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Montessori 101

Page history last edited by Alexandra Wlodkowski 7 years, 2 months ago

 

Montessori Quotes Explained

 

 

“The most important period of the life is not the age of university studies, but the first one – from birth to six.  For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed” (Montessori, 1984, p. 33).

 

Montessori theorized that human beings are born with natural motivations for development and learning.  These impulses lead to further potentialities such as movement and language.  Montessori referred to these as critical forces, which need stimulation from the environment to develop fully.  These internal factors are exhibited in the unconscious absorbent mind, a term Montessori referred to as the unique way in which children acquire information.  Due to the fact that these unconscious memories are stored in the brain, Montessori believed that the formation of the child’s personality should be protected during this critical stage.  Children absorb information unconsciously through their environment and it is of paramount importance that the environment provides the necessary means where the most beneficial learning activities may take place.  It is during the stage of the absorbent mind, from birth to six, which forms the very foundation upon which will lay all other learning.  For these reasons, the first period of life should be considered the most important.  

 

 

 

“As soon as concentration appears, the teacher should pay no attention as if that child does not exist” (Montessori, 1984, p.274).

 

The role of the teacher is a critical aspect in the prepared environment.  In fact, it is one which presents itself as a ‘dynamic link’ between him/herself, the children and the environment.  The teacher’s duty is to not only prepare the environment for the children, but also to guide the children within it.  Guides must also be sure that their interactions with the children are suitable for initiating the child’s own self-discovery.  Teachers do not interrupt a child who has found concentration in a meaningful piece of work.  To do otherwise might break that child’s sense of concentration and direction within the activity.  This could ultimately harm children’s intellectual development.   For these reasons, Montessori guides refrain from interrupting students in the midst of their work.

 

 

 

“So we come to a scientific principle which is also a path to perfection.  We call it ‘the control of error’” (Montessori, 1984, p. 244).

 

Intrinsic to every piece of Montessori equipment and lesson is a control of error.  That is to say, there exists within the material characteristics which will allow children to see their own mistakes and self-evaluate their work.  This is a key component to children’s learning as it enables them to correct their own mistakes without adult intervention.  Ultimately, this leads students in their path to self-discovery, development of the will, and self-perfection.

 



“But when the attractions of the new environment exert their spell, offering motives of constructive activity...  A unique type of child appears, a ‘new child’; but really it is the child’s true ‘personality’ allowed to construct itself normally” (Montessori, 1984, p. 203).

 

Montessori referred to the term, normalized child, to describe the characteristics of the true nature of childhood.  She maintained that children whose needs are met and are able to develop freely, will not exhibit typical patterns of childhood behavior such as tantrums, crying, possessiveness, etc.  Rather, the normalized child will show a love of work and order, a love of silence and working alone.  The child will also show tendencies to work well in a group with a sense of community.  A normalized child will be able to show profound concentration, independence, and self-realized obedience.  A child who shows the true nature of childhood is rooted with an attachment to reality.  Most importantly, if the “child’s true personality is allowed to construct itself normally,” we will find he is filled with a sense of joy, and only then, will we see the child for who he truly is.

 

Reference 

Montessori. M. (1984).  The absorbent mind.  New York, NY:  Dell Publishing Company.

 

 

 

 

Read More About Montessori Theory:

 

 

The Significance of Practical Life

 

 

An Education For the Senses: Part One

 

 

An Education for the Senses: Part Two

 

 

The Mathematical Mind

 

 

A Montessori Approach to Language

 

 

Introduction to Total Reading

 

 

The Planes of Development

 

 

Montessori and Multiple Intelligences: Part One

 

 

Montessori and Multiple Intelligences: Part Two

 

 

The Three-Period Lesson

 

 

 

 

LINKS:

Front Page

Classroom Environment

Montessori Ground Rules

Classroom Rules and Procedures

Grace and Courtesy

Student Work

Parent Resource

 

 

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