Education is very important especially in this day and age. What school one attends and how they perceive school to be is a huge factor in one’s life success. There has been research done in the past few years proving that students who receive a Montessori education will prosper academically more so than those who receive a traditional education (Ryniker and Shoho, 2001). Traditional schools typically follow teacher based philosophies and the Montessori education is student centered. On average, children enjoy student based philosophy classrooms. Therefore, they are much more in tuned to what they are learning and that benefits their educational career. Having fun while learning is the key to keeping children engaged.
The Montessori system of education was developed during the first half of the 1900’s by Dr. Maria Montessori as a result of her extensive research observations and experimental testing (Lillard, 2005, pp. 16-18). Dr. Montessori was of the belief that children contain an innate desire to learn and her research showed that, when given the
Inspired by the work of Itard and Seguin, two almost forgotten French doctors, Maria Montessori took the idea of scientific approach to develop her theories, principles and beliefs in early childhood education, which through observation and experimentation. All the learning activities and teaching materials are purposeful and aimed to stimulate senses, mind, and provide self-esteem and achievement.
In reality, the children move about the classroom independently, choosing the order of their learning activities. There may be 15 or more activities, or ?jobs? as they are called in some Montessori classrooms, occurring at the same time with small groups or individual work, yet the classroom remains quiet, yet busy and productive, sometimes with the soft hush of classical music playing in the background. Many Montessori school classrooms place a card around the child?s neck with the day?s objectives written in the form of a checklist for the students to monitor themselves. This checklist encourages the students to take responsibility for their own learning, as well as discourages prompt-dependence, since the student need not wait for instruction. Some of the activities in a Montessori classroom include reading, pre-reading using phonics, math, discovery science and writing. Children learn skills in a way that he or she is not aware that learning is taking place. For example, a child playing in the sand box with a small rake is not aware that he or she is learning fine motor skills and how to hold and control a pencil. Another observation in a Montessori classroom is that most classrooms tend to span three grade levels. This practice allows to children to become mentors to younger students. Also, the large gap in developmental levels allows children to ?learn at their own pace? (Keller, 2001), which is another important Montessori
I observed and analyzed the design and delivery of an instructional unit in a Montessori school setting. I observed a classroom of grades 1-3 two times from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Kennebec Montessori school. I was asked to sit quietly and to not interact with the children so I could get a realistic view of the class day and the children would pursue their chosen work.
According to Montessori, it is vitally important to support and facilitate these periods during the child's first stage of development. If the child is prevented from following the innate desire of any given sensitive period, a disturbing effect could result on both psychic development and maturity. The child must be assisted through the sensitive periods. The adult must assist the child by providing a suitable environment.
There is no set level that all children must follow; they learn when they explore by themselves. This method leaves children with freedom where they can learn self-discipline in a place designed specifically for their developmental needs. Teachers would have a part in the education of children though even though 80% of it was up to the children. Teachers are to make sure that children are presented with the right extent of material at the right time. In other words, if a child is too advanced for one activity, a teacher would present a new one to fit them, and vice versa. Maria believed if her methods were applied to public schools the results would be even better than the traditional method results. Since the government didn't let her, she started to work with poor daycare children. She doubted that her methods would work under these conditions but she had shocking results. She discovered if the children were in an orderly place to work, they will respect that and care for it. They are able to learn longer and better than in an everyday setting. In Montessori preschool, five areas make up the prepared learning environment. These areas include practical life, the sensorial area, mathematics, and cultural activities. In the elementary program, areas include integration, presentation of knowledge, presentation of the formal scientific languages, the use of visual aids, mathematic curriculum, Montessori trained teachers, emphasis on open-ended research and
The education system back in her era focused on teaching the children to memorise word to word from books and posters and Children sat in rows at desks at the classroom learning from a blackboard and slates. This method of education wasn’t stimulating and exciting for children. Nevertheless through her experience Montessori discovered children want to learn, and they will do it in their own time frame and they shouldn’t be forced.
Maria Montessori founded an education system which is called Montessori and still bares her name, her system is based on belief in the child’s creative potential, (Douglas, n.d.). Her first Casa Dei Bambini (Children’s house), where Maria was using her approach of teaching was opened in 1907 in Rome. She was great educator who believed that children are learning through their personal experience at their right time and their own pace. (Ridgway, 2007). Children rather than learning largely from what the teachers and the textbooks say, learn from “doing”,(Douglas, n.d.). To provide for children an effective, independent learning process, and that they become a competent and confident learner, Teacher had to provide for children a healthy, clean, well-prepared and well organised environment in which children could develop. Maria Montessori came up with idea that if children have to work and play independently, they have to be comfortable and need appropriately sized tools and items that fit their small hands (Mooney, 2000). Montessori believed that children learn through sensory experiences. Teacher has a responsibility to provide wonderful sights, textures, sounds, and smells for children. Sensory
“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher 's task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.”
The ability to imagine is a unique human experience and deserves to be nurtured and encouraged. Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the development of the child’s imagination and creativity are inborn powers within the child that develops as his mental capacities are established through his interaction with the environment. The cultural activities in a Montessori prepared environment helps to foster imaginative skills in the early years which make significant difference in a child’s future development. The children while being educated are encouraged to imagine. This freedom
Watching a small child discover how to operate his or her favorite plaything is awe inspiring. The look of wonder at the item as it's carefully chosen from amongst their belongings and studied ever so carefully for each and every nuance. How that little face lights up with each new discovery no matter how large or small. The sounds of delight an even dismay at an unwanted result are beautiful. Consider an educational system that would continue to utilize a child’s natural curiosity, unyielding ingenuity and thirst for knowledge. Montessori education creates that environment for children by allowing them the freedom to not only gain knowledge in a natural progression, but also provide a basis on which to continue to grow no matter where
Montessori’s teaching approach aims to develop all aspects of the child mentally and socially (Pound, 2012). Montessori cautioned teachers to remember that children need to be allowed to do basic tasks to learn for themselves (Mooney, 2000, p.28). The role of the teacher in a Montessori setting is mainly observation of the child, encouragement, preparation of the environment, leadership, fostering the child’s independence (Mooney, 2000, p.29), and keeping a complex and delicate balance between each role. (Miller, 2010, p.79). Both theorists acknowledged that children learn best by doing and through repetition of tasks (Mooney, 2000, p.29). Large blocks of time for free work and play, should be scheduled as this was part of the Montessori legacy, this can also be seen in Steiner settings. (Pound, 2012). The teacher should also give children responsibility for keeping the setting space clean and tidy and allow the children to structure their own play. (Mooney, 2000, p.29). Steiner’s role of the teacher is comparable. Steiner wanted to create an education which gave children ‘clarity of thought, sensitivity of feeling and strength of will’ (Pound 2012, p28). Like Montessori the role of the teacher is all about observation, the teacher needs to be both interested and observational of the child’s basic needs to fully develop the child both
Dr. Maria Montessori was a keen observer of children. She used her observational and experimental proclivities from her medical background to develop, what we might today call, a Constructivist understanding of the process of learning. She studied them scientifically. If she saw some unusual behavior in a child, she would say,”I won’t believe it now, I shall if it happens again”. She studied the conditions in which the children would perform those actions.