All about Montessori Method
Adopted by Montessori schools for preschool curriculum
About the Montessori Philosophy
Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder (1907) developed her Montessori method of education meeting each individual child's P-hysical, I-ntellectual, E-motional and S-ocial, needs – in short “PIES”. I like to include one more “S” and name it “S-piritual”. You will learn more about her Philosophy in the various aspect of her curriculum.
About the Montessori Curriculum
The program is child-centered which is so different from any traditional school concept. What I mean is that, the child is guided to make his own decision. Led by his own passion, interest and innate ability to learn, he chooses his own work within a framework and structure set by the Directress.
The benefit of this Montessori method is that children learn independently of the Directress (teacher), absorbing lessons at their own pace, and therefore not be stressed or bored. Here, the preschool curriculum sails along with the strength of the child's innate drive to explore the world with the help of the self-directed, self-corrective Montessori materials. Worksheets (except for writing practices) are not used frequently because the importance of the child's sensorial experience with manipulative materials ranks above the regurgitation of knowledge onto papers.
The child enters the Montessori school when he is about 2 and a half years old, and remains till he reaches elementary school and in some cases up to Secondary. The Montessori method introduces this as the critical learning period where a child absorbs all that he is learning. He is guided to increase his intellectual skills of concentration while he works on his personal skills of physical coordination, social awareness, independence, initiative, self-confidence and self-discipline.
Do you notice that I used the word "guided" more than the conventional school terminology "taught" or "instructed" ? The word "Directress" is replaced for "Teachers". The Montessori method has a totally different concept from a conventional school. Step in to a Montessori classroom and you will experience a variety of activities all happening at the same time. In a bigger Montessori environment, you have children of all ages in a big classrooms working in harmony with one another. It is a delightful sight.
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About the Montessori Classroom
With the Montessori method, the classroom is designed for children to interact with other children, using precision made materials, child-sized wooden furniture, plants and animals. Dr Maria Montessori, the founder, believed that children will experience harmony & maturity with a well prepared environment. When you enter a Montessori classroom, you’ll be amazed to see little ones absorbed in a world of learning without much instructions from the Directress/es.
About the Montessori Materials
Carefully designed materials are carved with great precision right to its millimeters. This is to offer self corrective assessments where the child will not deviate far from his mistakes. The child first observes how the materials are used and then is free to use them. If he makes a mistakes, he’ll know it because the order is disrupted and he cannot continue the process till he intuitively adjust back to his right path.You’ll understand more of this Montessori method concept when you actually practice it.
About the Social Interaction
The environment consists of multi-age groupings – from 2 to 6 years old. This montessori method of grouping allows for great social skill learning through their free interactions. The child is a learner and a mentor at the same time. This is my favorite part of the Montessori preschool setting. It is such a joy to see a 5 yr old helping a 3 yr old in handling a jug of water.
About the Assessment
Teachers are trained to assess students by way of an observation checklist that goes beyond academics. Remember the “PIES” philosophy ? Students are assessed on their Physical, Intellectual, Emotional & Social skills. Regular Open House & Parent-teacher sessions are held to connect with the child’s family, so that parents understand and continue applying the Montessori method and philosophy even at home.
How to implement the Montessori Method ?
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My oldest son attended a traditional preschool class in Baltimore, MD, which I was really pleased with. I couldn't imagine anything more exciting, until …
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In 1897 Maria Montessori had a revelation. "I felt that mental deficiency presented chiefly a pedagogical, rather than mainly a medical, problem." The …
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Read more about the Montessori method in the following areas:
Montessori 3 Period Lesson - How to teach new vocabularies and concepts.
Montessori Cultural Studies - How to introduce thematic studies.
Montessori Mathematics - How to use Manipulative Objects to teach Math concepts.
Montessori Language - How to use Moveable Alphabets to teach Phonics and reading.
Montessori Practical Life - How to teach basic life skills using simple objects.
Montessori Sensorial - How to teach concepts using the God-given senses.
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