The Montessori Model : A Unique Image Of The Child

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The Montessori model has a unique image of the child. This approach emphasizes that children want and need to care for themselves and their surroundings. Adults have spent too much time “serving” children, and this has an affect on their self worth and individuality (Mooney, 2000). Each child is seen as having an inherent set of strengths and that these strengths will emerge differently from each individual. Montessori overalls views the child as active, eager for knowledge and prepared to learn, seeking perfection through reality, play, and work (Edwards, 2002). The Reggio approach has a similar view that sees a “rich” child as actively seeking the meaning of the world from birth. Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia Model, saw children as “rich” in potential, strength, potential, competence, and most of all connected to the adults and other children. The teaching and learning have similar aspects but are still very different from each other. In the Montessori model, the classroom is to be child-centered and teachers should: 1) provide real tools that work, 2) keep materials and equipment accessible to the children, organized so they can find and put away what they need, and 3) create beauty and order in the classroom. Montessori teachers are trained to “teach little and observe more” (Mooney, 2000). Children are capable of great concentration when they are presented with interesting things to do and the time and freedom to do them. Within a Montessori

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