DISCOVERY MONTESSORI SCHOOLS
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 ~
The Montessori Method of education is concerned with the development of human potential. Children within the Montessori environment develop qualities such as independence, self-confidence, self-discipline and persistence. Maria Montessori observed that children crave stimulation and needed a sensory-rich environment to learn and thrive.
According to Montessori, children aged 0-6 possess "an absorbent mind" when they learn with "intense mental activity"1. During the first phase, age 0-3, children learn basic human functionality like eating, talking, walking and begin to gain control of their hands and body functions; this is called the "unconscious absorbent mind". For the second phase, age 3-6, Montessori calls this the "conscious absorbent mind". This is when children consciously work towards awareness and the freedom to choose, to concentrate, and to seek an internal order.
In addition to the absorbent mind concept, Montessori developed the theory that there are "sensitive periods" in which children learn. During these times, children will be naturally motivated to seek objects and relationships in their environment and to aquire certain knowledge and skills. These periods occur universally for all children and provide optimum learning opportunities for them.
In the prepared environment, there are 5 areas of development: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Cultural. Each areas are equipped with many beautiful and purposeful learning materials. Through the use of specifically designed materials children learn physical, mental, spiritual, emotion-handling and social skills. These tools are self-correcting so when children perform the task correctly, it is self-evident. Montessori materials also cater to children's natural fascination with sensorial experiences (touch, taste, smell, sounds, weight). Children learning under the Montessori Method are energized. They develop a desire to play, work, learn, and create. This method cultivates a love of lifelong learning. Click here to learn more about Prepared Environment.
1Montanaro, Dr. Silvana Quattricchi, Understanding the Human Being (Mountain View: Nienhuis Montessori, 1991).
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