The Montessori method is considered today to be the most innovative, scientific, and effective method of education in the world.
What is Montessori Method? Why parents should choose Montessori for their children?
Dr. Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870, in a small town in Chiaravalle, Italy.
In the development of children’s education, Montessori is one of the most influential pioneers, the method that has become a hypothesis for subsequent teaching professions. It was the invention and implementation of Montessori, along with the instructional logic and teaching aids she developed for children… That generated the value of the so-called “Montessori method” that we sometimes speak of.
What is the Montessori method?
Through exquisite observation and thorough research. Montessori realized that children had powerful learning and theological potential, often not exhibiting external manifestations. Regarding that children ought to spend a long time perfecting themselves. The period of 0-6 years old is the most significant maturing stage.
Children from 0 to 6 years of age have an absorbent mind, and the process of learning varies significantly differently from adults. They can obtain information from the surrounding very easily.
The absorbent mind of children under 6 years old, includes unconscious absorption of the first 3 years and conscious absorption of the next 3 years.
Due to the Montessori’s philosophy:
Unconscious absorption: Children aged 0 – 3 years old are like taking pictures. The images are engraved in the brain, very difficult to delete. If the cause of the mentally ill patient is from childhood, is nearly unable to treat. It’s because the absorption of children under 3 is conducted unconsciously.
Conscious absorption: 3 – 6 years old children still have a receptive mind, but in a conscious state. They use their two hands to feel external objects, enrich the experience. To them, every day has a new thing to discover.
Advice: What children need at this period is not an adult guide, but an atmosphere of free play, fully adult-free. For their growth, that is the best setting.
Sensitive periods in Montessori Philosophy
There are also sensitive periods for children 0 – 6 years of age. Since they are regulated by their special inner ability, by random behavior, they are very receptive to an object or motion. These gestures can be replicated over and over by children until they are happy to stop.
Children have 6 sensitive periods:
- Movement and movement
- Sensory sensation
- Details or trivia.
Children under the age of 3 have a difficult time grasping complex ideas. Therefore, we also have a difficult time teaching them: color, long-short, taste, high-low sound, shape … At that time, children can only use their eyes to see, hands to touch, ears to hear, noses to smell. After that, they repeat, compare and observe to understand.
Advice: Sensitive periods are extremely important for the development of a child. Since this is the time where a certain special ability can be learned effectively by children. At this time, if children are not “free to operate” they may have challenges learning those special skills later on.
When children take the initiative in choosing the work they like, they will be happy and enjoy the work without an adult.
Why parents should choose the Montessori method?
Parents should choose this Montessori teaching method because it meets fully 5 aspects:
Montessori educational materials were designed by Dr. Montessori. She developed them based on children’s needs and natural development. So that, each teaching tool emphasizes a particular topic, such as the white tower represents the concept of big and small, the red stick represents the concept of long and short.
Therefore, children will use their hands and together with all senses to feel these tools. After that, they can learn and understand abstract concepts. Moreover, they realize the rules from the mess, enhance their coordination by themselves. Children practice the harmony between hands and eyes, the sense of order, independence, attention, and observation.
LEARNING AND DEVELOPING ENVIRONMENT:
The environment in a Montessori method-inspired classroom is prepared and arranged appropriately. We try our best to satisfy the requirements of “receptive mind” and “sensitive periods” of children aged 0-6 years. Helping them to stimulate the integral development of both mental, physical, emotional, and other social skills. Also, we need to ensure the health and safety of the children.
The Montessori classroom is organized in an orderly manner. Classes using temporary bookshelves are divided into many different areas such as:
- Practical Life
MIXED-AGE CLASSROOM – SIGNIFICANT FOR MONTESSORI METHOD:
A Montessori method-inspired classroom includes children from different age groups. Placing children of different ages together will benefit the child’s social communication development. Thereby, older children help the younger, the younger children learn from the older. The more natural the environment brings the more family atmosphere.
The Montessori teachers are always courteous and patient. No pointing to commands, no criticizing. They do not consider themselves as the center of the classroom. Montessori teachers do not stand in front of children to help children do unnecessary things. Instead of that, they are always behind them. Step by step discovering, exploring, discussing, to finding ways to solve children’s problems. Watching the children getting fully mature day by day is a pleasure to a teacher.
The Montessori teaching method is meticulous to the very small detail. Not any aspect of life is ignored. The purpose of education is to support adulthood, not to just impart one-way-knowledge nor because of being one step ahead of the curriculum. Definitely not for the competition but because of the need to live and thrive as a child. That’s because children’s natural development is the top priority of the Montessori method. So that, paying attention to the child’s development in all aspects is always the need.