"I have studied the child. I have taken what
the child has given me and expressed it and
that is what is called the Montessori method."
- Maria Montessori
Dr. Montessori’s advice has always been to ‘Follow the Child’. She recognised in children a natural curiosity and desire to learn. She observed that children under the age of six absorb effortlessly from the world around them and in so doing, lay down the foundation for later life.
She believed that children have an ‘Absorbent Mind’ – a strong desire to explore everything around them using their senses and 'absorb' the environment. The Montessori materials awaken this desire and channel that curiosity into a learning experience which children enjoy and find rewarding.
Dr. Montessori identified in children certain planes of development which she called 'sensitive periods' - the child is drawn to the things needed to help develop the full human potential.
The Montessori materials are didactic (self-teaching) and help children to understand what they learn by associating an abstract concept with a concrete sensorial experience. In this way, the Montessori child is actually learning and not just memorising.
The Montessori method stresses that children learn and progress at their own pace when they are ready and the materials with which they learn must always be age-appropriate and attractive.
At the centre of the Montessori method is your child. The child’s individual interest motivates his/her choice of materials and the Directress (teacher) demonstrates the appropriate use and method for each material, individually.
The Montessori method embraces the whole child - intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
A child has an innate need to develop and with a carefully prepared environment, the child is allowed to develop at his/her own pace, building a strong sense of independence and self-confidence as skills are increased.
As Montessori said,“ The child must do it himself or it will never be done." The child grows in confidence, independence and with the broad range of manipulative materials, refines all his senses.
Copyright 2009. By www.nurseryweb.co.uk.