aspect of human behaviour which represents connectedness or oneness with the environment, work behaviour is an expression of 'adaptability'. Meaningful work is the expression of connectedness with the environment necessary for responsiveness to change... successful adaptation or 'adaptability'. Human adaptability depends on psychologicallly valuable work...  'work with love'. Meaningful work has psychological value because it is relevant to life. Adaptability through work is a characteristic of 'mental health'. The healthy or 'normalised' - 'normal' - personality expresses itself in the freedom of its work activity. The individual's attention is engaged to such a degree that their whole personality is involved and the work becomes a free expression of their true nature i.e. 'human nature'. Human nature is defined by the human motives for learning or 'human needs'. These include the 'spiritual needs' for spiritual growth i.e. 'metaneeds'. Metaneeds are functional in the process of natural spiritual growth and development which occurs with meaningful work. This 'psychological value of work' involves development of the total personality.

 Meaningful work is based on optimal functioning of the brain i.e. 'optimal learning' or 'optimalearning'.

 "The 'normalized' child's activities of work (are) related to the inner construction of the personality. The motivation to learn derives from this source. Teaching which corresponds to this motivation is functional in the child's development. The child's response is the best guide for the teacher. The child's interest and concentration indicates the extent of effectiveness of the teaching methodology in opractice. The child loses motivation when the work is directed to an external goal.

 "The first essential for the child's development is concentration. It lays the whole basis for his character and social behavior. He must find out how to concentrate, and for this he needs things to concentrate upon. This shows the importance of his surroundings, for no acting on the child from outside can cause him to concentrate. Only the child can organize his own psychic life. None of us can do it for him. It is is here that the importance of our schools lies. They are places in which the child can find the kind of work that permits him to do this."(The Absorbent Mind p.222)
 

  "What is to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads pulled from your heart, as if your beloved were to wear this cloth. It is to build a house with affection, as if your beloved were to live in this house. It is to sow the seeds with tenderness and gather the harvest with joy, as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to put in all things that you make, a breath of your own spirit." (Kahlil Gibran The Prophet 1883-1931)

Personality development is a function of the development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. 

Normal growth or 'normalisation' results from work which is meaningful because it engages personality growth and development of 'moral consciousness' or 'conscience' i.e. 'moral development'.

Conscience is the source of 'human values' which define the nature of the human personality or 'human nature'. Development of conscience is required for normal socialisation i.e. 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence depends on education for growth and development of the human potential for intelligence as 'creative intelligence'. Creative intelligence is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts of creativity and productivity or 'work'.

Conscience is a function of the integrity of the personality which is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts or meaningful 'work'. Meaningful work ('labour of love') is the medium of connectedness with the environment which allows for development of human potentiality and personality integration or 'normalization'. Normalization is a function of normal development through authentic work and the harmonious contact with the reality of life which it represents i.e. contentment or 'happiness'. Happiness is a function of integrity which is the prerequisite to social adaptability i.e. socialization or 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence for social adaptability depends on development of integrity through the medium of meaningful work.  This is the psychological value of work. Work which is psychologcally valuable engages the individual's attention to such a degree that their whole personality is involved. Engagement of the personality leads to meaningful work as the free expression of their nature i.e. 'human nature'... human nature in the realm of spiritual needs for spiritual growth i.e. 'metaneeds'. Metaneeds can be met on condition of fulfilment of basic physiological and psychological requirement or 'needs'. Spiritual growth is a function of spiritual development through the medium of meaningful work. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the personality, with which it is interrelated.

Function of work in the growing child: critical developmental periods or 'sensitive periods' In the growing child, motivation from within - intrinsic motivation - is manifest at certain developmental critical periods or 'sensitive periods' which end when the function of work is performed.

... in "aiding the child's development in its sensitive periods"...devise materials which would meet the recognizable needs of the child during various sensitive period ...Material added to the environment is stimulating to the child. If it has always been there it becomes part of the scenery and is not noticed...

Achieving adulthood is realizing one's potential ...achieving self-realization or 'self-actualization'.

 In the normal growth and development of the child, motivation for work is  from within or 'intrinsic' to the organism i.e. 'intrinsic motivation'. Intrinsic motivation - a biologically based function of the 'prefrontal lobes' of the human 'brain' - is particularly evident at certain critical developmental periods or 'sensitive periods' which are ended when the function of work is achieved. Work which involves the whole personality is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods.

If the sensitive periods are not hindered by inner anxieties resulting from repressive pedagogies, then the intensive attraction to the environmment continues to be mediated through the individual's authentic striving to work... the child continues to be intensively attracted to... interested in the environment...and their concentration continues to be enhanced through their authentic striving to work...

