All children possess agency. In fact, they Are agency. It’s baked in.
Agency is simply an intuitive awareness that we all can initiate, execute, and control our actions to construct personal and authentic ideas of self. Anyone who has been around children knows that they come equipped with this uncanny, unlearned agency, will, or urge to understand who they are. And they do.
From birth, they naturally self-propel themselves from just potential towards fulfillment. They learn a lot very quickly. They are hardwired to do so. They just need guidance and love. To assist, become more of a guide on the side and less a sage on the stage.
Agency means acting out of one’s own volition. And since children know how to do this, they must be acting through a Cognitive Process, however rudimentary.
They don’t need to learn to think. They already can. They just have to be helped with the ‘how’ part. How to construct and fulfil, to the greatest extent possible, their potential. And helping them polish their abilities is what good ancestors have always done.
In order to better help them, an understanding of the process is valuable.
Agency is the process of self-actualization or self-realization. It’s akin to taking ownership, and we can only wonder as we see this sense of ownership – this self-recognition – happening as children mature. Discovering who they are builds confidence. Not being allowed to actualize their true self builds frustration.
“Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world.” Maria Montessori.
Agency permits children, and all of us, to use existing knowledge, to generate new knowledge, and to synthesize them both into an Ideation: an authentic, personal, and justified viewpoint. It’s how we make meaning. And it always involves questioning.
Questioning (theirs and yours) is the best way to unleash the child’s potential. Questioning encourages discovery through deliberate, cognitive, and purposeful striving. Discovery always results from questioning. Questioning is the sound a child’s mind makes when it is thinking. As Maria Montessori noted, “We teachers can only help the work going on.”
Questioning always results in an Ideation. And children must be allowed to deliberately Ideate if they want to exercise their superpowers to first decide on a path, and then to commit to a course of action based on the values and preferences the cognitive process has helped them develop.
Here is an example of how to unleash children’s potential using the Terego Ideation Method™. The video’s subject is “Why Does Math Matter?” But the subject could be anything, the method still works across all subjects and all ages.
Download your Terego Ideation Method™ Certification workbook and get started today. It’s FREE. It is a guaranteed way for anyone to Think Things Through Thoroughly. That way you can help futureproof anyone, children especially.
See Tim Seldin, President of the Montessori Foundation, explain why Maria Montessori would approve of the Terego Ideation Method™.
Thanks for reading, and please share with other teacher and parent friends.