Monday, December 13, 2010

Montessori, what is it?

When I started my blog I had a few people ask me, "What exactly is Montessori?" So I will briefly explain the philosophy while Noah is sound asleep. The Montessori Method was developed to help special needs children by Dr. Maria Montessori. However, when she discovered how well it worked with those with special needs she decided to expand her knowledge and apply her method to all children. The majority of lessons conducted by a Montessori directress (aka teacher) are conducted one on one with a child, based on the child's ability and sensitive period because every child is different and therefore, each child learns differently and at different stages and ages. Incorporated into the Montessori Method children learn independence, respect for the environment, order, self-discipline, just to name a few; and we use materials to aid children into understanding each lesson. The montessori method employs two forms of lessons for teaching children: direct learning (which provides concrete information to be memorized) and indirect learning (which prepares children for future concrete lessons). For instance, the "pink tower" (a favourite with the children) is used to teach order (big to small), quantity of 10 and indirectly to read left to right. When you start your training as a Directress, the very first thing you do in class is work in an area called Practical Life. Practical Life is the section of the classroom where children learn day-to-day things, such as pouring liquid, buttoning their shirt, polishing things and spooning. This area of the classroom also has a lot of indirect lessons, such as learning how to hold a pencil and learning to read by doing all activies from left to right. Practical Life has many indirect purposes and "albums" are used to help us teach the children step by step (washing your hands has over 100 steps when you teach a little one). For albums, directress' will take photographs for the activities so they can be referred back to for remembering each step (for example, what "spooning" looks like). The other Montessori Method curriculum areas include Sensorial (using your senses), Math, Language and Culture (geography, history, botany). As the child grows the materials change to suit different ages and stages of learning. In the future I hope to teach Noah not just the educational part of Montessori but the other aspects as well. If there are any more questions please do not hesitate to ask. Also if you have anything to add, please share via comment!!

1 comment:

  1. I can already see it working with Parker - he is quite the independent little guy and I like him to learn from his environment...I teach him but I also guide him to self-directed learning (especially the senses)...I think he is doing great - can't wait to really get going as he gets older!