Child play is the child's 'work'. Work which involves the whole personality is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods. With meaningful work, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. This is work for growth in independence and responsibility.
Through one's connection with the environment, the individual grows to psychological maturity and fulfillment of human potentiality and achievement of happiness which is integration with oneself and one's environment

 .

 Depending on the extent to which they are allowed to pursue their own interests, children strive to become adults within the confines of Children strive to become adults in the context of the possibilities provided by their environment… within the confines of the environmental conditions the 'learning environment' or 'education' which is offered to them with which they are provided.

 Children strive for self-realization through interaction with their immediate environment through work - becoming one with their environment.  They instinctively strive to achieve their personal aims for self-realization and self-integration through meaningful work.

.Intrinsic motivation for work and happiness through self-realization is biologically based... function of the development of the human brain - specifically the prefontal lobes. The fully developed personality is a natural by product of the experience of growth and freedom within a community in which effective learning is driven by the need for self-initiated personal development toward personal integrity and spiritual maturity.

 The driving force behind this continuous motivation is rooted in the insinct for self-preservation i.e. eagerness to learn or 'curiosity'.  

 'Curiosity' as eagerness to learn is an instinctive 'learning emotion' rooted in the instinct for 'self-preservation'. Curiosity is a function of the attention on the environment in order to acquire the 'knowledge'  which can be derived from it required for effective adaptation.  Curiosity is the driving force behind continuous motivation or 'drive' which enhances the eagerness to learn. Education which  allows the individual the freedom to take an interest in the environment... which enhances their 'curiosity' is 'responsible education'.

Work which does not engage personality development is meaningless and 'non-adaptive' If work does not involve the individual's personal development, then it is not engaged in the development of potentiality and it is inauthentic and becomes meaningless. Meaningless work is inauthentic, non-creative, non-productive, irrelevant to life and therefore 'non-adaptive'Meaningless work inhibits development of integrity and encourages development of egocentrism, possessiveness, greed and other asocial character traits which disappear with 'normalisation' through authentic work.  It is meaningless work which is the source of declining motivation and the cause of the so-called 'educational crisis'.  

 The motivation for work in the process of self-actualisation is the source of happiness. Education which allows for the 'pursuit of happiness' in the freedom to work is 'responsible education' which fosters growth in independence and responsibility i.e. 'self-empowerment'. The fully 'empowered' personality is a natural product of the experience of growth and development in the context of education which allows for the freedom to work.

 "To know, to love, and to serve is the trinomial of all religions, but the child is the true maker of our spirituality. He teaches us the plan of nature for giving form to our conduct and character, a plan fully traced out in all its details of age and work, with its need for freedom and intense activity in accordance with the laws of life. What matters is not physics, or botany, or works of the hand, but the will, and the components of the human spirit which construct themselves by work. The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned." (Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind 221)

The striving towards self-realization is genetically based.

 Intrinsic motivation for work and happiness through self-realization is biologically based... function of the development of the human brain - specifically the prefontal lobes.

The fully developed personality is a natural by product of the experience of growth and freedom within a community in which effective learning is driven by the need for self-initiated personal development toward  self-realization or 'self-actualization'...  personal integrity and spiritual maturity. 
 

Children's continued development into independent and mature personalities depends on the responsible guidance of the adult...i.e. on a 'responsible education'.

    Education for self-actualisation is 'responsible education' for 'responsible freedom'

Education for the freedom to work is education for happiness derived from work as personal achievement... 'responsible education'.


 Responsible education
is education for humanity and the human values of respect for others and for one's environment. If human individuals behave irresponsibly, the fault lies with the irresponsible education which they have been offered. The recognition of the psychological value of work... the significant role of meaningful work in human psychological development is the basis for the organisation of schools for humanity.. of responsible education which is education for responsible freedom.

   Meaningful work as a highly significant factor in human development is the basis for the new teaching paradigm. Future schools 'for humanity'  offer 'responsible education' for 'responsible freedom'.  Responsible freedom  entails a sense of responsibility to oneself as well as to the community... depends on responsible education of the person as a whole or 'holistic education'. Holistic education is education for psychological, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, moral development... responsible education.

Responsible education is education for natural educational goals - the freedom to work or 'responsible freedom'. Responsible freedom is based on the psychological value of work - the kind of work which involves the development of human potentiality and the personality.

Responsible education is a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom as an independent and mature adult living by the values which are the special attributes of full personality development - the values of respect for oneself, for others and for one's environment. The effective teacher becomes 'facilitator of learning'. The teacher as facilitator is an independent and mature adult living by the values which are the special 'attributes' of full personality development. The facilitative teacher accepts the responsibilities of education as a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom with respect for others and for their environment. 

If human individuals behave irresponsibly, the fault lies not with them but with the education which they have been offered.

