I thought I'd share a quick overview of Montessori. My mom and I have been helping my sister with a project, and this is a summery of what my mom emailed her. Since I've been writing similar things in my head and hoping to write up "What is Montessori" I figured I'd break it up into a series. I'm considering having a few friends and colleagues contribute to this endeavor. Hopefully we can cover some questions out there in the next few months.
The Montessori method of teaching was originally used with disadvantaged children. In a Montessori environment each person must be considered as a whole. All aspects of the individual are equally important and inseparable regarding his or her interests and needs. These aspects are:
- Physical: needs are addressed in the environment by having furniture of an appropriate size. For example the chairs /tables shelves, bathroom fittings, sinks, etc are all at child level. In the case of disabled children their needs are accommodated.
- Emotional: The material calls them to work. It is appealing, and self explanatory and brings about a sense of peace and harmony. Montessori referred to this as 'normalization'
- Cognitive: The concepts have already been absorbed wholly in the young child. Materializing these concepts now make it more meaningful. E.g weight, textures, dimensions,sounds to name a few.
- Social: The children are of varied age groups resembling a family and a home-a perfect social environment Older children play the role of models to younger children who like to emulate them. In the 3 year period, every child gets to be a follower before being a leader.
- Spiritual: Children are taught to respect the material. Every piece of material has to be handled appropriately. Misuse is never allowed. They learn to treat people around them the same way.
- Aesthetic: The material is beautiful, clean, fragile and delicate, appealing to to the senses
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