Das Godly Play-Konzept
Die Rezeption der Montessori-Pädagogik durch Jerome W. Berryman
1. Edition 2008
Arbeiten zur Religionspädagogik -
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Topic: The American religious educator Jerome W. Berryman offered a theoretical outline geared to practical experience in organizing religious instruction in his book “Godly Play. An Imaginative Approach to Religious Education“ (1991).
Since the religious educator Jerome W. Berryman consciously sees himself as standing in the tradition of Montessori pedagocics, I initially consider it to be important to investigate the fundamental views of Maria Montessori. I will show Montessori’s pedagogical ‘realm of thought’ and her connection to religious and theological ways of thinking.
Berryman’s mode of operation offers a very creative handling of most diverse findings and factors. Not only were thoughts from the Montessori method incorporated but also reflections on the theory of play, thoughts of the British pediatrician and psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott, approaches to creation and theology, philosophical reflexions on language, descriptive creative work, thoughts on creativity and imagination, and, last but not least, story telling.
In conclusion specific places of learning in school and parish were investigated. What impulses stem from the ‚Godly Play’ or rather Montessori pedagogics that are relevant to the current religious pedagogical situation?
Method: In attempting to understand the Montessori pedagogue Berryman and his concept of ‚Godly Play’ I tried to clarify his attitude with respect to Maria Montessori or rather the subsequent Montessori pedagogics. This mode of operation includes a (comparative) historical perspective.
When working on and with texts you find yourself in the wide field of hermeneutics. Hermeneutics searches for general rules, with the help of which texts are understood and interpreted. After all, texts are created in their own language, in a specific era and are associated with the imaginary world of the author.
The reader as ‚recipient’ of a text plays an active role in claiming the meaning of the text. The author ‚let go’ of ‚his’ text when putting it down on paper, he can no longer insist on what the text means for the respective reader and for every reader it has a different meaning. The reader has to find and understand the meaning of the text anew.
However, the reader can not appropriate an author by means of his texts, he can merely draw nearer, but he can never understand him entirely. Comprehension remains partial and open.