Implications for education... In  the context of natural educational goals, work behaviour
is functional in the development of the personality.
real aim of education is personality development through work Real aim of education is not the imparting of knowledge for the sake of the knowledge itself. Rather, it is to encourage learning, because learning is a feature of human development. The need for learning cannot be met without education. Aim of education is the proper - balanced - development of the personality.  Education - from the beginning of life - plays a fundamental role in the development of the personality.  

The integrity of the personality is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts at the same time as being in contact with the reality of life which work represents.  Pedagogical methods which take this natural striving for work into consideration are successful in helping the child reach his human potential for self-realization. Educators can help children in the natural stages of human development by offering environmental stimuli which stimulate their inner potentialities at different stages of their development. This is the psychological value of work - as the medium for oneness with the environment, the human being can grow to psychological maturity and fulfill his human potential and achieve happiness- integration with himself and his environment.

Organization of schools for humanity depends on the recognition of the psychological value of work in human psychological development. Children themselves can guide us in the planning of environments which will help them grow into mature human beings who live by the values which are the special attributes of the human organism.  

 Freedom in education means freedom to work and freedom to learn. Freedom to work requires organization. Freedom without organization is not conducive to work or to learning. Freedom to learn precludes teacher praises, prizes, punishments or corrections. Teacher interference lowers the child's energies and interests. Mistakes are functional in growth and development. Learning is a function of correcting one's own mistakes. A child naturally learns from his errors and naturally corrects his own mistakes. Errors have a function in science, the human activity of acquiring knowledge. Scientific measurements are always appproximatiions and account for margins of error. Calculation of margins of error account for the value of scientific measurement. In order to correct mistakes, one must first know how to identify them. Denial of error makes it impoosible to identify and correct mistakes. Inability to admit one's mistakes removes the possibility of improvement and correction. impossible to think rationally. Making errors is not as important as becoming aware that one is making an error. Errors which are not identified and corrected are repeated. Children in their work should have a way to identify and correct their own mistakes. Failure to correct errors results in illusion and distoted perception of reality.(Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind)

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References:

Walter Neff. Work and Human Behavior. New York: Atherton Press, 1968

Maria Montessori

Social function of work "...after primal man had discovered that it lay in his own hands, literally, to improve his lot on earth by working, it cannot have been a matter of indifference to him whether another man worked with him or against him. The other man acquired the value for him of a fellow worker, with whom it was useful to live together." (Sigmund Freud. Civilization and Its Discontents. standard ed., vol. 21, London: Hogarth Press, 1953 page 59.)



Work is a particularly human phenomenon. The human capacity for work is a natural aspect of human behaviour which is closely related to the development of the personality. If work does not involve the total personality, then it is not functional in personal development. It is considered to have little 'formative' value and becomes meaningless. Work which is meaningful involves the total personality and work which involvesthe total personality is functional in personal development. This is the psychological value of work. In the growing child, motivation from within - intrinsic motivation - is manifest at certain developmental critical periods or 'sensitive periods' which end when the function of work is performed. If the sensitive periods are not hindered by inner anxieties resulting from repressive pedagogies, then
the intensive attraction to the environmment continues to be mediated through the individual's authentic striving to work.Child play is the child's 'work'.

The 'normalized' child's activities of work (are) related to the inner construction of the personality. The motivation to learn derives from this source. Teaching which corresponds to this motivation is functional in the child's development. The child's response is the best guide for the teacher. The child's interest and concentration indicates the extent of effectiveness of the teaching methodology in opractice. The child loses motivation when the work is directed to an external goal. Teaching for external goals is not functional in the child's development. Education - from the beginning of life - plays a fundamental role in the development of the personality. Aim of education is the proper - balanced - development of the personality. Man's purpose in life is to improve his lot. This reuires an intrinsic relation between himself and his environment. Man discovers that it is only through his own activity with his intelligence, his hands and his tools that he can change his environment to meet his survival needs. "Work is a fundamental feature of the human being as a species, and an adaptive , creative, and social function par excellence....It is one of the ain spheres of human behavior. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the personality, with which it is interrelated. Work behavior in the development of the personality is functional within the context of goals. Child play is the child's work. lity is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods. With meaningful work, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. This is work for growth in independence and responsibility. Work is the medium for oneness with the environment. Work represents one's connection with the environment and the reality
of life. The integrity of the personality is enhanced by personalsuccess through personal efforts at the same time as being in contact with the reality of life which work represents. Through one's connection with the environment, the individual growsto psychological maturity and fulfillment of human potentiality and achievement of happiness which is integration with oneself and one's environment. Children strive to become adults in the context of the possibilities provided by their environment. Achieving adulthood is achieving self-realization. Children strive for self-realization through interaction with their immediate environment through work - becoming one with their environment. They strive to achieve their personal aims for self-realization... within the confines of the environmental conditions which are provided...i.e within the context of their environment. The striving towards self-realization is geneticallybased. The fully developed personality is a natural by product of the experience of growth and freedom within a community in which effective learning is driven by the need for self-initiatedpersonal development toward self-actualization or self-realization. Children's continued development into independent and
mature personalities depends on the responsible guidance of the adult...i.e. on a responsible 'education'.

