Maria Montessori Essay

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Dr. Maria Montessori

"We cannot know the consequences of suppressing a child's spontaneity when he is just beginning to be active. We may even suffocate life itself. That humanity which is revealed in its entire intellectual splendor during the sweet and tender age of childhood should be respected with a kind of religious veneration. It is like the Sun which appears at dawn one flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life."

Dr. Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was an Italian doctor who worked among the socially and intellectually handicapped children in Rome at the start of 20th century (Kramer 1988, p.1-418). From close observation of the children in her Children's House (the name she gave to her nursery schools), she concluded that children pass through sensitive periods of development when certain skills and competencies are learned more easily. Montessori's stages covered the ages from zero to six years, six to twelve years and twelve to eighteen years. For her, the purpose of education was to aid young children to develop their fullest potential through their own efforts (Standing 1998, p.1-384).

Discussion

According to Montessori, "Children, as adults, also have different ways of tackling problems and dealing with challenging situations (Montessori, 1984, 1-384)." It seems that some of us are more analytical in our approach whereas others take a more holistic view to tackling a problem. It has been argued that an extreme global style involves field dependence, intuitive and emotional thinking, which involves a simultaneous processing of many aspects of experience and a tendency towards their spontaneity (Montessori, 1986, 1-352). The young child learns through observation, movement and exploration and for this reason must not be educated in the same way as the older child. Montessori also believed that children have an intrinsic love of order and expected each one to take responsibility for taking and replacing materials and equipment in good order (Montessori 2008, p.1-244). We can observed from the above mentioned quote that Maria Montessori believes that the relationships between adults and children can lead to a society which tend for war fare (Montessori 1982, p.1-240). She said "the adult does not understand the child (Montessori 2008, p.1-244)." Parents unconsciously battle with their children rather than helping them in their divine mission. Fathers and sons do not understand each other. An abyss yawns between them from the day the child is born. "And this lack of understanding is mans undoing; it leads him astray, sickens his spirit, impoverishes him, and makes him fail to realize his potential (Montessori 1988, p.1-416)."

From our conception, we all have a different set of experiences and interaction (Montessori, 2008, 1-244). They influence the content of what we know and we can put this knowledge in our own way. We also learn in different ways, some adults and children are very curious and motivated and participate in Active experimentation, while others are more. Learning styles, we highlight some of the other training opportunities; we all have some strengths and some weak areas. Montessori agrees that "development is influenced by the interaction of congenital and environmental factors, but so far discussed the relative importance of each (Montessori, 1984, 1-384)." Child's environment has an enormous impact on how "wired" brain circuits (Montessori, 1986, 1-352).

Dr. Montessori did not impose restrictions on the learning environment, but instead created thinking about children; learning environment should be easy and comfortable as per children's needs and likings. Rooms should be created as a house, then the revolutionary ideas of average children's furniture (Montessori, 2008, 1-244). Tables and chairs were child medium size and materials were placed on lower shelves for easily accessible by students. In addition many techniques were used to teach children to become more independent and do things themselves.

The Montessori system involves "seeing children as they really are and creating an environment that fosters fulfillment of their highest potential spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual as members of a family, the world community and the Cosmos (Montessori, 1986, 1-352)." In a Montessori school there is a defined awareness of sensitive periods of development, which informs the focus of class work. Lessons are appropriate, stimulating, and motivating to the child. Children are viewed as competent beings that can make decisions, both large and small. They are expected to choose what they want to learn about from the variety of learning materials that are provided. Ongoing curriculum development evolves on the basis of observing the individual child in the environment and presenting materials that help the child's skill development (Montessori, 2008, 1-244). The school uses child-sized furniture and a child-sized environment so that children can run their world themselves. Young children are seen as limitlessly motivated to learn. They have "absorbent minds" and are able to perfect their skills and understandings in a natural way within each sensitive period. Maria Montessori was an Italian doctor who worked among the socially and intellectually handicapped children in Rome at the beginning of the twentieth century. From close observation of the children in her Children's House (the name she gave to her nursery schools), she concluded that children pass through sensitive periods of development when certain skills and competencies are learned more easily. "Montessori's stages covered the ages from zero to six years, six to twelve years and twelve to eighteen years (Montessori, 1984, 1-384)." For her, the purpose of education was to aid young children to develop their fullest potential through their own efforts.

The young child learns through observation, movement and exploration and for this reason must not be educated in the same way as the older child. Montessori also believed that children have an intrinsic love of order and expected each one to take responsibility for taking and replacing materials and equipment in good order (Montessori, 1986, 1-352). Montessori's didactic materials are highly structured and designed to move from the simple to the complex. The child must always wait to be shown how to use new equipment correctly by the teacher and, if unable to use it properly, it is taken away and produced again later when the time is felt to be appropriate. Montessori believed that the child needs love, security and affection and a protected environment (Montessori, 2008, 1-244). The teacher, whom Montessori called a directress, is not there to direct the child but, where possible, the direction and correction for the young child should be inherent in the structure of the self-correcting exercises and apparatus. The teacher acts as a guide and facilitator rather than a dictator or a director. In this environment children are free to explore, touch, and learn without fear. The role of the teacher is to prepare a proper teaching and learning environment by:

Preparing herself (or himself)

Preparing the environment and provide a stimulating and challenging environment that will help children by creating a spontaneous learning situation

Acting as a link between the child and the materials. This is done by demonstrations and examples

Observing each child and note its interests and how the child works (Montessori, 1984, 1-384)

These observations are used to decide what next should be represented to the child, how it is presented and when. Just as some adults are more effective in the morning and others work better in the evening, so parents recognize early that their children have different biological rhythms. Montessori's didactic materials are highly structured and designed to move from the simple to the complex. Montessori believed that the child needs love, security and affection and a protected environment (Montessori 1982, p.1-240). The teacher, whom Montessori called a directress, is not there to direct the child but, where possible, the direction and correction for the young child should be inherent in the formation of self- correcting exercises as well as apparatus.

Maria Montessori is saying that if a child and their care usually don't have a strong, good relationship because the parent does not understand the child. Because of this, the child develops a lack of sensitivity (Kramer 1988, p.1-418). When a child has a lack of sensitivity and criminality, they have a better chance of wanting to engage in war. This, I think, is a really good reason to have Montessori schools. Not only do Montessori schools provide growth and understanding of academics, it also provides social and emotional growth.

The child must always wait to be shown how to use new equipment correctly by the teacher and, if unable to use it properly, it is taken away and produced again later when the time is felt to be appropriate (Montessori, 1984, 1-384). One big thing about Montessori is that the teachers have good relationships with the student as well as the student having good relationships with his or her peers. I think this is a great way to promote peace through understanding as well as education. In a traditional school, you wouldn't have that kind of relationship with a teacher or peers, and this will lead to the exact…[continue]

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