Montessori Method of education is designed by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) using her philosophy of education based upon actual observations of children. The journey of learning in a child begins with concrete materials that lead to abstract understanding, where the child develops the flow of ideas and imagination by exploring the things independently. This system supports individual child’s development needs and growth. The child develops intelligence through physical and psychological abilities. It fulfills the children’s desire to learn all the practical skills, sensorial, mathematics, language and cultural knowledge. A quality Montessori classroom with prepared environment and the role of the teacher distinguishes Montessori Method from other educational approaches.
The Montessori Method of education is very popular around the world. In this method of education individual child achieves all pleasures and most of their stimuli are derived from the five senses: what they see, hear, touch, smell and taste. They develop their capabilities by discovering the Montessori materials by using their five senses to achieve the greater potential of enjoying life.
Montessori philosophy fosters the development of child’s highest potential in spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth. Following basic principles makes it exclusive different from other method of teachings.
- Respect for the Child Respect for the child is the foundation stone on which all other Montessori principles rest. Teachers show respect for children while helping them to do things to achieve their goals. They develop positive self esteem by effective learning process. Whereas in traditional schools children are forced to learn without their interest to complete the required curriculum task.
- The Absorbent Mind Dr. Montessori described the child’s mind between the time of birth and six years of age as the “absorbent mind”. Children are born to learn and they have remarkable learning ability as they are thinking beings. Learning totally depends upon the teachers, experiences and environments.
- Sensitive Periods Montessori believed every child undergoes the sensitive periods where they learn specific skills. The sequence of process and timing varies for each child. Montessori teacher uses their observation to detect the times of sensitivity and provides an environment to satisfy their needs.
- Well Prepared Environment Montessori believed that children learn best in a prepared environment. Children are given freedom to explore materials of their own choice in an orderly format which further enables them to be independent and active learner.
- Self -education Montessori named the concept that children are capable of educating themselves. Well prepared classroom environment along with freedom of choice educates the children themselves to satisfy and achieve their goals.
- The Teacher’s Role The role of a Montessori teacher plays a unique role as an observer, facilitator and guide. Their ultimate goal is to prepare and organize the learning environment to meet the needs and interests of the children to promote independence, self – confidence and discipline. The children learn from their own discoveries and derive their own conclusions.
Montessori teachers play a dynamic role between the children and the prepared environment.
- They make children the center of learning
- They encourage children to learn
- They observe children
- They prepare the learning environment
- They respect each child
- They introduce learning materials