Responsible education is a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom as an independent and mature adult living by the values which are the special attributes of full personality development - the values of respect for others and for one's environment. If human individuals behave irresponsibly,the fault lies not with them but with the education which they have been offered. The recognition of the psychological value of work in human psychological development is the basis for
the organization of schools for humanity.
... in "aiding the child's development in its sensitive periods"...devise materials which would meet the recognizable needs of the child during various sensitive period ...Material added to the environment is stimulating to the child. If it has always been there it becomes part of the scenery and is not noticed... "If the sensitive periods are not hindered by inner anxieties resulting from repressive pedagogies, then the intensive attraction to the environmment continues to be mediated through the individual's authentic striving to work. Motivation from within -intrinsic motivation- is manifest at certain critical periods or 'sensitive periods' which end when the function of work is performed. Pedagogical methods which take this natural striving for work into consideration are successful in helping the child reach his human potential for self-realization. Educators can help children in the natural stages of human development by offering environmental stimuli which stimulate their inner potentialities at different stages of their development. This is the psychological value of work - as the medium for oneness with the environment, the human being can grow to psychological maturity and fulfill his human potential and achieve happiness- integration with himself and his environment. Organization of schools for humanity depend on the recognition of the psychological value of work in human psychological development. Children themselves can guide us in the planning of environments which wilk help them grow into mature human beings who live by the values which are the special attributes of the human being. If the work involves their total personality, then it is helpful to their development. If the work does not involve their total personality, then it is not helpul to their development. Such work is considered to have little 'formative' value. With work which is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. If children, and adults, behave irresponsibly, the fault lies not with them but with the 'education' which they have been offered. NORMALIZATION THROUGH WORK: THE PSYSCHOLOGICAL VALUE OF WORK. Freud on work as a human phenomenon: He writes "...after primal man had discovered that it lay in his own hands, literally, to improve his lot on earth by working, it cannot have been a matter of indifference to him whether another man worked with him or against him. The other man acquired the value for him of a fellow worker, with whom it was useful to live together." (Sigmund Freud. Civilization and Its Discontents. standard ed., vol. 21, London: Hogarth Press, 1953 page 59.) Montessori gave expression to the psychological value of work. "Man's purpose in life is to improve his lot.... "This requires an intrinsic relation between himself and his environment.... "Man discovers that it is only through his own activity with his intelligence, his hands and his tools that he can change his environment to meet his survival needs. Work is a fundamental feature of the human species...Work is a human phenomenon. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the human personality...work and personality development are interrelated. Work is one of the main spheres of human behavior. Work is an adaptive, creative, and a social function par excellence.... THE PSYSCHOLOGICAL VALUE OF WORK. The ability to work is an important aspect of the individual throughout life... succeeding by one's own efforts and at the same time being in contact with the reality of life which work represents, enhances the integrity of the personality. Real aim education is not the imparting of knowledge for the sake of learning itself. Rather, it encourages learning, because LEARNING IS A FEATURE OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, a need that cannot be met without education.


 

  In the growing child, motivation from within - intrinsic motivation - is manifest at certain developmental critical periods or 'sensitive periods' which end when the function of work is performed. If the sensitive periods are not hindered by inner anxieties resulting from repressive pedagogies, then the intensive attraction to the environmment continues to be mediated through the individual's authentic striving to work. Work which involves the whole personality is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods. With meaningful work, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. This is work for growth in independence and responsibility.

  The integrity of the personality is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts Children strive to become adults in the context of the possibilities provided by their environment. Achieving adulthood is achieving self-realization. Children strive for self-realization through interaction with their immediate environment through work - becoming one with their environment. They strive to achieve their personal aims for self-realization... within the confines of the environmental conditions which are provided...i.e within the context of their environment. The striving towards self-realization is geneticallybased. The fully developed personality is a natural by product of the experience of growth and freedom within a community in which effective learning is driven by the need for self-initiatedpersonal development toward self-actualization or self-realization. Children's continued development into independent and mature personalities depends on the responsible guidance of the adult...i.e. on a responsible 'education'. Responsible education is a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom as an independent and mature adult living by the values which are the special attributes of full personality development - the values of respect for others and for one's environment. If human individuals behave irresponsibly,the fault lies not with them but with the education which they have been offered. The recognition of the psychological value of work in human psychological development is the basis for the organization of schools for humanity.