Montessori Concept

In the year 1907, Dr. Maria Montessori introduced a new method of education for nurturing young children. In her research, she made an observation that every child as an individual has his or her own unique capabilities and pace of learning. Children are keen to explore new things and master new skills. According to her, this individuality must be encouraged and the children should be provided enough space to initiate projects on their own. For such encouragement, children must be provided with right stimulation through sensory and artistic education supplemented with proper ambience. They should have the freedom for exploring things on their own. This, in turn, ensures amazing overall development of each child helping him to achieve his full potential.

Montessori education encompasses these findings to assist children by providing them education through carefully designed activities. Participation in such activities allows children to develop their potentials and capabilities as there are no set boundaries for children to perform. They are capable of exploring and executing tasks in their own unique way.

Researches all across the globe find that children develop most of the skills in their first six years. During these years, children learn spontaneously. Montessori education is imparted through sensory materials so that children identify the stimuli they encounter. Apart from it, children are provided with the freedom of choice of materials and freedom of movement in the classroom.

Montessori education focuses on social development. It remains a prominent factor. children are allowed to interact naturally and spontaneously with their peers. This way, the children develop excellent communication skills through the exchange of ideas and discussions within their group. Children become more adaptable that helps them to adopt and adapt easily in any environment. The Montessori programme is self- directed and non-competitive that helps children developing selfconfidence so they can face new challenges effectively. Children practise the highest moral ethics like compassion, kindness, empathy, honesty, love and respect for others etc. Characteristics of Montessori School

Characteristics of Montessori

  • Independence
  • Respect for the child
  • Freedom of choice
  • Hands-on learning
  • Initiative
  • Integrated curriculum
  • Universal adaptability
  • Cultural diversity
  • Care of oneself
  • Spontaneous concentration
  • Self-discipline
  • Lessons of grace and Courtesy
  • Heterogeneous grouping
  • Auto education
  • Cosmic education

 

 

Comparison with Traditional Education

Montessori system of education ensures accelerated growth of children by allowing them to explore, examine, and investigate the environment . The freedom and not the license they enjoy in deciding their activities help them develop their potential and imagination to the optimum level in highly nourishing and nurturing classroom environment. Contrary to conventional approach, the Montessori education has contemporary outlook towards children’s growth and development (cognitive, physical, social, emotional and psychological).

Traditional Approach Montessori Approach
Curriculum cares little about child’s interests. Child chooses work as per his own interests and abilities.
Strict seating arrangement. Child has freedom to move and talk at will.
Emphasis on rote knowledge. Emphasis on understanding.
Little materials are provided for sensory development. Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration/development.
Teacher’s role is dominant and active. Teacher’s role is supportive whereas child is active participant.
Teachers enforce discipline. Scientifically developed methods encourage internal self-discipline.
Teacher dominates the classroom children are passive learners and collaboration is discouraged. Children are encouraged to guide, assist collaborate and help each other.
Child is guided to concepts by teacher. Child formulates own concepts from self teaching materials.
Child usually is given specific time for work. No such limitation, child works on a chosen project as long as he or she wants.
Individual and group instruction as per adult’s teaching style. Instructions are adapted to individual student’s learning style.
Same age grouping. Mixed age grouping.
Errors pointed out and corrected by teacher. Child can detect and correct errors since Montessori materials are self correcting.
Voluntary parent involvement, often only as fund raisers. Organized programme for parents to understand the Montessori method and participate in the learning process.
Learning is reinforced externally by rewards and discouragements. Learning is reinforced internally through intrinsic motivation.
Little emphasis on instruction on classroom maintenance. Organized programme for learning care of self and care of environment.

CURRICULAM

The aims of Practical Life Exercises is to enable the child to be familiar with environment and become independent in performing day to day tasks. These activities help the child to develop fine and gross motor skills along with enabling him/her to take care of self and the environment around him/her. Development of concentration, co-ordination of movements, patience, a sense of order and good work habits are the other outcomes of these exercises. The child also learns social grace and courtesies and responsibilities, which help make him/her a more confident individual.

The Sensorial module provides learning through five sense organs. The activities are designed to train and refine each the sense, namely visual, tactile, olfactory, gustatory and auditory, while simultaneously developing the intellect.

Language is taught through a graded phonic system. The child is slowly taken through the process of language development beginning with learning the phonetic sounds of the alphabet and moving on to word building and then sentence construction. This system helps the child master all four aspects of language – listening, speaking, writing and reading. Importance is given to the development of oral skills through group discussion, story- telling, show and tell and rhymes sessions.

The Mathematical module introduces children to numbers and the decimal system that forms the base for learning mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The material begins with concrete experiences and moves children towards the abstract. There is also a progression of difficulties.

Culture module creates in the child an awareness of the world around him/her. It teaches the child various aspects of nature and his/her surroundings through activities related to Zoology, Botany, Geography and History. A cosmic approach ensures that the child learns not only about his/her own culture but also the cultures from across the world, thus inculcating values of love and respect towards every being in his/her environment.

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