The Montessori Education Method

Maria Montessori was born in italy in 1870. She was the first woman in Italy to attend Medical School and later completed degrees in Education, Philosophy and Anthropology.
In 1907 Maria Montessori established the first Casa Di Bambino, “House of Children’, using her own method of teaching with specialised materials.
In 1913 – 1914 international training courses opened with Montessori as the director. She spent the years from 1913 until her death touring and lecturing extensively in the Montessori method of education. Her works now primarily involves teacher training all over the world. In 1936 she established her home in Holland. In 1939 Montessori visited India to present a speech to the World Fellowship of Faith. She remained in India until the end of the war and in 1949, 1950 and 1951 was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Montessori died in Holland in 1952.

Montessori Philosophy 0-6
The Absorbent Mind

• Montessori believed that an infant possesses the capacity to absorb his environment simply by being in it. She used the way he learns to speak as an example of this.

• She believes the first three years are those of unconscious absorption.
We don’t know that the child has been absorbing things from the environment until he brings this to a conscious level, or says his first word.

• All of baby’s impressions are registered by his/her senses.

• The child touches everything, examines it minutely and puts it in his mouth.

Conscious Level

From about the age of three the child brings what he/she has already absorbed and continues to absorb to a conscious level. He/she now begins to classify with impressions, eg colour, red into shades of red.

This sub stage, which lasts until about age six is characterised by the acquisition of language and the mastery of physical movements. The toddler becomes a sprinter capable of challenging any Olympic athlete. The babbler conducts meaningful conversations and indulges in reality based pretend play.

Sensitive Periods of Learning

Montessori believed that there are sensitive periods for learning things in ehich the child will effortlessly.
Once they have passed the learning can still be done but it is with effort only. These are now known as the windows of opportunity and her observations are backed up by recent brain resreach findings.

From age 0-6 years, the child is sensitive to order, acquiring language, walking, social aspects of life, discovering small objects and learning through their senses.

Montessori Concluded From Her Observation

• The child wants to learn
• The child has an innate tendency to explore
• He/she wants to choose it and do it for himself/ herself
• He/she learns through his/her senses
• The hand is the instrument of the brain
• He/she wants to do what we do and use the same things we use
• He/she is fascinated by small objects.
• He/she likes things to be orderly and beautiful
• He/she wants a chance to practice things
• He/she wants to do it right
• Practice makes permanent
• He/she is interested in his social group.

Traditional Approach

• Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development

• The teacher’s role is dominant and active; the child is the passive participant

• The teacher is the primary enforcer of external discipline

• Individual and group instruction conforms to the adults teaching style

• Same age grouping

• Most teaching done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged

• Curriculum structured with little regard for child’s interests

• Child is guided to concepts by teachers

• Child usually given specific time for work

• Instruction pace set by group norm or teacher

• Errors corrected by teacher

• Learning is reinforced externally by rewards and discouragements

• Few materials for sensory, concrete manipulation

• Little emphasis on instruction or classroom maintenance

• Child assigned seat; encouraged to sit still

Montessori Approach

• Emphasis on cognitive and social development

• The teacher’s role is unobtrusive; child actively participates in learning Environment and method encourages internal self-discipline

• Individual and group instruction adapts to each student’s learning style

• Mixed age grouping

• Children encourage to teach, collaborate and help each other

• Child chooses own work from interests and abilities

• Child formulates concepts from self-teaching materials

• Child works as long as s/he wants on chosen project

• Child sets own learning pace to internalise information

• Child spots own errors through feedback from material

• Learning is reinforced internally through child’s own repetition of activity, internal feelings of success

• Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration development

• Organised program for learning care of self and care environment

• Child can work where s/he is comfortable, moves and talks at will (yet doesn’t disturb others)

The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.

Maria Montessori

The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.

Maria Montessori

The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six.

Maria Montessori

When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.

Maria Montessori

The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’

Maria Montessori

Play is the work of the child.

Maria Montessori

To assist a child, we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.

Maria Montessori

The child, making use of all that he finds around him, shapes himself for the future.

Maria Montessori

Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.

Maria Montessori

The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.

Maria Montessori

The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.

Maria Montessori

The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.

Maria Montessori

What the hand does the mind remembers.

Maria Montessori